Noting vs Scheduling

1. Tools for Reflection

I like the BuJo because it isn’t really focused on being a Planner or ToDo List (although a lot of people see use it that way). It really is meant to be a tool for reflection (I used that very word 4 years ago). I think I’d just come off reading the Autobiography of Ben Franklin and he journals that way…beginning each day with his goal “to do something good in the world” and ending each day assessing his progress or failures.

A lot of people (not me so much) spend time drawing up fancy spreads in their journals. There’s no real point to doing this if you are just replicating a printed calendar. But for those people who draw in sort of a meditative way, or to help them reflect, relax, and unwind, I think it’s a wonderful way to process and make sense of the day.

In the end, the journal is a tool we make suited to our needs…unlike apps where we have to redesign ourselves to fit into the constraints of the app.


2. Differentiating Between Identifying Tasks and Scheduling Them

I’ve never been very good at keeping a To Do list because what I write down and what I end up doing don’t mesh. Then I feel guilty and quite quickly stop writing down things. (Usually disaster ensues.)

What I finally realized in about Jan 2017 was that I needed to differentiate between identifying tasks (as well as writing down ideas that hadn’t really coalesced into a goal or a plan yet) and scheduling them.

Except for appointments, I don’t usually schedule more than a couple of days ahead. I just look at my list and ask myself, what do I want to focus on tomorrow.

The format that works best for me is called the “Alastair Method” popularized by Alistair Johnston.

3. Setting Priorities

Another way I find using a BuJo valuable is in identifying what I really want to work on and assessing where I’m actually spending my time. I’m getting better at asking myself “Is what I’m doing right now (such as scrolling through my Twitter feed) actually working on any of the projects that I want to work on?”

About a month ago I wrote a 1990’s style “mission statement”…and in doing so, I’m much more able to assess what I’m doing against my personal yardstick.