The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (“With each page, you improve your ability to discern the meaningful from the meaningless.”)

You can’t imagine the number of flags I’d scattered throughout this book. It seems that almost every page had something I wanted to think about, remember, and record in this post to show you the power of the Bullet Journal. (Just in case you are unfamiliar with it.)

Whether you’re an experienced Bullet Journalist or a newcomer, The Bullet Journal Method is for anyone struggling to find their place in a digital age. It will help you get organized by providing simple tools and techniques that can inject clarity, direction, and focus into your days. (p. 11)

Perhaps you have seen the brief, but extremely helpful, video that Ryder put forth on bulletjournal.com. It was enough to get me started with the bullet journal system. But, I wanted an even more in-depth explanation, and this book gives me exactly that.

I have been a journalist for most of my life. My journals have been the place to record a written “scrapbook” of my life; they contain memories, catharsis, and a written record of how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned. I have always known the power of writing things down. But, I have never looked at journaling as a way to be more productive.

…to be more productive we need a way to stem the tide of digital distractions. Enter the Bullet Journal, an analog solution that provides the offline space needed to process, to think, and to focus. When you open your notebook you automatically unplug. It momentarily pauses the influx of information so your mind can catch up. (p. 17)

After Ryder gives compelling evidence for the need to keep a Bullet Journal, he carefully explains the ways to do so. He begins with Rapid Logging.

Rapid logging will help you efficiently capture your life as it happens so that you may begin to study it. (p. 59)

One begins with a Topic, so that you can define the purpose of what you’re recording, and so that you have a reference to go back to. (The only time not to use a Topic is when one is writing a Daily Log.) Under the Topic go the Bullets, which are a concise but clear way to capture:

  1. Things you need to do (Tasks, marked with a bullet dot)
  2. Your experiences (Events, marked with an open dot)
  3. Information you don’t want to forget (Notes, marked with a dash)

Interspersed with his explanations, Ryder has included photographs of sample bullet journal pages which help clarify exactly what he means and how to implement his system.

The book goes on to contain information about Collections (which consist of the Daily Log, Monthly Log, and Future Log, as well as any personal collections one might wish to add), the Index, Migration, and Threading. It contains ways to keep habit trackers, gratitude, goals, and reflections. There is a section with Frequently Asked Questions and content from the community of bullet journalers. It is a clear and concise explanation of a system which is helping people define their goals and find the time they thought they didn’t have.

The Bullet Journal Method will be published October 23, 2018. It is a book I wholeheartedly recommend for its ability to “track the past, order the present, and design the future.”

11 thoughts on “The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (“With each page, you improve your ability to discern the meaningful from the meaningless.”)”

    1. I’m sure that I will publish a few pictures, as well as a few posts, on how the BuJo works for me. I have been a huge fan of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook, and yet the problem is that I seem to go through the inserts so quickly! I need a notebook which will take me through at least several months. I really like the idea of everything I need being in one place, which is also a true of the Midori. I can’t imagine my life without such a tool no matter what format it comes in. And, the added plus of the BuJo system is the emphasis on being productive, as I have a few goals I would love to see accomplished.

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        1. If you click on the video link in my post you get a very quick overview of how his system works, which is quite clear. But, this book makes an in-depth explanation which I found quite helpful. It explains not only the ways to do it, but the reasons why. And, he gives reminders over and over to keep it simple as well as within the style which works for you. I found so much pressure when I looked on Instagram and on-line to produce one as beautiful as many artists have done, and that rather intimidated me. Now I feel free to stick to my own minimalist style.

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  1. I’ve been journaling since I was a kid and have different types of journals but this is one style I haven’t tried. I don’t know if it’s really for me but I have heard so many find that it really works for them.

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    1. Les and I are both going to give it a go in January. Perhaps you would like to join us? (I, too, have been a journaler all of my life. They are more important than photo albums in terms of remembering my life. The only problem is, what will I do with boxes and boxes of journals? I can’t imagine that anyone is going to want them when I am gone.)

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  2. I have studied bujo for quite awhile. Some nice examples on Instagram uner names related to bullet journal, bujo, etc. I like the idea of the index and I tend to have a few migrate to following days. It’s great fun.

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    1. Do you find that it helps you accomplish the goals and tasks you have set for yourself? That is what I am hoping, as well as having the benefit I’ve always enjoyed of a fabulous memory keeper.

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  3. Thanks for the great post since I had no idea what a bullet journal was. One blogger wrote a very fun piece aobut different journals he’d owned by Apica, Paperblanks, Molesinke, etc. and he mentioned bullet journals. I go for lined paper but I see that a bullet journal could be useful if you don’t want to make long entries (and I don’t always feel like that myself).

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  4. I’m excited about this book and plan to order a copy so I am prepared to begin my first bullet journal on the 1st of January. Like you, I plan to keep mine in a minimalist style since I am not in the least bit artistic. I do have some colorful pens that might brighten the pages, but I won’t attempt to draw or doodle. I still want to find some pretty tapes, but think I need to see them in person rather than order randomly online.

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