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The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

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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.

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 23, 2018

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About the author

Ryder Carroll

7 books445 followers
Ryder Carroll is a digital product designer and inventor of the Bullet Journal method. He was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, but now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

He's had the privilege of working with companies like Adidas, American Express, Cisco, IBM, Macy's and HP. He's been featured by the New York Times, LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Vogue, New York Magazine, Lifehacker, Mashable and others.

Carroll gave a TEDx talk on How to Lead an Intentional Lifei at Yale University.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,235 reviews
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,474 followers
November 2, 2018
I first heard of this book from an insanely talented Youtuber, called Boho Berry. If you have an interest in bullet journaling then you are probably already familiar with her beautiful daily spreads, extensive collections, and the gorgeous artwork and lettering that she creates with seeming ease. Each of her videos exudes productivity and I watched her videos longing to emulate her success.

I started my own bullet journal and promptly neglected it, finding dissatisfaction in how it didn't measure up to this BuJo' master's. I started again, with a simpler design and found it to work for me, but I still felt like there was something missing from it. I enjoyed setting up my monthly spreads but dreaded returning back to it, on a day-to-day basis, viewing it as another chore that was added into my already packed lifestyle.

When I saw Boho Berry's rave review for this book then I knew that reading this was the step I needed to take in making my bullet journal work better for me. And I was correct, but not quite in the way I first thought.

I assumed this book would teach its reader the 'hows' of bullet journal, instead it focused on the 'whys'. On times it seems to neglect bullet journals all together, as it forced the reader to assess their reason behind all of their daily actions, and to why aspects of their lives weren't currently working for them. It is only later that he introduced just exactly how bullet journals could be an aid in curing that. Areas such as imperfection and control were covered and it really opened my eyes to how I had been bullet journalling wrong, all these many months.

It made me realise that part of the bullet journal appeal for me was purely aesthetic. I loved to view artistic daily spreads, complete with calligraphy headers and washi tape dividers. For me, this didn't work because there was no 'why' behind my wanting it. Aesthetics wasn't enough and the reason I felt such dissatisfaction was that this particular bullet journal set-up had no purpose in my life and so I was ultimately failing to connect with it. It became just another chore I had added, without making my daily processes any easier.

Bullet journalling is an extremely helpful tool but also an extremely personal one, which is why no two will look the same. This life guide/bullet journalling how-to instructed me on organising my day, better managing my time, and transferring my dreams into goals, which is what makes this perfect for amateur and expert Bu-Jo'ers alike.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Ryder Carroll, and the publisher, Portfolio, for this opportunity.
Profile Image for Emma Sea.
2,190 reviews1,077 followers
May 10, 2020
I really liked this, and I am not a Boho Berry or Llamas Love Lettering fan. Ryder states outright not to keep Collections or Trackers unless you are learning and growing from the information. FYI there's a good subreddit - /r/basicbulletjournals - if you are into the practicality of planning & journaling and not the brush pen lettering and folk art floral motifs.

I particularly liked his description of planning project sprints, which was the whole of Sprint usefully condensed down into 3 pages. I'd read it again for that alone.

Ryder also stresses the importance of reflection on a daily and monthly basis: of asking yourself what is really useful, and actually working, and culling the extraneous.

Profile Image for Veronique.
1,253 reviews178 followers
June 20, 2021
Re-read 2021 / Update

I find myself coming back to this book every time I feel my journal needs an update in order to better fit my current ‘life’ demands and circumstances. These are usually big changes when I ruthlessly decide what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been keeping a Bujo now for nearly 4 years and I still find it ever so useful, from organising my life to taking care of my mental health. Looking through my notebooks, you can see what I’ve liked and therefore used, and what I’ve not. Although I don’t draw, I still fall for the lure of ‘perfection’, hating when I make a mistake (still learning not to care about this, or rather appreciate it, like Kintsukuroi that sees beauty in breaks and imperfections). It is a bit nerve-wracking to finally take the step to get rid of certain pages or transform them quite drastically, but also positive, like a fresh new start.


“It’s not about how your journal looks; it’s about how it makes you feel and how effective it is.

I’ve always kept notebooks, especially for work, which I would use in conjunction with digital tools, logging every day all I did, writing to-do lists, and planning projects. This proved to be a life saver on many occasions - and also surprisingly a source of enjoyment (the one of writing with a fountain pen on quality paper). When the Bujo trend wave hit me, about one year and a half ago, I was curious to see what it entailed and if it would be something for me. If you’ve seen all the examples floating out there, there are beautifully artistic and also very intimidating, and wouldn’t work for me, particularly in a professional environment. However, I could see how the basics of the system had value, especially the Index - how can something so simple have such a huge effect! - and added them to my arsenal.

Queue Now. Ryder Carroll’s book surprised me a lot! I was expecting information on how it all started and how the method ‘works’. And this is all here, in very clear writing. It is after all a simple idea, easy to put into practice, and for ever adaptable! What I wasn’t expecting was the Why! With the aim of being the most efficient and meaningful one can be, Carroll strips everything away, borrowing concepts from Stoicism, Mindfulness, and Japanese schools of thought, to name a few. It all actually makes a lot of sense, in a very down to earth kind of way. These, of course, you can take or leave. I personally was intrigued, perhaps because I have recently been looking into those philosophies to help me deal with the stresses of every day life.

