January 2019 Bullet Journal Recap

01 Feb 2019 16:00 UTC-08:00

Late last year I made the decision to go full time analog productivity. To me this was a return to my Midori Traveller's Notebook and less reliability on mobile applications to keep track of things.

With January being a new year I thought it would be a great time to really do my best and dig in on this process. I didn't realize that I was going to be extremely busy with things and that my notebook would be crucial in keeping my sanity.

What went well

Since I've been reading [The Bullet Journal Method][bullet journal] by Ryder Carrol, I really wanted to make things very simple. This meant reducing the amount of things that I tracked. I had previously tried to keep up with logging my food, how many times I fell into a tunnel of distraction, my water intake, and many other things. No more of that.

This time I wrote down all the things I wanted to track and in Marie Kondo style, and tried to reduce the list to only things that were "essential" to the art of bullet journaling and things that I knew I wanted to make a habit of.

With the rebirth of the [Productivity in Tech Podcast][pitpodcast] and the creation of [Ask a Brit][aab] I wanted to make sure that I was publishing consistently. I also wanted to track how often I coded and read, two things that I tended to rely on momentum to be consistent with.

Another big convept that helped me more than I thought it would was the idea behind threading. This was simply adding an arrow to the left followed by the page number of the continued thought. Also I add an arrow to the right and the page number for the next page I take the thought to. This makes it rather easy to add reference to items, which allows me to retrive information faster (and fill out my index, which I am terrible about).

What didn't go so well

There is still one area that I haven't fully is my management of a calendar. I had some big dates to remember for this year and I wasn't quite sure how to manage it with more and more going into my notebook. My podcast schedule is completely digital as it is tracked using calendly, google calendar, and Notion. Hopefully Notion will provide some kind of integration with G-Suite so that I don't have to manage this in multiple places. While I could just keep everything in my google calendar, I really don't rely on it as much as you think, but I haven't gotten into the habit of transferring items into my Analog calendar. This caused for some double-scheduling that could have been easily avoided.

Another failed experiment was abandoning the daily spread for a weekly theme. I quickly have to revert to this as I would have things that would stretch across several pages (and days) This meant that I was doing more unneccessary flipping through pages instead of just doing a daily review and transfer of information that helped me to prepare myself through the day.

My thoughts going into February

February is going to be a test on consistency for me. I've proven that I can work from my notebook like I used to. As this trust has returned, I can continue to focus on adding more and more content and collections into it. I also think my current notebook will fill up in the middle of the month which will bring about a migration which I will definitely talk about at that time.