[NTLK] Bullet Journal

Lord Groundhog lordgroundhog at gmail.com
Thu Sep 26 21:50:06 EDT 2013

~~~ On 2013/09/26 21:49, Steven Frank at stevenf at panic.com wrote ~~~

> Just throwing this link out because I'm willing to bet there's an overlap
> between Newton fans and people who like reading about organization
> methodologies:
> http://www.bulletjournal.com/
> This is one guy's approach to laying out a notebook (any paper notebook) to
> track calendar events, note items, and to-do items, that seems well organized
> without being needlessly fussy.
> It would be cool (for certain definitions of cool) to do this on a Newton.  It
> seems like something particularly well-suited for a Newton stationery.  Even
> the built-in checklist stationery would get you pretty far.
> Can't shake the feeling though that it would still be quicker to flip through
> the pages of a paper notebook than the rather laggy scrolling of Notes.
> iOS apps, though they certainly scroll quickly, still haven't produced
> anything that feels as "complete" as a Newton with MoreInfo.  But mostly my
> Newtons live at home in the closet now because of weight and size.
> I've been keeping a (paper) bullet journal for about a month now and I'm torn
> -- part of me likes it better than any digital solution I've ever tried, and
> part of me thinks it's silly to use paper when the one thing I'm always
> guaranteed to have with me is digital (my iPhone).
> Steven

Rest assured you aren't the only Newtonian to feel the pull back to paper
from time to time.  In my sig you'll see a link to www.diyplanner.com/, and
there also the two worlds of digital writing and pen-and-paper writing meet,
like ocean waves lapping up on the shore.  There have been other web pages
that touched on elements of this from time to time as well and IIRC we had a
discussion as recently as 2010 or 2011.

As I think I've mentioned at least once (I'm old enough I'm allowed to
repeat myself and wander off into irrelevant story-telling, like the time
when my -- uh, what was I saying?  Oh yeah ...) although everything goes
into my Newt (and I have a couple of other Newtons doing specific tasks as
well) and I back up onto my Mac, I also have a thing called a "Seven Star
Success Diary" (don't blame me, I only use it). See it here:
(I've used the Canadian address because my supplier since I came to the UK,
Succes of London, just closed up last month and I still have to decide
whether to use the fall-back supplier in Switzerland or go straight to the
Mother Ship in Holland.  The Canadian site will give you an idea of them.)

I was introduced to this system back in 1972 and found it to be just right
for me.  I've used it ever since even though I was using computers for work
back in '82.  The system is flexible and adaptable to one's own needs and
working style, just like a Newton.

The physical quality is also outstanding (again, just like a Newton).   I
still have and use the very first diary I bought (the "Mini", the smallest
size they make) from 1972.  I also still have and use regularly the Junior,
the next size up, from 1983.  Despite riding in my back pocket a lot of the
time both ring binder systems are firm and undistorted and work as when they
were new.  The leather of both though not pristine show no signs of all I've
put them through.  The quality of paper is superior and I use fountain pen
or even technical pen ink without loss of performance.   I consider Filofax
a pale shadow by comparison but that's just my opinion.

Finally there is the sheer pleasure of writing with a fountain pen, loaded
with opaque black ink, on very good paper.  This is the one pleasure Newt
can only approximate, and although she tries her best, cannot achieve.  She
is outstanding at letting me maintain the same kind of work system and work
flow that I formerly enjoyed in my paper system and in a number of ways is
superior to the Succes Diary for function, but that visceral pleasure of
writing requires flowing ink!

I've said all that to underscore my lasting appreciation for working on pen
and paper.  It's part of why I still keep many things duplicated in my
Succes Diary.  It was hard for me to keep trying electronic alternatives.

When I finally got my first Newt (it was only 2005 but it feels like I've
always had her) the first thing I wanted to know is, can she work like m
paper diary and then make improvements on that system?  The answer was "yes"
and now we're inseparable.

When it comes to making sure I stick to the plans I make, I'd reached a
point where at least some of the time I need a sharp prod to drop what I'm
already doing.  With Newt my appointment listings come with a built-in alarm
to remind me to move on and when necessary I set that.  When the time comes,
Newt makes a noise that gets me going.  No paper diary can do that.  Newt
can; I turn on her alarm setting when I first write down the appointment,
and even can make an advance setting to allow preparation or travel time,
and voila! -- no more getting lost in something and working through time I
needed to be at my next appointment.

And then, there's the Newton's built-in capacity for integrating different
kinds of data.  With paper I had to do it myself by physically rearranging
things.  Newt just "knows" what I'm trying to do and when she doesn't, I
make a link or two and that's that.

It's horses for courses.  The physical pleasure of pen and paper is so
strong I won't give it up.  The ease and flexibility of Newt is increased by
its PA-like functions and in any case, we're a love match now.  :-)

The one thing I could never do is use an ordinary computer to organize my
life.  I've seen and used 2 versions of my ideal working system.  Computers
of the ordinary type are neither.  But we're all different and we all need
and want different things.  The great thing is, we can usually have most of
what we want and need.



~~~ ~~~ ~~~

³I had to go back and transcribe all of my
speech notes from my Newton, which is what
I usually use for giving speeches from,
because I wasn¹t sure I was going to be
able to read it in this light, so I had to
transcribe the notes onto paper. Unfortunately,
my Newton is better at reading my handwriting
than I am. So, there may be a pause while I
try and decipher what I¹ve written.²

            -- Douglas Adams

(With thanks to Chod Lang)

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Get MUGged and love it: http://www.oxmug.org/
Where Newtonians meet: http://www.newtontalk.net/

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