My time with Bullet Journal began with Lisa from the YouTube channel Einfach Lilienhaft. I kept seeing the pictures on Instagram and perfection kept me from starting with the Bullet Journal. Lisa was so very different. Then a name came up that I had never heard before: Ryder Caroll. Ryder who? Exactly, I was that clueless. Who is this man and what does he have to do with the Bullet Journal. I had no idea he would change my whole life. He was showing me the way to myself.

Ryder Caroll invented the Bullet Journal and, with the help of the growing community, has adapted it further and further. I bought his book and started reading it. The statement: “I’m not so good at reading.”, is a bad excuse. The book is now also available as an audio book and it is my constant companion. So much for the introduction.

But what does that have to do with how I understood myself? I have designed a Mind Board that you can see below.

Short footnote to the Mind Board: This is my way of recording my thoughts. This might look like a lot at first, but don’t let that put you off. I explain it step by step and in the end you have a beginning.


What is the Bullet Journal about? There is a lot of erroneous information circulating in the community, not the least of which is influenced by the seemingly perfect pictures on Instagram. When I hear that over and over again, my bile comes up. Forgive my harsh words, but the Bullet Journal is more than just a nice calendar. With the Bullet Journal you can organize your thoughts and deal with yourself.


What do you need? A blank notebook and a pen. You can also just take a piece of paper. I started with a black fineliner back then, after I understood the meaning. The first pen can also be a pencil or a fountain pen. For the sake of simplicity I find the black fineliner or gel pencil the best, just for the sake of clarity.

Then you can start to decluttering your mind, as Ryder calls it. In his case, that’s the mental fund (Caroll, Ryder: Die Bullet Journal Methode, Penguin,2018.) Every day we have so many thoughts going through our heads that are enough to fill a novel.

What does the spiritual fundus look like? You have to ask yourself three questions: What am I working on? What should I work on? And what I want to work on? I could write my own article on that. Just this much: It’s important to be honest with yourself.


The central questions are whether something means something to me or someone close to me or whether it is essential. Then Ryder Caroll poses a very provocative question that woke me up. What would happen if I never did something at all? I mean, really never. Let’s face it. A lot of things don’t have an effect. We fill our minds with things that don’t really matter, that we’re burdened by. With me, that was my past. I’ve actually filled novels with it. It was the best I could do, and it was very frustrating. It wasn’t until the Bullet Journal that I managed to break through my thought loops.

And what do you do now? Then comes the question: Monthly Review or Daily Log? By now, the weekly overview has also established itself in the community, but Ryder didn’t have it in his concept. But if you design the weekly overview like Daily Logs, you’re stuck with Ryder’s concept.

For this you need a key or keys. These are signs that are meant to simplify the work with the Bullet Journal. They should fit for you. At the top of the picture you can see my key. It fits for me. When I see the signs, I know what I’m talking about. You use the key to visualize what will happen during the day, happened when you had a thought, an idea or a special event. I always do the planning for the next day the night before and then I sit down the evening of the next day and reflect the whole thing. What has really happened, what is not, where did I plan too much, what ideas did I have and how did I implement them, what else am I planning?


The last point is a very simple daily log of mine. If I had a meeting, my Daily Log would look like this.


But why was this the way to myself now? Well, I’ve already given you an answer. Because I cleared my mind. I’ve faced my past. But I have also realized that I am planning too much for myself every day, that I am burdened with things I don’t need, and that nothing happens when I say no. I freed myself from useless waste and the pressure of always having to perform. Unfortunately, I can only touch on the whole subject briefly here, but so now you have an idea and can start with the Bullet Journal. I have now explained the basics in 8 steps and I hope I could help you.

In some of my next articles I would like to go into individual sections from Ryder’s book and what they did in my head. This is not meant to be a summary of his book, but rather an inspiration for you and explain why I am so attached to this topic and why it is so important to me to clear up the prejudices about the seemingly beautiful calendar.
But until then I wish you a nice day, evening or whatever you have at the moment.

Best wishes,


Yours Madlen