Writing Wednesday: Simplified Bullet Journal Part 2: Migration, Collections and Threading

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In our Simplified Bullet Journal series, we take the system back to basics and eliminate the confusion of what should be an elegantly simple productivity system. If you’ve been confused and bogged down by the flood of Bullet Journal information online, this series is for you! You can see all the posts in the Simplified Bullet Journal series here.

Today I’m going to pick up where we left off last time. We talked about how to manage tasks and notes in your Bullet Journal. The next step is Migration.

Migration just means going back through your task lists, finding what didn’t get done, and making a choice: do you Migrate the task (which means write it on your new task list) or do you eliminate it? Is there someone else you could delegate the task to? Is it actually important?

Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal system, does Migration at the end of every month. He goes through the past month’s worth of pages and migrates undone tasks. That is an excellent exercise as a Month Review. But I, and probably most people, need to migrate undone tasks daily and/ or weekly.

I have daily task lists (what I need to do TODAY) and weekly task lists (what I need to do sometime this week but not on any particular day). If I find I’ve migrated a daily task for more than two days, by then it’s either very urgent (so I prioritize it today) or not urgent (so I transfer it to my weekly list).

As you review your uncompleted tasks, make decisions on what to do with them. If you decide the task is important, decide its priority level and write it in your appropriate list. If you decide you can eliminate it, line it through. If you delegate it, indicate to whom it was delegated and make a note if you need to.

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Review your tasks daily, weekly or monthly, whatever suits you and the way you work. Review and Migration allow you to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

So that’s Migration. Next let’s talk about Collections and Threading.

A Collection is just a list or expanded information on a particular topic. Let’s say for example you are planning a trip. Turn to the next empty page in your notebook, title the page (Trip to Ibiza Preparations) and write your list of things you need to do to get ready for your trip. Don’t forget to add that page to your Index so you can easily find it later.

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Let’s say you fill the page and need to continue onto another page, but you have already filled the next page in your notebook. Remember, that is the beauty of the Bullet Journal: you don’t have to wonder where to write anything. You just write on the next available page and index your pages. So when you need another page to continue your Collection, you use Threading.

Threading utilizes your page numbers. At the bottom of the page, write “Continued on Page Y.” Then on Page Y write “Continued from Page X.” That way as you move through your Collection, you can find sequential pages. And of course you would write in your Index, “Trip to Ibiza Preparations Pages 12, 15, 23.”

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A Collection can be anything at all: your grocery list, your expenses for the week, your household chores list, meeting notes, whatever. Your Bullet Journal is your all-encompassing capture device, and Collections allow you to group things by topic separate from your Daily Log.

So now you know how to write your daily log, keep track of tasks and notes, migrate what didn’t get done to the appropriate list, how to keep lists and information in Collections, and how to keep your Collections sequential using Threading.

Next time we will talk about the hot topic of planning in your Bullet Journal!

Look for Part 3 of our Simplified Bullet Journal series Wednesday June 15th!

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