What is a Bullet Journal?

This is a much talked about subject. Making a Bullet Journal is kind of a hype at the moment but it has been around for quite some time. I want to give you a little inside information on what a Bullet Journal is and can be for you. Must say – there are so much different ways to use a Bullet Journal that I can’t tell you everything in this one blogpost. I will focus on where it came from, what the initial purpose of it was and show you a few different ways to shape it.

The concept Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll. He made a system that includes a future log, a monthly and a daily section. It is  self curated so you can determine what works for you. Carroll explains it is a system to declutter your mind, cultivate your curiosity and stay focused.

People nowadays suffer from decision fatigue. It is an actual thing. There are so many things to think about and make decisions about that we start feeling overwhelmed. In an attempt to make it better we start avoiding the decisions we have to make. This however doesn’t work and only leads to the feeling of losing control.

To take back control you first need to declutter your mind. Clean it, make it totally empty. You can do that by simply take a pen and paper and write everything down. You make a mental inventory, like a map.

You can separate your thoughts into two sections. Things you have to do and things you aspire to do. And while you think and write you subject everything to two questions:

  1. Is it vital?
  2. Does it matter?

If you answer is no to both questions you know it is a distraction and you can get rid of it, it no longer is useful.

To continue; you should feed your natural curiosity. Set small goals and project for yourself. Don’t make them to big. If they are to big changes are you won’t actually like it and will probably never want to do it again.

So, small projects. Take notice to the three “rules”:

  1. No barriers to entry (you should not have to do anything to be able to start your project)
  2. Make a clearly defined list of tasks/actions you need to do to complete your project 
  3. It should take less than a month to completion (if you need longer, just divide your project into smaller pieces)

It doesn’t have to be part of some big goal, it can be a self-contained micro-goal. Just take the time to investigate what you like and want out of life. 

It is important to keep your mental inventory, your map, updated. So write in it regularly. Carroll’s advise is to write daily. It has to keep you on the right course. Is you don’t update your map it will become outdated and distractions will be able to come back into your life. If you update daily it will become a habit and one that has the ability to shape your life.

When I first was introduced to the Bullet Journal, I watched to introduction video on the official website of Bullet Journal. It made complete sense to me to declutter my mind and put everything in one place. Ever since I was a young girl I loved writing things down (since internet was not yet available I wrote down all the lyrics to the songs I loved – hundreds of them). So a Bullet Journal fitted in with my passion of writing and provided the system I needed. You could say I fell in love.

Of course the system developed immensely over the last years. People created their own idea of what a Bullet Journal could/should be. And that is the beauty of this system. It can be anything you want. You can keep it simple, styled.

Weekly log simple

Weekly spread found in Pinterest.

Put a little bit more into it.

Weekly log decorated

Weekly spread found on Pinterest.

Or you can make a true work of art.

Weekly log pretty

Weekly spread from Terji studies.

My Bullet Journal is somewhere in between. I do like to make it pretty but my main focus is on the functionality of a page. My weekly spread from this week is really simple but I put some of my creativity in the band (made with Ecoline Brush pens). 

Weekly log march 2

In my Bullet Journal I make lists, montly and weekly logs with a small daily log. I track some of my habits and reflect on what I would like to do and have been doing. It is a way to evaluate my day and keep myself on the right track. All I need is my Bullet Journal and a black pen and then I will be perfectly happy!


“You are responsible for creating the moments of joy in your life. Take credit for being there.” – Ryder Carroll

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