Bujo Update + Tips From the Inventor of the Bullet Journal!

Bujo Update + Tips From the Inventor of the Bullet Journal!


Hello Brains! It’s been a year since I made this video about the bullet journal and a lot of you’ve been asking for an update so let’s do this. (intro music) I still use my Bujo, it’s still not fancy, and it’s also helped me in a lot of ways. I actually just finished writing an article about it, and why I love it, which will be out soon. I also ran into some trouble with it because, a) when I was waiting tables, it was really inconvenient to go digging through my backpack every time I thought of something I wanted to remember, and b) I still found myself needing a digital calendar to be able to sync up with other people’s schedules, and I wasn’t really sure how to use the bullet journal in combination with a digital system. And of course it’s one thing to write down the stuff you need to do, it’s another thing to work up the motivation to actually do it. So I thought, hmmm… I need a bullet journal expert. Who do I know? (ding) This is Ryder Carroll. He invented the bullet journal and he offered to come on the show and answer all of my bullet journal questions. Ryder also has ADHD, so first of all, #ADHDandSuccessful! Second, when you put two Brains together and they get excited they tend to talk. And talk. And talk. So much so that sometimes the sun goes down. So, the lighting changed. Sorry about that! Okay, let’s do this! Ryder Carroll, help me! First of all how did you come up with the bullet journal? (Ryder) The bullet journal is a response to the organizational challenges that I faced starting when I was a kid when I was diagnosed with ADD. Back then, there was like no internet and there were very few resources available to me, so I was kind of left to my own devices. I just had to figure out ways to get around my challenges And I did that by not accepting that I would always be the last in my class, or that I couldn’t do this, or that I couldn’t do that, the bullet journal is the result of just trying out many different things. I mean, what you see as the bullet journal today exists only at the very tail end of a million failures of things that didn’t work.
(Jessica) So it didn’t come out of your brain fully formed be kind of had to do trial and error and figure out what worked for you? (Ryder) I don’t remember the last thing that came out of my brain fully formed that really survived. You know what I mean? It evolved one challenge at a time. Like luckily I didn’t have to face all my challenges simultaneously in life. (Jessica)One of my biggest challenges with the bullet journal system is that I also do have to use a digital calendar. I have a Google Calendar. I’ve got a team I manage and so if I put something my bullet journal they don’t know that that’s happening, so how do you actually have an analog system in a digital world? (Ryder) Hmm, It’s a good question It’s actually something that people ask me about a lot, in my case what I do is I use bullet journaling predominantly, during the day at least, as a capturing mechanism. So I just offload things into my bullet journal really quickly, including dates. Then I will find a home for them. Like if I need to schedule something, I’ll write that down. And then how I schedule it will probably happen in the calendar because it relates to other people. You put it in your bullet journal as the first step. (Jessica) So do you still use the monthly log? (Ryder) So for me the monthly log is actually a way for me to log events after the fact. So on this day, I went to dinner with this person, on this day I completed this assignment, and then it gives me a bird’s-eye view of what happened that month. (Jessica) Yeah, no, I like that. Edward, and I just planned out December and before we did, I was like well let’s actually look at November, let’s look at what we intended to accomplish and what we actually accomplished and see if we can’t learn anything maybe where things went off the rails because they do, (Ryder) Sure, always.
(Jessica) probably for everybody, but especially if you’re perfectionist. We are both perfectionists in recovery. It’s really hard for things to stay in the time boxes that you allot for them. I don’t think that there’s ever been a month where I did everything that I intended to do. But I’m curious, having tweaked and honed your system, is there a month when you’ve done everything you planned to do? (Ryder) Never.
(Jessica) Are you are you better about accomplishing everything? No? (Ryder) Never.
(Jessica) That actually makes me feel better. (Ryder) No, it’s not about being perfect. It’s just about getting a little bit better all the time. I think getting in the habit and acknowledging the fact that any progress is progress is important. Acknowledging and celebrating the fact that you actually did some things. Start questioning why things happened. Why did I get this done? What little thing could I do better next time? Why did I not get this done? And it’s not judgement, it’s literally an objective questioning. And you’re like okay, because I took on too much, I can reduce that next time. You’re finding opportunities to improve.
