Half-Bit Software

How I Get Stuff Done

I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile, mostly because I find it interesting seeing how other people work and figured someone might find this useful. I actually keep my task list, for the most part, in a physical journal, written with an actual pen (a fountain pen, because that’s just how I roll). It’s a system I’ve been fumbling with for almost a decade now, and it’s absolutely not perfect yet, but it’s certainly good enough for right now.

I pretty much do all of my todo listing and heavy thinking in a little journal. I’m always tempted by technical solutions, like the many, many todo list apps on iOS and OS X, but I feel like they’ll let me do too much, too quickly. I need something that’ll slow me down and force me to think hard, rather than something that’ll just let me spew thoughts uncontrollably. Often, in the course of writing down what I have to do, I’ll actually figure out how the hell to do it, too. It’s rare, but still counts as bonus awesome.

This, sadly, leads to a bit of angst every 3-6 months when I start to get dissatisfied with the system. The biggest bummer, at the moment, is that if my notebook isn’t here, I can’t really record anything for later, which is why I’ve also started using Elements on iPhone and having it poke into nvALT’s text directory, which syncs to Dropbox. It isn’t bad for little notes, but I don’t think it’s good for much else than jotting down quick notes for later digestion.

My favorite pen/ink combination, thus far, is also the first pen I tried. It’s a boring Lamy Safari, in charcoal, with a black EF nib. Because it’s not black enough, I also use Sailor Nano black ink, which is an incredibly dark, durable ink. It also flows really well, though has a tendency to clog on thinner, crappier pens.

My journal of choice, because I’m a dipshit, are those trendy, floofy moleskine journals from various reputable retailers. I like the graph paper ones for general project tracking and todo listing, and the plain ones for when I…don’t really want lines. They’re better for drawing, too. Their paper is plenty good for my needs, I like the feel of them, and it’s a cheap thrill to see the finished ones lined up, all nice and neat on my shelf.

Every once in awhile, I flip through old journals, but that’s a different post.