WTF is a Bullet Journal?
An analog (printable) monthly planner for a digital world.
It is not about adhering to a system, it is about getting things done. Are you looking for a printable monthly planner for 2017? Probably not. I wasn’t. But now I’m trying out this new tool: a bullet journal. You can old school GTD with this tool. I wouldn’t consider it otherwise. David Allen, the creator of Getting Things Done (GTD) has said that all you need from your software is a good list manager. Bullet journals meet the need. And if you are poo-pooing it because it’s analog . . .
. . . the cornerstone of almost every tech company today is a powerful analog task management system, stored on a whiteboard (or the nearest window), called Scrum.
Cliff’s Notes On Bullet Journals:
Flexible enough to handle whatever I throw at it.
Fast enough that it doesn’t get in the way.
Track the past (Journal).
Organize the present (Organizer).
Plan for the future (Calendar).
“Why opt for a print planner for 2017?”
I found this article to be really helpful:
- You can use any notebook but dot-graph paper is the most versatile.
- You jot down quick notes instead of writing long sentences.
- It is a to-do list, planner, & organizer . . . all-in-one.
- You use several symbols to distinguish between notes, events, and to-do items. (See image of key page below.)
That makes a lot of sense to me. It is efficient and effective to roll these three records into one.
“It took me less than an hour to set up.”
There are a half dozen pages you need to set up the bullet journal. It really took no time at all.
Symbol Key & Index Pages.
You use several symbols to distinguish between notes, events, and to-do items. You can customize them for your own use. The key page documents what they mean for reference: a dot for tasks, a dash for notes, & circles for events. The reference helps because symbols can evolve between books. The index page organizes important pages for easy reference.
Year At a Glance Page & Book List.
I will go back and fill out the year at a glace as needed. I realized that I don’t write so much these days. I noticed certain muscles in my hand cramping up.
Weekly Log (Sprint) Page.
The weekly log #IMHO is the key to this whole system. A month is too long, and days are too short. The obvious criticism is the systems greatest strength. You can’t maintain a large backlog. That is a huge strength of this system. An over-sized backlog results from the inability to say no. A bullet journal will force you to say no because you need to copy over (migrate) the backlog to the next sprint. It forces you to think about items before moving them over. it’s also a great motivation to complete the weekly sprint (so you don’t have to migrate it forward).
I use my daily log to track my gratitude, happiness, and food journals. I also choose items from my weekly sprint to work on. Did you notice I fold my pages? This helps keep my notes short and minimizes white space on the page.
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