(Jessica) Which is a lot more productive than just beating yourself up, right? (Ryder) Yeah, like I feel that people punish themselves as a way to become okay with the fact that they didn’t do some stuff. You know, like by feeling bad about this I’m making up for the things I didn’t do. I think we all have that but when the reality is like that doesn’t help anybody. Your actions are the only thing that matters. What will you do now that you know this? I think that’s what really matters. (Jessica) What do you do if you can’t find your bullet journal, or it’s in the next room, or it’s in the car, or it’s at your friend’s house, like do you have another system for capturing things besides your bullet journal? (Ryder) Well, that’s one of the reasons I developed the app. It sounds like a shameless plug, but this is the reason I decided to– (Jessica) No, wait, wait, hang on. There’s an app? (laughing) (Ryder) Yeah.
(Jessica) Guys there’s an app! Okay, no, I’m super excited about this. Tell me about the app. (Ryder) Yeah, so it’s called the Bullet Journal Companion, and it was designed as an extension of your notebook. It’s like for example if you don’t have your notebook with you, I wanted to be able to capture anything that, you know, my tasks, my events, keeping in mind that I wanted to just temporarily use the app. So what I did is I designed a mechanism where you can write things down in your app, and then they will go away within 48 hours, so they evaporate, essentially. So if it’s worthwhile, you’ll transfer it into your notebook, and if it’s not, then it’ll disappear. (Jessica) That’s so smart and so scary. That’s awesome. (Ryder) Another thing the app does is remind you to check in with your bullet journal. So you can set two alarms for your AM and PM reflection. You can do that for two different times on the weekend as well, for those who like to sleep in, but basically all it does is remind you to check in and shows you all the things that you’d written down in the app, reminding you of how much time you have left before they go away. (Jessica) That’s brilliant. Where can I– is that iOS and Android? (Ryder) Only iOS for now, Android, hopefully next year.
(Jessica) Cool, well, I have iOS. You’re out of luck Edward.
(Edward laughing) (Jessica) That’s really exciting. I’m downloading that like right now So, the bullet journal, I can see how it helps with remembering the things that we’re not super excited about. How do you find the motivation, personally, to do the things that you’re not thrilled about having to do? (Ryder) Couple tips that I have, put it first. Like if there’s something you don’t want to do just do it first thing in the morning. And that doesn’t mean the hardest thing, but it’s the most challenging thing. Like maybe it’s writing that email, or like doing your taxes, or whatever the thing is you really don’t want to do, I always try to do that first. And that helps a lot because by the time you’re done with it and like everything else that day is gonna be more fun. (Jessica) What was your other tip? You said you had another tip? (Ryder) A lot of times when you don’t want to do something, it’s because you think you can’t. Big challenges. They’re either emotionally challenging, or like practically challenging. I try to break down larger challenges into much smaller, actionable sprints. If I have to do this really big project, or I have to do this thing that I really don’t want to do, what can I do today? Just to start chipping away at this piece. And once you start seeing that these things can be tackled much more granularly, it seems much more doable, and it works for good things as well. Like writing down “plan vacation”, that’s too much. You know you’re never going to be able to do that. (Jessica) Yeah, I always, I always suggest that to people, like if it’s a big project break it down into steps. But there was something I really loved about what you just said, which is even if you’re not feeling up to breaking a project down into steps, like maybe you’re just in a place where you just don’t even want to look at it, just saying, okay, what part of this can I do? Because no matter what the project is, there’s something that my brain will answer back. Like well, I guess I can like open my laptop. I guess I can do that, right?
(Ryder) Right. (Jessica) Like, what part of it can I do? I love that. So in general the bullet journal just kind of helps you figure out you, really.
(Ryder) Yes. (Jessica) Like, figure out what works for you, and what doesn’t. It’s a really brilliant system. I’m so happy that you came and talked to us about it. Thank you so much. (Ryder) Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, I really appreciate being here. (Jessica) Ryder was really kind to answer all my questions, but I thought maybe you might have some of your own. So, I’m sure that my community, because so many of them do use the bullet journal, will have more questions. Would you possibly be willing to answer a few at some point? (Ryder) I would be delighted to, absolutely. (Jessica) Leave your #Bujo questions in the comments below, and maybe Ryder will answer one of yours! What else? I’m also working on a video on how to create and stick to habits just in time for the new year. And I want to send huge thanks to my Brain Advocates and all my Patreon Brains, because you all are the reason I got to check off “quit my day job” in my Bujo. (ding) If you haven’t yet, check out the Patreon feed. We’ve got goodies! See you next week. Bye, Brains! Question time! Hey, can you keep the merch store open till January 1st? I want to use my Christmas money to buy stuff! Actually, that’s a great idea! And, uh, we’ll even leave it open till January 2nd, just in case you forget. (outro music)

