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Bullet Journal, Ultra-Streamlined

While the capabilities of the bullet journal system are impressive, one of the best features is its customizability. If you don't want to spend hours preparing an organizational method that's supposed to save you time, keep reading.

Over at the official you'll see a short video describing the basics of the Bullet Journal method. There are also some good technique ideas on their blog.

You can search on Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and many other places to find ideas for your journal. There are a lot of ideas to personalize your journal that look great. But for those who want a quick, streamlined way to set up your Bullet Journal, and don't need it to be an expressive space, you're in the right place.
Style Basics What is the ultra-streamlined style? Essentially, it's an approach to bullet journaling intended to minimize the time to set up and use the method. Some tips for the ultra-streamlined style:
avoid using unnecessary tools (extra tools …
Recent posts

Why write on paper in a digital age?

There are many obvious benefits to keeping a bullet journal. But why keep a pen and paper journal in this digital age? This post will focus mainly on the advantages of the old school approach.

Let's look at a few disadvantages first.

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Replacing When your paper journal is filled up you have to get a new one. Then again, it's common practice to replace digital devices as well. These devices are often acquired with a multi-year contract and you pay for it over the term. But sometimes, such as with tablets, you just have buy it. At least the data transfer from one device to a new one is easy, sometimes
It should be mentioned one advantage of having to manually transfer information is the culling evaluation. Maybe you really don't need to transfer something, and the effort of manually rewriting information makes you take a more deliberate look at the information. Plus, doing so reinforces your awareness of your specific informatio…

Weekly spread with expenses tracking

So I've never used a weekly spread before but have kept an eye out for ideas. With the way I've used the dailies and monthly spread it just wasn't needed. But with combining a few things to make bullet journaling easier it's now time to try an experiment. So how to do this in a minimalist fashion while getting maximum use for my time? Multi-tasking.

In this set up I'm combining a weekly overview, short term (weekly) future log, and expenses tracking. I'll keep the calendar related stuff in the bottom half of the page and financial stuff in the top half.

The weekly overview will use only keywords for events or tasks. The details will be either in my monthly or daily logs. This is only an overview. The short term future log is what makes this worth the effort for me. This way I don't have to take up space in my handy two column dailies for stuff later in the week. In my routine the daily log is created the night before. I was using Rolling Weeks for short ter…

Minimalist bullet journal for students

So you have a lot of classes spread out over campus. Maybe you have labs, rehearsals, group sessions, and more, but you also have homework and studying to do. And you're not a robot, you're a human being who has other needs as well (you'll have to fit in food and sleep somewhere, right?). What is the quickest, easiest way your bullet journal can help with all this?

Let's start off with an understanding: this minimalist's approach to bullet journaling is all about function but in a sleek, elegant way. I have plenty of creative outlets so I don't need my bullet journal for that. The following recommendations certainly leave room for you to artistically express yourself all you want. But for students who want a quick and painless way to manage your academic life, try the following ideas on the basics.

Master Syllabus In this post on a Master Syllabus you'll see a spread for a quick syllabus where you can keep an overview of all major assignments and their due …

Can keeping a bullet journal improve your life?

Yes. Keeping a bullet journal can help improve your life. It's happened to me and to many others. Being disorganized is a common curse of the human condition. We all need a way to cope with this. Some are better at it than others Thankfully there is more than one way journaling can help us.

Be careful when any sentence contains a phrase such as "studies show". Having said that, studies show the act of writing about heavy concerns can help one cope. The mere act of processing and recognizing a situation can have beneficial effects. Writing is an accessible way to do that. The official Bullet Journal website also has a good article on self care.

Eddy at the Calendex has a good list of 10 pragmatic ways the bullet journal can help you organize including journaling, time tracking, wellness tracking, and more.

Trang Le at has more of a meta take on 5 reasons the bullet journal can improve your life.

That's enough external reading for this post. This one is just…

Practical stickers for your bullet journal

Those who have used printouts for your journal know the value in reducing set up time. Since the Universal Journal style strives for an ultra-efficient way of bullet journaling, let's take a closer look at another trick for reducing upkeep time in journaling: stickers.

If you're in the habit of drawing highly creative layouts or attention getters in your journal but want to try something less time consuming, consider using stickers as a substitute. The following are functionally minded stickers (with affiliate links) which I think could serve you well in your bullet journal.

1. Simple ElephantThe Simple Elephant Productivity Planner stickers. These stickers are a premium for functionality. They feature event stickers, flag stickers, call outs, and calendar tabs. Almost 400 stickers in this set.

Get the Simple Elephant Productivity Planner stickers at

2. Weekly Planning Next is a black and gold set of Weekly Planning stickers including almost 600. It's a fantast…

Decluttering your bullet journal, and maybe your life

As in any area of life, your bullet journal is a place that can get messy even while helping you. An organized schedule involves more than just keeping something on record. It's also a matter of making that record easy to find when you need it. Your approach to journaling is often a reflection of your mindset for life. Do you want a less cluttered mind? You can cultivate this very thing with your journal.

In case you haven't noticed, a minimalist approach, by definition, is meant to keep the unnecessary to a minimum. Mind boggling, I know. But you have stuff you need to keep track of. Sometimes a lot of stuff. So let's look at some details where we might be able to declutter your journal.

Margins Have you ever seen a book where every possible inch of space is printed on every single page? I saw a page like this once in a presentation that was about the value of margin space. This was about margin space in life, not merely on the page. Filling every possible second with som…

Bullet Journal Brainstorming for Writers

So you're a writer or you want to be (which means you might already be one at heart). And you see the beauty of the bullet journal system. Are you looking for a way to put these two things together?

I'm looking for ways to use the bullet journal system to develop some writing ideas. There are a lot of ideas already, but organizing them in a way that can then be used to tell a story is not easy (at least not for someone who hasn't done this before).

The website On Demand Instruction has a good blog post for people struggling with this very thing titled JOURNAL WRITING & BRAINSTORMING: BULLET JOURNAL FOR CREATIVITY.

That post addresses a little bit about brainstorming then gives 5 quick points to list and help develop a story. It's a pretty logical approach to flesh out a few major aspects of a story:
CharactersPlot, Conflict, ProblemsSettings and ScenesDialogue, Lines, and QuotesTone, Mood, and Style This is an approach I've started with and it's helped a lot…