Skip to main content

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-Streamlined Efficient workflow Decluttering your Journal Streamlined Color Coding Printables Thanks for visiting Universal Journal. Got any minimalist ideas you'd like to share with the rest of us? Please comment here.

Review: Hustler's Classic Notebook

For so many of us the search for the "perfect" bullet journal is a never ending endeavor. The Hustler's Classic Notebook offers a very good hardcover dotted notebook currently rated at 4.5 stars over at I've been using one since September 2020 and this is my take on it.

Product review: Hustler's Classic Notebook

(this post includes affiliate links)

First, some details. On Amazon the title of this journal mentions:
  • Thick Dotted Journal
  • A5 Hardcover
  • Premium 120 GSM Ink-Proof Paper
  • 5mm Dot Grid
  • Numbered Pages
  • Pen Holder
  • Pocket and Ruler
I would add the following details:
  • 160 off-white pages
  • built-in ribbon


The pages are thick enough to handle my normal use. I don't typically use markers of any kind, only ball point pen and pencil and I have a fairly light touch. With the Hustler's Classic I don't see any bleed through with ballpoint pens or pencil.

But I did use gel pens and highlighters for testing just for this post. Here is a comparison of the page where I marked for testing, and the reverse side of that same page to show minimal bleed through. The black word (TESTING) was written with a Sharpie pen, so of course it bleeds through a bit.

Hustler's Classic Notebook

On the back of that page you can see a slight bleed from the highlighters and the gel pans, and a more conspicuous bleed from the Sharpie.

Hustler's Classic Notebook


The cover is nice and durable. I haven't had any problems over these six months. I plan to try different journals just for experimentation but I hope the next journal has a cover as sturdy as this one.

Dot grid

The 5mm grid is a nice size, not too small. I wouldn't mind a slightly larger grid but this size is perfectly adequate for my needs.

Pen holder

The pen loop on the spine is in a convenient position. It's a natural place to keep the pen without getting in the way so I don't need anything extra to store writing implements. I'm a minimalist and my pen is the Evolt 2+1 so I get 3 pens in one device.

One thing I would caution you on is opening the notebook with anything in the pen loop. I think I stretched the spine a bit too much when I did that so I make sure to remove the pen before opening the journal now. That's my fault. Misusing anything can cause it to perform at less than optimum.


The pocket is large and durable and the included straight edge is a nice touch. I try not to use straight edges in the Universal Journal ultra-streamlined style but for those who might want to use a ruler this is a good addition.

The description on Amazon includes something about laying flat. This notebook does lay out flat (enough) for me but it would nice if it laid perfectly flat. It could be the damage I did (mentioned above with the pen holder) prevents it from laying flatter.

Over all

Over all I think this is a well made notebook. In fact this may become the standard by which I compare all other journals I try in the future. I'm not really picky with journals since the ultra-streamlined style doesn't require much to work with. It will definitely make onto my favorites list. You can find the Hustler's Classic Notebook at


Popular posts from this blog

Bullet Journal for the Hard Working Educator

NOTE: the original page linked to from this post disappeared so I've relinked it to the wayback machine at Some of you bullet journalers are teachers. That's a lot on your plate. We home school at our house. I help out when the children are struggling with certain things, but mostly my lovely wife handles the curriculum. She's got a ton of stuff to manage. I'm trying to pique her interest in the Bullet Journal method and I think building an amazing example of a teacher's bullet journal may do the trick. So I've been looking for bullet journal ideas related to schooling. For example, on her blog, Jessica Chung has a post describing  16 layouts for educators . Check out this Class Semester for Teachers inspired by Jessica's post. Jessica includes goals, a monthly/weekly outlook, a semester chart, course overview, assignment map, and much more in her journal. She also provides several photos with the explanations. There are some minor

Bullet Journal for Teachers: Class Semester

A previous post ( Bullet Journal for the hard working educator ) linked to a now dead page. I've updated the post so it links to the version of a page on 16 layouts for teachers. Here is an ultra-streamlined take on one layout idea from that page, a class semester for the teacher. (affiliate links included in this post) As with the Universal Journal approach (minimal set up time) I've tried to incorporate placement, iconography, and colors to communicate as much information as possible with as little effort as possible. The following description and included photos show a completely hypothetical semester, simply for illustration of the concepts. Layout The basic layout in the photo above places the semester weeks at the top of the spread. The class assignments, labs, exams, etc. are listed in the left column. So each item has its own row for any pertinent information. The weeks are bit busy so let me unpack all that. The week number of the semester is listed on

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!