Bullet Journal: The easiest task management system

Simplest Task Management System - Bullet Journal

There are many task management systems out there to manage your to-do lists.  You could use David Allen’s Getting Things Done for example, but I have found that Getting Things Done is over complicated for entry level workers, and people who do a lot of work as it shows up.  That is why I love combining GTD with the Bullet Journal system by Ryder Carrol.  The Bullet Journal is an effective and easy task management system.

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Getting Things Done Workspace at home

Desk at home, reorganized.
My desk at home before cleaning it
My desk at home before cleaning it.

On Saturday I cleaned up my workspace at home to minimize the clutter and make it more functional.  It was my intention to create a functional home workspace using principles from David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”.  I have limited space to work with at home, since I only have a small desk that sits against a wall between the living room and kitchen.  Our living room and kitchen has an open plan design.  On this small desk I need place for my 3-tier inbox, writing surface and computer. Continue reading “Getting Things Done Workspace at home”

Getting Things Done: Office Workspace

Yesterday I decided that I needed to completely re-evaluate my office and home workspace.  My goal is to minimize clutter, get rid of the items I don’t need and make sure that I have easy access to the things I do need.

The most basic getting things done office workspace

In David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, he describes that the most basic workspace has a writing surface and place for an inbox.  This surface can be expanded to also contain a computer and anything else you need to be productive.

I came up with a list of items I need to be at my maximum efficiency while I work.  These items are:

  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Writing surface
  • 3-tier inbox: in, reading and filing
  • Pen and Pencil holder
  • Mini note paper
  • Post-its
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Sharpener
  • Paper Clips
  • Binder clips
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paper punch
  • Sticky Tape
  • Rubber Bands
  • File Folders
  • Dustbin

My office workspace before I GTD’d it

My workspace was seriously jumbled, as you can see by the before photograph below:

My workspace at the office before I tidied it
My workspace at the office before I tidied it.

My office workspace after I GTD’d it

Here is an after photograph:

My Getting Things Done Office Workspace
My workspace at the office after I had tidied it

Spot the difference!  The printer is still on the desk, but it is hidden behind the laptop.  I moved the laptop to the left hand side and put the second screen in the center back.  I cleaned out the inbox, and repacked the stationery drawer.  I actually didn’t remove too much stuff, I simply reorganized the stuff that was there.  What I love is that I now have the whole right hand side as a writing surface.

I have easy access to my writing surface, inbox, pen holder and computer.  In the top drawer I have mini note paper, post-it’s, headphones, paper punch, stapler and staples.  I also ordered paper clips, binder clips, a sharpener and sticky tape from Takealot, it is due to arrive on Thursday next week.  Under the desk is a dustbin.

I need to bring rubber bands and file folders from home.

Next, I must set up an identical system at home and put together my “office in transit”.

Why I will never sleep past 7am again

It is 5:30am as I write this blog post. Andrew (11 weeks) is dozing in my arms after his most recent feed.
No amount of warning could have prepared me for nights with an infant. I have been told by one set of parents that I am lucky that Andrew sleeps 3 to 4 hour stretches as their child sleeps little more than 2 hours at a time.
I have been feeding Andrew only breast milk since his birth. Occasionally
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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (step 6)

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking you through creating a planning journal like mine.  If you have missed the previous blog posts, you can view them over here:

This is the last step on creating your planning journal.  In this step I am going to cover Reference files, Someday/Maybe lists and your tickler file.

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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 5)

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking you through creating a planning journal like mine.  If you have missed the previous blog posts, you can view them over here:

This week I am going to tell you about the daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and special checklists in detail, and help you setup yours.

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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 4)

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking you through creating a planning journal like mine.  If you have missed the previous blog posts, you can view them over here:

This week I am going to look at the “Active Projects” tab of the planning journal and discuss the project creating process.

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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 3)

Daily Planner layout | AuthenticallyAsh.com

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking you through creating a planning journal like mine.  If you have missed the previous blog posts, you can view them over here:

In this step I am going to discuss using your calendar, planner, action lists and waiting for list.  I’ll be giving you details on how to use each of them to stay up to date on a day-to-day basis.

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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 2)

Getting Things Done Workflow Diagram

Last week I started you on the process of creating your planning journal.  This week we are heading onto the next step.  You will be gathering up all your To-Do items and organizing them into the following groups:

  • Multi-step actions – these will be the start of your projects
  • Single-step actions
  • Routine actions – these will be the start of your checklists
  • Special routine actions
  • Someday/Maybe

We are also going to do a quick overview of handling Multi-step actions, Single-step actions and routine actions.  This will be just enough to keep you going until I go through them in depth.

If you missed the previous posts in this series, I strongly advise reading them before continuing with this step.  Here are the links to the previous posts:

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Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 1)

Authentically Ash Planning Journal Step 1 Printout

Last week, I gave you a glimpse of my planning journal (also called a Control Journal by some).  If you missed last week’s blog post, you can check it out here.

This week, I was going to tell you how to create one for yourselves, but as I started writing out the process, I realized that most people would be completely overwhelmed if I was to give it to them in one long chunk.

That is why I am doing it in a series, with one step each week.  Don’t try to rush this process.  It took me 2 years to bring together a system that works for me.  Feel free to alter this according to your family and lifestyle.

Are you ready for the first step?  Let’s go!

Continue reading “Creating the All-In-One planning journal (Step 1)”