How Ryder Carroll Does Bullet Journal

How Ryder Carroll Does Bullet Journal

How the inventor of the online phenomenon gives every entry the “opportunity to be a better bullet.”

Ryder Carroll spent much of his young life inventing ways to work with his attention-deficit disorder, and the result has been a product that now fills many boards on Pinterest. The 37-year-old graphic designer from Vienna created Bullet Journal after years of trial and error. He uses it twice a day every day to organize his tasks, reflect on his progress, and in general, be an awesome human being. In his blog, Ryder encourages people to do Bullet Journal their way, but how does the OG Bullet Journalist use his own invention?

1. Keep it simple

First off, Ryder cares “very little about aesthetics.” He views Bullet Journaling as a task that should take up the “least time organizing” so he can spend “the most time pursuing things that matter”—which for him means finding new ways to build his Bullet Journal business! For the Bullet Journalist, “Creativity is in the content.”

2. Your journal, your design

Keep in mind, Ryder is a graphic designer, so he isn’t knocking people who like go all in creating those beautiful, pinnable Bullet Journals. “I love that the simple act of illustrating can be valuable to” bullet journalists, Ryder says—it’s just not his thing. And seeing as he designs for a living, it maybe makes sense he should want to keep his work-life and personal-life separate. Could you imagine being a bus driver who spends his spare time driving cross-country?

3. Try using it like a computer

Ryder’s idea behind the simplicity of Bullet Journal comes in part from his background in digital design. Designing user interfaces, he looked for ways to implement “quick iterative problem solving.” Ryder treats his Bullet Journal just like any other tool: the more practical the better.

4. Be reflective

When reflecting, Ryder likes his Bullet Journal to serve as a “paper mirror.” He can flip back and see all his progress and mistakes from the weeks and months before. Looking through, he asks himself why he still makes bullets for certain tasks. If he feels the bullet and its task have outlived their usefulness, he stops doing it. Every day is a new day to focus on what’s important.

5. Bullet in the morning; bullet in the evening

Ryder starts his day with a five-minute Bullet Journal session, and he ends his day very much the same. First, he likes to empty out his head of all the ideas he has and capture them in writing. He reviews what he’s done the past few days, asking himself whether the tasks are relevant still. The evening looks something similar, Ryder taking a mental inventory of what he has done and what he plans to do tomorrow. All in all, he spends about 10 minutes Bullet Journaling. That’s bullet speed.

6. Use it for you

Ryder intended Bullet Journal as a vehicle of self-exploration and self-journaling. This is the perfect case of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Make your BuJo “a basic framework that helps you figure yourself out on a regular basis,” Ryder says. “Maybe it’s health, contentment, religion, whatever you feel you want to get better at.” Ryder mentions gratitude tracking as an example. The “more intentional about gratitude tracking” your are, the more it “your attitude gets better, and it’s easier to see opportunity or kindness.”

7. Engage in the community

When it comes to Bullet Journal, Ryder is all in. “What I want to do, I believe in it fully,” he says, and he wants other people to believe in it too. Ryder loves that a community has come up, and he wants to focus on bringing together Bullet Journalists from all different walks of life. “I’ve never been a doctor or mom, so I try to expose those people to the community at large,” Ryder says. Experience is valuable, and sharing it lets everyone thrive.

8. Give your lists purpose

Ryder doesn’t do much traditional journaling. Bullet Journal tracks his habits, and he writes out his feelings on occasion, but he goes over his activities every day and night to check that they’re still relevant. Devote time in your day to think about why you think what you’re doing is important so you keep that drive for the things that matter.

9. Make the most of opportunity

Bullet Journal has been around for five years and is a collection of solutions to productivity that, for Ryder, become supercharged when applied to the things he loves. Ryder sees in every entry the “opportunity to be a better bullet.” Going forward, adjust your journal to make it more what you intend for it. At the end of the day, you are interested in things you love and see a purpose in. So figure out what that purpose is, and fire away.

Cover Image Credit: Bullet Journal

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.

Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Dear College Kids, Contact Your Legislators

Finding your political voice can seem daunting but it's important to realize that our legislators are just normal people who happen to work for us in government.


As we come to the end of another legislative session, it's important to reflect on all of the good that has happened but also the things that need work on. After entering college, my political voice and passion have only increased.

I definitely cared about politics in high school but after entering college and finding a group that helped me find a community gave me more courage to speak up about the things that I care about.

There is such power in a community. And that is something that I never realized that I was missing until I had it. I completely understand how daunting it can seem to start getting politically vocal.

Especially if you have unpopular or controversial opinions. As someone who grew up in an extremely conservative region, it took me a long time to feel comfortable and confident standing in my beliefs which largely align with the left. But the only thing that I can tell you is that your minor discomfort and fear is so worth it.

I remember being nervous to display that first planned parenthood pin, not to mention that first nerve-wracking call to a legislator. But I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is not nearly as scary as it appears. It is easy to see our legislators as people standing on pedestals that are so far detached from our reality.

But the reality is that our legislators are normal people. They are mothers, fathers, carpenters, activists, and from a million other walks of life. And it truly helps to change your perspective when you contact your representatives. It helps you to feel more comfortable around them and it helps to prove that our legislators are everyday people.

They are everyday people with power only granted to them by us. Our legislators work directly for their constituents. And so even if your legislators have polar opposite opinions to yours, it is still imperative that we voice our opinions.

How are our legislators supposed to know that their constituents care about reproductive healthcare, comprehensive sex education, LGBTQ+ protections, and so many other issues that directly affect our daily lives?

I cannot stress enough just how important these seemingly small steps of action are. Call your legislator. Email them about an issue you care about. If you have the chance, attend a lobby day about an issue that you feel passionately about.

In our society, it's easy to view people in power as distant and out of reach but we cannot forget that the United States was founded on the rule of the people by the people. So people, call your legislators.

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