Productivity | Bullet Journal

Be That Productivity Wiz

Your life in order, without an app

Derek Reinhard
3 min readSep 24


Journal open showing goals with a cup of coffee sitting on the pages
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Sometimes you’re just tired of looking at screens. I get itchy eyes from staring at backlit screens along with aching shoulders because, well, hey, you’ve gotta look down into that screen in your hand, right?

There’s got to be a better way!

Journaling meets productivity

The power-off, tactile feedback from a paper journal has its own pleasures. Watching your thoughts and plans flow out of the ink tip beneath your fingers onto a smooth, blank page can be magical.

Then there’s that pleasant swish accompanying the left and right swipe of the pages (apps often replicate this pleasing sensation, because we like it).

Well, now you’ve got a sharp-looking journal, maybe embossed or personalized with stickers, while, hey, look at them squinting into a small screen!

Bullet Journal with numerous stickers on the cover lying on a wood desktop
Photo of one of the author’s early bullet journals

The Bullet Journal

I discovered (and backed) the Bullet Journal on Kickstarter about 9 years ago. I already had a penchant for journaling and used the paper binder version of the Franklin-Covey First Things First planner for years and then shifted to David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

The Bullet Journal goes beyond tracking your calendar and keeping meeting notes. It helps you capture and manifest those projects and responsibilities most important to you, and manages it all in a dot grid notebook using a rapid logging system of symbols, future and current logs, and task tracking. And it does it in consecutive pages without the almost guaranteed unused or little used pages that a calendar planner usually ends up with.

The Bullet Journal method

Simply put, the Bullet Journal method uses a system of notes and jots while interacting with your notebook. There is a mindfulness that occurs when you take time to write things out by hand. The overlap between your mindfulness and your productivity is intentionality.



Derek Reinhard

Writes quirky life, productivity, and relationship stuff (uses the Oxford comma). Author of 3 books on GTD and a couple coloring books.