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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Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

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Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A College Student's Guide To Self-Care 101

A trend on the rise, self-care is becoming more and more prevalent.


My social media sites have been exploding with mentions of self-care. Tweets about the concept are ever on the rise and I think it is important to explore the concept. Self-care practices have become increasingly common because people are ever interested in tending to their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Unfortunately, with the popularization of the concept comes misconceptions. Self-care is not strictly about "treating yourself" and face masks. Additionally, it encompasses growth, reflection, and change. So, without further adieu, here are my top ten self-care tips!

1. Learn to be by yourself

This one is harder than people would think at first. Everyone's personality is different and, therefore, their affinity to being alone will differ as well. However, as I mentioned before, self-care is not only about physical practices. It is about eliminating toxicity from your life. This means eliminating bad habits, which is achieved through reflection and acknowledgment of the problematic habituation. Being by yourself allows you to set your own goals for yourself without any influence from outside factors. Additionally, the ability to be by yourself aids in establishing good self-esteem and ensures that the relationships you allow in your life are true and special rather than just to pass time.

2. Accept compliments

I don't know how this became normalized or why, but I despise the fact that girls have been taught to downplay their confidence. If someone offers a compliment, smile and accept it. Positive feelings towards yourself should be integral parts of your thought processes. Additionally, pay yourself compliments. They don't have to be said out loud but appreciate the beauty that is your body. It does so much for you, the least you could do is appreciate it every now and then.

3. Hold yourself accountable

Like I said earlier, part of self-care is eliminating bad habits. The tendency to attribute one's own failures and shortcomings to external forces is self-serving bias and those with good self-esteem are guilty of it. It may be difficult to balance attribution and self-esteem but in order to achieve growth, you have to acknowledge your own faults. This will allow for clarity and for you to work towards achieving better habits.

4. Don't bottle up your feelings

I am especially guilty of not following this tip. Keeping to yourself may seem like the easier thing to do and, if you are like anything like me, you may hate being seen as an inconvenience. However, I know that if I bottle up for too long, I tend to shut down and then I won't be able to achieve anything. Expressing your feelings is okay. Crying is okay. Anger is okay. Emotion is okay.

5. Try new things

Take a yoga class. Volunteer. Go to a new restaurant. Anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone incubates growth. You don't even have to enjoy everything you do, you just have to try. However, you may also find a new passion because of it.

6. Get some sleep

Don't spend all your time sleeping and lose all motivation to do anything, but make a conscious effort to get sufficient sleep so that all of your days can be as efficient as possible. You will be more energized and your immune system, as well as your physical appearance, will thank you.

7. Don't force yourself to do things you don't like

I know I said to try new things. However, if your best friend loves running and you go with her one day and find out you HATE it, don't force yourself. Find what works for you through trial and error. You will be much happier with your own flow and it keeps you from developing resentment.

8. Learn to say no

All the women in my life are especially guilty of this. We spread ourselves too thin because we can't say no. This goes hand in hand with not forcing yourself to do things that you don't want to do. Saying no doesn't make you a bitch, it makes you strong and lets people know that you know what you want.

9. Say what you mean

Don't sugarcoat things. It will leave you feeling unfulfilled and, quite frankly, it's exhausting trying to tiptoe around what you really mean. Don't be rude or aggressive, rather assertive and straight forward. It will make you a better communicator and will take pressure off of you as well.

10. Finally, treat yourself

I said self care wasn't entirely about that. I didn't say it wasn't necessary.

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