Bullet Journal

I’ve struggled to find a good task/appointment management system for years. I am an org-mode adherent, and I believe org mode is unmatched for notes, drafts, journals, and general prose. It also handles day-to-day to-do lists and calendaring, but those features never really stuck for me.

I’ve tried other systems, like TaskWarrior and todo.txt, which I wrote an Emacs mode for.

As an aside, I pretty much believe in cryonics, the singularity, that this entire thing might just be a simulation, and that The Matrix was an amazing movie.

System Failure

My point is, as much as it pains me to say this, there is a huge advantage for me in tracking events and ‘action items’ with a physical pen and actual dead-tree paper. There’s something about opening a small book, reviewing past items, bringing them into an up-to-date entry, reviewing the monthly schedule, and consolidating items that gives my mind something tangible to handle and become familiar with.

In most of my dealings, I seek minimal contact with the system I’m manipulating; I consistently seek automation everywhere, so the slightest action on my part leads to cascades of events that eventually result in the desired outcome. Computers are handy for this.

But when it comes to events and tasks that I am responsible for, I find that reviewing them, rewriting them, and consolidating them on a daily basis helps me grow an organic feeling for their weight and momentum. I need a feel for what’s coming up, and paper provides that.

But I also need structure. So I’ve settled on using Bullet Journal.

Bullet Journal

I don’t use all the modules. I do use rapid logging, along with the future log, daily log, and monthly log. I don’t find the index or signifiers particularly useful, though. But laying down tasks and migrating them forward consistently is a remarkably effective way to keep the important things in mind. I’m not sure what sort of digital system would be quite as…tangible.