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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.

Quick, Easy, and Streamlined Color Coding

What's one of the easiest ways to separate your bullet journal into the different hats you wear in life? Color.

easy streamlined single pen color coding bullet journal

In my journal, three colors are used to manage the three main spheres of my life: work, side business/hobby, and everything else. But with the ultra-streamlined style, I'd rather use only one implement.

The pen I use, the Evolt 2+1, is a sleek 3-color pen produced by Pilot with an easy twist mechanism. As far as Pilot pens go it's cheap, but it does the job I need it to perfectly well so I don't mind recommending it in an affiliate link. It has two ink slots and one mechanical pencil. You can get any number of pen or ink colors. This 3 color scheme can be used several ways in your bullet journal.


For monthly spreads, daily logs, and just about anything to do with the calendar, I use red for work stuff, pencil for side business/hobby, and black for everything else. I use the same icon key in all three spheres, but the color difference lets me easily see which sphere of my life an item pertains to.


With the habit tracker I use a different scheme. The tracker is set up in black ink, while the data is mainly recorded in red. (See the Dutch Door monthly spread.)

I create a separate wellness tracker which uses a different color scheme. There, I track sleep in black, water consumption in pencil, and headache and other data in red. Check out the 8 counter icon I use for hydration.

With only one implement, one pen loop will do just fine. I can quickly switch between colors when needed and I don't have to keep up with multiple pens. Since my journal is the pen's home, the two are always together.

If you want to try the Evolt 2+1, you'll probably need refills. Here are some more affiliate links.
What do you use to distinguish different dimensions of your life in your bullet journal? Comment here 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 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…