Get Productive

How I Got My Productive Act Together

Back in college I was diligent about writing down my assignments and due dates and obligations in my trusty spiral-bound academic planner. I didn’t miss things and had it all at my fingertips. It was a good start to a habit that completely fell apart once I left college.

My professional life started in retail and eventually led back to school and then to work in a library. I had a variety of monthly or weekly planners during that time and was more or less able to keep up with my work schedules and class assignments. But once I got into my library career, which was a combination of administrative and planning meetings, program preparation, and service desk shifts, I knew I needed to up my game. I became really diligent with using Google Calendar, but that was only one of many functions I needed to work.

Enter the Bullet Journal. It seems like everyone who has ever gotten serious about “getting their act together” has tried some version of the BuJo. I saw a YouTube video about it I’m sure, and shortly thereafter saw a pack of grid Moleskine notebooks in the clearance area at Staples, and that was the sign I needed that this method was something I needed to try.

My BuJo was very minimalist. At most I would change up the color of the pen I used for the monthly spread, but for day-to-day I kept with just a black gel pen. Everything went into my BuJo — I was very faithful to the system. And it WORKED. I was getting my work tasks completed, I was remembering information I was given or needed to track down, and I had a great record for my monthly reports of all the things I had accomplished. I felt a significant change in me that I like.

But I needed to go a step further. One major complaint people have about the Bullet Journal is it’s limited with future planning. I also had tasks that I did on a weekly or monthly basis, and I would need to remember to transfer them over regularly to new spreads. So I went searching for what I might use digitally and that’s when Todoist popped up.

For me, Todoist provided the function of a Bullet Journal but with so much added functionality — I could set reoccurring tasks, I could move tasks around in different projects, I could quickly add in information or ideas as they came to me and sort them out later. PLUS, since it was digital it would sync on my work computer, my home laptop, my smartphone, my tablet… everywhere I needed. I used Todoist as a free customer for a couple of years but realized that I relied on it so much and enjoyed using it that to me it was well worth paying for a subscription for some added features. I haven’t looked back.

My task manager is essentially my second brain; it’s my dashboard. This is what I refer to throughout the day and add to it as needed and have the satisfaction of checking tasks off as they are completed and knowing that I’m accomplishing what I need to during my day. My Bullet Journal gave me the training and habits I needed to build off of, but it was my Todoist that really helped my productivity to soar.

Use my referral link to try 2 months of Todoist Pro!

Amanda Mae is a librarian who has lived in too many states and enjoys anything involving books, history, and productivity.

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Amanda Mae

Amanda Mae

Amanda Mae is a librarian who has lived in too many states and enjoys anything involving books, history, and productivity.

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