The bullet journal method: track the past, order the present, design the future; By: Ryder Carroll – Book Review

Book Review for The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

Full disclosure, I first read this book over a year ago. The reason I’m giving a book review on it now is that it mostly worked for me, and I think it could help some other busy people out there.

Firstly, I’m a list person who is also somewhat artistic. That’s what initially drew me to this method of planning. In summary, a bullet journal is a form of a planner/agenda,- but it offers unlimited freedom in execution and structure, so it can theoretically help almost anyone organize and plan their days.

My bullet journal is a cheap five-star composition book I had laying around the house. Per the book’s recommendations, I created an index (that I never kept up with) made a goal page (also did not keep up with), and even created a “favorite song of the week” page I thought would be neat. But of course, I didn’t keep up with it.

What I have kept up with, and why I am such a fan of this method is the monthly outline sheet and the daily task sheet.

The daily sheets really work for me! Each morning, I open my bullet journal, write the day, then the date, draw a line underneath it. I then open my Outlook, start reading through the emails and make my to-do list for the day. What’s great, is on an ordinary planner, if I skip a day, there’s a big empty box on the page reminding me of what a failure I am. Not with the Bullet Journal Method. I number the days as I go, so if I don’t use the journal one day, no problem, I just start back up with the next day’s date.

The book also has clever symbols to help me keep track of tasks completed, deleted, or that need to be moved to a future day. I found these extremely helpful at preventing things from falling through the cracks.

Below I’ve included a picture from an actual page in my Bullet Journal. I keep it on my desk with me at all times, so if I think of something I need to do but am in the middle of another project, I just put it on the list.

One draw-back to the Bullet Journal Method:

It doesn’t replace my Google Calendar because it’s unrealistic for me to assign times to each task. This isn’t a huge inconvenience since I work from my computer, but if someone had a very structured job and needed to see exact start and end times, I think that could get a little tedious (though not impossible).

I also use One-Note on my desktop for client-specific reminders that don’t need to be done that day.

How do you plan your day? Do you use a planner, an app? Please let me know.