Non-Fiction Review: The Bullet Journal Method

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future 
by Ryder Carroll

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I guess I was expecting something… different from this.

This book spends very little time actually outlining HOW to set up a bullet journal. There are a few good ideas about lists, calendars, tasks, goals, and habit trackers, but not many.

The book is almost completely enveloped in a philosophical message about being your best self, and staying true to your real goals, with a ton of cutesy sayings and quotes from Ghandi and Benjamin Franklin.

I wanted a much more practical guide to using my BuJo, but instead this is a lengthy treatise on how to change your life and motivate yourself to reach your goals. I mean, that’s fine. But it’s written so condescendingly, that I was rolling my eyes through half the book.
It’s way too long. The best parts of this book could have been condensed down to 100 pages if you took out all the little personal stories about the time their apartment flooded, and anecdotes of random people who lost weight, quit their jobs, and moved to Costa Rica to teach yoga.

It’s okay to have anecdotes to illustrate a point, but there were WAY too many.
It’s wonderful to have inspirational quotes and sayings to show how writing out a list of goals with clear, actionable tasks CAN change your life, but there were WAY too many.

This book has good material, but too much of it. A concise version of this book would have power, but this is so stretched out that it is drivel.

I got three good ideas from this book. Out of 300 pages, only three things spoke to me or even mildly interested me.

One was The 5,4,3,2,1 Exercise, where you list your goals in groups of goals you want to accomplish in 5 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, and 1 hour. I thought that is a good way to organize what is most important, what will take longer to finish, and what needs to be done immediately.

Another one was the idea of Task Sprints; self-contained projects that further a larger goal, but don’t overwhelm you.

And the third idea that I liked was Rubber Ducking; explain your problem in detail to an inanimate object, and the solution might come to you, because you are forced to change your perspective as you explain it to someone else who has no prior knowledge of the situation.

I would not recommend this book to people just starting out with a new BuJo. You’ll get much better info and ideas just from Googling “Bullet Journal” and looking for ideas on Pinterest.

If you do want to read this book, it DOES have some good stuff, but I would borrow it from a library.

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