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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 Follow Up Methods for Bullet Journal

We've all been there. Something is initiated, you have to contribute to it in some way, and then you have to wait. Maybe you have to wait for some information, or for something to be delivered, or for an event to take place, etc. You can't finish what you're working on until someone else does something. This where following up could significantly improve your situation - if you remembered to follow up in the first place. Let me offer some ideas on that.

minimalist follow up methods for bullet journal

I use two methods to help me remember to follow up. Which method to be used depends on whether I'm working on a project with a deadline or if it's something else. One of the benefits of trying to keep things minimal is certain concepts can be used for multiple purposes. Here are two ideas already discussed on this blog.

Following up: for projects with deadlines

On a project with a deadline, stuff has to be done by a certain date and you've got skin in the game. For this sort of follow up I typically use a free printable I created called Notemarks, the note bookmarks. I use a half sheet folded in half again for a weekly bookmark. On the back of this notemark I use floating notes for follow up reminders, an idea I've found to be quite useful. Here are some other ideas for using notemarks.

Each week, I review the sticky notes for people I need to contact and set this up on my weekly schedule (see this bullet journal workflow). This way all follow up items are addressed on a regular basis, it's written down, and I don't have to take up brain space fretting about whether I forgot something.

Following up: for non-projects

For anything other than a project, I don't normally have to do anything. This could be because someone else has to do something or maybe nothing in particular needs to be done. Things falling in this category could be:
  • ordered/delivered items (great for online shopping)
  • borrowed/lent items (library, friends, neighbors)
  • you need to remind others of an event
  • someone made a commitment to you that does not have immediate effect
For stuff like this I reuse my minimalist layout for a Borrowed/lent list written about in an earlier post. It's a quick and easy-to-maintain layout that can be adapted for any number of purposes.

Click the links above for a closer look at these ideas. Got any other ideas for reusing the borrowed/lent layout? Or to help people remember to follow up? Let us know in the comments.

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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…