A Productive Productivity System

I’ve tried many different systems and tools over the years: Getting Things Done (GTD), todo.txt, Taskwarrior, Org Mode to name a few. One thing I’ve discovered is that productivity systems are like dieting; you feel really motivated when starting out but after a few weeks the enthusiasm starts to wane and you quickly start to fall out of practice. I’ve been trying GTD on and off for several years now but failed to really gel with it meaningfully. The one I’ve had the most success with so far is Bullet Journaling. I want to add that I’m not Bullet Journaling on the same level as all these creative hand drawn Instagram masterpieces you see; my approach is very much messy, minimal and functional. I follow most of the principles outlined on the Bullet Journal Website: a dot for a task, a dash for a note, a small circle for an event, each day has it’s own heading, once a task is complete I put a cross through the dot, if I carry forward a task the dot becomes an arrow, if the task is no longer relevant I put a line through it. I suspect the reason this has worked so well for me is because it’s the first time I’ve tried hand-written notes rather than a digital system and perhaps if I had tried hand written lists with GTD it would have been equally successful.

Here’s a few things about productivity systems that I’ve discovered over the years, that at least apply to myself:

For now I’ll continue with my hand-written bullet journal approach and we’ll see how it goes in the long term.