GTD in my Bullet Journal (Part 4)


GTD, or Getting Things Done, is a system by David Allen. This post will cover how I’ve adapted the GTD Tickler file in my Bullet Journal.

I’ll explain my setup. My Tickler is 44 pages. The first 31 pages are labeled “1” through “31”. The next 12 pages are labeled “January” through “December”. The last page is labeled “Future”.

These pages correspond with a perpetual, 1 year calendar. (“Future” is anything past one year.) So, pictured above are pages “15” and “16” currently corresponding to May 15th, 2016 and May 16th, 2016. When May 15th passes, this page will correspond to June 15th, 2016. So there are always 1 month’s worth of daily Tickler pages. Anything farther than 1 month goes on a month-labeled page. So if I need a reminder for something in July, I can’t put it on a 1-31 page because those only correspond to May and June currently. So I put it on the “July” page. When June comes, I can start moving the July reminders to the 1-31 pages as the month goes by.

My May calendar only has day-specific and time-specific events and tasks. I wanted a place to put a) actions I’ve scheduled for a certain day, but don’t really have to do that day; b) actions that are triggered on a specific day but don’t necessarily have to get done that day either; and c) reminders and notes. Sometimes, I need to be reminded of specific events happening that day (like in the green stickies above) so I don’t accidentally schedule too many tasks if the day is busy.


When I’m writing tomorrow’s daily log entry, I first look at my calendar. I migrate all the day- and time-specific tasks for tomorrow to my daily log. Then, I turn to tomorrow’s Tickler page. I migrate all the tasks and notes to tomorrow’s daily log as well. Some sticky notes I just move to the daily log without re-writing anything, like the Game of Thrones episode tracker on the blue sticky above.

When I finish that, I remove all the sticky notes from the Tickler page. That Tickler page is now the page for the same date in the next month.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 🙂



6 thoughts on “GTD in my Bullet Journal (Part 4)

    • plannersimplicity says:

      Thank you! You can find out more from the source material, the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I usually prefer to just search on the internet though. Google (or YouTube) “tickler file” or “43 folders” and you’ll find a plethora of information!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sarah says:

    Discovered your blog today thanks to Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s recommendation! Loving it! Hey-do you have these 43-pages in your bullet journal that you otherwise use each day? Or, do you have a separate journal just for GTD “stuff” that you use in conjunction w/ your “daily” bujo?



    • plannersimplicity says:

      Hi Sarah, I have the tickler pages in my everyday bullet journal. I only use one notebook for everything. But I can see how someone who uses multiple notebooks could have this in a separate, thinner, book. I think that would work perfectly fine!


  2. Indi says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I was so excited to find this post because I’m a GTDer of old. I’m pretty rusty but I know the system really works and I’m keen to adapt it to my newly discovered Bullet Journal. I know that the key for me is going to be simplicity and one of the things that will end up dragging me down is if I have to do too much double-handling of tasks or to-dos. If I just find myself re-writing things I’ll quickly go bananas! I’m so intrigued by your 43 folders set-up here! It seems brilliant to me and perhaps the key to avoiding the double-handling I mentioned. I noticed in your April 2016 set-up post, you didn’t show where you were keeping your tickler file. Do you keep it at the back of your BuJo? I’m thinking of starting with it and letting it be the thing that sets the pace for whatever comes next. I could see myself just using Pages 1-31 with sticky notes and rarely feeling a need to move on! Might save me significant money in journals in the future! I have seen some weekly spreads that I think could be helpful… I don’t know! Any advice? Did you find that using your paper version of the 43 folders made everything else redundant?


  3. Derek@50 says:

    Brilliant ideas! I have started using sticky notes (or Post-It notes, as they are known here), but not in an organised way. One note fits easily onto a half-page, so I think that is what I need to set aside for each day of a month. If nothing for that day, then no sticky note needed. My “future months” can stay as they are (fill in directly with pen on the journal page); because they reflect events for the year as covered in the current journal.


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