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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.

Plan with me: July 2018 ultra-streamlined

The July 2018 version of my minimalist monthly spread for the bullet journal method. The layout combines a weekly log with monthly log and includes a Dutch door variant, as well as two trackers.

bullet journal plan with me minimalist ultra-streamlined

I wanted to write out the dates of the month only once since the Universal Journal style seeks to avoid repetitious writing. In this set up, the Dutch door provides the space to prepare two separate trackers (habit and wellness) which share the same dates column with the calendar page. The result is a sleek 3-in-1 integration. Check out this simple 8 counter sytem I created for hydration tracking on the wellness tracker.

With the dates column down the center of the page, the calendar could serve as a normal calendar or a combination monthly spread with weekly spread. It depends, of course, on how much space you need for either of these. I might still shift to using a separate weekly spread but I haven't need that as yet as my daily logs are doing well so far (which is a long standing debate in the bullet journal community).

The Dutch door interior is empty in this set up and can be used as you see fit (here's one idea). It isn't covered here in the video but you can see more on a 3 color approach I use in bullet journaling which helps me separate brain spaces in the monthly and daily logs.

This set up is very simple to do. In just 8 steps you can have a sophisticated monthly spread with minimal set up time and materials.
  1. Dutch Door
  2. Calendar Printout
  3. Dates: Center Column
  4. Weekends in Red
  5. Sectioned off Weeks
  6. Habit Tracker
  7. Wellness Tracker
  8. Tasks
Watch the video to see how it all works together.


Stuff used in this video (affiliate links):
Notebook: Universal Journal Slim
Pen: Evolt 2+1
(black refills, red refills)
Free calendar printout
Double-sided tape

Got any questions on this set up? Comment here and I'll be happy to answer. And please 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…