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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.

Why write on paper in a digital age?

There are many obvious benefits to keeping a bullet journal. But why keep a pen and paper journal in this digital age? This post will focus mainly on the advantages of the old school approach.

why journal on paper in our digital age.jpg

Let's look at a few disadvantages first.

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When your paper journal is filled up you have to get a new one. Then again, it's common practice to replace digital devices as well. These devices are often acquired with a multi-year contract and you pay for it over the term. But sometimes, such as with tablets, you just have buy it. At least the data transfer from one device to a new one is easy, sometimes

It should be mentioned one advantage of having to manually transfer information is the culling evaluation. Maybe you really don't need to transfer something, and the effort of manually rewriting information makes you take a more deliberate look at the information. Plus, doing so reinforces your awareness of your specific information whereas you would likely miss this experience with an easy digital transfer. I can tell you I've found forgotten treasures going through my old journals to see what I wanted to copy to a new journal.


If you lose your journal or it's stolen, obviously that's a problem. You've lost a lot of information you needed, though some people say the simple act of writing stuff on paper helped them retain a lot more of it than in keeping a digital record. There is also the fact that whoever finds your journal will have access your information.

But losing a digital journal has it's own pitfalls. For instance, if you lose your device someone can hack into your profile and ALL your data it accessed is compromised. And that doesn't even address the issue that The Matrix is watching, which is true regardless of where your digital device happens to be. As long as you don't lose it and keep it with you, the paper journal is arguably a very secure method of maintaining your information.

what is the matrix

Digital Detox

You didn't know you could survive unplugging from technology for a few hours? Sounds like a problem. There is a lot of talk out there about taking a digital detox. The very idea can be uncomfortable, I know. Even scary. But what have you got to lose by just taking a look?

Now a positive perspective.

Why you should journal on paper

Matthew Kent at offers an article where he discusses several reasons in favor of writing in a paper journal. Matthew touches on matters of how the mind works with journaling and much more. He also includes a video where he shows a detailed look into his own bullet journal. Check it out.

Why do you write in a paper journal? Comment here and be sure to subscribe!


  1. I've kept a paper journal since 2000. Much of it is useless garbage , a venting hole.

    I wonder if the resistance to keeping paper journals is the voice of those who cannot cursive?

    There was a time when I filled a spiral notebook each month. Now I fill two each year.

    And I alway write with a #2 pencil. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe I like to know I can change it.

  2. For years I found I wanted to write in a journal but never got around to it except for once in a while trying a personal organizer or something like it. It was always too limiting for me. The bullet journal showed the most customizable approach I've ever seen to organizing one's life.

    But, like many things, I realized it had to be fun if I was going to keep doing this. I got a pen I liked ( and a dotted journal just because I like it better than a standard ruled notebook. I even designed some (see the Products link in the menu).

    The experimentation with the bullet journal is also fun. Plus I feel less like life will end if the electricity goes out because, hey, I can still use my bullet journal.


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Variant 1: by kerrystudies on tumblr

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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…