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Getting Things Done with the Bullet Journal

Video: How I use David Allen’s Getting things done system with the Bullet Journal Method as a web developer

In 2013 I found myself stressed out, I had to many commitments and not enough time; or so I thought. Up until this point I kept track of all my everything in email or my head. When I missed an important deadline I often complained that I was overworked. I started researching productivity methods online and came across multiple posts referencing David Allen’s Getting Things Done in the comments.

How Getting Things Done cleared my mind

GTD frequently references finding a trusted format to store your thoughts, commitments, projects, and responsibilities. The hardest part was actually discovering my trusted system. GTD doesn’t do that for you.

Limiting collection points

Dave Crenshaw in many of his Lynda.com time management videos references limiting your collection points to the fewest possible. I found this helpful in funneling what grabs my attention. However, no matter how hard I tried to limit communication points almost every project or client had a list dedicated platform. Sadly this is just how communications in 2019 works.

I’m a member of five Slack Workspaces, Two email address, three messaging platforms, two Calendars, two voicemail accounts, and a Basecamp. This isn’t a complete list and it’s always changing.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible tell our supervisor or client you won’t use their favorite service because you’ve purged to only a few accounts That’s where the Bullet Journal helped me navigate the chaos.

The Bullet Journal is my single point of captured information

Independent of the source everything I need to do is added to my Bullet Journal. This way I capture everything at regular intervals and quickly note the task in an abbreviated style. It always begins with Rapid Logging in my Daily Log collection spread.

A Daily Log spread in my Bullet Journal
A Daily Log spread in my Bullet Journal.,Nothing fancy.

I take no time to worry about penmanship, grammar or presentation. My Daily log serves as an almost real time dump of what’s in my mind. If I need to clean things up and expand on anything I create a custom collection to drill down a subject, or plan a long term project. Even if it’s something like recurring due dates added to my Monthly Log.

The benefit is that I still capture everything that’s competing for my attention and time. However, once in my journal I rarely have to return to the source unless an update has been posted or I need to grab very specific information such as an error message, very long url, contact information for a vendor or simply a file attachment.

Have any questions? Feel free to comment below.

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By Joseph Dickson

Joseph Dickson is a web developer in higher education and an avid proponent of using WordPress’ core features to create flexible and manageable design solutions.

2 replies on “Getting Things Done with the Bullet Journal”

Holy moly this is awesome!!!! I’ve started organizing my email and tasks this way. Can I ask how many projects you handle this way?

Everything at work even admin tasks if it takes longer than a few minutes I jot it down as a task.

Sometimes I jot it down after it’s been completed and just to have a record.

At home I’ll add recurring tasks to my monthly log. Due dates for paying bills. Etc.

My work and personal stuff is in one journal.

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