My bulletjournal inspired tactical todo list

Bullet journaling (Bujo) is an incredible organization tool. If you haven’t tried it, check out the original (non-art) form. It’s terse, concise, and for my and a lot of people, unreasonably effective. After several years of bullet journals however I was left with a stack of journals, full of unsurfacable interestingness. Many ideas are bound in the pages, but are locked there among many pages of chaff. The signal to noise ratio of the pages is quite low, so it’s not a reasonable use of my time to go through and pull out the ideas. However, the thing the bullet journal does provide is a habit of getting tactical ideas to paper immediately. Once on paper, I’m free to forget about the task until it’s executive mode time and I need to crank through my tasks in a focused manner.

How I setup my todo list

Inspired by Bujo’s weekly spreads I use a weekly layout that minimizes the overhead rewriting daily tasks, as well as captures how long a task has sat on my list. I follow Plant Based Bride’s Weekly layouts

When the muse comes, welcome them

The todo list helps me achieve presence. When I am distracted by those “Oh I gotta do it…” I don’t stop. I add it to my weekly todo, and continue.

Conversely, when I am in “executive mode”,

  1. I scan my todo list
  2. Identify the forcing items that need to be done
  3. Do the item. (or at least make progress on it. I called this “bring the item forward”)
  4. cross them off
  5. Repeat until my executor is exhausted, or until I have a “day dream distraction”.

I always allow a creativity distraction redirect my attention. When the muse comes, welcome them. Creativity mode is higher priority than executor mode. Creativity (On intelligence calls daydream mode) trumps executor.