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Getting Things Done in the Bullet Journal

Weekly spread in the Bullet Journal

In a recent article, I shared my love and devotion for Getting Things Done, a methodology I have been using for quite a while to be more productive, more organized and to clear the clutter off my mind. The nice thing about Getting Things Done is that you can use any tool you like to implement it. I believe that the Bullet Journal is the perfect companion to the GTD method. Let me show you how I use the two together.

Getting Things Done in the Bullet Journal

Capturing

The first idea of Getting Things Done is to dump everything that’s on your mind in your trusted system of choice. The daily spread is the perfect place to capture your tasks and projects on the go. It allows for rapid logging–just add a bullet and write down your tasks. You can migrate it to the appropriate list later.

Bullet Journal Daily Spread
The Dailies allow for rapid logging of your tasks, ideas, projects, etc.

Brain dump

There are other spreads in which I like to capture tasks and ideas. I created a “brain dump” collection that I use when my mind is just so full of ideas to get clarity on what needs to get done. I literally dump my ideas on the page, and deal with it during my weekly review, or migrate it after dumping.

Brain dump spread
Rapid logging brain dump spread

Someday/Maybe

The last capture spread that I use is what David Allen calls the “Someday/Maybe” list. It consists of projects or tasks that you would like to get done at one point, but just not right now. On that list, I have things like “remodel the bathroom” or “clean up the craft closet”.

Someday/Maybe list
Someday/Maybe list

Delegating

In the Getting Things Done methodology, delegation is an important component. What should you do with a task that is in the hands of someone else? I like to put it in a spread called “Waiting For”. Here’s what it looks like :

Waiting For List
Waiting For List

Organizing

Now that you have captured your thoughts, tasks and ideas, you can start to organize them. I like to keep a list of my current projects to get clear on what needs to get done next to keep the ball rolling for each of them.

Projects list
My running list of current projects

Reflecting

After you’ve processed your tasks and projects, you’ll have many lists of stuff to do and things to remember. Reviewing your system regularly will assure you that no task is left undone. Here’s what my current checklist looks like in my Bullet Journal. I wrote an entire blog post about my weekly review process. I’ve created a PDF checklist that you can use to create your own weekly review. You can get yours here.

Getting Things Done Weekly Review Checklist in the Bullet Journal
Getting Things Done weekly review checklist

Doing

Now you have all your tasks in the same place, you are clear on your current projects, you know where everything is and you review your system regularly. The time has come to get doing the things that need to get done.

Weekly

Each week, I setup my weekly spread, go through my system and make sure that each current project gets a task scheduled during the week.

Weekly spread in the Bullet Journal
One of my weekly spreads

Daily

Every morning, I setup my daily spread according to the tasks that I have previously determined and add anything that has come up in the meantime. I try to cross everything off the list by the end of the day, starting with my most important task. I log anything that comes to mind during the day to be processed during my weekly review.

There you have it, the many ways in which I incorporate Getting Things Done in my Bullet Journal. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s little show and tell! Are you a Bullet Journalist? How do you get things done and keep track of your tasks? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to grab your Weekly Review Checklist!

See you next Tuesday!

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4 comments

  1. Thank you for showing how you’ve merged GTD and Bullet Journaling. I’ve implemented something similar but will use some of the layouts you’ve mentioned.

    1. Thanks Daniel, I’m glad you found something you can use! If you share your layouts on social media, you can tag me so I can see them!

  2. Are your dailies those shown in the picture of your weekly spread, or do you have separate dailies?