For the last three and a half years, I am into Bullet Journaling - a framework for analog journaling, created by Ryder Carroll and used by thousands worldwide. It’s not like a planner you get from the store that forces you to follow specific formats. It’s an extensible, customizable, and re-hashable.
If you are new to Bullet Journal, the best way to learn is by watching this small official video. (It’s simple, well explained, and just 5 minutes!) or read the blog / The Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Carroll.
My journal is a rough notebook
I jot like how I used to take notes while at college. Also, I use one pen to write everything. Two-color annotation, highlighter, etc., doesn’t work for me. To emphasize, I use upper case text or underline.
One Column Layout
I found ‘setting up BuJo’ a tedious task. For some reason, it never worked for me. These days, I am using Pennline note — a long note of 190 mm X 105 mm dimension, which restricts me from creating anything other than a one-column layout.
Index method made me a Bullet Journal fan. I always had issues with reserving empty pages for an idea. Instead of Page number relating to title, BuJo recommended reverse indexing, one title referring to multiple page numbers.
Bullet Journal suggests a two-page monthly log — one for the calendar and one for the monthly task. While I use the calendar to mark all my events, plans, meetings, etc., I don’t create a monthly to-do list. I prefer making it weekly. Instead of the Task page, I use the right side as my “One-line-a-day dairy.”
Weekly Log + Daily log
My tasks are more tactical and one-time, so I find it easier to list them every week based on priority and time. (In other words, I don’t plan for an entire month). I use a simple checklist to ensure that I have specified 'outcomes' in all areas of life - work, personal, learning and leisure. The same page is followed with Daily logs.
I don’t have a separate notebook for notes. I use the same journal for client meetings, personal grocery lists, tax details, or investment planning. A new page, add that to Index, thread it, and that’s all.
For meetings, note metadata like time, date, location, attendees, underline indented outcomes, and subsequent actions.
I was never successful in building a 'long list of habits'. I usually track one thing, and I do that with a Cross/Empty column on the monthly log. For repeated tasks, like monthly investments, I have a dedicated page (and spreadsheet) that to track the updates.