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Advice For Bullet Journal Newbies

So you're new to Bullet Journaling and don't quite know what to do. It's a bit intimidating, I know. And there is so much that can be done. So many ideas. As with many things, especially new things, expectations can change everything. Does it have to be artistic? No you don't have to do things in an artistic way. The artful spreads that take hours to produce can be a pleasure to behold, sure, but if you don't want to take the time (or don't have that kind of time) to do that you don't have to. Short and sweet is the ultra-streamlined way. The page/spread layout should work for you rather than you working for the layouts. Design should serve its purpose in the bullet journal and for me that purpose leans very heavily toward function. Form is good but I don't want keeping up with the journal to slow me down. Do I have to record everything? Why would you do that to yourself? If you need to track something, a tracker might be the thing for you. If you need t

Streamlined Bullet Journal Index

The index is crucial for many of bullet journalers. Those who use the bullet journal method closer to its original design find the index useful (since returning to old content is a fairly regular thing) but there is always the matter of how. This is an ultra-streamlined take on the index. First, I wish I could remember where I saw this idea in order to give credit. It's brilliant and so simple to do. Given the uncertainty of required space for the index, and the uncertainty of the required space for the future log, why not separate these two things? Putting the index in the back of the book solves this issue with grace. I can set up a spread or two for the future log in the front but in the back there is all the space I will ever need. When the index meets the content or even gets close to it, it's time to move to a new notebook. Another trick (kudos to Christina77star ) is the separation of the index into categories. I might leave the regular things in one page of the index (

Bookmarks as Bullet Journal Hack

Some of the free printables offered here at Universal Journal can be combined to suit different needs. Let's look at combining the calendar with the Notemarks  (the note bookmarks) printable. The Notemarks sheets are meant to be printed front and back, creating a dot grid bookmark ideal for notes of all sorts. Whether single column, folded, or doubled folded, these notemarks serve as a base for the calendar printable as well. For those who want floating notes that you can use on a monthly basis, this combo makes a quick way to create this sort of tool for yourself. First, gather the calendar printable and cut out the pertinent month, and print out one of the notemark pages (front and back). Next, since most people would use a thin book mark the notemark page will need to be folded. First, fold in half by the long edge. Fold the notemark again lengthwise. Alternatively you could cut the notemark page in half along the first fold, then fold the half page in half once more. You can

Review: Hustler's Classic Notebook

For so many of us the search for the "perfect" bullet journal is a never ending endeavor. The Hustler's Classic Notebook offers a very good hardcover dotted notebook currently rated at 4.5 stars over at I've been using one since September 2020 and this is my take on it. (this post includes affiliate links) First, some details. On Amazon the title of this journal mentions: Thick Dotted Journal A5 Hardcover Premium 120 GSM Ink-Proof Paper 5mm Dot Grid Numbered Pages Pen Holder Pocket and Ruler I would add the following details: 160 off-white pages built-in ribbon Paper The pages are thick enough to handle my normal use. I don't typically use markers of any kind, only ball point pen and pencil and I have a fairly light touch. With the Hustler's Classic I don't see any bleed through with ballpoint pens or pencil. But I did use gel pens and highlighters for testing just for this post. Here is a comparison of the page where I marked for testing,

Bullet Journal for Teachers: Class Semester

A previous post ( Bullet Journal for the hard working educator ) linked to a now dead page. I've updated the post so it links to the version of a page on 16 layouts for teachers. Here is an ultra-streamlined take on one layout idea from that page, a class semester for the teacher. (affiliate links included in this post) As with the Universal Journal approach (minimal set up time) I've tried to incorporate placement, iconography, and colors to communicate as much information as possible with as little effort as possible. The following description and included photos show a completely hypothetical semester, simply for illustration of the concepts. Layout The basic layout in the photo above places the semester weeks at the top of the spread. The class assignments, labs, exams, etc. are listed in the left column. So each item has its own row for any pertinent information. The weeks are bit busy so let me unpack all that. The week number of the semester is listed on

DIY Phone Case/Pocket

I found this short video on a DIY paper phone case. It's sturdy enough to hold something as heavy as a smart phone (or multiple writing implements) but also light enough to include as part of your everyday journal carry. This origami item could be modified to suit any number of things. Want to try some Origami? Click this origami paper affiliate link and you can help me out a little and get involved in a fantastic creative outlet.

Ultra-Streamlined Style for bullet journal

I might have a little time here and there to do creative designs with my journal. But usually I just need it to help manage the day. What's the fastest way to manage a bullet journal? As with many things in life, it depends. Let me offer an overview of the Universal Journal ultra-streamlined style. The Universal Journal style intends to help you spend as little time as possible setting up and using your bullet journal. It's counter productive to get burned out on a tool that's supposed to help you avoid burning out. This graphic recaps the basics. Check out some other posts on the topic. Bullet Journal Ultra-Streamlined Efficient workflow Decluttering your Journal Streamlined Color Coding Printables Thanks for visiting Universal Journal. Got any minimalist ideas you'd like to share with the rest of us? Please comment here.