ADD versus Bullet Journal method

Why do to-do lists work better for some people? They dutifully check off their lists and seem to move ever-closer to their goals. What can non-listers do to improve their tasking? Kara Benz offered great tips in How to Craft a Better To-Do list


I’ve taken some of my repetitive daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and categorized them into two lists. The first is my “If I have lots of energy then I will…” list, and the second is my “If I’m feeling sluggish then I will…” list. Kara Benz

Great point. I know my energy isn’t always the same, and I should adapt my goals and method accordingly.  I liked how the author addresses how to have a list for when I’m feeling sluggish or I have a lot of energy. I can give myself permission to get out and walk or experience some sunshine to give myself a break. 

Listers and Forgettors

It is easy to separate people into list-makers or forgetters, and classify myself as the latter. I don’t list. I try to keep it all rolling around in my head. Ask me how that is working. It isn’t, thanks for asking. 
I’m not a list checker. I don’t enjoy going back and re-checking the list to re-center myself. Lists aren’t interesting to me. Remembering is interesting, enjoyable and unfortunately it is also unsustainable. Eventually things drop off my memory radar which causes stress and slows me down. 

It feels great to have all those thoughts rolling around in my head, like a big Halloween candy bucket. I can choose to snatch a snickers (memory: free A/B testing tools for WordPress blog headlines), or an Alexander the Grape (idea: web comic detailing the captivating life of a concrete sidewalk portion). Using this (failing) method, I am rich with ideas but poor in implementation- a memory hoarder that refuses to select a goal and stick to it. 
Sure, I get a shot of positivity when I get something done, but i think others get a more powerful high. 

Focus on the Goal: People

My method has been to focus on the thing I enjoy, and factor in how my task will point to that. 
I love helping people share their ideas. I think the world needs more people sharing and listening to others. Looking at my task list; my car needs oil, I need a haircut, the website needs updating and we need to make a more efficient email message. 

Now, to give myself motivation to focus on a goal I’m interested in, I reconsider those tasks in light of how it will help people share themselves. Getting a haircut will help me focus on my job and give me a boost of confidence. Updating our email email encourage people to engage with the website. Ok, I can do this. 
Hey Inbox, you suck (at prioritizing my goals)

Too often it is easy for me to sit down and start checking emails for things I need to do. Instead, I can write them down, thinking as I write and prioritizing as they go into the list. I can use the bullet journal method to make another list of the top three things I will commit to complete. 

My Add brain is already frustrated I am writing something down twice. This is inefficient! This sucks! Go answer random, semi-important emails and get frustrated nothing actually was completed!

In reality, writing and re-writing items probably gives my mind more time to consider a solution to the task. Which, in reality gives my mind more time to do what I love to do: think about interesting things that are important to me. 

Kara has a great site focused on helping people live goal-oriented positive lives at (Phew, that sounds like a dorky positive Hallmark card endorsement, but I believe the world is better when we examine life and focus ourselves on greatness.) Thanks, Kara!

P.S. Kara also wrote a post on Bullet Journaling + the Getting Things Done method, which sounds like it will be a hot mess of flapjack goodness. Stay tuned and I’ll provide my hot takedown from an Add mindset soon. After all, it is on my to-do list. 😉

To do list in journal
Bullet Journal attempt, again.

Wallet Sketchbook – the Pentalic Traveler Pocket Journal

photo of a small journal sketchbook
Pantalic Traveler Pocket Journal

I recently found a great little sketchbook called the Pentalic Traveler Pocket Journal. I’m going to put credit cards in the back and use it as a wallet. Carrying keys, phone, Moleskine, and a wallet starts to make me look like a circus conductor with poofy pockets. How small is your sketchbook? discusses exactly that.

Any mention of sketching journals should always mention the awesome 1000 Journals, the project where people create art in journals and leave them in public places for people to find and continue.

How to choose a sketchbook. Great examples of using a sketchbook. It is killing me that CreativeOverflow’s website isn’t showing the images from their 100 Sketchbooks and Moleskines post.


Even though it is isn’t in a sketchbook, I found Michael Cho‘s work to be amazing. He has a book on sale called “Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes“:

Michael Cho's Comic-Styled work
Michael Cho’s Comic-Styled work

Now I just need a writing device use with the small notebook. I’ve enjoyed the Space Pen, but would always lose it because it was slippery and didn’t have a clip or ring. I’ve lost 3 so far! People say it doesn’t write that well.

The PicoPen seems to solve the losing part- it has a ring and a neodenium magnet to keep it connected. People say the Zebra F-301 Compact Pen is nice, but add the Signo 207 refill to get a better ink. Fisher sells the Trekker, but I think the ring is too large. The Titaner Ti Pen looks awesome but is too big. Hinderer Investigator Pen looks awesome but is out of stock and costly at $60.

I think I’m going to start using some shortened disposable pens and try out the Zebra F-301 or the X-Mark Bullet that has a clip.

Small and light as well as low cost.
Zebra F-301: Small and light as well as low cost.

Brian Green reviewed most of these pens and had a great idea to chop some disposable pens and shorten them to have something to take on the go.

photo of short disposable pens
Brian Green’s shortened pens