Bullet journalling has worked really well for me. Coupled with a personal wiki, it’s very powerful. Has anyone else had serious success?
Yes, it’s great. I’ve been using it for 2,5 years in a manner similar to the article: Not artistic, just minimal and functional.
Same here, been using Bullet journals for home and work for about three years, and really like it.
I previously had separate written books for work and home, but since Covid am now using a paper journal (small Leuchturm 1917 pocket book) for personal activities, and Emacs journal mode and org mode for work. Mostly because I don’t have the desk space at home to lay out my old work journal, but I’m enjoying being able to quickly take notes in meetings, work with tables, embed links, and keep track of citations from co-workers.
Googling “journal mode” yielded a lot of org-journal links, is that what was meant? I’m curious
Ah, correct, org-journal is the proper name. I had forgotten that it was part of org.
I’m using org-journal for this purpose and it works really well for me. I do use it with a weekly file not separate daily files (for which it is designed it seems) and have each day as a top level org heading.
What do you use for a personal wiki, and how do you take advantage of it with bullet journaling?
I use Roam, mostly. Also, I keep todos and logs in the BuJo but information and such in the Wiki. Does that make any sense?
I am using bullet journaling too, and it has been a huge improvement in my professional life.
I also tried many todo/productivity apps,, but it works much better on paper for me. I don’t understand why this is. I prefer apps for everything. I read books on a Kindle. I have garbage handwriting. I don’t understand, I just had to surrender to it.
I got one of those 4-color Bic pens, and that worked well for me, but then my wife got me a really fancy 5-color, like 4k, fast-wide, refillable, customizable, japanese super-pen that is a bit better still. I write in black, mark tasks done or migrated in red, make billing notes in green, and have blue and a highlighter to improvise with as needed.
I got a small spiral-bound graph paper notebook that lays flat and stays open to today, so no bookmarks needed.
I have to admit that I don’t do most of the extra stuff - just daily logs and collections. I kept up the index for a while, and I should get back to that, but meh.
The thing that I find so powerful is the core daily log. Write
[ ] Tasks, and
Down as things come up in your day. The tasks have a box you can check off as you do them. If you don’t do them - maybe you didn’t even intend to do them today, that’s fine - write them into the next day and mark them
So you never have a piece of paper somewhere with forgotten tasks. If you ever have a free second, go back and find those un-checked [ ] Tasks and [>] Migrate them!
I use Collections to put a bunch of related stuff down on one page, such as meeting notes, checklists or grander plans.
For me, the daily log solved the core problem. I don’t end up with a million tasks awkwardly orphaned on three different pieces of paper after the project ran out of space on one page. At the end of the day, it feels great to start the entry for the next day and have a couple tasks ready to go in the morning.
I find bullet journaling useless for scheduling and use a digital calendar for that.
I love everything about its stationary aspect (the feel, craftmanship, etc) and wanted paper bullet journalling to work for me. Unfortunately it never did stick :/
I’ve had good results with plain text files. Already living in Emacs, manipulating text files for tasks management and note taking felt like a more natural progression (using org mode).
Org’s feature-set is so rich and intimidating. A rabbit hole on its own, but can be distilled to its outline essence when getting started:
* TODO Call grandma
* DONE Drink water
* STARTED Super secret project
You can always embrace more features as you need them.
I like personal productivity tools just as much as everyone else, but this is off topic here, no? https://lobste.rs/about.
Curiously, for me personally, the fact this article has “for software engineers” in its title, and the way it’s written, somehow made me read (…I mean, admittedly only skim for now) it with interest and a feeling of trust, while I usually don’t have patience to wade through most “personal productivity” articles. I’m writing this, because I had this realization only after reading your comment, and am honestly surprised by that, and still kinda scratching my head what’s the “magic trick”.
Coming soon, my substack newsletter “Investment strategies for software engineers” …
Hm; I think “investment strategies” may sound too broad and generic; in fact, if I saw “personal organization for software engineers” as the title of the OP, I feel I might not click either… but “bullet journalling” sounded much shorter and more concrete for me to consume, I guess? And yes, I know you (most probably) meant this comment in jest, but I can’t help that it provoked me to self-reflect again, to try and better understand what happened with me here :)
Hmm, I’m not sure. Is there even anything software-engineering specific about the article? It is very well written, and bullet journaling is interesting, but it seems like you could delete “for software engineers” from the title and the article would remain the same.