The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
Mindful reflection, leading to productivity
and increased energy
Dreaming’s OK, but dreaming as well as doing is better.
Receiving regular emails from retail outlets is sometimes a bit of a nuisance, however, I welcome Amazon’s regular emails about eBooks because they inform me about discounts and new releases. Recently a book titled The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll was listed in their email, I’ve no idea why a book about journal writing tweaked my interest, but I’m glad it did.
I soon learned, via Google, that bullet journals are a popular journalling conduit, and they don’t all follow Ryder Carroll’s method, however, after viewing his videos demonstrating his way of doing things, I suspected that his specific “Bullet Journal Method” would be the very thing that would work for me; and it has.
Until I saw Ryder Carroll’s book listed on Amazon, the idea of bullet journaling was unknown to me, but after I’d read the book’s description I understood immediately what it meant, because it reminded me of “Committee Action Minutes”, often used at brain storming meetings in the workplace. (Action Minutes, unlike the usual Minutes, record only items that require action and are short, and bullet pointed.)
Within Carroll Ryder’s book, which is on my List of Betterment, he walks you through a how-to and why, and then explains the philosophy behind his Method. It’s all based on mindfulness, reflection, and productivity. I believe it’s necessary to read the book, before you dive into the practical side of creating your Journal. It’s the philosophy behind Mr Carroll’s method that will make all the difference to the way you approach your journalling. For me, it woke up my brain.
Years ago, I was encouraged to use a motivational tool called “Morning Pages“. This tool is explained by Julia Cameron in her wonderful book “The Artist’s Way“. The “Morning Pages Tool” is an important daily writing exercise which would require me to write a dedicated blog post, so I will not try to explain the exercise here in this article; just believe me when I say that writing a journal of any type generates creative energy for many people. Unfortunately Morning Pages didn’t work for me because they didn’t have a structure, and many mornings I just couldn’t think of what to say. However, they gave me an understanding that free-writing brings submerged creative energy to the surface.
AND NOW … The Bullet Journal Method, developed my Ryder Carroll, has come along. AND … it works for me.
The Bullet Journal Method, is based on the mindful activity of reflecting on what you did today and what you’ll do tomorrow. It’s a place where you record your ideas, plan your projects, and so much more. You can tag your achievements, your events, and your priorities. By using page numbering and indexing the end result is that you can easily find everything.
As a “retired” person, my days no longer have the structure of the working day. I can do as I please. I don’t have to have a routine, but without a routine, particularly if you want be creative and productive, the days just flow by without any clear direction. For some, the idea of drifting through their days would be heaven, but for me I’d like to be a bit more active, and I’m not talking about exercise nor domestic duties, I’m talking about being more active with one’s interests. One of my interests is reading, and I read a lot, but that’s easy to do. Easy to sit in a chair, pick up a book from the reading stand, open it and idle away a few hours. Lovely. Yes I love it, but … there are other things I want to do, and one is: I want to write.
I have difficulty motivating myself to put pen to paper … motivating myself to write to friends … motivating myself to do much else other that read and go out for coffee during the day, and then enjoy the evening in a nice restaurant with Mr Artuccino. Yes, I’m very lucky, and I continually express my gratitude to the heavens.
I write every day, but in my mind, not on paper. Very little of what I think I’d like to write sees the light of day. It is so much easier to sit and read than actually pursue the craft-of-writing. I do more dreaming than doing. This is why I needed something to add a bit of structure to my day, and it arrived in the form of The Bullet Journal Method.
While trawling YouTube, I discovered very quickly that many people talk about Bullet Journals. Some of the journals demonstrated are visually beautiful, which could be enough to turn you off the Bullet Journal idea completely. Ryder Carroll’s Method doesn’t really have any “bells and whistles”. It is purely and simply a hand written notebook, with page numbers. It’s a quick way of jotting down things without them disappearing into a fog.
My Bullet Journal is having a positive impact on my creative productivity; if you write one, you may find yourself doing as well as dreaming, instead of just dreaming. It’s strange how writing down your thoughts, things to do, events, and reflecting on where you’ve been and where you’re going, on a daily basis, has such a profound impact. I’ve been writing up my Bullet Journal every day for two months, and I am amazed at the positive affect it has had on my productivity; a new vibrant energy has surfaced.