This piece is part III of a short series. Last year I blogged about my New Years Planfest over at littleredtarot. I wrote a planfest post for 2018 as well, then started this series about how I planned last year and how I’m planning 2018.


<<click here to see the previous post




#2 The BuJo for Big Goals and Check-ins

When I first learned of Bullet Journals I was equal parts fascinated and horrified by them. On the one hand, you could draw whatever you wanted! Seemed like hours of customizable fun! Stickers! Ribbons! All kinds of tactile variety!


On the other hand, you draw whatever you want in them. For hours. And then you use all this fancy stuff that costs money (that I don’t have). And the whole thing sounds exhausting. What if I’m depressed? Do I throw out my planner those times? Would I ever pick it up again?




Once I decided that there was no perfect planner for me, I revisited the BuJo. At the very least I saw it would be good for my finance tracking because I’d already been writing that information in an empty book. I figured as long as I promised myself I’d keep it simple, I could keep it up.


Here’s what’s in it so far:

  • a key for the symbolsplanning
  • table of contents
  • year at a glance
  • future log
  • the biggest goals
    With categories, personal, learning and business.
  • monthly check-in
    (incl tracking what I spend)
  • tarot reading for the year



The Bujo ended up being ice cream my way.


I can skip months without wasting paper. I can change it into anything I want. Something about the raw potential of a blank space has me already plotting what next years’ will have that this year doesn’t. And the best part about it is that it’s an energetic barometer. It’s one thing to write in a journal “I felt tired.” It’s another thing entirely to notice in a monthly check-in where I had the energy to draw pictures and one where I skipped even the bare minimum.


My BuJo is an honest reflection of where I’m at. Sometimes that’s dreaming about using washi tape, and sometimes I better keep it simple for a while. I tracked astrology in my year at a glance, and this was a section where I noticed a shift. Whereas in 2016 I’d filled a wall with scribblings about the stars, I was content this year to note transits that were relevant to goals for the year and leave it at that.



#3 Asana for Projects and Actions

Speaking of achieving goals. This next tool is my secret weapon. Well, I mean, maybe it’s not a secret. I imagine all project manager types know about it and some small biz folks. But the layperson looks at a tool like Asana and thinks, I don’t need all that.


I used to be one of them. Before GTD, I didn’t need all of it. Mostly because I was never going to achieve projects on the scale necessary to need help organizing them (because I was going to burn out first). It sounds like this app is for fancy things, but you’ll notice below I’m tracking books I want to read. Even the simple things benefit from organizing when you scale upwards with them.


There are apps inspired by GTD They have the terminology you’d want built in. They’re already set up. Hell, they’re probably easier to use than Asana.


The main reason I chose this app, even though it’s not on any of those lists for what to use with GTD, is because I was already using it. I didn’t want to use something else. I wanted to use a tool I knew well and save myself the trouble of learning. When I read GTD, I was already using Google Drive, so I bought the setup guide for Drive at the GTD site and started there. It was decent, but I was familiar enough with Asana to know that with its nested tasks, it could give me a level of detail that would be tedious to set up with just Drive, so I switched over.


Things I love


I love that Asana gives me a clear sense of my priorities right on my phone and that links easily to my GCalendar. I love that when I finish a task, neon animals stream across my screen pooping rainbows. I’m not sure if there’s infinite nesting potential, I’ve never tried to find out. But I think there might be!! I love that Asana can be any kind of list I need anywhere I am.


I didn’t mention it before, but GTDs category system is locational, it’s based on where you are and what you can do instead of time. Asana lets me pull up a list of people to call when I’m waiting somewhere and have my phone, a list of items to buy when I’m at stores, chores to do around the house when I’m home and have energy.


I can enter how long tasks will take (do this no matter what you use, it’s a game changer!) and using the comments or attachments section I can link to Evernote notes or Drive documents very easily. I have to do this manually as opposed to with apps made for GTD but I like this because sometimes I don’t want to do it and when I don’t want to, the clutter isn’t there. Sort of like my BuJo.


I use Asana to remind myself of priorities, tasks, and some dates but I keep deadlines fluid preferring instead to use a tool more closely suited to scheduling. I say more about this next week in the final post in this series. I’ll also talk about the last of the tools I use.


click to read the next post in this series>> 

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