Develop, Create and Inspire Change With Bullet Journaling

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Nichole Carter  
Educators constantly live by their planners; we are known multi-taskers. If you are a person who likes to make to-do lists and/or create art, this is the perfect mashup for you! Learn how to take the basic bullet journal concept and make it work for you.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Note taking apps like Notability, or Goodnotes.

I will be doodling on procreate- if you would like to learn about making stickers or doing digital layouts with more freedom this is a good option.

Additionally items like rocketbook, and the rocketbook planner blends analog and digital together.

Some additional fun habit tracking apps are sleep cycle apps, Habitshare, Done, and Momentum.

A good focus app to look into is Forest.

Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, Performing/visual arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Educational situation: I have taught lessons on bullet journaling to a wide variety of classrooms in my district, as well as staff members. We have seen bullet journals used as capstone projects for students in a International Baccalaureate high school, as well as a component to a mindfulness high school elective class. We have started bullet journaling clubs at the middle school level, and offered after school sessions for staff members. It is a way to make journaling and prioritizing tasks more personable to the user, and the original system was developed by someone with ADHD to help him zero in and focus on day to day tasks.

Technology Intervention: We are a chromebook 1:1 district 3rd through 12th grade, and while you can do digital bullet journaling the best option for that is by use of an iPad. Additionally most elementary schools and some middle schools buy student planners so we can apply some of these techniques to make those student planners more widely used. I personally love using a paper journal, it is a way for me to see my calendar online and prioritize what needs to be done.

Models employed: I have taught the basic lesson to teachers in after school PD sessions, and provided all the materials for them to go back to their classroom and teach it themselves. At this point, teachers also have access to have me come in and co-teach the introductory lesson so that they can continue the process in the classroom when I am done. Additionally as I have said I have gone in and taught in classrooms when it fit within the curriculum.

Lesson Plan: For this lesson I have a slide deck with basic information, and then I use my iPad pro and app Procreate to project for the students as I draw, they will then draw with me on their own paper or machine.

Evidence of Success: I personally have been using the system for over three years and have seen many of my colleagues find versions of it that work for them. Which is why the system is so popular world wide. It is fluid, and you can make it work for you.


In this session educators will learn how to get started with a bullet journal, look at some digital resources for inspiration and tutorials, create a few spreads in their own journal, and debrief how this might work for them as well as their students. This session includes multiple demonstrations and hands on creations to walk away with an idea on how to get started in their own journal.

Session Agenda:
5 mins: introduction
15 mins: description about how bullet journaling is a form of self care and stress relief. Why bullet journal?
20 mins: breakdown of the components of a bullet journal, hands on activity of creating some banners/headers, monthly layouts, and planning a day
10 mins: explore some blogs, instagram, pinterest, and youtube accounts for inspiration and follows
5 mins: Discussion on ideas for a teacher planner
20 mins: hands on creation at the table for some teacher collection pages and then share out
15 mins: explore some tools to get started (resources provided to see and order but also hands on experience) some giveaways will happen at this time as well
20 mins: Explore creating digital bullet journals, we will create a google slide deck journal, with hyperlinks to sections. When you download this as a
5: Final Questions, and discussion about how this could be used with students

Supporting research

My newly released ISTE book on bullet journaling!
Ryder Carrol’s TED Talk
Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carrol
The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown
Visual Note-Taking for Educators Wendi Pillars
Intention Critical Creativity in the Classroom by Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder
Creatively Productive: Essential Skills for Tackling Time Wasters by Lisa Johnson
Observe Collect Draw: Visual Journaling Discovering Patterns in Your Everyday Life by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec
Hack Your Journal Stay Organized and Record Every thing that Matters by Lark Crafts

Personal Anecdotes since 2016
I am currently working on a follow up to my ISTE published book Sketchnoting in the Classroom with ISTE on doing a Bullet Journal book.

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Nichole Carter, Beaverton School District

Nichole Carter was middle school classroom teacher for 12 years, teaching both honors and regular ELA. She used the flipped classroom model for four years in a row, in a blended learning environment in a 1:1 iPad school. Author or Sketchnoting in the Classroom, published in June 2019 by ISTE is available on now. No stranger to technology integration, she is now a K-12 Literacy and Digital Curriculum TOSA for the Beaverton School District, a national public speaker, and author.

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