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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
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Analog Plus Digital Planning

With all the capabilities of the Bullet Journal method, one thing the analog notebook just doesn't do is sound an alarm. Sometimes there is nothing like a time sensitive reminder.

Analog Plus Digital Planning Life on Paper and Technology

As with anything Bullet Journal related, you'll have to find what works best for you. But with an ultra-streamlined style, the goal is to use the tools at your disposal with minimal effort to set up and to use.

The most basic approach would avoid duplicating work where you can. In this case, calendar reminders might accomplish all you need. If you have a cell phone or digital watch you already have this capability without having to sign up for another service.

You can include any details you want in your reminder, such as location and anyone involved, but the timed alert with it's title would be the minimum. Ideally, your journal contains all relevant information of the appointment so you shouldn't have to duplicate that information on the alarm.

For single instance appointments, this method works just fine. But it's great for repeating events as well. After the repeating event, just update it to the next occurrence so you don't have to set numerous events in advance. That way you have reflection built in to your routine, and reflection is an important part of the bullet journal method. Updating your alarm each time is especially useful if you have any pre-emptive reminders set up on the calendar event, since you don't have to do that all over again. The alarm and its reminders can be invaluable when you have a lot going on.

Another thing the analog journal doesn't do is calculate. Financially, I keep most of my information in a digital spreadsheet. I have software to handle most things with my budget so there is very little of it in my bullet journal. Easy peasy.

How to you balance technology with your paper notebook? Comment here and be sure to subscribe!

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Minimalist Bullet Journal Future Log Workflow

So you've spent some time building your bullet journal layouts and getting yourself organized. But it's just not quite working like you want it to. What's going on here? As is often the case, the what to do is only part of the question. How to do it is another. This is the first in a series of an amalgam between design and technique. Let's take a look at future log workflow.


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 Lulu.com Any print on demand service will be limited compared to a traditional printer. As capable as Lulu.com 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…