Bullet Journal; Ponniyan Selvan; GoodReads
Vol 3, Issue 1
My first-level Tool for Thought
For the past five years, I have been using a notebook as my primary tool for productivity and thinking. Despite experimenting with various digital tools such as to-do apps and iPad writing tools, I have found that using a pen and paper is still the most effective way for me to get my ideas and tasks out of my head. The format I use is a mix of a commonplace bookand a bullet journal.
If you are new to Bullet Journal, the best way to learn is by watching this short official video. It's straightforward, well-explained, and only takes 5 minutes! For more, read the blog or The Bullet Journal Method
Over the years, I've experimented with various analog journaling variations, including many templates recommended by other BuJoers, but what I found most effective for me was a single-color layout and using it as a rough note rather than tessellating. The function takes precedence over form! Here is how I do it:
Stick to a One-Column Layout
I don't spend much time on page layout. I use a 20% margin on the left and begin to write. This design makes the content easier to read, and the margin offers room to indicate any supplementary information, such as importance or status. I also use any pen that is available for thinking, treating it like a rough note and not paying attention to how it looks.
Keep it with you, always
I always make sure that my journal is accessible and prepared for use. It's always on my desk, in the meeting room, and in my bag. I currently carry my pen clippedto a travel-journal notebook I purchased from an Indian company called Neorah.
Numbered notes, not page numbers
Depending on the situation and my mood, I do rapid logging, sketch, and write ideas. Instead of numbering pages, I number individual thoughts, which I started doing because I could not find any good notebooks with printed page numbers, and I also prefer to avoid leaving empty spaces in my journal that could later be filled with notes. But I found this atomic numbering effective as I could locate notes faster and update them.
Use Index Page Actively
The index pages in the Bullet Journal system are the most useful aspect I have discovered, and they are one of the things that make my analog systems operate more effectively. In my index, I track note numbers rather than page numbers. I don't index or number my thoughts while I'm writing the notes, I typically complete that later in the day. Additionally, I indicate next to notes whether they are important, a task, or something I need to move to my working notes as I work.
Do a Periodic Review
I try to read the notes and reaffirm their significance most often on the weekends. I only strike down the number in the index and next to the note, not the entire note. I occasionally rewrite the note to make it clearer and remove old notes from my index. I confirm that there is an ongoing migration, validation, and update. This is necessary to prevent the content from becoming cluttered.
Continuous Knowledge Migration
Instead of moving notes from one finished bullet journal to the next, I perform my periodic review and make sure that notes are updated, transferred, or deleted. Notes, if transferred to my working note, would have more generic context, links to the sources of inspiration, and information about those things. For my digital garden, these are "new seeds." (More on this in a future newsletter)
Use other tools
I don't force myself to use analog exclusively. I would prefer to use other tools if they could help me accomplish my goals more effectively. Instead of using a future or monthly log, I use Google Calendar. I prefer Habitsfor habit tracking and Toggl for time tracking, if necessary. (Check Tools Page for apps I use.)
Originally published at https://hiran.in
Listening to Ponniyin Selvan
I've been listening to the Tamil version of Ponniyin Selvan, read by Pushpalatha Parthiban, for the past few months. Her rendering is exceptional and although there are some unwanted background music and effects here and there! The book, which combines historical fiction with other genres, is both engaging and detailed. No wonder it’s a popular pulp and a classic.
I particularly enjoy the unique format of narration, which includes the author's interjections and explanations. ഏഴെട്ട് എപ്പിസോഡ് ആയി ഞാൻ ഒരു കഥാപാത്രത്തെ പറ്റി ഒന്നും പറഞ്ഞില്ല, സോറി എന്നൊക്കെ ഇടക്ക് പറയും. ഒരു കഥാപ്രസംഗത്തിന്റെ ഫീൽ ആണ്. With 5 volumes and around 300 episodes, it’s long, but worth a listen. (I have generated tiny URL to all episodes as it’s hard to search in Kuku FM app without Tamil Keyboard - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
Alternatives to GoodReads
It's no secret that Goodreads hasn't evolved since it was acquired by Amazona few years ago. In the past, I spent time and effort adding new Malayalam books, but I'm not sure if it was worth it. For now, I am using two markdown files as my library (read) and antilibrary (to-read, might read, want to read, great cover.).
You can use something as simple as this, or consider new alternatives. There is The Storygraph, which is a recommendation engine and then there is Literal has similar features to Goodreads and can import from Goodreads.
Are you a minimalist, or someone who is obsessed with minimalism? If so, mnmll.istis an excellent website for killing time, and for filling your wishlist!
2022 and Movies
Listed below are some of the best movies released in 2022 that I have watched:
Malayalam: Boothakalam, Bheeshma Parvam, Pada, Puzhu, Innale Vare, Aavasavyuham, Nna Thaan Case Kodu, Thallumaala, Oru Thekkan Thallu Case, Rorschach, Mukundan Unni Associates, Saudi Vellakka.
Tamil: Mahaan, Vikram, Kadaisi Vivasayi, Gargi, Thiruchitrambalam, Natchathiram Nagargiradhu, Love Today.
There are a few notes I keep about movies and books that I jot down here and there. Whether I should publish this along with my working notes is still up in the air. How do you feel about this?
https://tinyurl.com/tamil-ps-1 , https://tinyurl.com/tamil-ps-2, https://tinyurl.com/tamil-ps-3, https://tinyurl.com/tamil-ps-4,https://tinyurl.com/tamil-ps-5 :D