Ryder Carrol, the man behind the Bullet Journal method of productivity talks to us about the inspiration behind his ingenious organisational system.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Ryder Carroll?
I'm a freelance art director and web designer living in Brooklyn, NY.
How did the idea of the Bullet Journal come about and how long did it take you to perfect?
I used to share my system with friends and family and it seemed to resonate with them. I really wanted to make something to share with the online community so I went about formalising these methods. That said, it's an ongoing process; it continues to evolve. The strength of the system is that is becomes what you need it to be. It has flexibility to change along with your needs.
Prior to discovering this organisational system, how did you deal with your everyday to do list?
There came a point where I stopped being frustrated with systems not working for me and started asking: "why is this not working for me?". I've used (and still use) a lot of systems both digital and analog because I like deconstructing them. I try to understand the reasoning and choices that went into making them. It helps me gain new perspectives with my own process and ideally, makes me more productive.
What is your number one organisational tip (apart from using the Bullet Journal system).
Be careful not to allow planning and organizing to get in the way of actually getting work done. There is a decided difference between being busy and being productive.
Why go analogue in a digital world?
I don't see it as one vs the other. For me it's only about what method proves to be most effective in achieving its purpose.
How has the Bullet Journal changed your life?
It was one of the first things I created because I needed it to exist. That was a really powerful realization for me.
What happens if you lose your notebook?
You take a deep breath and remind yourself that it's just a tool, like a hammer. Everything in that book is in you. Also, make sure to include your contact information at the beginning of your book. I've lost and had my books returned a couple of times. I've returned at least 3 books myself. People appreciate that these books have value to their owners.
What’s one piece of stationery you couldn’t live without?
These days it would be the Leuctturm 1917 in a dot grid.
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm fortunate enough to live in a very vibrant city and work in a creative field. I'm inspired by the incredible talent and selflessness of others all the time.
Learn more about Bullet Journal here.