Dodging a bullet

by Stuart Lennon

I have been here before.

I tried bullet journaling 18 months ago. I found that most of it did not stick. That said, I took elements of the system into my own personalised methodology. 

Prompted by the release of The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (RC), I decided to try again. I’ll record my experiences here on the blog.

Why try again? 


Adulting is hard. There are multiple demands on my time and despite my best efforts, I struggle to keep on top of everything. Could #Bujo help me? Had I missed something first time around?


I spoke to Clare about my intention and asked her to bring me a Bullet Journal. (She and her family recently came to visit the warm weather quarters.) She arrived with a LT1917 A5 in Copper. Not only was it not a Bullet Journal, it had plain pages. Foiled at the first hurdle.

I had started reading “The Bullet Journaling Method”. RC is very clear that to start, all that is required a notebook, a pen and a piece of paper. The secret is in the process, not in the hardware.

I was the productivity geurrilla. Plain paper, a black rollerball and intention. (Sorry, I’m not convinced by the word “intentionality”.)

The rollerball is a Brand’s Hall from Field Notes. 

First Steps

The LT has a couple of index pages and page numbers pre-printed. There’s nothing wrong with numbering pages by hand, but honestly, I have better things to do.

“Please return page”

I started with an index, a future log, a monthly log and daily log. The core ‘collections’. Then I have added one or two more.

Index Page

The journal will serve as my daily driver and will travel with me. I maintain my pocket notebook as an extension of the BuJo when I am out and about.

Building in some custom collections will allow me to keep working in one book rather than maintaining too many. This is more efficient, and somehow easier. I get through the book faster (keeps momentum going) and archiving is much more straightforward.

Daily Log

The first daily log is more of a to-do list than I would like. This is a  continuation of my previous system. Also, I am very much in a state of ‘overwhelm’ at the moment and things are tumbling out of my head.

This is where intention comes in and what didn’t stick last time. A key element of the method is taking some time at the beginning and end of each day. Tonight, I will review my day and my daily log. I’ll consider all the bullets, and either mark them complete, strike them out or migrate them. I’ll take a minute to consider what went well, what didn’t, what I can learn from the day and what I enjoyed. Perhaps, I’ll jot a note or two.  

I have just taken a note to reread a couple of sections of the book.

I'll report back in a week or two.

Meanwhile, any journalers out there, leave a tip in the comments or on social media. I'd love to hear them.