bullet journal, digital organization, ideas & perspectives, organization, things i learned

blog || bullet journal plus digital system | things I’ll do differently next month

As I mentioned in my recent blog post about 3 Todoist tips for students, I’ve started using a combination of Notion, Todoist and Google Calendar to organize my ongoing and upcoming projects… which has replaced the need for my usual monthly bullet journal calendars (like the one below).

Digital tools are more practical for the complexity of the projects I’m working on right now, and they’ve also helped me focus & prioritize better!

HOWEVER my bullet journal is more than just a deadline calendar.

Which means: bullet journaling is still really useful for me in a multitude of ways. In particular, I like to have a single notebook that carries my quick little scribbles right after class, notes from one-on-one in-person chats, or rough brainstorming. Pulling out a phone to write something down in those situations can be unprofessional and impractical. An analog system is also great for tracking simple things like time spent on projects, or habits.

In September I decided to experiment with a different sort of “monthly” and “weekly” set up – for habit tracking, goal setting, and a little bit of mindful journaling.

It’s still a work in progress trying to figure out which parts of my planning process are best on paper, so this blog post is a little summary of what I’ve learned and what I’ll do differently next month!

the process

for next time

out in public!

1. I’d forgotten that bold and colourful is fantastic when I’m at home all day and getting crafty, but it’s a bit impractical and less professional to pull out during a Commerce lecture or professor office hours.

I’ll probably keep it a little more minimalist and simple next time – and save the bold craftiness for a separate page or for after I’m finished taking notes on the page!

pre-made sections: goals, priorities, habit tracker

2. In theory, writing down goals and priorities is great – but I definitely don’t see myself sticking to it when things get really busy.

Plus, in many ways my priorities don’t shift very much, and my ongoing projects are well-captured by Todoist. The wins are something I think about but rarely something I take the time to write about. I’m as of yet undecided, but maybe I’ll take that entire self-reflective section out.

3. My habit tracker: great. I use the workout one to keep track of which workouts I’ve done each day, and the others to keep track of the time I spend on various projects. That’s very useful for me.

organization

4. For one, my “weeklies” really ended up being a bit messier because in-person classes and meetings are a lot more chaotic than online ones. I ended up just scribbling whenever I could spare a minute, rather than adhering to a format/structure like I did for the past year while things were online and my bullet journal was conveniently open beside me at all times.

This came in handy when I was in a situation that would be unprofessional or awkward to take my phone out and type a task into my Todoist app. However, I’d love to think of a way to keep my tasks a little more organized.

5. All in all, I would say that I surprised myself by using “dailies” rather than “weeklies” in my bullet journal, despite now having a digital task management system.

I keep my occasional school discussion notes & scribbles in a school notebook. But, for one-off meetings with a prof, or sudden thoughts, ideas and epiphanies that strike in group/class environments, I quickly open my bullet journal and scribble them down. They remain chronological, and they remain daily mutterings. If it finds its way into my newly digital life so organically, maybe the bullet journal isn’t a lost cause after all…

decorating

6. As for my crafting, drawing, decorating, and scrapbooking – that I’ll need ideas for! I have a feeling I might leave that for after I’ve filled up the page, so that it’s more of a fun decoration activity than a pre-designed spread. (See Point 1)

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