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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.

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.

minimalist future log workflow bullet journal system

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. The further out an item may be, the deeper it's starting place in my system. The most distant items begin in the Future Log. It's very much like the minimalist Ryder Carroll approach, except mine includes a weekly log. Here's the breakdown of the steps a task or event might take:

  • Future Log
  • Monthly Log
  • Weekly Log
  • Daily Log

Future Log

In an earlier post you can see details of the minimalist variant on the Alistair method of future log. Anything further out than the current month gets placed here.

Monthly Log

Since most tasks or events I deal with crop up during the month, these don't take up space in the future log spread at the beginning of my journal. At the end of the month I peruse the future log and transfer any tasks/events that apply. During the month I'll use the monthly log as a short term future log. Check out my minimalist monthly log with 2 trackers.

monthly log minimalist

In this minimalist monthly spread (above) I've got a calendar on the left page with short hand notes of events. In the right page I've expanded the short hand notes with all relevant details (some of it blurred out of this image) and I included a calendar thumbnail printout (which you can download for free) and the month's tasks.

Weekly Log

Next, during the week, some things crop up that were not previously recorded in the monthly log. I recently added the weekly log to my system mainly because I needed a designated place for budgeting. See this post on a weekly spread designed for a weekly future log plus financial tracking.

Here is a single page version of a weekly log. Since most day-to-day items are recorded in the daily logs, the weekly doesn't have to maintain much.

daily and weekly log minimalism

Daily Log

As you see in the above image, the daily logs track all the stuff I need to handle now. My two column daily logs are described in detail here. I set up each daily log the night before as part of the reflection aspect of bullet journaling Ryder Carroll recommends.

So there you have it. Three modules (future, monthly, and weekly logs) serve as a future log workflow. The daily logs are the destination. The future log is basically reviewed once a month, the monthly log several times during the month, and the weekly log is basically a short guide to the dailies, along with financial info. I may expand the weeklies back to a two page spread and put more detail in the budgeting aspect of the system.

How does your workflow work for your journal? Please commend here and be sure to subscribe!


  1. Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this website wants way more consideration. I’ll most likely be once more to learn far more, thanks for that info. bovada casino

  2. Oh this is grand! I also think of my monthly as a mini future log though I hadn't thought to consider the weekly the same way. I've recently set aside weeklies but may restart them with the budgeting aspect. Thank you.


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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…