100 thoughts on “Bujo Update + Tips From the Inventor of the Bullet Journal!

  1. #Bujo how do you remember to write things down in your bujo and not forget to write what you need down the night before?

  2. My ADHD is on another level. I literally have 124 Chrome browser tabs open of videos I need to watch or articles which I need to read

  3. #bujo question : how do you keep motivated/think to use the bullet journal ?
    Is it a matter of building a habit ? Because it is hard like hell for me 🙁 I lost track of all other systems I tried so far :'(

  4. Hi! The app sounds so amazing and all, but I do not have an iphone, will there be an app for android soon?? I'm sure it'll be of a lot of help #bujo

  5. One thing I've learned this year regarding clutter piles I avoid dealing with is to tell myself, "this pile can be here another 24 hours or I can have it cleaned up in 20 minutes if I focus only on this one thing…" I went through Mari Kondo's Tidying books and my goal is to complete the task this winter!

  6. Hey does anyone have any day by day bujo layouts? Where its one day per entire page? i use a small notebook and I have big handwriting so 1 day per page layout would help me and my Bad Memory.

  7. I created a bujo when my favorite homeword diary was changed a lot and I hated it it afterwards. But it took me quite a long time to get it done when the second year of bujo back to school arrived. I needed like 3months to get it done while going to school writing tests and doung homework. Do you have tips for that? Not procrastinate doing the bujo or how to minimize andbstop perfectionism. I hat do write down 4schedules, A yearly overview for examens, then there is a list of grades I get so I have an overview and a list od teachers. I think that’s it. #bujo

  8. I feel like mine is fairly standard, but I get very creative with the aesthetics of it. I’ve noticed the more time and thought and creativity I put into it, the more likely I am to use it. Lately setting up a weekly spread has been a whole process of rulers, colored pencils, pens, markers, the works, and sometimes I’ll take in upwards of an hour to get ready for a new week or month. But putting that time in makes me feel like if I don’t use it, I’m putting all that cool stuff and all the work I did on it to waste, which has turned out to be a pretty good motivator. Plus, it’s a really good creative outlet.

  9. Love your videos cause I tend to hyper focus on the video or reading the comments. Always something interesting😁

  10. could not afford the bullet journal sadly so i use a windows customization that allows sticky notes all over my desktop ROFL

  11. Jessica, I discovered your YouTube channel last month and I've now been through most of your videos. I can' thank you enough for what you have done for me and others like us. By the way, I ordered my first bullet journal #bujo today. Looking forward to it.

  12. How do you not get overwhelmed by all the time it takes to write down all the dates / learning the symbols, etc.
    Ive tried three times now and writing all the dates and everything felt totally overwhelming.
    #bujo #overwhelmed #helpplease

  13. This bullet thing is very over welming for me.i feellike using a bullet journal is a new year resolution for2019 .lol..2018 resolution learning the bullet journal.i hope you guys keep talking about it for the year so i don't forget about it.lol

  14. #BUJO  HELP!  I have gone through the steps to get my BUJO created and I even used it for like three days…  Now when I look at it I always say to myself "I need to start using this again", but it has been months and it still sits on the shelf patiently waiting for me to start using it.I could use a tip or three on how to get myself into the habit of using the BUJO as I think it is a great tool, but never seem to remember to use it.Thanks,  and keep up the good work!

