Bullet Journal

I love planning and I love planners. I get crazy over organisers, printables and colourful stationary like a girl. I became a master list maker over the years since our profession requires at least a minimum  of organisation. You can find lists in my lesson plan book and my daily planners.

Consequently, starting with the premise of an organisation freak in mind, you can all see where this is going. I recently fell into the black hole of bullet journaling and it seems I can't get out of it, but the most important is that I don't wish to get out of it!

My one month-old bullet journal

Looking through the various pins in Pinterest one day, I came across a pin talking about bullet journals and how to set it up. That was it. One pin followed the other, blog posts and Youtube video tutorials followed suit. I began with small steps, all of them leading to the "gurus" of this practice.
Most of the people who chose to turn into planning with a bullet journal are either creative personalities or they are urged to be through it. I found the whole venture to be a revelation. The fact only of having to set it up is one of  the most creative things ever! However, you don't have to be an artist to have a bullet journal and this is not exactly the first or the only use of this magnificent tool: it can be a planner, a journal, a tracker, an artistic notebook and much more. It can be whatever its holder chooses it to be.

Having all this in mind, I thought to apply my latest craze onto my students! I chose the pre-intermediate level for my "experiment" and just a couple of students. Truth to be told, if you browse around, you'll see mostly ladies using it and just a few gentlemen among them. I've witnessed college students using a bullet journal on Tumblr and their wonderful studying organisation and that's when it struck me.

How about using it with EFL students, who don't like writing in particular and what they need perhaps is a slight nudge... So, I provided them with two small, but very cute notebooks with colourful covers, some post-its and bookmarks. The notebooks can be whatever you wish, a simple notebook of any size or kind. I should inform you that one of them is not really keen on planning her studying time and thus, forget, reschedule and fall behind on her assignments.

The first stage was a bit strange on how to introduce the concept. I thought it shouldn't feel pressuring and stressful, like a project or an assignment, but something fun, making them go back and organise more. The only restriction they have is the use of the English language. My supervision will only consist in checking, advising and suggesting, but not actually correcting. The thought behind it is that they should get started with some basic kind of writing in a foreign language, some kind of enjoyable type of writing and not a homework assignment. Just like speaking, it's tiring for students listening to a teacher correcting them all the time. The plan is to get them moving!

The set up of a bullet journal can be variable and adjustable according to the user's liking, tastes and mood, and that is actually the beauty of it. There is a basic structure of a calendar, tracker, journal and whatever the owner chooses to add. 

The students bullet journal will contain a calendar so as to organise their study time better, schedule their week, a couple of trackers and some specific sections such as the one called, "What Stuck With You Today?" I got that idea from Pinterest. The original pin is about a bulletin board that students post their most memorable time of the day. Another section could be dedicated to song lyrics since -at least Greek students- they love listening to youtube videos and singing karaoke style. They might have a part of the journal writing their favourite lyrics. It would make a great combination of listening and writing practice! They can copy something that stuck from their course book or a quote we mentioned in class. They are going to be urged, from my part, to create lists of books to read or films to see and include any other interest or hobby they might have in their lives. The great fact about bullet journals is that you can change what you don't like and make it fit into your own needs. So they can customise as they go along. I'd love to listen to more ideas and uses if you wish to discuss about it!

I certainly hope we have a successful experiment. I can't wait to see the results! We just needed a notebook and a pen! 

What's next? Bullet journals/lesson plan books for teachers! 

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