In all, a very interesting and useful read.
Profile Image for Ali Karimnejad.
313 reviews165 followers
September 5, 2020
این مرور بعد از یک ماه استفاده از روش برنامه‌ریزی با بولِت ژورنال نوشته می‌شود

آیا بولِت ژورنال چیز خوبی است؟!ا
آیا خواندن این کتاب ضرورتی دارد؟

به طور خیلی ساده، روش بولت ژورنال یعنی به کار گیری مجموعه‌ای از علائم و شکلک‌ها برای برنامه‌ریزی شخصی. از نظر من، راستش کتاب خیلی تجاری نوشته شده بود. محتوای کتاب بسیار اندکه و به طور خلاصه متشکل از 60% "بولت ژورنال چیز خیلی خوبی است"، 20% "من از بولت ژورنال استفاده می‌کنم، شما چطور؟!" و 20% مطالب مفید حول و حوش روش بولت ژورنال میشه. از این جهت بنظرم وقتتون رو تلفِ خوندن این کتاب نکنید. اگر دوست داشتید، قسمتی رو که تحت عنوان "خلاصه‌طور" آوردم بخونید و یک سری هم به کانال این جناب مت راگلند بزنید. برخلاف خیلی‌های دیگه این بابا خیلی پراگماتیکه و واقعا ویدئوهاش سودمنده.
باز یک ویدئو دیگه هم بود که من خودم خیلی خوشم اومد لینکش رو می‌ذارم براتون. بعلاوه، میتونید کلمه بولت ژورنال مینیمالیست رو سرچ کنید (به انگلیسی قاعدتا!) و ویدئوهای خوبی گیرتون میاد.
یک نکته دیگه. بجای خریدن دفترهای گرون قیمت بولِت ژورنال که از نظر من هدف کل این کتاب، راغب کردن شما به خرید هرچه بیشتر اون‌هاست(!)، از دفترهای ارزون قیمت شطرنجی استفاده کنید.همین!ا

ابتدای دفتر یک صفحه برای "راهنمای دفتر و توضیحات احتمالی" خالی بذارید.
کارهایی که برای امسال در نظر دارید رو توی صفحاتی که به بخش "سالانه" اختصاص می‌دید بنویسید. هیچ وقت کلی گویی نکنید. با خودتون رو راست باشید. مهم هم نیست که الان وسط سال هستید. امسال شما 6 ماه داره!ا
یک صفحه (یا هرچقدر لازمه) برای برنامه ماهانه اختصاص بدید. اینجا خیلی مهم میشه که جزئی فکر کنیم. مثلا اگر قراره لاغر بشیم، قابل قبوله توی بخش "سالانه" بنویسیم 8 کیلو لاغر شدن. اما توی بخش ماهانه دیگه قابل قبول نیست بنویسیم 1 کیلو لاغرتر شدن. باید اینجا مشخص کنید که قراره برای 1 کیلو لاغرتر شدن چی بخورید، چی نخورید و روزانه چه فعالیتهایی انجام بدید. برنامه‌ریزی ماهانه بیشترین وقت رو می‌گیره و لازمه چند ساعتی رو بهش اختصاص بدید. سعی کنید اهدافتون رو به شکل عادت طرح‌ریزی کنید.
مثلا روزی 15 دقیقه دویدن + روزانه 4 لیوان (مشخص) آب + شام = سالاد
بعد یک هَبیت تِرَکِر* توی قسمت ماهانه درست کنید و هر روز این عادت‌ها رو اونجا تیک بزنید. برنامه‌ریزی ماهانه واقعا می‌تونه خیلی خلاقانه باشه. می‌تونید به روزهاتون بر اساس اخلاقتون نمره بدید، ساعت خوابتون رو روی یک نمودار طی ماه رسم کنید یا خورد و خوراکتون یا هزینه‌های غیرضروری‌تون رو و ... رو کنترل کنید. با اینحال یادتون باشه، حتما با یک برنامه ساده شروع کنید و ماه به ماه مفصل‌ترش کنید. سنگ بزرگ نشونه نزدن!ا
*Habit Tracker
بعد از برنامه هر ماه، برنامه روزانه رو روز‌به‌روز می‌نویسید تا برسید به ماه بعدی. برنامه روزانه خیلی کوچیک و جمع و جوره. هدف اینه که صبح که بلند شدید، فکر نکنید باید چکار می‌کردم. همین و بس! من خودم "برنامه‌ریزی برای روز بعد" رو توی بخش " هَبیت تِرَکِر " گذاشتم تا لذت تیک زدن اون باعث بشه هیچ وقت فراموش نکنم برنامه فردام رو بنویسیم! جواب هم میده. یادتون باشه گشاد برنامه‌ریزی کنید. همیشه کارهای پیش‌بینی نشده هستن که وقتتون رو پر کنن. اما من خودم برای اینکه کنترل بهتری روی زمان روزانم داشته باشم، یک جدول کشیدم متشکل از 15 تا خونه که هر خونه مبین یک ساعت هستش. هر کاری که در روز می‌کنم رو توی این خونه‌ها می‌نویسم. کارهای مفید هاشور می‌خوره. کارهای عبث خیر! این برای خود من خیلی مفیده. حالا گفتم شاید به درد شما هم بخوره.

