Monday, April 6, 2020

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method: Track The Past, Order The Present, Design The Future by Ryder Carroll
Published October 2018 by Penguin Publishing Group
Source: checked out from my local library

Publisher's Summary:
For years Ryder Carroll tried countless organizing systems, online and off, but none of them fit the way his mind worked. Out of sheer necessity, he developed a method called the Bullet Journal that helped him become consistently focused and effective. When he started sharing his system with friends who faced similar challenges, it went viral. Just a few years later, to his astonishment, Bullet Journaling is a global movement.

The Bullet Journal Method is about much more than organizing your notes and to-do lists. It's about what Carroll calls "intentional living": weeding out distractions and focusing your time and energy in pursuit of what's truly meaningful, in both your work and your personal life. It's about spending more time with what you care about, by working on fewer things. His new book shows you how to...

• Track the past: Using nothing more than a pen and paper, create a clear and comprehensive record of your thoughts.

• Order the present: Find daily calm by tackling your to-do list in a more mindful, systematic, and productive way.

• Design the future: Transform your vague curiosities into meaningful goals, and then break those goals into manageable action steps that lead to big change.

Carroll wrote this book for frustrated list-makers, overwhelmed multitaskers, and creatives who need some structure. Whether you've used a Bullet Journal for years or have never seen one before, The Bullet Journal Method will help you go from passenger to pilot of your own life.

My Thoughts:
Does this picture help you understand how much I loved this book? I mean, it's a book about creating a book to help organize your life. How was I not going to love it?

I'm on my fifth year of using a bullet journal and it's been an evolving process. In the beginning, I was working hard to be as creative as possible with my journal, carrying around a box of colored pencils and then markers, along with washi tape and stencils. It didn't take me long to figure out that, as much as I admire journals that are colorful and creative, it was more work than I wanted to put into my journals. So I went back to Carroll's website to really get a feel for the process (

This book reinforces the process but also dives deep into the reasons it works and the ways it can be customized. If you've never used the bullet journal method, this is a great starting spot. But it's also a great resource for those of us who've been using the method for years. I knew the process but I didn't necessarily know why Carroll had developed each piece of it. Knowing the why is really going to help me use my journal better and help me develop what Carroll calls "collections" for more parts of my life and in a better way. All of those sticky notes have turned into ten legal pages of notes since I have to return the book (someday, when the libraries reopen) and there is some homework I still want to get to.

Don't be scared off by all of those sticky notes and the mention of homework, though. The beauty of the method and this book is that it is entirely up to you to make of it what you will. You can do as much, or as little, as you want. If you're like me and need paper and pen to keep things on track, this is definitely the way to go to help you stay on track without a lot of little notes all over the house!

Let's be honest, this book is right up my alley anyway. But right now, it was exactly what I needed to help me refocus on reading.


  1. This sounds fun and I love the concept of a little more structure with journaling and I love a good list. I've tried bullet journaling before but never really feel like I'm doing it right. This sounds like a book that might help me get past that.

    1. The book will give you ideas about what you can do but he makes it very clear that the beauty of the system is that you make it work for you and do it your way. You can't do it wrong - just tweak it until it works for you.

  2. I've tried the bullet journal method at various times over the years but I've never stuck with it. But I've been wanting to read his book for a while now. Maybe it will give me some extra reasons etc on how to stick with it with my needs and lifestyle. Glad it's been a good fit right now!

    1. I am addicted to it now, even though I'm still not doing it entirely the way he suggests. I do what works for me and he does say to do that. For me, it beats the heck out of little notes all over the house and multiple calendars.