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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-StreamlinedEfficient workflowDecluttering your JournalStreamlined Color CodingPrintables
Thanks for visiting Universal Journal. Got any minimalist ideas you'd like to share with the rest of us? Please comment here.

Monthly Spread with Dutch door/extended spread

This month's spread combines some features mentioned here before. The ultra-streamlined monthly spread with habit tracker is combined with the small Calendar printout, and this month a new feature is introduced: the Dutch door.

bullet journal minimalst dutch doore montly spread

The Dutch door has some variants which include cutting out a portion of the page. In this ultra-streamlined style, the door need not be cut. It serves as an extension of the page spread.

Making the door

This Dutch door is as simple as it gets: fold one page in half along the vertical center, into the binding.

With the door, the spread now uses three pages instead of two. But in page turning and numbering it still acts like only two.

Using the door

This particular photo shows the Dutch door featured in a monthly module. It can extend both pages of the spread independently. On one side the door extends the calendar from the left page, hosting the habit tracker on the right. But from the right page, the door extends anything else. Perhaps I want a monthly list of some kind. Or it could contain a small calendar printout for the previous and following months. I may end up splitting my habit tracker and use the other side of the door as a wellness tracker.

I might even use the interior of the door. It would be a great place to keep a monthly expenses log or general budget.

These examples can easily transfer to a weekly spread, or weekly spending log, etc. What other ideas do you have for using the Dutch door? Comment here.

Get the small Calendar printout
Get Calendar thumbnail printout


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In this ultra-streamlined approach to bullet journaling, it's not only the layouts and designs that are minimalist, but the techniques for using the system as well. The flow of your tasks, appointments, etc. from one module to another can be tricky. Or it can be simple. It's all a matter of how you manage these things.

In my journal, most items end up in the daily log for the day I intend to handle them. That may or may not happen on the actual day assigned but the most important thing is I don't lose track of stuff. The daily log is the last stage of a task/event filtering technique. T…

Streamlined Weekly Log

Not everyone uses a weekly log in their bullet journal. For those who do, here are three variants on one streamlined design. Each is an elegant 6 column spread with plenty of room for daily tasks an ample space for other information.

Variant 1: by kerrystudies on tumblr

Variant 2: by northernplanner on instagram

Variant 3: by u/ghostsco on reddit

Do you have other ideas for a weekly log? Comment here and be sure to subscribe!

DIY Add a paper pocket to your journal

Got a plain old notebook? There are plenty of options out there and you may not find one with all the features you like. But journalers are already familiar with customizing their journals and we tend to like that. Here's a super easy DIY option for a pocket.

Not everyone needs a pocket in their journal. If you want a pocket but don't have one, here is a very simple method using one Legal or A4 size sheet of paper and double-sided tape. (Affiliate links included.)

The Universal Journals are printed by Any print on demand service will be limited compared to a traditional printer. As capable as is (with quick turn around, worldwide availability, lots of product options for customers, and more), there are lots of things journalers might want in their Universal Journal that Lulu just can't do. At least not at this time. But this also makes for ideal customization. Make it your own.

Got any other ideas for adding a pocket to a book? Comment here. Be sure to su…