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.
You can visit www.bulletjournal.com to see the video, learn how to bullet journal, buy a custom designed bullet journal and check out the blog of various alterations to the Bullet Journal. Or you could continue reading below to get a brief overview.
What will you need to start?
- Any empty notebook
- A pen or pencil
I have been using a ball-point parker pen and a large Moleskine squared notebook for my bullet journal. You could use any notebook and any pen though, it is up to you as to what you prefer. I have found that using quality products has given me greater enjoyment and motivation to use the Bullet Journal system more frequently in my daily life.
How do I start?
On the first 2-3 pages of your notebook (you may need more pages depending on how many pages your notebook has), write the word “Index” at the top of the pages. This is where you will keep an index of the pages in your Bullet Journal.
The future log is optional, I personally don’t use it as I use Google Calendar to track all my future events and Todoist to track all my tasks that are far in the future. If you do want to use it, then you would write “Future Log” at the top of the next open double page and then divide each blank page into 3 sections. Write the names of the coming 6 months at the top of each section. You will write tasks and events that are happening far in the future in this section.
This is another part of the traditional bullet journal system I rarely use, because I use Google Calendar instead. If you want to have a monthly log though, you will open to the next blank page and write the name of the month at the top of the page. Then write the days of the month and days of the week down the left hand side.
In the monthly log you will keep track of day specific events (like birthday’s, meetings etc.) On the right hand side of the page you will write the tasks you need to complete during this month.
The daily log is the part of the Bullet Journal I use the most. At the top of the page you write today’s date, then under today’s date you write down all your tasks for the day ahead. You also write down tasks as they show up during your day. The key to the Daily Log are the bullets you will be using. Take a look at the “Key” below.
- The plain bullet is used to signal a task
- The dash bullet is used to signal a note
- The circle bullet is used to signal an event
- The crossed out bullet is used to signal a completed task
- The forward arrow is used to signal the item has been moved forward to tomorrow.
- The back arrow is used to signal the item has been moved to the future log.
- The exclamation mark or star is used to indicate the item is urgent.
Sometimes you want to keep track of something in specific, for example a monthly budget, books to read, kilometers jogged etc. In these cases you will dedicate a whole page or two of your bullet journal to your collections. This is where most people get really creative.
Keep the index updated
Finally, you need to keep the index updated. I usually write the month then the starting and ending page number for my daily logs of that month. Then I give each collection it’s own entry in my index. Normally I only update the index on the last day of the month.
Why is this an easy task management system?
So why do I say this is an easy task management system? I say this because:
- It is affordable
- It is highly adaptable
- A child can be taught to use it
- I have not seen any other system that is as simple and effective as a bullet journal.
Do you have a different easy task management system? I would love to learn about it too. Write me a message as a comment below, or use the tag #AuthenticallyAsh on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.