In my previous post I mentioned that I have been using a new app called Trello to organize my trip planning. Trello is actually one of two methods I have been experimenting with to stay organized and feel like I am accomplishing something. Over the summer, my son noticed I am always making to-do lists, and he introduced me to a system called Bullet Journal (aka BuJo), which uses indexing and migration methods to keep track of daily, monthly, and ongoing tasks.
At the beginning of the month, you create a Monthly Log, which contains an overview of all the tasks you hope to accomplish that month. Tasks assigned to a future date go in a Future Log, and you keep track of your progress using Daily Logs and something called rapid logging. Anything that doesn’t get accomplished from a Monthly Log gets migrated (denoted by drawing an arrow through the bullet) to the next month or a Future Log. You number the pages and everything is kept track of in an Index in the front of the journal. You can read about it or watch a video by the creator, Ryder Carroll, on www.bulletjournal.com.
I started my BuJo in July, joined a Bullet Journal Facebook group and started following several BuJo enthusiasts on Instagram and Twitter. What I found was that many BuJo bloggers, such as www.tinyrayofsunshine.com and www.bohoberry.com, embellish their lists and charts with elaborate artwork. While I consider myself a creative person, in my limited leisure time, I love to cross-stitch and scrapbook, so I don’t need yet another creative outlet, so the beautiful artwork was out. Plus I was already using other methods (e.g., my FitBit app) to keep track of things that many of these beautiful BuJo notebooks included. Finally, I found that I wasn’t very good at migrating, one of the major components of BuJo. Nearly my entire August Log list was unfinished at the end of the month, so it just didn’t make sense to copy everything over. Plus I had a new list for my September Log!
Enter Trello, an app I read about on www.quickanddirtytips.com, a website I follow on Twitter. With Trello, you create boards, on those boards you create lists and to the lists you add cards. It is based on a system called kanban, as you can read about in the article, The Case Against to-Do Lists. The recommended lists are Backlog, To Do, Doing, and Completed. Backlog is used for items which may or may not ever get done. For my blog, I use lists titled Wish List, To Do, In Progress, and Completed. (In my opinion, Wish List sounds more optimistic than Backlog!) You can move or copy the cards to other lists or boards. For example, on my board named “Blog,” I moved the card for Blog Post-Boston/Saratoga trip earlier this month from the In Progress list to Completed list, after I posted the article on September 11th.
To the cards, you can add attachments, such as photographs, PDFs, or website links. You can also create checklists. Below is a screenshot of the Blog Post–Saratoga/Boston card which shows the checklist of all of the topics I wished to cover. As I edited my post, I checked off the topics.
For our RV trips, I have created boards for all upcoming trips. Each trip board will have a Master List, which includes the packing list (checklist) and manuals (attachments). I add lists for Places (at each destination) as well as Route Notes. The picture at the top of this article is from our recent trip to Boston and Saratoga. Below is the board I am using to plan our upcoming trip to Gettysburg.
Below is an example of a card I added to my Gettysburg board, which includes a link to the Hershey RV Show Website as well as information about the on-site dog care. (Originally we were planning to coordinate the trip to Gettysburg with a the Hershey RV Show, but ended up attending the show that as a separate day trip.) I attached last year’s photo, which appears as my “cover photo.” However, my blog post about the show is still on the In Progress list on my board titled “Blog.”
I get a great deal of satisfaction from moving the cards to the Completed list. Trello provides a great visual for seeing what is accomplished. I still use my BuJo for to-do lists, but not to organize projects that have a lot of parts. I use it to write down small tasks such as phone calls to make, food prep, and errands. I also use my BuJo for note-taking when I listen to various Podcasts, such as Roadtreking and Grammar Girl, all of which are added to the Index so I can refer to them later.
Two warnings about using Trello: as with any website, avoid uploading any information you consider private, since there are frequent data beaches on widely-used websites. Also, using Trello requires Internet/WiFi so using it will impact your data charges. With BuJo, as long as you don’t misplace your notebook, you are safe and secure!