I'm a planner person, type A, OCD, list-making, calendar plotting, color coding type of planner person, and quite frankly in college you have to be.
I've tried a few organizational systems throughout my education. As a junior in high school I use to use a page-a day-moleskine book and a note card with tiny tiny tiny writing with everything I had to do for the week. My senior year, I made my own planner with InDesign before jumping on the Erin Condren Bandwagon. For my first semester in college I tried to carry over my Erin Condren system. When that didn't work for me I tried passion planner (which I preordered and waited a good three months for) only to decide I wanted something with more flexibility. Then I discovered the Bullet Journal system.
Take a few minutes to watch the video above, which explains the basics of the system. What I like about bullet journal is any notebook can become my planner, and I can create my planner to be as flexible as it needs to be. I'm using a green, large, lined moleskine for my bullet journal. Honestly, it was a notebook I just had lying around and converted into my number one tool for college. The bullet journal is great because I can use a page for meeting notes then jump right back into planning my day.
One thing I didn't like so much about the Erin Condren system was the amount of effort I felt like I had to put in to decorate it and make it look pretty. Because the planner itself was happy and colorful, I felt like I needed stickers and colored pens and all the washi tape in the world. I'm only crafty when I need to be, and I just didn't have the time to decorate and make a page look nice, only for it to bulk up from the sheer number of stickers I had in the book.
In addition to my bullet journal I use a cheap small notebook from staples to keep track of long term dates. One problem with the bullet journal is you create your month at a glance pages as you need them, so if you get a date you need to remember two or three months from now, it's hard to log that. So with the small notebook (or with the moleskine page-a-day book I just got for 50% off), I can write out long term reminders and todos. This systems works wonders with Cal Newport's system for keeping up with homework.
Needless to say I've done some extensive research on ways to improve my bullet journal. I'm finally getting to a point where my planner is showing some signs of consistency, because I've just been experimenting with how I want to set everything up over the past three months. As a result I've curated some of the best links and videos around on the whole bullet journal topic.
Some good info on the 80/20 Rule which Is a good reminder when attempting to approach a mountain of work
Let me know how you use the system or if you pick up the system and like it. I'd love to talk tips on twitter (@that_cool_girl) or in the comments.