Going Analog

Sometimes, doing things the old fashioned way can help you be more productive.

Ironic that I run a software business but I’ve recently switched back to using a notebook as part of my daily routine.

I wanted to started 2020 being more productive and laser focused on goals as I have a lot to hit this year, so I decided I’d lay it all out on a notebook.

I’m a Things (it’s a Mac app) user and I love it. I’ve been with them since they started and bought all the future upgrades for every platform they released on so I could have access to all my tasks and projects.

But I noticed that I was stagnating and wasn’t as productive as before. I seem to lose focus/attention (which is the crux of productivity) and I noticed that I wasn’t as aware of the whole picture for my projects and goals.

I decided to go back to bullet journaling, without the fancy calligraphy and illustrations and layouts that you see online. I have no idea how they can do all those things on a notebook and even have time to actually do their work.

So for me, it’s a very simple system:

  • Weekly Review of Accomplishments

  • 3 Big Things for the Week

  • Then break it down to 3 Big Things Daily

The rest of the tasks I can finish or new habits I’m building are icing to the cake. The Big 3 will need to be done always.

I still fell off the wagon a few times in January, doing the easier tasks or because some unplanned work happened, so my head was justifying that I need to cruise and finish the annoying pending tasks.

But I think I’m getting the hang of it.

I don’t put all my tasks into the notebook, I still drop them all in my inbox in Things and I break it down in the Notebook. I don’t have “field notebooks” like the other bloggers and vloggers you see doing this bullet journal thing.

Sure, I get jelous sometimes when I see their monthly spreads but damn! I don’t have time to do that!

Lastly, I know all the things I mentioned above can still be done with a To Do app. I acknowledged that and I did say that I still use a to do app to keep my inbox of tasks as I cannot always have my notebook with me everywhere, anytime.

I think what really affected me is that it gave me a change in what I do. Mentally, if gave me more sense of accountability to write on it, to make sure I check off the tasks unlike just checking off the checkbox.

I’m just starting, but I think it’s going well. I hope you could give it a try, too.


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