Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Day 2866 - How I get shit done

How detailed are your to-do lists?

I can't get by without my to-do lists.  Whether it be the meal plan, the shopping list, my weekly list of priorities or a detailed project management plan in tabular form, it's my to-dos that keep me focussed.

Without them I just bumble along in a semi-proactive, mostly reactive, way.

There's a lot of talk these days of bullet journaling.  I looked it up and it quite simply confused the hell out of me.  Apparently it's a method of journaling that uses bullet points as the core structure.  Isn't that what we all do anyway?

The thing that complicates it is that there is an index, a daily log, a monthly log, something called rapid logging and the future log.

All fancy words for short term, medium term and longer term goals.

Rapid logging is using symbols to help you get stuff done so that you don't have to keep writing out the same crap over and over.

So basically it appears that a bullet journal is somewhere between a to-do list, a diary and a planner.

Now if you Google "bullet journal" and check out all the lovely pictures, you'll see that people often get very decorative and artistic with their journals.  With the lovely colouring and the posh terminology it does all sound quite fancy.

If you've been around bullet journaling for a while it's possible you've even given it its own street name - the BuJo.

I don't know about all the bullet journaling malarkey but I do know that I have very detailed to-do lists which have served me well for many many years.  I'm at my most productive when I use this method so I thought I'd share it with you.

This is how I get shit done:

Every Monday morning I sit down to a cup of tea and a brand new double page of my note book. I write down each of my "projects" or areas of commitment. For example, blogging, my author stuff, the new magazine, my coaching business etc. Included in that is family, exercise goals, some pampering for myself and any events or household projects that might be on the cards.

Then I jot down the tasks that need to be completed within each area.

I also throw a few "go get 'em" style words in there and I may even doodle around the edges as I dig deep inside my brain and sip my tea.  The doodling is therapeutic.

With some of my bigger projects for the week I then create a separate page to record the more detailed to-dos.  I use a post-it note to flag that page.

These projects will often have a tabular project management plan included and a folder of notes, but the note book reminder is important for keeping me focussed and giving me the prod I need to get shit done.

I tick off all my stuff as I do them using double ticks because that doubles the celebration. The double tick for me is a "done" and a "hell yeah I'm done!"  There is no better feeling than turning to-dos into ta-dahs.

Anything that didn't get finished that week has an arrow next to it pointing to the right (which to me means "see you next week") and is highlighted so that as I flick through my journal I can see what is accomplished and what is not.  I don't want to miss anything.

And that my friends is how I get shit done.

Is it bullet journaling? I have no idea but it works for me.

Happy to-do-ta-dah-Tuesday.  I hope you manage to get some shit done.

How detailed are your to-do lists?

Do you bullet journal?

How do you get shit done? 


  1. I think bullet journaling shows up in various ways and the key element is it is a flexible system in a notebook vs a pre-made planner you fill in. Once something goes mainstream it takes on a life of its own.

  2. Oh my goodness! You are so organised. I do it in my head but that could be why I don't get as much as I need to done!

  3. I don't do this at all. Maybe that's why I forget things!

  4. I love this!!! I have a super organised colour coded diary that i have lists and lists i, which while it works well for me, leaves little room for creativity. Going to give this a try. x

  5. I need more attractive to do lists. I usually use post it notes or the back of a piece of paper and usually only make them when things start to feel as if they're out of control! But, I should use them properly on a more regular basis I suspect.

  6. I just use notes in my phone. Your to do lists look awesome!

  7. Every time someone talks about bullet journals I kind of glaze over. My to do lists don't need any freaking rules on how to write them! It has started to bug me, as you might be able to tell. I say if it works for you then it's all good.

  8. Wow your lists are pretty comprehensive! I have to do lists but they are VERY MESSY as they are a work in progress. I've tried doing a sort of bullet journal this month with 'a sentence a day' and have missed quite a few days ... oops ...

  9. I had no idea writing a list had to be so blinking structured. What is that anyway? Making list-writing hard work? I have been writing lists for absolutely years. I love crossing things off my to-do lists, so procrastination rarely enters my vocabulary. Even with an evil assignment due-date lurking just ahead. I've started using my Reminder app for work lists. I have one for each day and I just add things as I need to. I can cross them off, or move them to another day. Love seeing that task list hit 0!

  10. Love a good list! I have a work book for work for all my to do lists and ideas - be lost without it. I'm trying to decide whether I do the whole planner diary instead of phone app next year.... that Leanne Baker Diary looks mighty good but I do like the handiness of it all on my phone - its always with me.

  11. I'm not a list kinda person. But my sister, who is a teacher makes a list of the lists she has to write. She's also been known to write a list of things she needs to talk to me about before she calls me! #teamIBOT


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