The Bullet Journal Club: a new way to get organized

Students explore a creative outlet to add some order to chaotic lives

The art of organization comes to vibrant life during Trinity’s Bullet Journal Club meetings. Founded in 2019 by Thao Dinh, a senior international studies major, and Caroline Wall, a former Trinity student who graduated in 2020, the Bullet Journal Club is a creative space where students can come and share their individuality through calendar drawings, to-do lists and an infinite number of unique organizational tools. Bullet journaling aids Trinity students in many ways and is an activity that anyone can partake in.

Bullet journaling has many definitions, but at the most basic level, it is a way of personal organization.

Sydney Mayhew, first-year psychology major, uses her bullet journal for many facets of life besides academics: “I use bullet journaling to keep track of all my due dates for school, all my homework assignments, my social events, chores, and then I also do mental health journaling as well.”

Dinh said that she never believed a seemingly solitary activity could have a club or community of people. However, when she started the club she was met with enthusiasm.

“I think this community really benefits everyone that’s [a part of it], sharing the same interest and giving out ideas, tips,” Dinh said. “And most likely encouraging people to keep working on a system that works for them.”

Maddie Freeman, a junior English and Latin double major, has gained an increased sense of artistry through bullet journaling: “I used to think that I wasn’t that creative or artistic, but the more I [bullet journal], … the more I find that I’m getting more creative and branching out.”

Many people turn to Pinterest for design ideas to personalize their bullet journal to their liking. Going to the club every week allows people to share their ideas and gain inspiration from others who share this interest.

Dinh, Mayhew and Freeman all pointed out that bullet journaling is a great way to manage stress and promote mental well-being. There are many ways to track healthy habits, both physical and mental, through bullet journaling. For example, many use bullet journaling to track daily water intake, sleep, mood and gratitude.

Having a place to keep track of daily habits, assignments and social events have helped the members of the Bullet Journal Club stay organized and sane while maintaining busy schedules. Dinh stressed that anyone can bullet journal. Often people feel some hesitation when they see the elaborate and nearly perfect journals of those with more experience, but a bullet journal is meant to be as artful, utilitarian or perfect as you want it to be — art skills are not a requirement. While many people use bullet journaling as an outlet for artistic flare, the bottom line is that bullet journaling keeps one organized.

Some people also hesitate to start a bullet journal because they fear that it will be a large time commitment. However, as Dinh said, “It actually saves you time if you spend time on it … because it’s a system that helps you manage time.”

Freeman also mentioned that she does not think of bullet journaling as something time-consuming because being organized will save her more time at the end of the day. Dinh pointed out that it’s a productive way to procrastinate, too, because it’s an opportunity to take your mind off of your workload and do something therapeutic for yourself.

For those who are on the fence about starting a bullet journal, Mayhew said, “Just try it.” She emphasized that any new activity requires some trial and error, and if you start really simple with some to-do lists here and there, you can keep adding more fun into the process with more complex or decorative details once you see if it is something you genuinely want to put more time and effort into. If a student is unsure about where or how to begin, Trinity’s Bullet Journal club provides many supplies and resources to start and help students along their bullet journal journey.

If you are interested in starting the journey yourself, the Bullet Journal Club meets on Thursdays from 7–8 p.m. in the Tiger Learning Commons. Anyone is encouraged and welcome to join at any time.