چیزهایی که گفتم، البته نسخه من از بولت ژورنال بود. توی کتاب، خیلی مفصل‌تر از این گفته ولی لزوما نه بهتر. مثلا ما اینجا 3 تا کارنامه برنامه‌ریزی داریم، توی کتاب اومده چندین کارنامه برنامه‌ریزی دیگه هم گفته. پیشنهاد کرده برای هر پروژه، یک کارنامه مجزا ایجاد کنیم. بعد از اونجایی که دفتر یکم پیچیده می‌شه اومده یک مدل فهرست معرفی کرده که اول دفتر بذاریم تا بتونیم به سرعت لابه‌لای کارنامه‌های مختلف جست‌وجو کنیم. بنظر من اینها ناکارآمد بود و خیلی‌ها هم توی یوتوب بیخیال این حرفها شدن. روش بولِت ژورنال خیلی قابل انعطافه چون حقیقتش جز یک نظم و انضباط، چیز دیگه‌ای نیست و همش بسته به خودتونه. این رو خود کتاب هم بارها بهش تاکید می‌کنه. اما مهمه که حتما از کاغذ و قلم استفاده بشه. خیلی خیلی مهمه. پس بی‌خیال اپلیکیشن و اکسل و این حرفا بشید. فقط کاغذ. این موضوع دلیل درست و حسابی داره که توضیحش خارج از حوصله است.
Profile Image for Tony.
72 reviews7 followers
November 5, 2018
I was in two minds about this book from the outset, and I wasn't sure what to expect from it. So is it really fair to say that it disappointed me? Probably not, but in any case, I came away 'nonplussed'!

The book is split into five sections: Preparation, System, Practice, Art and End.

It started well with an overview of the method and I learnt a lot. I should say that I've been keeping a BuJo for over two years now. Or at least I thought I had. My method was a long way removed from the official one - probably because I jumped straight in with all those fancy layouts and trackers peppering the internet. (Mr Carroll does not like fancy it seems - as others have pointed out. He doesn't quite go as far as to dismiss them but there are numerous phrases that leave you in no doubt about his opinion - if it works, great, but don't just make it pretty, and what's the use of tracking what TV shows I've watched, etc.)

The 'system' section gave me a number of valuable insights and I have a few sticky-tabs flagging things to go back to and implement or try.

But then it all seemed to fall apart for me as Mr Carroll spend a very long time labouring over self-improvement in the third part: Practice. Now, don't get me wrong, we can all do with bettering ourselves. But this section just goes on and on. For a system where Mr Carroll stresses simplicity and brevity, he seems to fall off the rails here. Others may relish this section - but not me. I am jaded of all the self-improvement systems and encouragement that wight down bookshelves. Sometimes we are the way we are and have to live with it. Also, the focus of 'me' at the cost of others is too much. In a world of self-idolisation, it would be nice to see a system that encourages selflessness. Sure, the BuJo is 'flexible' enough for you to track acts of kindness or word of encouragement given to others, but Mr Carroll seems to advocate self-f0cus, analysis, and praise. Not for me - not at this length anyway. I lost interest in this section and had to slog through to get to the bit I really wanted to read - case studies, examples, creativity, etc. Art.

Unfortunately, the section on Art was far too short. And it was oddly pretty having been prefaced with warnings about function over form, style without substance. I think this is where I finally became disappointed.

I really wanted to like this book. Really I did. But what I learnt I could just have easily acquired from searching the web. I didn't need so much self-improvement. I wanted more case studies from both those who were minimalist and those who were fancy-pants-creatives.