  15. I love my discbound planner and paper punch because of my flexibility of adding and removing pages easily (ya know, I change my mind….A LOT). Would a bullet journal flow well with this system or am I missing a very obvious reason why it wouldn't work? Thanks for helping out your fellow tribe members! 😊 #bujo

  16. I am going to have to look into this. I have 4 calendars, 3 kids, a full time job and we are almost all ADHD. We all need something, my oldest and myself especially.

  17. Just finished setting up my first ever bujo and I'm soooooooooo excited!! So far I haven't figured out what to put in the future log but I did do 5 monthly logs back to back because I got the syllabus for each of my classes today with all the homework and reading assignments mapped out for the semester. I decided to make myself weekly logs too in the same style as the monthly logs because a week is about all my brain can handle at once and I need to start assessing my homework weekly rather than daily. Now I finally have a place in my agenda designated for professor contact information rather than repurposing another section! random doodle pages here I come!

  18. I love the BUJO! But I am not an iPhone user so I can't get the companion. 🙁
    #bujo, will there ever be an Android version?

  19. Hey, can we get some videos for focusing to help with studying and tasks in terms of music that's research based!

  20. Really helpful video. Just soaking this all in for 2018. Got my medicine and Im ready to really tackle my adhd head on! I will be successful!

  21. Another information-filled video! Lots of quality stuff that Carroll hit on, especially with being “perfectionists in recovery.”

    I highly recommend watching His TED Talk! #bujo question as well:
    I love the simplified/minimalist layout of the bulletin journal. How do you keep priority over what goes in the BuJo? And what do you do with that information (like breaking it down, next actions lists, etc)?

  22. I'm now going to Amazon and add to wish list cute journals and gel pens. I can already feel myself overwhelmed by the task of creating one so I may have to watch your video a million more times.

  23. After a wile, I kinda forget to write in my Bujo. But when I don't, usually things get messy. I want to use it more. What do you do to not forget your Bujo? How do you use it though out the day? In a routine? Random?

  24. Another tip that might help with motivation: theres several systems that help you gameify your goals in your bujo such as the bujorpg and the bujo bingo. I find these super helpfull to actually get stuff done.

  25. Me and two of my adhd friends go for coffee sometimes, we start 930 ish am and usually don’t shut up until three of four am

  26. There's no android version of the app. Anyone know an alternative. I like the idea of the app as a temporary medium to capture things.

  27. He described breaking tasks up into "small, actionable SPRINTS." Never heard anyone describe a part of a task as a sprint & I really like it. Sprints are short and do-able.

  28. Put more videos up!! You got this! I recommend you read the four hour work week, it will help you not feel overwhelmed with Youtube!

  29. I've just started working on my bullet journal. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I'd heard of it before this but hadn't really looked into it until my girlfriend introduced me to your videos. I was diagnosed at the age of 8 and have struggled with finding anything to help. Your videos have given me some amazing ideas that are actually working! There are actually four of us working together daily to help each other out with accountability and making use of many of your ideas and the ideas that you've shared of others. Thank you, again.

  30. A good solution for BOJU to digital is investigating live scribe. Its a pen that literally records what you write as you write it and can be loaded to an electronic device.

  31. Hi. I actually use a Dumb phone to keep me distraction free. (but have an Android one as well)
    And I use Outlook 2007 Calendar (also for tasks) – which is actually a digital version of a bullet journal.
    I tried Evernote, but stuck to my old system of Docs in Folder.

  32. I tried it. Then I tried going fancy. I bought markers. I bought washi tape. I bought extra stickers, rulers, colored pencils.
    Then I got overwhelmed and beat myself up for not being perfect.
    Then I bought a regular planner and I even fail at that.
    So I use Google keep, Google reminders, Google calendar, and Google assistant.
    Yet I'm still not on time, I still forget basic things, and I am not productive.

