I always remember that the thought of going back to school when I was a student was as equally exciting as it was nerve-wracking. I always looked forward to the opportunity to buy new stationery (of course) but at the same time there was this fear of starting something new and not quite knowing what to expect when term time began.

It turns out that I felt the exact same way as a mum when it came to getting my son ready to start school for the first time this year!

I’m quite an anxious person and I quickly felt overwhelmed with the amount of organising and preparation it turned out I was going to have to do in anticipation of the school year starting. There just seemed to be so much information to take in and so much “stuff” my son would need. I could feel my brain becoming overly crowded trying to categorise and remember everything.

But luckily, this is where my bullet journal came to the rescue!

When I decided to create a back to school collection in my bujo with pages dedicated to different areas that needed my attention I started to feel so much better and became able to methodically work through all the details.

I knew these pages would need to be practical, quick to set up and easy to maintain and update so I really focused on having functional content on the page more than the design of the page itself. As the collection pages are spread out in my journal and mixed between daily logs and other content I used threading and my bujo index to keep track of all my back to school pages.

Bullet Journal notebook laid open with a table of contents

First up was the school uniform! I started by making some notes about specific items my son would need. I then listed all uniform (and non uniform) items I’d decided to get for him, grouping similar items together under different categories. This meant I could check off each item as I got it and then check off the category once I had everything listed under it.

Although this looks and sounds extremely simplistic - just the process of breaking things down into smaller categories made it easier for me to concentrate and focus my attention on one thing at a time.

Bullet Journal spread listing School Uniform requirements

I then started to think about what our new day-to-day routine as a family would look like. After a long summer break with not much routine at all I decided it would be a good idea to create a daily/ weekly checklist for myself so that I could easily stay on top of tasks and hopefully avoid a last minute rush at the start of each day. I think once I’m into the new routine I probably won't use this spread but initially I think it will be helpful.

Bullet Journal spread outlining a school routine

Rather than creating a detailed meal plan which from experience I knew I would find overwhelming and difficult to stick to I created a page with a list of lunch and snack ideas. This gives me an easy reference if I’m feeling lost for lunch ideas plus acts as a prompt for making the weekly grocery shopping list. I plan to add to this as I come across new ideas.

Meal Plan bullet journal spread

I’m not sure if all parents feel like this but the future log in my bullet journal is definitely one of my favourite and most used collections! I added all the school holidays to my future log using a red pen so that they really stand out amongst everything else I have noted there. I also decided to add a page to my back to school collection detailing the school term along with any notes (I actually created this page on the inside front cover of my bullet journal for easy reference).

I felt having a dedicated term page would be helpful if I needed to see everything noted in one place while having the holidays noted in my future log would help with my day to day planning.

Memory spread of the first day of school in Annie's bullet journal

Out of all these super useful spreads my favourite are some pages I created for memories and photographs from the first day of school.

On the right hand page I want to add some pictures - even though I rarely add photographs to my journal I decided this would be a nice memory to have. I drew some Polaroid shaped photographs and I’ll print the photographs on sticker paper and add them to this page. You could also print photographs on photographic paper or regular paper and glue or tape them into your journal.

On the right hand side I have a checklist so that I don’t forget anything (I’ll add to this if I remember anything else) and a space to journal about some memories from the day.

Now that all the planning has been done and things are well underway for the start of the new school term I feel much more able to relax about the entire situation and actually enjoy this next chapter in our families life.

My name is Annie and I’m an artist with a passion for journaling and floral illustration. I began journaling at the end of 2017 after discovering Bullet Journaling via Instagram. I instantly fell in love with the method and have been using this system ever since. I find journaling is the ideal way to combine my love of planning, lettering and illustration while simultaneously providing a place to store all of my ideas, thoughts and memories. I’m known for my simple, clean designs and love of nature, which I incorporate throughout my journaling and artwork.

Website:www.journalbyannie.com

Social: @ajournalbyannie


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