So, in the end, a reluctant 2 stars from me. Sorry, Mr Carroll.
28 reviews40 followers
June 7, 2020
شاید این روزها اسم بولت ژورنال به گوش شما هم خورده باشه یا تصاویری از دفترهای رنگارنگ پر نقش و نگار همراه با جملات انگیزشی رو دیده باشید .
من که اولش از دیدن نمونه ها که بعضیاشون بیشتر شبیه دفتر نقاشی بود خیلی خوشم نیومد. به نظرم اینم مثل بقیه سیستم ها اونقدرا که ادعا میکرد کارایی نداشت پس اصلا سراغش نرفتم اما، چند وقت بعد تحت تاثیر یکی از کاربرای اینجا که در حال مطالعه کتاب بود و توی آپدیت ها حسابی ازش تعریف میکرد تصمیم گرفتم با بولت ژورنال بیشتر آشنا بشم.
پ.ن1:البته اینکه طاقچه تخفیف زده بود هم بی تاثیر نبود :)
پ.ن2:نمیدونم خوبه یا بد اما باید اعتراف کنم کتاب هایی که میخونم و وانت تو رید میکنم به شدت تحت تاثیر دوستان گودریدزیم و نظراتشونه.
بعد از خوندن کتاب و ساعت های طولانی چرخیدن توی یوتیوب و پینترست شروع کردم به طراحی بولت ژورنال خودم .
حالا یک ماه از بولت ژورنالیست شدن من میگذره و شاید هنوز زود باشه که بخوام از نتایجش بگم اما به نظرم از هر دفتر برنامه ریزی که تاحالا داشتم کارآمد تره و تعهد بیشتری ایجاد میکنه.
فقط این نیست چون بولت ژورنال ترکیبی از دفتر برنامه ریزی ،دفتر خاطرات ،لیست کارها ، هبیت ترکر ،ریمایندر و هزار تا چیز دیگه است که کمک میکنه کنترل زندگی رو به دست بگیریم و در نهایت نظم و آرامش ذهنی بیشتری داشته باشیم.
یکی دیگه از مزایای بولت ژورنال نویسی که برای آدم کم حافظه ای مثل من خیلی جالب بود اینه که شما بعد از مدتی کتابخونه ای از دفتر جمع می کنید و می تونید سال ها بعد با مرور اونها افکار و احوالات گذشته تون رو به یاد بیارید و سیر رشد و تغییراتتون رو ببینید .
این کتاب که توسط مبتکر بولت ژورنال( رایدر کارول) نوشته شده ضرورت استفاده و نحوه کار رو به خوبی توضیح میده اما اگه وقت یا حوصله کافی برای خوندنش رو ندارید ویدیو های آموزشی یوتیوب یا مطالب موجود در اینترنت هم کفایت میکنه.
Profile Image for Jmay.
591 reviews10 followers
November 27, 2018
I've been "BuJo-ing" for 8 months, based on a 1 hour workshop I went to where I learned Ryder Carroll's basic system. I can safely advise readers to stick to the YouTube videos as this book is completely unnecessary. Unless you are in crisis and have never heard of mindfulness or UX. . . and could use some inspirational quotes from a few hundred sources. . .

Remember writing essays as a college freshman (or maybe even high school freshman) and writing in an extremely sagacious way- quoting Socrates and making grand statements about life while knowing nothing? Just a peek at Ryder Carroll's index should have you LOLing:

art, Buddhism, Chinese proverbs, Dalai Lama, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, emotions, energy, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Ghandi, Greeks (ancient), impermanence, insight, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Marcus Aurelius, meaning, memento mori, Bruce Lee, memories, minimalists, Mother Teresa, Friedrich Nietzche, Barack Obama, passion, perseverance, pleasure, The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost), The Thinker (Rodin), David Foster Wallace, zen rabbits, Mark Zuckerberg.

Sheesh! I thought I was learning about how to set up charts and calendars. Not what I was in for.
Profile Image for Farimah.
20 reviews39 followers
April 4, 2020
حدودا ۸۰ درصد کتاب رو خوندم و از یک سری مطالبش سریع گذشتم برای من بخش سومش که مربوط به عمل کردن بود خیلی جذاب بود و کلی تکنیک ازش یاد گرفتم.
در رابطه با برنامه ریزی و بولت ژورنال میشه با چند تا سرچ و نگاه کردن به نمونه های توی اینترنت کلی ایده گرفت ولی در واقع به نظرم زمان زیادی میبره که بخوای یه روش مناسب برای خودت پیدا کنی. مزیت این کتاب با اینکه خیلی یه مطلب رو ممکنه کش داده باشه اینه که تو زمان کوتاه تری یک دید کلی به آدم میده.
اگر کلا با برنامه ریزی و بولت ژورنال اشنایی ندارید این کتاب کلیت کار و تکنیک های مناسب رو در اختیارتون قرار میده.
انتظار داشتم بخش طراحی بهتر باشه و موقع خوندن کتاب کلی منتظر بودم ببینم چه ایده هایی بهم میده که زیاد انتظارمو برآورده نکرد چون زیاد بهش نپرداخته بود.
Profile Image for María.
144 reviews3,090 followers
June 22, 2020
Me sabe mal ponerle tan mala nota pero señor bendito qué despropósito. Es decir, no me malinterpretéis por favor, el método Bullet journal es estupendo, ha ayudado a mucha gente y sin duda ha sentado unas bases difíciles de imitar. Quiero decir, tú pones "bullet journal" en Youtube, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. y ¿cuántos resultados te salen? Pues eso. Está claro que es útil y encima ha tenido éxito. Hasta ahí todo correcto. Un método eficiente de organización y un creador que se lleva su crédito, bien.

Entonces un día, yo qué sé para qué, escribe este libro. La primera parte es la única con algo de sustancia, ejemplos (aunque faltan) y la que más se aparta de esta tendencia de recargar el bullet (que ojo, no lo critico para nada. Cada persona que use su tiempo y su energía como le dé la gana, todo es válido). Lo cierto es que este método puede ser muy minimalista (si quieres), aunque Pinterest te diga lo contrario. Sin embargo, me estoy desviando del tema. Volviendo al libro después de pasar esa primera parte (que ya conocerás si sabes de qué va este tema) llega un batiburrillo de experiencias personales, citas de personas célebres, frases hechas y paja. Un montón de paja. Pudiera ser el ganador de la paja este libro.

En fin es tan irónico que una persona que ha creado un sistema tan práctico haya escrito esto... En resumen:
- Método bullet journal: estupendo, chapó.
- Este libro: Por qué.

