What I’ve learned so far
Productivity geek that I am, I’ve been aware of bullet journalling for a few years now, but I’ve never jumped in to try it.
I started journalling this week, and I’m really liking it. It’s providing something that’s been missing from my system.
Currently, I use Omnifocus to store all my tasks, and an electronic calendar to schedule time for tasks and keep track of appointments. It’s basically, a Getting Things Done approach, where you put all of those open jobs and threads of things you need to do into a single, trusted system so you can get them off your brain and focus on them in a systematic way, one thing at a time in terms of available next steps.
At this point, I have to mention that I don’t have a lot of complexity in my life that I need to manage — I don’t work with a team very often, and mostly I’m doing one thing at a time until it’s done and then moving on to the next thing. Really, my current system comprises reminders of all the things I’ve promised to other people and when they’re due.
Bullet journalling has introduced three new elements to my system:
- the concept of logging — and particularly expanding logging beyond just tasks so that over time you gain a helicopter view of goals, thoughts, ideas, notes, inspiration etc.
- the act of reviewing a physical journal — the process of writing everything down in the one notebook puts it all together in a very tactile way, and it gives me a way to look at the whole that the electronic tools can’t match
- a stronger focus on my own goals and aspirations, rather than having my time dictated by other people’s needs.
Previously, I’ve used notebooks for daily pages, but they got messy, so I’d have another notebook for work meetings and then another notebook for creative projects I was working on, and then there were three notebooks in my bag and on my desk and pretty soon there were none as I abandoned the whole thing. And I never went back to look at what I’d written — the point of daily pages is almost not to read them, just to get them out so you can move on to other things.