  33. An alternative app I've started using is Google Keep. It doesn't evaporate things in 48h like the Bullet Journal, but it fills the same role. It's essentially digital StickyNotes with all the extra features you could imagine from being digital.

  34. I think the app deleting logs after 48 hours kind of scares me because i forget i write things on my to do list app. Hence why off loading in my journal is really important for me.

  35. Here I am at 1:30am searching through my thousands of empty notebooks finding the perfect one to finally start my bullet journal because it can't wait for tomorrow

  36. I use a bullet journal for work and my personal life. At work, I am good at writing down the things I have to do. But How do you direct your focus to actually complete the tasks you've written down, particularly when those tasks are boring, uninteresting, or challenging? In my mind, I KNOW I have to do these things, and they're important, but for some reason, I struggle to actually GET STARTED and ultimately, things end up slipping through the cracks because I just can't bring myself to start.

  37. I would like to see how you plan each week using the bullet journal in combination with using an electronic calendar. I love your videos by the way. So grateful that you decided to do videos on YouTube. You are very encouraging and fun too watch and who doesn't like fun. 😁

  38. I just started thinking about the Bullet Journal today. I've been making a big list in a notebook that just has calendars in the front for a while now, but my son (10) needed something doable and his oldest sister (25) recommended it. Thank-you so much for putting these Bujo videos together, I haven't shown them to him yet but I was SO inspired that I made one (I'll have to figure out how to repurpose that other notebook) in a small pocket journal from Hobby Lobby, (they're in the stationary section) you can get several and they have matching pens and bookmarks. 😃 YAY!!! Thanks again! I also think I'll plan on transferring anything important to my phone's calendar in the evening when I take my Valerian Root so I can 'Put my day away and rest' …that's the idea anyway​.

  39. I would really like tips on how to Study a textbook or take notes on a book using a Bullet Journal format. It doesn't have to be complicated, the simpler the better. Any resources for that, I've tried to Google it but you have obviously done more research on the subject than I. Thanks.

  40. I discovered the bullet journal because of this video at the beginning of 2018.  It's helped me so much that I began contributing to your Patreon page.  Thank you so much for sharing.  May I suggest a video for managing going from 'hyperfocus work mode' to 'need to relax and not be anxious or angry with the family in the evening mode'?

  41. #bujo Hi Jessica this channel is great. I just started using bujo. I have got much more done. Tomorrow is taxes!

    It is more like a prosthetic frontal lobe or working memory; it doesn’t replace my sports training diary, my shared calendar with my other half, or my work diary. It just means I keep my act together even when I am being flakey.

  42. I found a planner that is basically a bullet journal but the index is already "built in" there's a spot for monthly and weekly planning, a section for notes, a place for important names and addresses, etc and for my daily bujo I have a little notebook that fits in my back pocket that I keep with me. I also use my phone for some things (anything I need to remember and set a reminder for). Being a brain is tons of fun 😉

  43. I have a constant stream of thoughts, todos, and general mind clutter that makes things really overwhelming when starting my #bujo – in the previous video, we are to break our future log into thirds listing by month…but where do I put all of these list items if I don't have time to figure out which month they belong in?

  44. Me:oh there’s an app😃😄😁😀
    Goes to download app
    it pushes the button and realize it’s $2.99😱 then it asks for a password 😅😅😂😂

  45. Been using a bujo for the past 2 years and it really helps me stay organized. If I don't write down my daily/weekly tasks it really negatively affects my anxiety levels. I'm a generally a very organized person out of necessity to mitigate symptoms of GAD, so I don't have some typical adhd symptoms. I really resonate with not being able to complete tasks, drifting off while being spoken to, being generally distracted and trying to do multiple things at once. I've suspected I have adhd for a little over a year now and after finding your videos recently, I'm pretty certain that I do. I began to suspect it after being in daily classroom setting and noticing other people retained information much easier than I did. Anyway, thanks for your videos. I may seek formal diagnosis one day soon. 😊

  46. What if you entered the dates and things into the bullet journal and but then you still had the outlet for doodling which i do all the time but then later you entered them into your phone or would that be too much

  47. I'm definitely going to start a bujo in the new year, but it is seriously taking all my willpower to not start it right now (I'm actually supposed to be studying for my finals and finishing my senior project).

