Is bullet journaling good for ADHD

Bullet Journaling: Do More, Do Less!

You probably know the difference between being busy and being productive. In one case you just do a lot - and yet your to-do list seems to be getting longer and longer. And in the other case you know your priorities very well and really only do what is really important (to you). Bullet journaling is a super simple and absolutely ingenious method to get from the first to the second state!

What I really love about bullet journaling is that

  • you don't need anything except a notebook and a pen
  • you get in quick because it's so easy
  • you can totally adapt the implementation to you, your needs and your projects
  • and you get really great results with all of this.

What is the idea of ​​bullet journaling?

The inventor Ryder Caroll suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since childhood - only that it wasn't called that at the time and there was no help for kids like him. That is why, over many, many years, he has devised a system that helps him concentrate on the essentials. And - who would have thought that: Even people without ADHD find this super helpful. That is why Caroll has meanwhile made it available to everyone in the world. You can find thousands of great pictures online of people embellishing their bullet journals with beautiful illustrations and drawings. But you don't need that at all (if you don't have the time and / or a weakness for it). The main thing is that you figure out how bullet journaling works for you.

Structure of a bullet journal

Here I am now describing how I use the Ryder Caroll method. Unlike him, I use a normal annual calendar for weekly and daily planning. That means I do my yearly and monthly planning in the Bulett Journal, but the rest in the calendar. But that's actually not what Caroll thought (but it works well for me :-). That's how it works:

1. The index

The beginning of every bullet journal is an index - i.e. a double page on which you gradually create a table of contents. Many notebooks even have a double page at the beginning.

2. The annual planner

Then you flip a page or two and create an annual planner. To do this, you mark 2–3 areas on one side for 2–3 months (depending on how much space you need for your monthly lists). Then you have areas for the next 12 months on four to 4 or 6 pages. Write the name of the month in each case. Enter the tasks, dates and projects where they need to be done in terms of time. Enter the annual planner in the index including the page number.

I only use this annual planner for things that I have to keep in mind because they will come up in 2 or 3 months. I do my main planning in the monthly plan:

3. Your monthly plan

Then you flip a page further and write the name of the current month on a blank page. Write down a list of what you want or need to do this month. Enter the monthly plan in the index including the page number.

4. Your weekly plan

Now turn the page again and create fields for the 7 days on a double page for this week. There are different divisions here. You have to find out which one suits you. I think it's good if I have columns in the upper part of the double page for the 7 days. In the lower part of the double page I have a landscape-format area for the weekly list and routine tasks that have to be done on a daily basis, for example. But you can also use the left side for your weekly list and the routine tasks and create 7 fields for the 7 days of the week on the right side.

However you like it, ask yourself at the beginning of the week what you want or have to do. List everything in the weekly list. Also have a look at your monthly plan. It may be that you have to break down larger task packages (from the monthly list) into smaller tasks for this week. For example, if your monthly plan says “plan a vacation”, then your weekly list could say “research & select travel destinations”. So that would be a sub-task of the overall task of “planning vacation”. Make a note of appointments on the respective day of the week. Enter the weekly schedule in the index including the page number.

5. Your daily plan

At the beginning of each day you look at your weekly list and choose what you want or have to do today. Again, you may break down larger tasks into smaller ones. “Research & select travel destinations” could then perhaps become “Call Max, who always has great travel tips”. Enter the daily plan in the index including the page number.

The next morning when you plan your next day, you can also check what has been done from yesterday's tasks and what has been left behind. Use this to ask yourself why this is: Have you planned on too much? Was there something you didn't want to do? What is not so important? If there is something that you neither want nor need to do, remove it from your daily list.

6. Your weekly evaluation

At the end of the week you go through the list from the previous week and think again:

  • What tasks have I done? How was it? What did I learn from it? (You can also pat yourself on the shoulder and appreciate yourself!)
  • What tasks have I not done? Why is that? Lack of time? Wrong Priorities? Lack of motivation? Think about whether you want to add these tasks to the list for the following week, whether you want to postpone them until later or delete them altogether.

Then you make your next weekly list and your daily planning as described above. Until the month is over. Then comes:

7. Your monthly evaluation

The reflection process of the daily and weekly evaluation is basically repeated here - just at the next higher level. Ask yourself the same questions that you asked yourself for the weekly evaluation. Delete and move tasks as is right for you. Use these insights to create your next monthly plan.


The Bullet Journal is as simple as it is effective. For me, that's what makes the idea really big. Even if bullet journaling, as Ryder Caroll does, is a bit more complex than my variant (more information about this via the links in the box below). In addition to the planning part I described above, your bullet journal can contain a lot more information. My bullet journal is also full of information on projects, research results, notes, lists for projects and tasks, ideas, literature and film tips, scribbles and everything else. You can index everything in the index neatly and neatly. This also helps you a lot if you have notes on pages 21, 43 and 50 that relate to the same project. Then you can simply note the project name in the index and to the right of it all the page numbers and see at a glance where the important information is hidden in the whole mess of pages.