The Quad

Bullet journaling: the analog system for the digital age

Erin McFeeters, Staff Writer/Photographer

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Fed up with technology and the countless planner apps? Have you missed assignments because your phone reminder never went off? Do you get distracted by social media notifications when checking your digital to do list?

What if I could tell you there’s an analog system out there that’s adaptable to what you personally need?

The Bullet Journal, also known as Bujo, creative journal, task journal, productivity journal and so on and so forth is a productivity system created by a digital product designer from Brooklyn, Ryder Carroll. Bulletjournal.com describes it as “ . . . a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do lists, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you do more with less.”

The original Bullet Journal system consists of a few different elements in order to be the most productive:

1.) Future logging, items and events that are scheduled and known about months in advance such as dentist appointments, vacations and birthdays.

2.) Monthly logging, consisting of a simple horizontal calendar (designed by you) and tasks that have to be done that month such as paying rent, exams and papers.

3.) Daily logging, for use each day for quick logging of assignments and other tasks.

4.) Lastly, migration, the process of moving undone tasks to the next month or the next day. With this process you can wean out what is important and what can be eliminated.

To get started all you need is a notebook and a pen. Easy enough, right?

“Before you start a journal, ask yourself what you want from the practice. If your intent is to create a place strictly for planning, you can probably skip any creative elements like doodles and fancy headers. Minimalists tend to be attracted to the Bullet Journal brand in its purest form,” said Megan Rutell, creator of pageflutter.com and author of Beyond Bullets. “On the other hand, artists and creative thinkers might be drawn to a planning style that combines art journaling, planning and self-reflection into a single notebook. Always keep your purpose in mind,” she added.

Since the launch of the system, there has been an increasing surge in blogs dedicated to their productivity journaling. Tinyrayofsunshine.com, pageflutter.com, ourjourneyinjournals.com, littlecoffeefox.com and bohoberry.com are just a few that help explore the adaptability of the system. Looking at each of the blogs, you’ll see how they take the original Bullet Journal system and make it their own.

“The biggest advantages this system has over any other are that it’s physical and flexible. Unlike my computer, I don’t have Apple dictating how I can use my journal. It’s mine. I make the rules, and I can program every inch of it. I can keep it forever, there are no software interfaces to learn, no updates to download and my notebook won’t ding at me every time I get an email,” said Rutell. “It’s a peaceful place where I can think. Who could ask for more?”

For more information on the Bullet Journal system visit bulletjournal.com or visit any of the blogs mentioned above.

Erin McFeeters is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. ✉️ [email protected].

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Bullet journaling: the analog system for the digital age