Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #128: Ryder Carroll, Creator of the Bullet Journal Method

January 9, 2023

Guests are a monthly (not weekly!) occurrence on BLP, and that is by design. So while I love receiving your recs, I am also picky about who comes on!

I absolutely could not resist the chance to interview Ryder Carroll, a best-selling author, digital product designer, and inventor of the Bullet Journal method.

We discuss the philosophy and origin story of the Bullet Journal, variations on his theme, his current system, favorite tools, and more.

I don’t consider myself a bullet journalist in the truest sense, but I have used so many bullet journal-esque ideas in my planning style and technique. My habit trackers, collections, and general philosophy of writing it down is never wrong are all influenced by the #BuJo world. I may use a Hobonichi most of the time but I am never mad about a dot grid!

more about the book here

Thank you Ryder for kicking off the 2023 Guest Lineup with a bang!

And if you have great ideas for future guests, send them my way.

Episode Sponsors:

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  • Reply Keren January 9, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    This as a great interview, I loved Ryder’s emphasise on planning with intension and that tools are just tools and we should pick those that serve us best and are suitable to us. Although I also don’t follow the BJ method, I do appreciate the simplicity of capturing everything in one place and then processing them into different locations if needed.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 9, 2023 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you Karen! Yes, the “one source of truth” appeals to me even though I have a planner stack 🙂

  • Reply San January 9, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    I tried bullet journaling for a while… I didn’t like the aspect of having to “lay out” your planner all the time, but I definitely kept a lot of good ideas from those days.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns January 9, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    I kind of lightly bullet journaled starting in 2017. It was a nice approach when I was in the early years of parenting as I was not planning much. I really only had weekly spreads and mostly used it for meal planning and to dos. I’m happy to be back in a planner that is structured, though!

  • Reply Amy January 9, 2023 at 9:08 pm

    I really enjoyed this interview — I’m intrigued by bullet journaling and am definitely going to look into it more. I have a weekly planner but have been really needing a daily page. I need one source of truth, lol.

  • Reply Lori c January 12, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Late comment but WOW what a great interview! My favorite episode so far I think.

  • Reply Tina J January 15, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Hi Sarah! Even though I am a digital planner, I glean so much from your podcast. I still love pens and paper though. Just like you talked with Ryder in the interview – use the method that works best for you, right?! I was inspired by Ryder’s advise to plan with intention and purpose to accomplish the things that matter most. Could you please include a link to the pen that Ryder recommended in the podcast? Thanks, and keep up the excellent work!

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