Bullet Journals and Video Games

For the last three years I have used a bullet journal to both plan, and record each day. It has sat on the corner of my desk, and served as a duplicate of sorts to my work calendar, my home calendar, and the various productivity apps I have tinkered with along the way.

Name a well known app, and I’ve probably used it. Microsoft To Do, Google Tasks, Evernote, Notion, Todoist, Basecamp, Trello, Outlook, Keep… the list goes on.

Years ago I read a book called “Getting Things Done” that very successfully sold an enormous lie to pretty much everybody that read it. Off the back of it I became invested for a time in a website called “Remember the Milk”, and an app on my phone called “Things”.

It’s a slippery slope.

The bullet journal has served as an antidote of sorts to the chaotic, fast moving world of technology that surrounds me (I’m a software developer). It’s not perfect though – it doesn’t nag me when something hasn’t been done, and it’s not searchable either. I’ve lost count of the times I have paged back through it over several months, looking for a note. My brain works in mysterious ways – I often know I wrote something down, but don’t remember exactly what I wrote.

I’m going to try not using the bullet journal for a while. My work life lives in the Microsoft universe – Outlook, To Do, Teams and Sharepoint – and my home life in the constellation of Google services – Calendar, Keep, Tasks, and GDrive. I’m going to give their various apps and websites a shot. My life will live in my pocket – in the little black phone that I carry everywhere.

The one extra I am adding to the mix is “Notion”. If you’ve not seen it, and you have a penchant for being organised, I would stay the hell away from it. It’s a black hole of possibilities and opportunities to waste time organising, recording, and sorting anything and everything. It’s actually pretty brilliant. You have been warned.

Anyway. Enough of this idiocy.

I’m planning to visit town with two of my daughters tomorrow morning – while one of them meets up with friends to head away for the weekend, I’m going to do a raid on the second-hand video game store. It turns out if you time it right, you can bulk buy games that used to sell for £50 for £1 each. In another year those same games will begin climbing in value as they become collectors items.

Thankfully my kids aren’t huge video game players – so they don’t really mind which generation of hardware we have. For months we had a Raspberry Pi plugged into the television, allowing them to play any number of retro arcade machines. It’s always fun when grown-up friends visit, and notice a copy of Pacman, Space Invaders or Galaxians running on the TV – with sounds they have not heard since standing at the side of cabinets in amusement arcades thirty or more years before.

18 replies on “Bullet Journals and Video Games”

This just reminded me that back in the late 1970’s there was a home video game called Pong – I had one but, even after reading the Wikipedia entry on it, I don’t recall the hardware, I would swear we played it on the tv. That was the one and only home video game I have ever owned. Being retired I have no need for organizational aids – we have a calendar on the fridge where we enter, in pencil, any reminders/appointments – mostly medical (ah, getting old). I also have a small (paper) pocket calendar on my desk for reminders…that’s all I need. Back in the 80’s I would have killed for smart phones and all the lovely computerized everything that exists now – sadly my life is now such that don’t even need a “dumb” phone.

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I would love for my life to fit onto a paper calendar on the fridge. Sometimes at work I show my co-workers our family Google Calendar – before the pandemic happened, each week looked like a blunderbus had been fired at it.

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Years ago I read the book Getting Things Done and tried to abide by its twisted needlessly complicated way of staying organized. Didn’t work for me. The only digital organization app I have is Remember the Milk on my phone and I barely use it. It’s much more efficient for me to use a legal pad and pen, toss in a few post-it notes in pretty colors, and I’m getting things done.

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I grew up playing those old video games. We had an atari at one time, but before that, we had some of the original game players; sorry I don’t recall the names. I think it’s cool that you collect and play them.
I’m a google calendar girl, but a note/list on paper girl. Some tricks are hard for old dogs to learn.

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I’m surprised I lasted so long with the bullet journal to be honest. In the world we now live in though, with computers, phones, and the internet everywhere, I decided it was time to try ditching the paper for a while. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

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With my absent mindedness, a daily log of reminders really helps me although despite being a techie geek of sorts, it’s one thing I do find fun in keeping on paper over it. Or find easier. I like to read about app’s that do the job, though and would be curious to try one at some point.

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What do you mean? Format? In reality I write each post into Google Drive, and then copy and paste it into WordPress. The only reason I do that is because (a) Google Docs has great spelling and grammar checking, and (b) I don’t like the Gutenberg editor in WordPress.

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At work, I keep a clipboard of scrap paper on my desk for jotting down things I need to get done that day. At the end of each day, if it’s all done, I get the satisfaction of throwing it away in the bin, and starting with a fresh page the next day. Important things like appointments or flights (back when that was a more regular thing) got entered into my phone calendar, but I’ve never used organisational apps. Since I’m not overly tech savvy, I don’t think it’d be worth my time.

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