A journaler and master list maker for years, I started using a modified version of Bullet Journaling a few months ago. Then I decided to actually read the book. As a result, I’ve modified my approach to be much closer aligned with the structure Ryder Carroll presents, one that is remarkably similar to my ’80’s Day Timer system. Basically, BuJo (as it is affectionately known) is a well-engineered system for capturing every thought you need to capture in a systematic and short form fashion.
But it is so much more than that. What surprised me most was the depth of analysis and clarity of thought around the topic of life and how we manage it in ways large and small. Much more than a “how to journal” book, it is in many ways a manual for life. In part, Carroll challenges us to ask the right questions. That is where the journey to discovery begins. From there we plan, track, and record the days and patterns of our life. BuJo is not intended to be a diary or arts project, although many adherents follow that path. That’s awesome. Make it whatever you wish it to be, but do not lose sight of its primary function and benefits in the process.
BuJo is above all else a personal productivity system, one that actually works. Apply a little bit of thought, reflection, and discipline and you will be encouraged if not amazed at the clarity it brings.
The system’s key advantages are threefold: its protocols are well designed, it is simple, and it is flexible. I was looking for a system that provides structure and flexibility, and I found it in BuJo. I use the system for managing the day-to-day details of life and projects, and I do my long form journaling in it as well. And for the record, yes, I do sometimes doodle in the margins.