  48. For this time being, I haven't been diagnosed as adhd but I know the symptoms I having is adhd. I once working with corporate organisation that needs me to do management jobs. It makes me distracting to finish and organized a task in timeline or with deadline. I just can't get to coop with it everytime and makes my performance drops after a year. So I decided to quit that job and started my own business. Now, I decided to live with ADHD and I would like to start with this bujo for planning my years. Thanks a lot Jessica. I hope I can keep consistently doing my bujo for this 2019. I inspired with this tribe 😉

  49. I struggle with walking in to work and getting bombarded by urgent and important things from the moment I arrive, but very few are 'on the list'… Chaos is fun and exciting, but I have my own plans for my day.

  50. The information only holds for 48 hours, that's super smart. It give procrastinator like me have the sense of urgency to get it done.

  51. The big question: How do you keep the habit of looking at it and writing your dates and to discover in it? I'm fine with using it for a few days to log, say, the chores I did to prove I actually did some, or to make collections of books I want to read when or how to redecorate the house. But I can go weeks completely forgetting to use the important parts and trying to limp along with Google calendar reminders and the Goal Tracker app both of which by now I mostly ignore.

    And another thing: I'm an especially big mess right now because I've spent 6 weeks trying to choose a notebook I really like!

  52. And now it's past my bedtime…
    Grrr…
    🤣😂🤣😂
    Thanks for mentioning the am/pm reflection. It made me check the time..😁
    ADHD is so fun…😋
    I also made a mess while I was hyperfocused..😳
    Oh well…😜
    Good night 😴

  53. Ryder Carol did NOT invent the bullet journal, he ripped it off from the Studyblr community (community of young women with a sketchnote style of note taking using picutes and layouts to organize school notes) This article came out over a month before Ryder Carols first video: https://brightthemag.com/the-rise-of-studyblrs-8916998179f9

  54. I am putting my index in the back of my new BuJo. This way I dont have to guess how many pages it will take, and can number pages as I use them. Using the front cover for my abbreviations too.

  55. Ryder Carroll, you are such an extremely. goodlooking. man. Too stunned to follow the video right now. 😅

  56. My respect for Ryder has absolutely skyrocketed. Thanks for having him on your show and even more so thanks to Ryder for being so humble… What a cool person.

  57. Love that idea for the monthly log! I still need my calendar…and I actually fail at using my Google calendar! I LOVE ANALOG!😂😂😂

  58. Hi! I just found your channel and LOVE it! I also just recently found a great Bullet Journal app to go with my actual journal for times when it isn’t with me. It’s called Elisi and I highly recommend it! I can’t always remember to transfer things over in 48 hours so this works great as a companion digital journal. My 14 year old son also has subscribed to your channel. Sending thanks for all you do from New Brunswick, Canada!

  59. Hi im Carlton from South Africa, before i was diagnosed I always thought of myself as a child, that I could'nt grow up, that im just being unnessacary or not trying hard enough so i stopped everything that made me Me, so thank you Jessica and everyone on this page, you guys have given me the courage to be Me and not think that something is wrong with me, before this channel ive always felt alone and that no one understands me, Im so proud to be part of this awesum community and I appreciate and love you all…<3

  60. Getting Things Done has an answer to the project planning issue. He doesn't think you need to plan out every step in advance, but you need to think about the Next Action, and get that onto your to-do list. Just the fact that you have the project in your system is usually enough for you to keep the thread alive in your brain, and get to the next action. Even if you do have a project that is big enough that it requires a lot of pre-planning, you can just jot down the major tasks and then add next actions for subtasks until the major tasks are done.

  61. I like the Idea of having my bullet journal in a binder because than i can even insert new pages in the middle of stuff I already have written down so I can organize my stuff by category. Page 32 now I want a page 32 A I just add it between page 32 and 33.

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