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.”