The Bullet Journal Method | Book Summary and Golden Lines

Explore how The Bullet Journal Method can improve organization and pave the way for personal development.

The Bullet Journal Method | Book Summary and Golden Lines
Photo by Estée Janssens / Unsplash
HTML Editor - Full Version

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links are marked with an asterisk (*). Thank You! Read more here.

The Book In Three Sentences

  • A bullet journal helps you document, organize, and direct life.
  • No two Bullet Journals are the same.
  • Taking time to embrace analog reflection is meditative in that it helps you  

Golden Lines (description and free resource) - These are some of my favorite lines from the book along with my reaction.

I love the look of Bullet Journals*. The images that you find online are beautiful and creative. I never thought they were for me. I'm not sure why I ended up purchasing this book for Kindle, but I'm glad I did. As a result, I was able to incorporate some of the ideas into my planning system, and it worked out well.

The Bullet Journal method will help you accomplish more by working on less. It helps you identify and focus on what is meaningful by stripping away what is meaningless.

There are too many organizational apps. It's almost paralyzing. At the heart of Bullet Journaling there is a "less is more" philosophy. The organizational system that works the best is the one that consistently gets used.

Let’s step back. Every year between 1950 and 2000, Americans increased their productivity about 1 to 4 percent.1 Since 2005, however, this growth has slowed in advanced economies, with a productivity decrease recorded in the United States in 2016.2 Maybe our rapidly evolving technology that promises us near-limitless options to keep us busy is not, in fact, making us more productive?

I'm an expert at using technology to entertain myself.  Technology offers many pathways to creativity. I'm not so great at harnessing it's power for organization and planning. Technology is advancing faster than our ability to truly understand it. The next flashy thing isn't always the best thing.

The Bullet Journal will help you declutter your packed mind so you can finally examine your thoughts from an objective distance.

The "magic" of Bullet Journaling is that is can quiet your mind and open up space to reflection and thoughtful planning.

If the journey is the destination, then we must learn how to become better travelers. To become better travelers, we must first learn to orient ourselves. Where are you now? Do you want to be here? If not, why do you want to move on?

It's one thing to right down due dates and to do lists. Those things keep me functional and employed. The aspect of Bullet Journaling that appeals to me the most the is the focus on solitude and reflection. We are always moving at such a fast pace that we forget to make time to pause and be reflective.  

Mindfulness is the process of waking up to see what’s right in front of us. It helps you become more aware of where you are, who you are, and what you want. This is where BuJo comes into play. The act of writing by hand draws our mind into the present moment on a neurological level, unlike any other capturing mechanism.

This is also why I am a fan of Interactive Notebooks. The brain lights up when pen is on the paper. This is also a reason I like using my Apple Pencil. Sometimes it feels like I'm using the best from both worlds.

When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

I only started keeping a legitimate journal this year. I use Day One. It's digital, but I take snapshots of my written work and attach them. I like having the searchable archive. This book makes a great case for keeping a record of life, organized and curated on your own terms. I enjoyed compiling my list of Good Stuff this year as I looked back on my journal entries. This is a practice I will continue.  

Being busy, however, is not the same thing as being productive.

It's easy to get caught up in being busy with things that don't produce the desired outcomes. As a teacher, there's more to do than I can get done on any given day. I want to create days where my time was well spent and where I can sleep well at night.

Sitting down with your notebook grants you that precious luxury. It provides a personal space, free from distraction, where you can get to know yourself better. This is one of the main reasons we use a notebook to Bullet Journal: It forces us to go offline.

I've started setting aside time on the weekend for a review - usually Sunday. This is where I look back on my personal and professional life and make a plan going forward.

Your Bullet Journal can be your to-do list, journal, planner, sketchbook, or all of the above, all in one place. This flexibility stems from its modular structure.

One of the most appealing parts of this organization system is that it is personalized. As I said earlier, no to Bullet Journals look the same.

To dare in life is to make yourself vulnerable to the possibility of failure. Most of us don’t welcome failure. So instead we avoid taking risks.

Good things happen when we step out of our comfort zone. Often times, the risks you take (when measured) end up becoming the best stories.

We have a tendency to blow our problems way out of proportion. No matter how bad a problem really is, chances are we’re making it much worse in our minds. It can feel all-consuming, making us believe we’re powerless, and helpless, but that’s never true. No matter how bleak or menacing a situation may appear, it does not entirely own us. It can’t take away our freedom to respond, our power to take action.

The only things we have absolute control over are our actions, what we do, and how we react to life events. Sometimes this is a hard truth to swallow. We can react better with practice.  

In Japan, there is the term wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi posits that the beauty of an object is found in its imperfection.

I just love the sound of this word. Perfection is not attainable, nor should it be a goal. Without flaws there could be no true appreciation of beauty. Here's a little more on Wabi-Sabi.

Mastery replaces the notion of perfection with aspiring to better ourselves through dedication and practice. When it comes to skill, there can be no fixed point. Even the greatest masters remain avid students.

Mastery is a goal to get behind. Simply put, can you better better tomorrow at something than you were today? Can you identify the actions necessary to make this improvement possible, and can you track your progress? That's what a solid organizational system should put in a position to address.

I haven't applied all of the Bullet Journal (BuJo) strategies into my system, but I did take some of the parts and incorporated them into my lesson planning and reflection at school. I've been the most organized I've ever been this year and I attribute that to having read this book.

The Bullet Journal Method

Explore how The Bullet Journal Method can improve organization and pave the way for personal development.

Purchase on Amazon

❤ Enjoy this post? Forward to a friend and let them know where they can subscribe (hint: it’s here). Send comments or just say "Hi" on Twitter - @jeremyajorg. If you haven't checked out the subscriber resources take a look here 👀. Why Edify is a reader-supported publication. You can show your support by sharing this article, buying me a cup of ☕, or shopping for some of my favorite gear 🙏.