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New Year, New Bullet Journal

Last year I came across the Bullet Journal technique. It’s billed as an analog journal for the digital world. It is a combination of rules that my make my work journals into efficient daily organizers and quick references for days and months in the future.

This past fall I started my first Bullet Journal as an experiment. I found that it is great at helping me keep track of a myriad of tasks. Plus, I enjoyed working in a physical journal that compliments my digital work. So today, my first full day back in the office for the new year, I started with a fresh journal. Here’s to a productive 2015 and my first full year of Bullet Journaling.

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  1. Very cool! But, too analog for me. I like having my project information available on multiple devices (phone, iPad, laptop) because I never know when I’ll need to access or modify it. However, I love the Bullet Journal system structure. I use a rudimentary version of this in Evernote. I’ll study this more and find a way to add some of this concept to my current system. Thanks for sharing!

    • I totally see where you are coming from. For the past several years, I’ve worked to make my task management completely digital. However, once I got familiar with Bullet Journaling, I took advantage of my favorite parts and merged it with my mostly digital habits.

      I like analogue task management for the following use cases:

      • Call Logs – I use my Bullet Journal whenever I’m taking notes during a call.
      • Meeting Notes – Using pen and paper during a meeting is less distracting.
      • Daily Task Capture – Taking the time to sit down and capture my tasklist on paper often allows me to recall more tasks that I need to get into my queue.
      • Wireframe Sketching – I love the freedom pen and paper afford when I’m roughing out ideas for new designs.
      • Pseudo-Coding – Whenever I’m working on a hard programming problem, I like to write out my ideas. This keeps me from getting bogged down in the actual code and instead helps me focus on problem solving, user experience, and usability.

      With Bullet Journaling, I’m able to capture all of the above in an easy to search format. Plus, I like the visceral feel of having a tangible history of some of my work during the day.

      All this being said, I still rely on the Mac App Things for a lot of my digital tasklist. For example, Things is great for allowing me to create a task that links directly back to an email in my Gmail, thereby helping me maintain #InboxZero.