Encontraréis más información (y menos paja) en su página oficial, aunque eso sí, en inglés. Ahí es claro, sencillo y conciso. ¡Como su método! Nada más que añadir.
Profile Image for Jonny.
371 reviews
October 26, 2018
For me, needed more David Allen and less Oprah. Skimmed the Oprah, really enjoyed the David Allen. Worth a read.
Profile Image for Marcus.
150 reviews23 followers
January 3, 2019
At the beginning of this book there's a scene, allegedly something that actually happened, in which a bullet journal dramatically saves a child's life.

Still, she had the presence of mind to pull out a well-worn, thread-bound book that is quite familiar to me: it was an orchid-colored, soft-covered Leuchtturm 1917. It was a Bullet Journal. Grasping the last few pages, she threaded them away from the threaded spine and held them out to the EMT... she shook her head and sobbed, "I can't... I can't..."

And that's just representative of the kind of mawkishness you can expect, as Ryder Carroll breathes down your neck about intentionality and radiance and being the best person you want to be etc. etc. He's clearly giddy on the success that his journaling method has created and spawned this cynical cash-in guidebook that tells you in 300 pages what the website does in about 10 minutes.

He should quit writing and go work for Gwyneth Paltrow at Goop. His advice is occasionally as meaningless as:

Curiosity points the needle of our inner compass toward the hopeful magnetism of possibility and meaning.

The book also has examples of ways in which one might use the Bullet Journal, and I don't know what kind of buried rage the author is manifesting as he writes:

I've noticed that lately Linda has become a lot harder on herself than usual, even though things are looking up on her end. The promotion, the new partner, etc. She seems more driven than she ever has. Is it because she is trying to earn her luck? Is this some kind of manifestation of impostor syndrome? Whatever it is, I worry that she will burn herself out - "

And this goes on at some length. Jesus, what did Linda ever do to you, Ryder Carroll?

Over the past year I've actually found bullet journaling pretty helpful in organising my life, and while reading this did pick up a few ideas about how to improve. But I did not expect these bullshit, woo-woo theories about the meaning of life, or the author's weird, masturbatory fascination for his own life's work, which as he proudly and exclaims without a trace of self-awareness or irony:

...spans nearly every race, creed, continent, and industry like he just solved the conflict in the Middle East, world hunger, and income inequality all at the same time. For that matter, what have you actually done besides create this system? Is flogging this one product the sum of your life's work? Does Ryder Carroll sit at his desk feverishly ticking off task boxes, sinking deeper into his own existential despair at his lack of intentionality?

I guess we'll never know. I leave you with this quote, with no context whatsoever:

she found herself in the kitchen, tears welling up in her eyes. She looked down at her hands, finally squeezing a lemon
Profile Image for Sandra.
74 reviews4 followers
December 25, 2018
Last year, I moved away from bullet journaling, and started using pre-filled planners because to be honest, I felt that bullet journaling had become an art competition – too exhausting and time consuming to manage. I am also not an artist and struggled to make my journal “pretty”, then felt crappy when it looked nothing like what I had seen on Pinterest or Instagram. It wasn’t saving me any time, it was chewing it up with fancy layouts and poor hand writing attempts. All of which, as Carroll states, is fine if it helps motivate you, and helped you progress towards your goal, but it didn’t help me so I dropped bullet journalling. I tried journals with time blocking (which absolutely doesn’t work for me or the way my mind works), and other pre-filled planners but they also felt off for me. I wondered about getting back into bullet journaling but with a stripped down approach. That is when I decided to pick up this book. It re-engaged me with the process again because he is about getting back to basics. If you get the impression he doesn’t like fancy layouts from reading this book, you’re right, he doesn’t. The point of the system is to make life easier, not discourage people, or make it more time consuming, so of course he isn’t going to be a wild proponent of journals that are completely over the top. He tells you to make it your own, but hammers the message home: it’s to help you be productive. If it’s not doing that, it’s defeating the entire point of the journal.

I read a lot of the reviews before buying this book and I decided to try it and make up my own mind. A lot of people dislike the middle part of this book because it gets into the ‘why’ and self-help talk. I actually enjoyed that aspect of this book. The ‘how’ was useful, of course, because you need to know what to do, but so was the self-examination for me. Carroll has ADHD – as do I – so I felt like this book was written for me by someone who understands how our minds work. I think it was actually the perfect mix of introspection and “how-to” for a book of this kind. It also doesn’t say you can’t be creative, it just makes you mindful of doing so at the cost of efficiency. This book has actually brought me back to my Bujo with a new outlook and fresh perspective on how to make it work for me. I think it’s a great resource for anyone starting out in the system or those who, like me, became disenchanted with it and are looking at getting back into it and making it work this time around.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,535 reviews216 followers
January 5, 2021
Well I got a few good ideas from the book, however, I am already quite an organised person. I liked the idea of using it for special projects though. I went out and got a bullet journal dot book. They are deeply unsettling. Apparently I can't write without lines. So I started ruling some and when I got half way down the page I saw the stupidity of my actions and I slid the book into my blank notebook shelf and switched to one with lines. I think I will probably stick to the normal yearly planner but use some of the BuJo symbols/strategies.
Profile Image for Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer.
1,820 reviews1,378 followers
December 5, 2022
• Good introduction to Bullet Journal method
* Analogue approach for digital age
- Slower speed of handwriting + migration idea encourages reflection
> Adopt in 2019
Profile Image for Nick Johnson.
154 reviews4 followers
January 9, 2019
Here, try this simple system to organize your life. No special planners to buy, just use any notebook. Now, learn this simple journaling system and prioritize your life. Great! Now, remember to index your daily journal and make duplicate entries for things you still need to do, and then learn shorthand symbol codes, and then build a library of notebooks, and then the rest of your life is notebooks. Your days are organized and simplified because all you do is write in notebooks. You are married to a notebook. You’ve traded your kids for notebooks. You speak in dots and checks. You are now a notebook.
Profile Image for Girl.
545 reviews41 followers
January 6, 2019
This was a very mixed bag. 

