“Change is the only constant in life.”


This truth is a foundational principle for Bullet Journaling as a practice. Practice? Yes, Bullet Journaling is just as much a mindfulness practice as it is a productivity system. Sure, having a system to effectively keep track of what you’re working on is important. What’s significantly more important, and more interesting, to keep track of, is the why.

In our daily lives, we’re constantly distracted by all the thing we should be doing or could be doing. We forget to think about the why. The most valuable things in life are our energy and our time. How we spend those resources is really important.

The system was designed to be flexible in both form and function to deal with our day to day but also phase to phase.

This is where reflection comes in. Set a time aside in the morning and in the evening to review your Bullet Journal. I suggest doing it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

The morning reflection helps you to mentally prepare for the day. If you’re anything like me, it also allows you capture all the thoughts that have bubbled up during the night. The AM reflection helps clear and focus your mind.

Ideally, you keep your Bullet Journal close-by during the day so you can capture and track things as they arise, but life is life, and sometimes things don’t get written down. This what the evening reflection is for. When you’re about to turn in, simply sit down with your notebook and review the day. Reward yourself by checking all the stuff you’ve gotten done, and log things you forgot to earlier etc. It’s a great way to declutter your mind and unplug at the end of the day.

The point of reflection is to make sure that the things you’re pursuing continue to matter to you even as life changes around you. It will help you focus on the why rather than the what.

If you want to learn more, you can also check out the TEDx talk I gave below.


Image by: Photo by Pepe Reyes

About Ryder Carroll

Ryder is the creator of the Bullet Journal. He's a Brooklyn-based digital product designer and art director.
  • Yes! I’ve always believed in the wonderful power of reflection to help drive us forward by taking the time to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. I love that you advise reflecting twice daily, the first time to get out all the things that bubbled up and the second time to update and log anything as needed. The Bullet Journal Companion app is super handy to help cement the habit, it’s like Bullet Journal’s way of breaching through the digital space to nudge us to check in with it, which is brilliant. I love the reminders and that scratch noise on the calendar once I’ve reflected in the app! Thank you for this wealth-packed article and TEDx talk, Ryder!

    • Anne Kaplan

      Too bad the app is only available on Apple products. Guess I’ll never know if it’s a good thing or not. I do wonder about that, as one of the joys of BJing for me is its total analog nature.

      • Patty Moore

        It’s not worth it. Just a paid version of the website. Most who have bought feel ripped off

    • I agree with your comment about reflecting at night. So many of today’s advice is solely focused on morning routines and rituals. It’s nice to hear about the importance of resetting your thoughts in the evenings.

  • Patty Moore

    The app is not worth the money. Have you read your App Store reviews? I’m going to get a refund.

    • Anne Kaplan

      Nope. Don’t “do” Apple, so no reason to read reviews of an Apple-only product. Thanks for the comments. One less thing for me to even think about.

  • Man Buboo

    beautiful talk with a beautiful powerpoint. You really have a wonderful eye for simple beauty

  • Caitlin

    I would love to have this app, is there any possibility that it will be made available to android phones? I currently have a Samsung 7.

  • Andrea Spoehr Cox

    Listened to the talk. Love it! For the past year or so I have been “enduring” life and it has led to much unhappiness, I think this bullet journal will be the key i have been searching for to get back to my intentional life!