I’ve been a Bullet Journal user since January 2020. My mum kindly gifted me a copy of The Bullet Journal Method, which I now use on a daily basis. Whilst planning out my 2021 Bullet Journal I realised that I hadn’t shared a book review on this as yet. So here goes…
Book Cover Notes
In his long-awaited first book, Ryder Carroll, the creator of the enormously popular Bullet Journal organisational system, explains how to use his method to:
- TRACK YOUR PAST: using nothing more than a pen and paper, create a clear, comprehensive, and organised record of your thoughts and goals.
- ORDER YOUR PRESENT: find daily calm by prioritising and minimising your workload and tackling your to-do list in a more mindful and productive way.
- PLAN YOUR FUTURE: establish and appraise your short-term and long-term goals, plan more complex projects simply and effectively, and live your life with meaning and purpose.
Like many of us, Ryder Carroll tried everything to get organised – countless apps, systems, planners, you name it. Nothing really worked. Then he invented his own simple system that required only pen and paper, which he found both effective and calming. He shared his method with a few friends, and before long he had a worldwide viral movement. Hundreds of thousands of Bullet Journal fans now spread the word and read Ryder’s blog and newsletter.
I love to-do lists. I need to write down my notes, thoughts and actions throughout the day before I forget them. The problem is I often end up with post-it notes, scraps of paper and lists all over the place. It’s messy, unorganised and not very useful when I can’t find the note I’m looking for.
The Bullet Journal Method is essentially a wishlist, to-do list, tracker and diary system. The book outlines a simple but effective method for using a journal/notebook of your choice to organise everything in your life.
A system that enables you to easily:
- Track your past
- Order your present
- Capture daily tasks and to-do’s
- Prioritise and review progress
- Move/reschedule low priority tasks to another day/week/month
- Make notes
- Plan your future – short, medium and long term goals
- Collate activities into projects
- Create trackers to log anything from food, drink, exercise, completed book reads
The Bullet Journal Method shows you how to set up an initial journal using an index and a weekly, monthly organising structure. It suggests key symbols to help quickly identify a task, note, thought or event.
There are so many templates and ways that you can apply this Bullet Journal Method to your work, your business and your home life. There are plenty of examples in the book (and online) to help you decide what templates would be useful to you.
My own bullet journal is basic but very functional. I purchased an inexpensive but lovely Scribble and Dot notebook from Amazon, as I wanted something attractive that I would enjoy picking up and using each day.
My bullet journal has sections for:
- Daily tasks
- Daily notes (incl. notes on books I’m reading to help me with my reviews)
- Monthly Training Log – a focus for the month on what I want to learn (from books, Udemy, YouTube, online course etc.)
- Book Blog Schedule – Blog Tours, Book reviews, Social Media Planning
- Book Tracker – listing the books I’ve read to date this year
- Short, medium and long term goals
- Personal projects – Wedding planning for June so I’m tracking costs & outstanding actions
If you’re creative and love to draw, doodle or calligraphy writing then you will absolutely love the Bullet Journal Community. I’ve recently created a Bullet Journal Ideas Pinterest Board to save some of the amazing ideas from other Bullet Journal users. I warn you it’s addictive and a time stealer but great fun 🙂
Although Pinterest provides lots of inspiration, I would highly recommend that you start Bullet Journalling by reading The Bullet Journal Method. Get to grips with the principles, the structure and decide what options you want to add to your own journal. You don’t have to use all the sections, try 2-3 for a few months and then add on more until you have the perfect journal system that works for you.
My journal is with me at all times ready to capture a new task, note or a thought that I’ll expand on later that day. Having used the Bullet Journal Method for a year now, I’m pleased with the results. I feel more organised and able to capture my random thoughts throughout the day. Often these thoughts turn into tasks or goals, which I then prioritise using the symbols.
The Bullet Journal Method is also very useful for book bloggers and authors. When I’m reading a book that I intend to review, I use my journal to capture quotes, notes and my thoughts at the end of each chapter. This makes it so much easier to write my review as well as speeding up the writing process. Authors could also use this method to capture random thoughts during their own writing process.
I love the practice of reviewing my entries each day and asking myself whether they are still valid. Is that task helping achieve one of my goals? If not I have the option to move it forward and review next month or strike it out if I decide it’s no longer important. Powerful stuff.
At the end of each year, it’s good to look back through the bullet journal. It surprised me how much I’d actually achieved. For example, in 2020 even though travel and socialising were severely impacted by the pandemic I still managed to read 26 books, launch my book blog and learn a ton of new skills in WordPress, social media and marketing.
As we move into 2021 it’s time to review where you are, set new goals and plan for the future. The Bullet Journal Method shows you how to track, order and plan. Highly Recommended.
Where to buy
To find out more visit Ryder Carroll’s official Bullet Journal website for an introduction and regular blog updates. There’s also a great online BJ community, simply search on YouTube, Facebook & Pinterest for access to videos, groups, forums and example boards.