Ryder Carroll is the man behind the original bullet journal idea and in his book, he describes the tenets of his bullet journal system. At its core, "bu jo" is a very simple method, consisting in making lists of to-do tasks, planning in a format that makes sense to you, and supplementing it all with "collections" -- which, in Carroll's description, are mostly more detailed projects requiring more involvement from you. Add a few buzzwords such as "intentionality" or "mindfulness" and you are good to go. 

There were points in this book where I was nodding along - sure, breaking projects into smaller components makes sense! Sure, it's better to make your tasks tangible (e.g. "don't eat sweets" instead of "lose weight"), this sounds very sensible! But there were moments concerning intentionality and paring down your bullet journal (and, along with it, your life) that just felt like too much. While reading, I had the distinct feeling that Ryder Carroll really, really, really doeesn't like those prettified bullet journals with stickers and pictures and calligraphy because they take away from the main point of simplicity and mindful reflection, but he can't say that because the people who prettify their bujos are the ones who will buy the official merchandise.

If you want to find out what bullet journaling is about, watching a youtube video seems a much better investment of your time.
Profile Image for Amirography.
198 reviews113 followers
November 18, 2018
very very very slow progression with a lot of useless quotations. It's a magnificent method, and the book has awesome contents, but it lasts much longer than it should.
Profile Image for Zahra Dashti.
376 reviews109 followers
December 11, 2020
خوب خوانش دوم کتاب برنامه‌ریزی به روش بولت ژورنال هم تموم شد و حالا وقتشه ازش صحبت کنم. من به دلیل مشغله فراوانی که در سال جاری داشتم دنبال روش بهتری برای برنامه‌ریزی بودم. اسم این روش رو قبلا به واسطه‌ی اینستاگرام دوستان شنیده بودم منتها چون خیلی طرح‌های گل و بلبلی ازش دیده بودم جدی نگرفتم(بر عکس خیلی افراد، این همه رنگی و نقاشی باعث جذب نشدنم بود) تا اینکه فشار مشغله‌ها باعث شد بخوام یه تحقیق حداقلی داشته باشم. با عزیزی که کمی ازش می دونست صحبت کردم و بعد پیج مترجم کتاب رو فالو کردم. از اونجا که فیلم کمتر از متن جذبم می‌کنه نتونستم با ویدیوهای آموزشی خانم نجاری ارتباط بگیرم و تصمیم گرفتم مستقیم به سایت کتاب مراجعه کنم و در نهایت چون باز کتاب برام جذاب‌تر از سایتها هست، کتاب رو تهیه کردم و مطالعه شروع شد و باعث شد با همه وجود از این عدم علاقه ام به فیلم و سایت خوشحال باشم چون کتاب، به صورت منظم و اصولی، در کنار توضیح روش و چگونگی کارکرد دفتر، به فلسفه هم پرداخته. اینکه چرا این همه دقت در زندگی که با روش بولت ژورنال ثبت می شه مفیده و چطور کمک می کنه بحرانهای فلسفی زندگی‌مون، دلایل شکست‌ها و اندوه و رنج هامون و علایق و استعدادها رو بفهمیم و به خودشناسی و در ادامه خودسازی ما کمک می کنه. در واقع این متد، یک ابزاره، ابزاری که علاوه بر برنامه‌ریزی معمولی برای کارها، اگر ازش درست استفاده بشه می تونه ابزاری برای آینده دور و زندگی باشه.
بولت ژورنال حرف عجیب و غیرعادی و خارق العاده ای رو مطرح نمی‌کنه. بلکه به صورت ساختاریافته و منظم و ... همه اون چیزها و روشهایی که به صورت پراکنده و ناقص کمکمون می.کردند رو جمع آوری کرده و در نهایت یک مجموعه شسته رفته اما قابل توسعه و شخصی سازی شده به شما ارائه می ده که می‌تونید مطابق با نیاز خودتون، اون رو بهینه کنید.
و خبر خوش (برای امثال خودم) اینکه برای این کار فقط به یک خودکار و یک دفتر نیاز دارید و سواد نوشتن و توانایی کشیدن خط صاف (یک خط‌کش سبک یا یک مقوای نازک و صاف هم خوبه) و نه هزاران ماژیک و هنر نقاشی و ... هرچند که اگر دوست داشته باشید، تا جایی که منجر به انحراف از دلیل اصلی استفاده از بولت ژورنال نشده، می تونید نقاشی هم بکشید!
کتاب تقریبا همه چیزهایی که برای شروع لازم دارین رو به شما می‌گه و همون بار اول می تونید گام به گام مطابق نظر نویسنده پیش برید و با اتمام کتاب، دفترتون اماده باشه. با این همه اگر مثل من فولیای نفهمیدن دارین شاید لازم باشه یکبار کل کتاب رو بخونید، نوت‌برداری کنید و بار دوم بی دغدغه نوت برداری باز بخونید و عمیق بشین و کار رو شروع کنید و دفترتون رو بسازید. هرچند بعضی ها ترجیح می‌دن در خوانش سوم شروع کنند. خوشبختانه جامعه بولت ژورنال هم وجود داره و اونجا ابهامات و سوالاتتون رو می تونید برطرف کنید یا حتی برای مشکلان خاصی که نتونستین با بولت ژورنالتون حلش کنید از افراد اونجا کمک بگیرین چون ممکنه کس دیگه‌ای مثل شما به اون مشکل رسیده باشه و تونسته باشه دفترش رو طوری شخصی سازی کنه که در حل اون مسئله کمکتون کنه و شما بتونید ازش ایده بگیرید.
مترجم کتاب خانم نجاری هم مطالب آموزشی خوبی گذاشته و گویا به سوالاتتون هم پاسخ می‌ده.
ترجمه هم خوب و خواناست. چاپ کاغذی کتاب خوب و رضایت بشه، اما نسخه موجود در طاقچه از لحاظ تصاویر ضعیف بود. من خوانش اول رو از طاقچه داشتم و بعد که از مفید بودن کتاب مطمئن شدم نسخه کاغذی رو تهیه کردم. این کتاب کم حجم (حدود ۳۰۰ صفحه) ارزش یکبار خوانده شدن رو داره. در هر شرایطی که هستین، شاغل خانه‌دار دانشجو، دانش آموز، بیکار یا ... توصیه می کنم این کتاب رو حتما بخونید (توصیه خودم) و اگر به نظرتون خوب بود، چند ماهی ازش استفاده کنید(توصیه نویسنده) و بعد در مورد استفاده دائم ازش، تصمیم گیری کنید. و باز تاکید می کنم این یک ابزار هست که هدفی رو دنبال می کنه، با درگیر شدن در نمایشی کردنش، تزیین کردن یا ... هدف رو گم نکنید و این ابزار جالب رو بی‌استفاده یا حتی هزینه ساز (زمانی و روانی) نکنید.
حتما این کتاب رو بخونید.
Profile Image for Zahra Naderi.
314 reviews56 followers
February 13, 2021
یکی از بهترین کتاب‌های خودیاری که خوندم. می‌تونن با «عادت‌های اتمی» یک ترکیب طلایی رو تشکیل بدن.

