Creative writing class turns the page to bullet journaling


Elizabeth Anderson

Natalie Rebetsky, Mason Eddins, Katelyn Lynch, Alexis Keeling, Katie Lehman, and Beau Cameron work on their bullet journals.

by Elizabeth Anderson, Watermark Editor

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On September 13, the creative writing class learned how to bullet journal as their warm-up activity for class. The goal was to try a new way to organize thoughts and brainstorm while writing.

Bullet journaling was created in 2013 by digital product designer and author Ryder Carroll, who wanted a to find a solution to the problem of carrying too many notebooks. Instead of having one journal of goals, one of to-do lists, and one of monthly calendars or daily planners, his system involves putting all of them together in one place- one journal. Essentially, it’s a place to keep track of everything you might need recorded.

While most bullet journals are a place to keep general personal material like schedules, calendars, and lists, other branches of it have grown as well. One of these branches is the artist’s field, in which writers, graphic designers, visual artists, and others use bullet journals to organize their creative content like brainstorming and character plans.

The best part about a bullet journal is that it is personal and individual. Although there are thousands of Pinterest boards and Facebook pages dedicated to bullet journaling, no person’s bullet journal is the same as another, and no bullet journal is “perfect.”

“It’s an unorganized way to organize,” said Class of 2020 member Mason Eddins.

Beau Cameron, a member of the Class of 2019, added, “You don’t have to meticulously plan everything; you just have an idea and go with it.”

Mid-way through the activity, teacher Natalie Rebetsky sat down with the students to design her own page, which she used to draw a variety of lines across her page representing mirror tape in her back yard. The resulting brainstorming for a poem was about chickens and hawks. Other students in the class made pages involving their own writing as well as other interests like music, movies, and art.

“I’m intimidated by the art part of it,” said Rebetsky about the activity, “but with practice, I could definitely get into this.”

Bullet journal page created by Natalie Rebetsky

It’s not just the creative writing class that knows how to bullet journal at Linganore- several students have been taking part in the activity for much longer, including Class of 2020 member Devin Wynne, who has been bullet journaling for six months.

“I really like it because it helps me organize my thoughts and ideas as well as keep track of my goals/wish lists,” said Wynne. “It has also helped become more creative. I like having a layout for each page.”

If you are interested in bullet journaling, there are many kinds of notebooks to choose from. Dotted journals are the most popular, but graph paper, lined paper, or blank paper work just as well. The Leuchtturm 1917 and Moleskine notebooks are some of the most highly-rated journals for bullet journalists. As for materials, it’s great to have a good set of pens. Huhuhero’s fineliner color pen set is both long-lasting and cheap.

And don’t be afraid to make mistakes!