My hybrid workflow

My hybrid workflow

(sepuku) #1

So a few of you have been active along with myself, on a different thread (Building an Analog Task Manager), and I mentioned there that I would share my workflow once I’d figured it out.

As it turns out after digging around this site a little more, many of you have/have tried a similar workflow…
I’ve been using a Bullet Journal for the past 6 months or so, which has helped massively.
My weapon of choice here is a Dingbats Wildlife Medium A5 - I like the thicker pages, compared to the Leuchtturm, which I found I had a lot of ghosting using the Pentel Energel pens.
I’ve basically followed the standard BuJo method (, so I wont go into that process here, but I have included a couple of extra bits into mine.
First: A calendex (, although I’m still unsure I really need it, so in my next journal, I’ll skip this until I feel I can’t live without it
Second: I include a weekly spread (see below), which I also include recurring task stickers (red for work, blue for personal). These are basically just post it annotation stickers that can be moved week by week.

Third: I use a black pen for normal notes, and work tasks/appointments. Red for personal things, blue for goals for the week that I’ve put into my weekly work tracker that my boss sees (Teamspace), and green for anything to do with the kids (hospital appointments for my twins who had surgery 6 months ago, dentist appointments, etc).
Fourth: I have a page dedicated to each person I meet with regularly, split down the middle. On the left are the things I need to speak to them about that I think about during the week, and on the right their response to that “thing”, along with the date I spoke to them about it. Helps keep track of who said what, and when.
The rest of the Bullet Journal is pretty much the standard look/feel that Ryder Carol shows in his video. I don’t do anything special with mine. Its just plain and boring, with hand drawn lines, stuff crossed out, etc.

I’m not great at high level planning, but I find using a mindmap helps me visualise the stuff that I have going on for a particular project, and doing this digitally allows me to move tasks around until I’m happy with the parents/subparents of the tasks, etc.
MindNode (which I’d paid for before I discovered Omnifocus) has the awesome capability of being able to export a mindmap into a new Omnifocus task (with subtasks), which I then just convert to a project.

The workflow itself

Here’s where I think my new system will work for me.
I already have a new page set up in my bullet journal for each active project I have going on, and I added a master list of active projects, and a tag for each one (as per @joebuhlig post linked above). I use the active projects list as a sort of index for active projects only.
After spending hours googling for pictures of Bullet Journal’s and seeing all the arty farty ones out there covered in washi tape, I realised that washi tape does have its uses. I stayed away from using that stuff though as its too girly :slight_smile:
So I bought a stack of different coloured electrical insulation tape (much more manly), and set up tabs for regularly used pages - blue down the side of the journal for monthly spreads, black at the top for calendex/future log, red for the active project master list, plus a couple of other pages.

This way, I can quickly flick open to any of the regularly used pages, and in this case the master list of active projects first thing in the morning, decide which projects I want to move forward that day, then reference the dedicated project page in the BuJo for the tasks I can/want to do, choose a few, and migrate them to todays/tomorrows list.

OmniFocus comes into play as the storage for tasks/projects. During my weekly review (that I WILL get into a routine of doing), I’ll just run through some of my basic perspectives that show only the available tasks, and transfer the next batch of tasks into my BuJo. Then I can stay out of OmniFocus for the majority of the week, unless I need to add more tasks because I’ve finished all the others (along with anything that comes up during the week - which ALWAYS happens), or I get some free time and I’ll mark them off as complete…

At least thats how I see it all fitting together at the moment… I’ll live with it for a while, and post an update.

If you would like screenshots/photos of other areas, I’m happy to post. Just didn’t really feel like they were necessary.

(Wilson Ng) #2

Thanks for your hybrid workflow!

I’m still trying to find a weekly page spread that works for me. Your example is a great place for me to start!

:rofl: C’mon! Tiger stripes are awesome!

I do like the idea of different colored tabs. I’ll have to try this one out! I’ve been using these small binder clips as a bookmark for frequently used sections.

Yes! Staying out OmniFocus (or any other task manager) has been a great way to avoid distraction.

(Justin DiRose) #3

@sepuku this is really great! Thanks for sharing.

Question for you – do you do any kind of habit tracking inside of your Bullet Journal?

Also, I wrote up some of how I use my notebook back in July:

It’s changed since then (on the end of simplicity), but many approaches are the same.

(sepuku) #4

Yes, my habit tracker is identical to Ryder Carroll’s example on this post:

I’ve toyed with more complex ones, drawing out tables, numerous boxes, circular monthly spreads, etc, but I feel like it just sort of gets in the way of the simplicity and functionality of the Bullet Journal, so since January this year, I’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible.
If I am going to use a hybrid system and transfer tasks to/from that, I feel like I need as little resistance to actively use it as possible.
The beauty of the bullet journal, is that it can be as simple or complex as you need it to be, but unless you are using it as a creative outlet to decompress at the end of the day/week (which I wouldn’t recommend as my guess is it could be distracting), my advice on this would be to only do what you NEED to do.

(sepuku) #5

I like mine because it literally takes 2 minutes to set up on a sunday evening, and gives me space for everything I need to see for the week ahead, along with flipping to my dedicated project pages.
I used to draw it out with a ruler, but I quickly got bored of trying to make it look super neat, so gave up and draw by hand now. Its faster, I need less “stuff” to put a spread together, and its helped with a little bit of OCD where I wanted to keep it perfect. Its primary function is to be used, not to look good…

I did also try using an Eisenhower decision matrix as my weekly spread for a few weeks, but that didn’t last long.