A flirtation with ‘the Bullet Journal’


You know you have a supportive partner when they buy you research tools for your birthday. There were – yes – other more romantic gifts, however – I am very excited to try out the piece de research efficiency resistance – the bullet journal. 

The quote on the bullet journal homepage posits the journal as “The Analog Method for the Digital Age“. It’s creator Ryder Carroll recently published a book (The Bullet Journal Method: Track Your Past, Order Your Present, Plan Your Future) promising that this way of noting can support one to “live an intentional life, one that’s both productive and meaningful”. What more could one want for one’s research process – than for it to be intentional, productive and meaningful?

As for how I think I want to use this- my initial plan is to attempt to use the journal as an analog organisation system for my research. My trial conversation with Henry Gordon-Smith brought up some instances that I know I need to process somehow. For example – we discussed several projects that I hadn’t heard about that I intend to allocate into groups, and to contact in the hope that I can have conversations with them also.  Similarly conversations with my supervisors tend to bring up important leads. How to make sure I have been exhaustive in following up on everything? Ryder explains (in this insightful instruction video below) that the system was designed to “Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future“. Rather than spell out how the system works in its most basic form – I’ll let Ryder do the talking, and then, I’ll update this post as I learn more about the system and adapt it for my own purposes.