Levels of Pain

For those who don’t know, which I imagine is a lot of you, I tend to be in pain throughout most of the day. A lot. And because of this, whenever I needed to track the amount of pain I was in, I needed a valuable way to do so. At the time, of course, I was only tracking the place I was feeling pain, which ended up not being very conductive for me whenever I looked back. And then, one day, I was looking through something (I want to say a book or a magazine, but I honestly cannot remember. Hell, it could have been a textbook!) when I noticed a page that absolutely called out to me.

Ever since noticing that page though, it’s been about six months, and it’s pretty much changed my tracking life for the better. And because of that, I finally decided to share what I’ve been using.

Essentially, if you’ve heard of the pain level threshold or something similar, this will be recognizable for you – but if you continue reading, you’ll see how you can use it with your bullet journal or planner.


levels of pain

This right here, is my ‘Levels of Pain Pyramid’ or, if I’m feeling extremely lazy, my ‘LOPP’. Now, from looking at the pyramid, you can see that it goes from ‘0’ which equals to ‘No pain’ to ’10’ which equals to ‘Unable to Move’ pain.

But, let’s break these down a little more, shall we?

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Tips on University Readings

So, a real long time ago, I had someone ask me for tips on university readings. And while I haven’t been around for quite a while, the ask I had received stayed in my head for a long time. This isn’t super in depth but I do hope it is helpful!


  • Do the reading. Seriously, do it.
  • If you’re able to, read it in it’s entirety, and then read it a second time.
  • When reading the second time, that’s when you want to highlight important information
  • If you’re able to, read a third time and copy what you highlighted in your own words.


  • If you’re going to read it two-three times — make sure you have the time to read it at least once in one sitting.
  • Don’t read it more than once in one sitting.
  • Read the first time, highlight and / or take notes the second time, and if you can, take notes the third time if you only highlight the second.
  • Use sticky notes / tabs for information that’s helpful.
  • Use different colors for highlighting different types of information.


  • If you’ve highlighted, take notes of what you’ve highlighted. Write your notes in your words!
  • Also make note of anything you have questions on.


  • Bring your notes and your questions and any assignment questions to the reading. It shows you did it, at least, which should earn you a partial mark, at least.

I hope this helps someone, somewhere. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them!

Printable: Time Tracker


While the photo isn’t the best, I’m super proud to bring you my latest printable, something I’ve been using myself for a long time now. I edited it a bit earlier, simply because the alignments were wrong, but I do hope you enjoy this and use it. If you do use it, don’t be afraid to tag me on here with photos of it, or on my instagram, ‘thecanadianundergrad’ and I’ll love it. Also available on my tumblr, of course.


Beginning a Bullet Journal: The Idiots Guide

While I hate the term ‘idiot’ in any relation, if you need help with starting a bullet journal for the first time, this post is for you.

But before I truly begin, I just have two things to shout at all of you, first. The main thing I want to shout at you about is this: DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO MATCH ALL OF THE SPREADS YOU SEE ONLINE or BE SUPER DUPER CREATIVE. Bullet journaling is something meant for you. I always see people, in the various Facebook Bullet Journal groups I am a member of, say they’re intimidated because of the creativity they see throughout the online world, or that they don’t want to begin bullet journaling because they don’t think they’ll “live up” to the spreads they see when they’re online. Let me just tell you something right now — you do not need to be creative to have a bullet journal and you most definitely do not need to live up to the spreads of anyone else.

You’ll read me saying this a lot, so I might as well get this first time out of the way – BULLET JOURNALS ARE MEANT FOR YOU. They’re meant to help you become more organized, they’re meant to help guide you in whatever step is next in life and most importantly, they’re your bullet journals. If you find yourself being one of the few people who say ‘but all of these people have creative spread and I just jot down things,’ take a breather. This is your journal, not theirs.

Make your journal to suit you.

That being said, let’s truly begin this post. Now, I know there are a bunch of other blogs and youtube videos and tumblr sites out there that explain bullet journaling and all of that fun stuff but I’m here to try and simplify this to the best of my ability.

From this point on, I’m assuming you already know what a Bullet Journal is. If not — oops? (If not, there are a variety of other places you could go to, but I would highly recommend the original website)

So – where do you begin?

Step 0 – The Lingo

Spread = a type of page in your journal. It can be one page, two pages, or more.

Daily/Dailies – A spread that focuses on one day of the week.

Weekly/Weeklies – A spread that focuses on the week you’re in.

Monthly/Monthlies – A spread that focuses on the entire month.

Dailies/Weeklies and Monthlies can be as many pages as you like.

Signifier – A little symbol that marks something in your book. A ♥ could be for date night or • could be for a note.

Step 1 – Finding the perfect Book

The answer to this is simple – by finding a book to use. It can be a Moleskine book, a Leuchtturm1917, or a simple book from your local dollar store, wal-mart, target or even grocery store. Trust me when I tell you that any book will do, as long as it’s something that suits you. Also, the book can be any size. It can be small, it can be super large. It doesn’t matter.

Another fun fact – the books can be blank, lined, dotted, grid, canvas, actual planner, whatever. As long as it suits you, it doesn’t matter what type of notebook and/or planner you use.

So essentially, any book, any size, planner or not, if you want to use it, use it.

