Book Review: The Bullet Journal Method

A picture of the book The Bullet Journal Method displayed on a marble background

Do you know what a bullet journal is, how to use one or why you should bother having one in the first place?

Have you ever heard of the terms bullet journal or bullet journal method? If so then you probably know what this is and how it can be used, but if you don’t then stay around for a book review of The Bullet Journal Method!

The Bullet Journal Method was written and developed by Ryder Carroll. Essentially it’s a system to lead a more productive and intentional life and this book takes you through all the steps to use the bullet journal to do just this.

The Layout

The layout of this book is a fun one since it, in itself, is presented in a bullet journal style. The index of the book is printed on a dotted paper, written in whimsical handwriting, and has added highlights to indicate each section of the book.

Index of The Bullet Journal Method
Index of The Bullet Journal Method

The length of the chapters feels well balanced and you could easily read a chapter, take a break and reflect and then continue your reading. This is perfect when you might be short on time or don’t want to get too much information at once.

The Mix

The book is part instruction and part good examples – the perfect mix in a teacher setting! First, you get the structure for each section, then a few pointers relevant to that topic, and lastly you get some examples of how to use each part on your own.

Carroll also includes a bit of storytelling, giving his own examples or examples from other bullet journal users.

Habit tracking is mentioned, but it is pretty bare-boned compared to what you will find online.

The Pointers

Something I really liked about this book is that the author time and time again points out the importance of function over design! A simple Google search with “bullet journal” or “bullet journal spread” as your search terms, will probably give you images of beautiful layouts. While this can be good inspiration, it can also be terrifying if you don’t feel like you’re an artist or can’t even make your handwriting look nice!

Carroll mentions this several times and if you’ve used a bullet journal yourself, this reminder is actually a good one with a call for going back to the basics of the method. I’ve used a bullet journal on and off since 2017 and, like Carroll, I noticed that it’s easy to get distracted by pretty layouts and designs.

The only place where I don’t get carried away? The bullet journal I use for work! That book is all about function and at most I use a highlighter on a day-to-day or weekly basis. The exception is for the first page to indicate a new semester, but this is just to add a bit of fun and a chance for me to get a bit creative.

Here you can see examples from the two previous years, which I managed to keep in one book since Covid hit.

Apart from the start of each semester, I keep my bullet journal for work very messy. Or at least the decoration starts and ends with a highlighter, nothing more

Sample of a regular week in my bullet journal for work
Sample of a regular week in my bullet journal for work

Conclusion

To sum up this review of The Bullet Journal Method I’d say if you’ve ever been curious about what a bullet journal is, if this could help you or how to get started – look no further! Starting with Carroll’s book is a great first step since it gives you the basic foundation of bullet journaling. The book is easy to read and comprehend and you can try out smaller parts to get started on your bullet journal journey. You don’t need anything fancy to get started, a regular notebook and a pen will do just fine!

What are your thoughts? Have you tried out bullet journaling?

Useful resources

By annvig

Language teacher interested in reading, art, games, and how technology can help out in everyday life.

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