Taking a sneak peek at Bullet Journaling

I’ve been using GTD for more than a decade. Without it I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to graduate as well as I did back then. Now that I’m a bit outside the normal day-to-day life thanks to my educational leave and the COVID-19 restrictions I’ve decided I want to try something different: Ever since I started messing around with Sketch Notes and keeping a journal I kind of struggled what should end up in my journal and what should end up in OmniFocus.

A big disclaimer: I think GTD is an awesome method to organise your life and work. It has worked very well for me for many years and I can absolutely recommend it to everyone (to at least give it a try). That being said, GTD covers only one thing (but that really well) which I want to organise: tasks. Everything else is handled within my journal:

  • List of books I’ve read this year
  • Habit tracking for things like gym visits and Babbel courses
  • Diary
  • Water consumption
  • and probably a couple other things I simply forgot right now.

Many of these are also kind of task’ish like planning to read another 100 pages in a specific book, for instance. Where to put that? GTD probably even though it is more related to my reading-challenge. GTD is simply not meant for something like this.

Last week I then stumbled upon this episode of the Focused podcast in which Matt Ragland talks a bit about his workflow which takes Bullet Journal and tunes it in some areas. After that I thought to myself: Heck, I could simply give it a try for mid- to long-term planning while keeping the operational stuff inside OmniFocus. After watching a couple of his videos I opted to also purchase “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll in order to have a proper start. After reading just a couple of pages I again thought to myself: Heck, I could just go Bullet Journal all the way for the next couple of months. If I want to try something completely different, now is the time.

For the last couple of days now I’ve been bullet journaling exclusively. I keep a monthly log, a daily log, and a future log alongside some of the collections I’ve mentioned above. Nothing fancy here but I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve also invested a bit in my writing tools (like getting a pen roll and an ink bottle) so I should have enough at home to keep journaling for the next couple of months 😅 Anyway, I won’t elaborate on what works and what doesn’t after just such a short time (compared to years and years of doing GTD) but perhaps I will come back to this topic in a couple of months!