The next step, of course, is as follows:

Step 2 – Finding the perfect Tools

Most websites, instagram accounts, tumblr accounts, youtube videos and Facebook groups will tell you otherwise, or make you feel otherwise, but the only real tools you’ll need for a bullet journal is a pen — or even a pencil, yes. What you add after that, is completely up to you. The color doesn’t matter. The type of pen doesn’t matter. You can use whatever you want, because remember, the bullet journal is suited to you, for you. If you plan on using markers or anything heavier than a pen, you may want to do a pen test in the back to check for bleeding or ghosting, but it is all up to you.

You can, of course, go gung ho with your tools – you can buy mildliners (also referred to as ‘midliners’), staedtlers, stabilos, washi tape, stencils, stickers, etc. You can buy whatever you want, if you want, just please note — these aren’t necessary to complete a bullet journal. You can also buy them whenever you want – the beginning of your journey, the middle, the end, whenever. It’s always going to be up to you.

Even small tools, like pencil cases or add-ons, are not necessary. The only thing necessary for bullet journaling is a book, a pen, and  yourself.

So, now you know that the only thing important in beginning a bullet journal is three things: The notebook (any kind, from any where, with any type of paper); a writing utensil (pen, marker, pencil, etc) and yourself.

Step 3 – Beginning your Bullet Journal

So, now you know the type of book you use only matters to yourself. Same with the type of utensils. Are you still a little nervous to begin your bullet journal? If so, then try practicing on sample sheets of paper, or using post it notes to sort out layouts of different spreads.

Even then, if you’re still a little nervous, most notebooks come with a beginning page, where, if anything, you should at least put your contact info in, in case you lose your journal.

After all of that, are you still nervous? First, that’s completely okay. Everyone was nervous. Second, a lot of people on Facebook tell me to just go for it. And personally, I kind of agree. Everyone makes mistakes, or ends up not liking a spread. When this happens you can either move on or cover it up. Point is, don’t let the idea of making mistakes or not liking something you end up doing hindering you. There are a lot of spreads I do not like, but grew from.

Are you not nervous, ready to jump in to making your bullet journal? Awesome 😀 First things first – CONTACT INFORMATION. You want that in your book on the off chance you lose it or misplace it somewhere. Trust me.

Second things second – The ‘key’. The key is generally a list of what you use as ‘signifiers’ for a task you want to do or something. A lot of people use the general check mark and ‘x’ symbol but some people have more. Some keys have a list of colors used throughout the journal. Your key can be as simple as you want it. You don’t even have to have a key. It’s all up to you!

Thirdly, an Index Page. The index page is essentially a table of contents. It usually lists all of the spreads you have and what pages they’re on. It’s usually at the beginning of the book. Some people use it as a table of contents in put it in the back of the book. Some people use it as an actual index, where the subject is listed and what pages they’re on, and put it in the back of the book. Some people don’t even have an index. It’s completely up to you.

Then, a ‘future log’. The future log lists all twelve months in a year, or six months, or three months. Once again, your journal, your decision, it truly does not matter. It lists the important dates to you and that way you can look and see what’s coming up if you’re making weeklies or monthlies later on. The dates can be anything from holidays and birthdays, to school related events and doctors appointments. Hell, it could even list social media dates or important television shows coming back, it does not matter.

Step 4 – What Comes Next?

What comes next is completely up to you. Hopefully, you have some idea, maybe by looking online, through youtube videos, other blog posts, etc. Just remember:

  • mistakes can be made
  • you don’t need washi tape or stickers
  • it doesn’t need to have a lot of color if you don’t want it to.
  • it doesn’t need to be as ‘creative’ or ‘pretty’ as everyone else’s.
  • you can begin a new journal whenever you want.
  • the journal is meant to help you.

If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask. This is also posted on my tumblr, if you find it there.


New Year, New BuJo!

It’s a new year, subscribers, and it’s a new me, and a new bullet journal. And like all of the other years I’ve been a bujolist, a new year meant a new bullet journal to be made. Unlike all of the other years, though, I plan on sticking with it this time. No giving up half way through, no forgetting my bullet journal at home — no forgetting you guys. I’m promising new material as often as I can send it out without giving myself burn out.

And the first new material, is an in depth look at my Bullet Journal Set Up. You can watch a video version of this on my youtube, but the clear photos are here, so I’m excited to bring you them.

First off is the cover of my bullet journal, and like always, has my wonderful dolphins on it.

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Wet Notes


So, just recently I had a cup of cold coffee spill in my bag and drench the bottom of my notes. And I froze for a moment before finally getting into action. And while I was doing this, I was wondering – ‘would others know what to do?’ And now, this post was born.

So, what do you do when your notes are wet?

  1. Take everything out of your bag immediately, turn your bag upside down into the sink and let it empty out of the liquid inside.
  2. Immediately pat dry your notes, separating the pages. If you don’t separate the pages, they’ll stick together and possibly get ruined when you try and pull them apart.
  3. Put your notes near a fan or an open window so they dry more quickly.
  4. Go to your bag and pat that dry wherever it’s still wet.
  5. Put that near another window or fan for it to dry more quickly.
  6. Every now and then, flip through the pages of our notes quickly so they continue to not stick.

And what do you do once your notes are dry?

  1. Flip through them, and carefully peel apart anything that needs to be separated.
  2. If something needs to be re-written, re-write it.
  3. Put everything away, as long as it’s still dry.

[read on tumblr]