Book Review: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll


I will start by saying that I have been wanting to read this book ever since I laid eyes on it on the Barnes & Noble New Releases table. I am a notebook nerd and an avid collector of journals that I write nothing in because I fear the permanency of what gets written. I know it is weird to say [and possibly an even weirder act], but my collection contains neither bullet nor Leuchtturm1917 branded journals. ADD SENTENCE HERE.

The Bullet Journal Method falls into the self-help category as it flows through the methodology by providing user anecdotes, famous quotations for inspiration, and advice that makes the readers stop and consider how the method could improve their lives. The text is chock-full of exemplars of the methodology with repeated examples and thorough explanations in an easy-to-follow guide.

There are many surprises in this book for newbies of The Bullet Journal Method (which the author lovingly calls the BuJo method for short):

The first is that the BuJo method does not require you to purchase any specific product from their product line in order to journal. So many of the self-help/time management methods refer to further products in a "you really need this" fashion, but the BuJo method seems primarily concerned with the method itself without needing to sell you an additional product in order for the system to work.

Second, the BuJo method is unique and easily personalized. However, Ryder (a writer I feel wouldn't mind a first-name reference) is quick to remind readers that learning and using the base structure is important before moving on to the more complicated personalizations. I love the illustrations provided from real users throughout the book and the anecdotal stories of BuJo success that make the reader consider the greater implications of the methodology.

The last surprise (mentioned in this post) is the use of inspirational quotations and quick to reference page-breaks to weave the BuJo method together. Readers are submerged head-first into the methodology as Ryder [successfully] attempts to inspire readers as much as teach his technique. Partnering his own words with quotations from famous literary and historical figures makes this an inspirational read that will inevitably leave a lasting impression on its reader.

Here are some of my favorite words from the author:

  • "To be useful, you must become useful, especially to yourself. You can't improve the world around you if you can't improve the world within. Choose your friends wisely, and be a friend to yourself" (126).

  • "Reflection is the nursery of intentionality. It grants us the protected mental environment we need to reclaim some much-needed perspective and begin to ask why" (133).

  • "The big misconception is that the alternative to perfection is failure. Mercifully, life isn't binary; it exists on a spectrum. On one side, we have the unattainable: perfection. On the opposite side, we find the unavoidable: chaos. All of the beauty that exists in the world hangs in the balance" (224).

I absolutely loved reading The Bullet Journal Method and feel that it is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve productivity and organization. However, as many individuals have asserted in other reviews, a YouTube video may be more productive if you are only interested in the format rather than the method. I found this book to be a good blend of both. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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