Agenda is perfect for Bullet Journaling

productivity
workflow

#1

In my ongoing search to improve my productivity, I have tried my best in the past to commit to the Bullet Journal by Ryder Carroll. However, I could never get it to work properly with a traditional journal and a pen.

As I continue to work with Agenda and determine how it fits into my life I have discovered that Agenda is the perfect tool to implement the concepts of Bullet Journaling.

Here is example of my latest Bullet Journal entry for work today.

EVENTS: This section is reserved for scheduled events that take place for the corresponding day.

FOCUS: This section is reserved for the top 3 things that I need to focus on.

ACTIONS: This section is reserved for actions that take less than 5 minutes to complete.

POINTS: This section is reserved for important notes that I need to capture.

CLOSE: This section is reserved as a place for me to reflect upon my day. What went well and what I needs improvement.

RAPID LOGGING
Rapid logging is the one of the core concepts of the Bullet Journal. It consists of short sentences along with specific bullets to establish context.

ACTION BULLET
Instead of using the checklist feature in Agenda, actions are denoted by a “+” sign. From there I simply strikethrough an action to mark it completed. Or, if I need to migrate an action to a specific project I will use “/” to denote that this action has been migrated.

TIME BLOCKING
I’m a major advocate of the Pomodoro Technique and Agenda makes it really easy to track my pomodoros. Here is an example…

FINANCES (2P)(CXP): Set up budget for July

(2P): Indicates the number of pomodoros I’m willing to commit to this action.
(CXP): Tracks how many pomodoros I’ve completed. At the very end I will replace the “X” with the exact number of pomodoros I’ve completed.

DAILY EVENTS
I use “o” to signify events that took place on a specific day or note specific actions that I have taken that I need to be aware of in the future. For example…

o Met with my boss today to go over my 3 month review

or

o Paid off Costco today

NOTES
Capturing notes is pretty straightforward. I simply use the traditional Agenda bullet to capture any notes or ideas that I are important to me.

CONCLUSION
It would be really nice to see other bullet options available in Agenda or have the ability to signify our own bullets. However, in the end I am growing more fond of Agenda the more I use it and I am really happy to discover how well bullet journaling adapts so well to the Agenda format.


Support Bullet Jounal Features
#2

Me too. In fact, just a couple days ago I thought about giving this a try with Agenda but never got past procrastination mode.
Thanks for this - off to set up now! :+1:


#3

Awesome! Let me know how it goes.

There is so much to the Bullet Journal that I did not include that could be adapted to Agenda. If anyone else would like to learn more about Bullet Journaling you can visit http://bulletjournal.com.

Otherwise, if anyone else here plans on adapting the Bullet Journal concept to Agenda, let’s share some techniques and workflow examples to make the most out of this application.


#4

I’m intrigued by this idea. I will be sure to write back here as I develop my own system.


#5

Great! Looking forward to learning more about your own bullet journaling system.


#6

Interesting. I used bullet journaling on paper a while back. My usage evolved into my own style and your post reminded me of some useful concepts I dropped along the way!

I was just writing about by transition from paper to Agenda here about what is for me a missing feature in Agenda to complete my transition, and a workaround I’m trying.

I mention it because it’s a bit like your bullet journal. I might well add some sections based on your usage!

A few thoughts:

My workaround isn’t designed to record what I’ve done, I’ll edit the same note the next day. Might not meet your needs. If you want to preserve a note for each day, you could use TextEdit or the Apple version (Cant remember the name) to populate each days note with your headings.

You could adapt your method to take advantage of Agenda’s strengths, and the fact it isn’t paper based -

No need to add events, because your calendar is visible anyway

Instead of using / to indicate the item is migrated to a note, add a link to the note. (On reflection, maybe that’s what you already do and the / indicates its migrated there, rather than the note just being reference material for example)

Depending on how fine grained your notes are, On the Agenda could replace focus, though that doesn’t work for me.

IIRC the reason for - and + in bulletin journaling is purely because when writing by hand it’s faster that drawing a checkbox. Why not use Agenda’s checkbox, rather than giving yourself more work!?


#7

Great to see Agenda being such a good match, it makes a lot of sense how you approach things. Thanks for sharing!


#8

Use Unicode symbols or a symbolic font like Font awesome, combined with Apple’s built-in “Text Replacement” feature.


#9

I have used paper bullet journals in the past, and found them effective, with the exception of searching and “backing up” my data. I currently use TheBrain as a digital bullet journal, but I am intrigued by using Agenda. Question: How do you organize your daily notes? Do you create projects for each month, or something like that?

As for bullets, would tags suffice?


#10

I’ve always been fascinated by TheBrain. However due to the high cost for that product and lackluster mobile apps (at least when I last checked them out) has prevented me from committing to that app. How has TheBrain worked out for you?

In regards to your question, I am currently using two project journals. One for work and one for my personal life as I’m still trying to work out my daily format to track what I need to focus on.

In regards to bullet signifiers, here is what I currently use.

EVENT = o
NOTES = -
PENDING ACTION = +
MIGRATED = /
COMPLETED = CHECKLIST AG BTN
CANCELLED =
QUESTION = ?
KEY = !
INCOMPLETE = >


#11

Thanks for the response. I am not trying to proseletize for TheBrain, but it works really well for bullet journaling. I wrote a blog piece about it, which you can find here:

That was using an earlier version of TheBrain. The latest version, version 9, is much improved in a lot of ways — for instance the synchronization is outstanding and the iOS app works great. But it lacks some important features (no tables in the notes, and can’t drag email out of Outlook on Windows to the Plex, for example).

But if you’re satisfied with Agenda as a bullet journal, I would suggest sticking with it.


#12

I love Agenda as a Bullet Journal. I created a category called “Dailies”, It has an INDEX that works just as the paper one; then the MONTHS, which the current stays “On the Agenda”; every day I start a new note with the date e.g., TUE 23. This stays on TODAY because i link it to today calendar.

I use bullets for my todos; and below Notes, if I need to jot down some info for that day. I have use a series of emoji to call attention to my entries ($ signs, :point_up: :calendar: :pushpin: :heavy_check_mark: :eight_pointed_black_star: check marks, exclamations !!!, etc.)

When I create a month, I enter all my appointments as I know them. I do this even monhs in advance if needed. At the end of the month, I have a note with “Bring to ‘next month’”, so that what was not done this month will be moved.

I also keep an outline of my finances, like accounts, expenses expected, etc. Then I copy & paste to the following month and correct accordingly.

I love it, because there is really everything I need, I find every thing much faster than entering appointments in the calendar.

I would love to have the possibility to enter an image, as I use DayOne everyday—which I like because I have a different image everyday (I’m a photographer) and note down the day. I could do this in Agenda if that feature would be possible.

I do love Agenda!


#13

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Images and attachments are just around the corner. We are working hard on them right now.