Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bullet Journal brain dump and new signifiers

Sorry, in my last post I said I would discuss which books I might use when I downsize my Bullet Journal. But after a few days back home using my Bullet Journal like crazy, I realize it may not be necessary or even possible. More on that in, hopefully, my next post.

But this morning I came up with something I really like and wanted to share with you right away.

I did a brain dump of all the things I need to do today. I didn't take any time trying to arrange them on the page according to type of task, I just got them all out on paper as I thought of them. But then when I looked at my tasks, I realized some needed to be done at home, some on the computer, and some were errands I need to make a trip out to do.

I needed some way to sort these tasks so their contexts would be more obvious. I tried to think of little icons to put, but I'm not a drawer or doodler so nothing came to mind. I went for just letters, which makes more sense to me.

Below you can see my list. Please don't be too distracted by the rock covering a name. (When looking around for some small item, I realized I have rocks all over the place. I like rocks.)

Anyhoozle, if you can read my handwriting you'll see E means Errand, H means Home, W means my daily dog-walking, and that sloppy unidentifiable thing is an @ which means something I have to do at my computer. (I don't have a smartphone so I have to do emails when I'm sitting at my computer, which is not all the time.)

I really like this, but I wonder if icons would be better so I don't start confusing letters. Can you think of any better signifiers I could use to distinguish different types of tasks, especially ones that need to be done in different locations?


  1. Loved your idea of writing letters rather than different symbols.

  2. I used to do that on my lists. I used letters like you did and it worked great.

  3. I use different colored highlighters to organize a brain dump into categories. Then I transfer items to new lists where each list is one category. If I try to use symbols in front of them I miss things. Because my time is fragmented by constant interruptions and changes I just work from the lists, not a schedule. Sorry if this sounds confused. It works for me but is hard to explain.

    1. Makes perfect sense to me. That's a great idea.

  4. I use different colored highlighters, too (but I just make a small dot where your letters are -- I don't actually highlight text). I also try to make the colors meaningful -- green for "go" (out the door); hot pink for highest priority; blue for blog/computer (cool and digital?). The color coding is enough of a visual sorting tool for me, so I don't rewrite anything.


  5. I use different dot stickers that come in all colors. Each color means a category. Once I have all the tasks dumped on the paper, I assigned color stickers to each task.

  6. Personally I use different highighters to colour code. But love the idea of using the letter system.

  7. I like the letter system because I can just use the one pen. Doesn't require me to have lots of pens/ supplies on hand. Anything that makes my life easier is good!