The Bullet Journal Method - Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method - Ryder Carroll

With just two tools, paper and pen, learn to record your past, organize your life and plan your successful future.

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Do you feel constantly busy and overwhelmed? Can't organize your tasks? Forget your obligations? Do you have difficulty planning for the future?

If you suffer from these obstacles, the book "The Bullet Journal Method", written by author Ryder Carroll, promises a way for you to record your past, organize your present and design your future in the best way.

All this is done through what the author calls "Bullet Journal", a kind of diary that will concentrate everything that is most important to you. This way, you value your most important resources: time and energy.

In this summary, let's look at how this method can increase your productivity and go through every aspect of Bullet Journal!

About the book "The Bullet Journal Method"

"The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future" was launched in 2018 in the United States. Since then, the publication has been on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than 25 languages.

The book is written in an easy and practical language. In addition, to illustrate how the Bullet Journal pages should be filled out, the author Ryder Carroll makes use of a differentiated source, which gives the idea of the text being handwritten, as it is done in the diary.

About the author Ryder Carroll

Ryder Carroll is author and designer of digital products. He invented the Bullet Journal method when he tried to mitigate the effects of his ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) condition.

In addition to being quoted in major vehicles such as the LA Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the BBC, Ryder presented his talk on TED Talk.

To whom is this book indicated?

"The Bullet Journal Method" is useful for everyone who wants to be more productive, organized, and focused on the tasks that will really impact their lives. Who doesn't want that, right?

Whether for studies, work or even for personal life, the proposal of the author Ryder Carroll is to help those who feel overwhelmed with their responsibilities and want to optimize their time.

Main ideas of the book "The Bullet Journal Method"

  • Our time and our energy are the most valuable resources of our lives;
  • It is possible to complete more by doing less;
  • To "navigate" the world successfully, we must first look and understand ourselves better;
  • With the use of the Bullet Journal, you will stop just reacting and will begin to respond to events in your life;
  • BuJo (an affectionate nickname for Bullet Journal) helps you unravel your thoughts, allowing you to analyze them from a different point of view. In addition, it helps you to identify and focus on what is really significant.

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[Book Summary] The Bullet Journal Method - Ryder Carroll

Overview: Aspect 1 - Organizing the Mind

According to studies, about 70, 000 thoughts pass through our minds every day. That would be enough to write a book every day. It's too much!

However, unlike a book, our thoughts are everywhere, which hinders our understanding of what is most important. So we can not focus directly on these things and we end up disorganized and overwhelmed.

Therefore, author Ryder Carroll highlights in his book "The Bullet Journal Method" the importance of creating a way of ordering this chaos of thought. One of the best ways to do this is by writing.

In writing, Carroll explains that we can organize our thoughts and control the mind. In addition, we are able to:

  • Easily visualize what needs to be done;
  • Forcing the mind to think in a specific direction to get more details.

Therefore, the Bullet Journal appears as a solution to organize all this intense volume of thoughts that occurs to us daily.

With it, it is possible to understand what is really important and what can be discarded, avoiding waste of our time and effort and optimizing everything that is really significant.

Overview: Aspect 2 - What matters is execution

The author Ryder Carroll cites an idea that may surprise you: too much organization can distract you and end up being counterproductive to your goals.

Let's say you are writing your plans for the next 5 years. You believe that you are making a difference and working towards your goals set for that break.

However, you're actually just writing things down on paper. Just it! The Bullet Journal Method is designed so that the least amount of time is spent during this planning phase.

His approach in this part is as optimized as possible and the focus is on results. According to Carroll, you can spend hours and hours drawing the perfect plan, with all possibilities fully aligned. But it's no good at all. What is really important is to take the next step.

The essential is not planning, but execution!

Overview: Aspect 3 - Mental Inventory

Ryder believes that we need to reduce the number of decisions we face every day, so we can focus our efforts on the most important issues.

This idea is similar to that of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. They decrease the number of daily decisions by always using the same set of clothes.

To help you identify and avoid these superfluous decisions, the author Ryder Carroll suggests in his book "The Bullet Journal Method" the practice of mental inventory, which consists of the following steps:

  • On a horizontally oriented sheet of paper, make three columns;
  • In the first column, list the things you are currently working on;
  • In the middle column, list everything you should be working on;
  • In the third column, make a list of what you would like to be working on.

It is important to be fairly honest with yourself. This list allows you to visualize a clearer picture of where your efforts are currently being invested.

That way, you can analyze and get directions. Carroll suggests that you should ask yourself this:

  • Does it matter? (For you or someone you love);
  • Is this vital? (Think of rent, taxes, loans, your employment, etc.).

Any item that does not pass the above test should be considered a distraction, which does not add value to your life. Those that are approved will likely be of two types: things you need to do (responsibilities) and things you want to do (your goals).

Overview: Bullet Journal Elements

The Bullet Journal Method is divided into several sections, called collections by the author Ryder Carroll. They are:


These are the first pages of the notebook, which indicate the entire contents of the Bullet Journal. The idea is that this section is organic, that is, you should add the pages to the index as you create more content.

Monthly log

In the monthly log, suggests that you reserve a page for the current month and enter the numbers of the days and the initial indicating each day of the week.

On the next page, you should list all tasks and responsibilities to be met in the month in question.

Daily log

Here you can book a page for each day or you can put more than one day on the same page, it is at your discretion. This section is the one that most resembles a normal journal.

You should list all the punctual actions to be taken that day and can also jot down relevant information about events that happened throughout the day.

Future log

In this collection, you must enter the tasks and events that will happen in the following months. This part will serve as a source of information for when to turn the month and you will set up your new log monthly.

Custom Collections

In addition to the four collections listed above, the author Ryder Carroll explains that you can customize your Bullet Journal according to your preferences. Carroll tells us that he gets many examples of people who use this part for the most varied functions.

Here we list some of them:

  • Books read / books to read;
  • Watched movies / movies to watch;
  • TV shows to watch;
  • Financial control;
  • Control of habits;
  • Registration of physical activities.

What do other authors say about it?

In "Essentialism", author Greg Mckeown also works on the idea that the best way to be more productive is to discard everything that is not significant and focus our efforts fully on what we consider important.

In his great success, "The Power of Habit", Charles Duhigg talks about the strength that habits possess in our lives, whether positively with good habits or negatively with bad habits.

Finally, in the book "Focus", Daniel Goleman argues that practice only brings you closer to perfection if it is done intelligently, that is, if the person who is practicing uses that time to make adjustments and improvements. The amount of attention you employ during practice is crucial.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Choose a notebook of your choice (ideally not too small to fit more content and not too large, for practicality);
  • Book the first three pages for the index;
  • Enter the page of the current month (monthly log);
  • Add the daily logs, however you prefer;
  • Draw your future log;
  • Build your custom collections;
  • Do not forget to number the pages;
  • Whenever you add more content, remember to put the corresponding pages in the index.

Did you like this summary of the book "The Bullet Journal Method"?

We hope you enjoyed our summary and are able to apply the method of author Ryder Carroll to your life. Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

In addition, to learn more about the content, purchase the book by clicking on the image below:

Book “The Bullet Journal Method”