نمی‌خوام صرفاً از جنبه‌ی برنامه‌ریزی‌ش حرف بزنم. این کتاب به‌تون یاد می‌ده با «بولت ژورنال» زندگی و زیست‌تون رو در کم‌ترین زمان ثبت کنین. در واقع به چشم نوشتن کتاب زندگی خودتون به‌ش نگاه کنین. این که ��ی کار کردین، کجای زندگی بودین و الان کجا وایسادین.

داریم به اسفند و سال جدید نزدیک می‌شیم و من فکر می‌کنم این کتاب یکی از بهترین هدیه‌هاست که می‌تونین به یه نفر بدین.

~ مرسی آناهیتای عزیز واسه این هدیه.
Profile Image for Samin_pzr.
102 reviews31 followers
June 26, 2020
به نظرم خوندنش ممکنه کمک کننده باشه،من خوشحالم از اینکه این کتاب رو خوندم....
یکسال پیش با بولت ژورنال آشنا شده بودم و خیلی بولت ژورنال داشتن رو دوست داشتم چون به زندگیم نظم میداد...
وقتی دیدم کتابی با این عنوان وجود داره،سریع خوندمش تا چیزایی که بلد نیستم رو بهم یاد بده.
اگر دوست دارید به اهدافتون نزدیک تر بشید و هنوز بولت ژورنال رو نمیشناسید،پیشنهاد میکنم تو گوگل سرچ کنید و راجع بهش بخونید و بعد هم این کتاب رو بخونید😉✨
Profile Image for Bianca.
Author 1 book84 followers
February 20, 2022
2nd read:

I learned so much from my second read of this book. This is why I love rereading my favourite self-development/non-fiction books.

I managed to get a whole new toolkit for my bullet journal and I completely revamped my journaling style. This is definitely one of my staple books that I will reread for many years to come.






1st read:

I am so glad I decided to read this book (and purchase the hard cover) as it has given me a completely nee perspective on Bullet Journaling.

I’ve been bullet journaling since the beginning of 2017 and I thought I was doing a good job, until I got a bit lost along the way.

I focused way too much on how my journal looked, rather than what it should do for me.

I went from having countless scattered notebooks and journals, to one bullet journal, and all the way back to countless notebooks once more. I forgot why I started bullet journaling in the first place.

