Do It Tomorrow in My Bullet Journal

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Since a few people were asking me to explain this system, and it would be too difficult to explain in a comment on Instagram, I decided to make this my first blog post. Yay!

Do It Tomorrow is a book and time management system devised by Mark Forster. I’ve adapted some parts of it for my personal use. It’s been very helpful in countering procrastination, which I’d say is my main obstacle to getting things done.

I’ll explain my adapted system here. If you want to read up on the full system, the book is sold on Amazon UK. 🙂

The system calls for a day-per-page diary. Since I’m using a Bullet Journal (and only a Bullet Journal), I made my Daily Log into day-per-page. Fortunately, this is the only layout change I had to make.

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Picture of my day-per-page setup (above).

Now, the system. First, I put all of my existing tasks into a collection called “Backlog.” Second, I assign a Current Initiative to my day. This is something you must work on a little each day until completion. My Current Initiative is “Clear Backlog.”

I go about my day. When a task comes up during the day, I commit to doing it tomorrow. I write it on tomorrow’s Daily Log page. The only things I do today are URGENT things that cannot be put off until tomorrow, and my Current Initiative. I do this process the rest of the day.

Day 2: Today’s list contains all the things I committed to doing today (from yesterday). I draw a line under all of these items, closing the list. This is not my To Do List. This is my Will Do List. I pledge to do whatever it takes to complete it. Anything new that comes up goes on tomorrow’s page. Urgent items go on today’s page, underneath the line. My Current Initiative today is still “Clear Backlog,” as it will be until my Backlog is empty. I’ll work on it a little bit each day until then.

The reasons this helps me fight  procrastination are these. First, saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” gives me time to mentally prepare for the task. Usually when I say those words I do not mentally prepare because I know deep down… I’m not doing it tomorrow. But this time, I’ve made a commitment to do it tomorrow. So I shall. And I will be ready because I had a day to prepare.

Second, closing the list gives me a finite amount of tasks to work with. An open list, like a regular To Do list, continues to expand during the day. You don’t really get a sense of the list getting smaller as you complete items. In a Closed List, every task finished brings you closer and closer to done for the day.

So there you have it. Backlog, Closed List, Current Initiative, commit to do everything tomorrow. A simple and effective system.

If you want to know more about Mark Forster’s systems, which he has a lot of, you can visit his blog: http://markforster.squarespace.com

~Lisa

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8 thoughts on “Do It Tomorrow in My Bullet Journal

  1. Laura says:

    Hi, I really like this idea & want to try it in my bujo, however… 1 question: don’t you run the risk of making tomorrow look terrifying?

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    • plannersimplicity says:

      I think the original system implements a space limit. For example, 10 things (or whatever your magic number is). So after 10 things are assigned to tomorrow, you must draw a line to close the list and start putting stuff on the next day. The exception is if something that must get done tomorrow comes up. You still must put that on tomorrow, under the closing line, because it is urgent.

      It doesn’t even have to be a limit on the number of actions. Maybe you assign a time (duration) to each task and make the limit a total time limit of 5 hours. Maybe you assign an energy level to each task. Whatever way works for you!

      If you find you like using the system, I strongly recommend getting the book because it has way, way more insight to this method. There’s a lot of things I do not mention here that he ties into the system to make it a complete system. I only mention the very basics here.

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  2. Simon Gooch says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I hope you don’t mind my asking, I’m keen to know if you’re still using Do It Tomorrow?

    I’ve tried to use it consistently (I tend to fall back to GTD when the going gets tough and regret it when actually I don’t get quite so much done as i think I will!) and I end up with a bow wave of larger and larger workloads in a day. I’d appreciate it if you could let us know if after a length of time you’re still using this method?

    Thanks!

    Simon

    Like

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