Bullet Journal - Throw Starfish Episode 001
And so to our first proper Podcast episode Throw Starfish Episode 001: Bullet Journal...break out ya earphones and give us a listen, as we explore our experience with the brave 'new' world of the analogue to do lists that you can use to organise your tasks, as a notebook, diary...even a sketchbook if you like!
I've been using the Bullet Journal system since April 2015, I clipped this article to Evernote from Fast Company about it on the 22nd February 2015, so I'm crediting this as the source of my discovery. It's a wonderful system that I've adapted and evolved to become an integral part of my life; even the creator Rider Carroll has tweaked and adapted it since I first started using it...and he took 10years developing it in the first place. The website is here and it has this video to explain:
Lots of people use their Bullet Journal in different ways and it's all about having a go and finding the best bits that work for you (and weeding out the bits that don't), you can see all sorts of different examples on my Pinterest Board.
For my Bullet Journal I use a Large (13x21cm / 5x8.5"), 80 Page, Ruled, Soft cover Moleskin Volant Journal as it has 31 lines which is perfect for setting up each month. I just keep this notebook purely for Bullet Journaling as I've found taking lots of notes in it means I lose track of things...which kind of defeats the point! For making notes on the go I have the Small (9x14cm / 3.5x5.5"), Ruled version of the Volant on me at all times in my back pocket and the XL (19x25cm / 7.5x9.75"), Ruled Cahier Journal for taking notes in meetings...both Soft Cover. I also have my 3 Fine line Bic Biro's (Blue / Black / Red) and a Pencil as I'm a very visual person and need colour coordination!
Each new month starts with the Month Overview (as in the video above). As I go through the month I add what I've done day-by-day; 'work' related things in Black, personal / social in Blue. I highlight the weekends in an attempt to remind myself when they are and that they're suppose to be different to the working week (still working on that). The Tomatoes are the days I was Pomodoro-ing and once I've complete all the tasks for that day I tick it off here too.
I do use some of the Signifiers suggested by Rider, but have also developed a few of my own:
I start each day on a new line with the date Day NO Month YR, underline it and put a tick-box to the left of it, so I can tick of the day itself when all the tasks have been done. I quickly scribble down in pencil on the right of my page what timed commitments I have that day (including how long it'll take to get there) and then work out how long I have to do my tasks. I then check back over the last few days (for any uncompleted tasks) and look at my Wunderlist 'master task-list' for what else might need doing, writing out what I think needs doing in my Journal sorting/moved the rest accordingly electronically. Last thing before getting stuck in is prioritising my most important tasks, which get done first (mostly)...
When it comes to Migration, the process by which you transfer uncompleted tasks forward at the end of the month to the next month or, if further in advance, to the month overview to be checked and added when you get there. I find the suggested manual Bullet Journal version of this a little cumbersome as I often ended up writing things out a number of times, so it will come as no surprise that I use good'ol Wunderlist for this too.
Some people might look at this and think that it seems complex or takes too much time, but I find that taking the time to actually plan your day and the physical act of writing things out has profound affect on the likelihood of them getting done...even if that's not today (see this 90sec video). I really can't recommend giving it a go highly enough...everyone who's given it a go so far has loved it and is still using it!
I do have some fairly extensive trackers in my Bullet Journal, but rather than going in to them just now, we're going to do a specific Podcast on Trackers and Tracking.
You can also see and read what my fellow Throw Starfish Podcasters have written about their experiences with Bullet Journaling...Pennie, my business partner's here and Ruth who wrote a blog about this some time ago and then 6month update on how she'd been getting on.