This book was a great reminder of why I wanted to use this system and I plan on restarting with a whole new perspective in 2019.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is already bullet journaling or thinking of starting one. You won’t regret it.
Profile Image for Narges Goudarzi.
47 reviews22 followers
April 14, 2020
الان که فروردین سال۹۹ هست ، هفت ماهی میشه که از بولت ژورنال استفاده می‌کنم... از طریق ویدیوهای خانم مترجم با بولت ژورنال آشنا شدم.
راستش قبل خوندن کتاب به ریویو های گودریدز سر زدم ، انتظارم خیلی پایینتر بود!
اما نسبت به کتاب های مربوط به برنامه ریزی که تو ایران دیدم خیلی عالی بود.
یه سری نقاط گنگ بازم تو ذهنم هست اما دلیل نمیشه ایده های خوبی که از کتاب گرفتم رو نبینم.
دست نویسنده و مترجم دردنکنه!
Profile Image for Rosie Nguyễn.
Author 6 books6,017 followers
January 31, 2020
My housemate introduced her bullet journal to me just one month ago. At the time, I was struggling to arrange my time, finish more tasks, be more productive, and above all, accomplish important things that I had been procrastinating.

After a few weeks practicing bullet journal myself, I found it very engaging. One noticeable thing is that I stop making appointment mistakes. Previously I found myself remember meeting schedules wrongly from time to time. Now that no longer happens as I have a whole month schedule with available time slots in my journal. I also love designing and drawing in my bullet journal. That's amazing! I never enjoyed drawing before! Now it is a way for me to relax.

And so I started to pick up the book to see what else I could do with my journal. And this little book surprised me. I thought that Bullet Journal was just a tool, a method to arrange my schedules and manage my time. But the author dived much deeper and introduced the philosophy behind it. It is about the right attention to the things that are important to each of us, about an intentional life, about a life of meaning and about how to respond the uncertainty and chaos of life the way you want. The author's writing is surprisingly eloquent, (perhaps partly credited to his creative writing degree), and insightful and deep and reflective.

Through the book I learned and reminded myself some simple but important things to apply in my daily life. For example I now remember to take time to savor my achievements as achievements alone feel empty. Or I learned how to break my goals into small sprints to work on and make the tasks less intimidating. Or a very useful tip about writing a letter to some rubber ducks, telling them about your problem, what's not working, why it isn't working, what you've tried, what you have not tried, and what you want to have happen. Or other things I've learned from Japanese culture, Ikigai, PDCA process (plan, do, check, action). And I highly resonate with the author's technique of asking Why five times (something I noted to myself before to really look at the root of a problem).

But one thing I haven't managed to do during the course of reading the book, that is resuming the writing of my new book. Something that I've been stuck at. Guess I have to start working on that seriously, to make visible something meaningful.

Profile Image for Lilli.
128 reviews34 followers
September 2, 2022
This book was at times a little cheesy and felt like it was putting too much stock into the meaning and philosophy behind the almighty BuJo, but some of the exercises really did make me think on a deeper level and most importantly, this book got me over the hump of perfectionism that has kept me from successfully utilizing a bullet journal for the first time since I began attempting to keep one in 2016. I finally recognize that I need the functionality of the bullet journal to manage my ADHD, and that worrying too much about what brand of brush marker I’m using and how perfect my hand-lettering looks holds me back. To start with, I’m keeping a fairly straightforward and simple journal, and this book gave me the tools to do so!
Profile Image for Michelle.
653 reviews183 followers
January 29, 2022
I kinda did this backwards. I started journaling last year and found that whatever I put in my journal was what I focused on. These were the areas where I gained the most insight and was the most productive.

But then I had people asking me was I an artistic journalist or a minimalist. I had no idea what those terms meant but had the sense that I fell somewhere in between. Then I started following bujo pages on Facebook and Instagram. There I saw people arguing over what true bujo is and who was following the form that Ryder Carroll set out. There was a bit of putting people down for designing their journals as if creative expression hampered productivity. I was less inclined at this point to share my journal pages but knew that part of the reason why I returned to my journal was because it not only served to organize my life, but was an outlet for my stress and anxiety.

So now that I have read Carroll's own words I can attest that he finds no fault in being creative with your journal. He recognizes it as a personal space where the journalist can choose to let their creative juices flow.

Now if you find that your journal is becoming a burden because you are comparing yourself to others and trying to compete that's an entirely different issue. Take a step back. Regroup. Assess your why and simplify.

Bujo is not one size fits all. Nor do we have to confine ourselves to one "camp" or the other.

I will continue to bujo because it helps me live a fuller life and be more balanced. Bujo is a continual learning process for me and my journal reflects that.
Profile Image for Brittanie.
218 reviews21 followers
April 30, 2019
I want to Bullet Journal LESS now that I've read this than I did before.

There are some good concepts in the book but it's not much different than any other goal-setting guide, and at times it is extremely annoying because every other paragraph is a badly-conceived metaphor. TOO MANY METAPHORS. The book (like many "productivity" books) fetishized Japanese corporate culture and I am kind of sick about reading white American guys' interpretation of kaizen or wabi sabi or kanban or kon mari or whatever.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,221 reviews200 followers
January 6, 2020
Interesting book. I read it because I'm looking to regain control of my time & life - track the must do while cutting the fluff. I've tried several planning methods all of which work, but just don't seem right for me. I like that Carroll's plan can be individualized to your own wants/needs. And that it'll let you know fairly quickly which things you can cut out of your schedule thus making room for more events you'd like to do. This appears to be a good road map of where you've been, where you are now, & where you're headed. We'll see if it works for me.
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