Category: Deep Planning

Method versus System

Method versus System

In order for me to be both productive in my planning and fulfilled in my life, I need both breadth and depth in my planning. The Bullet Journal Method opened my eyes to what I see as the differences between “Method” and “System.” I’m curious what you all see as the possible differences between the two, if you do see differences.

I reached out to Lauren to see if she saw any differences, and we decided to do a set of collab videos talking about this topic. I can’t wait for you all to see Laurens video, because it is awesome! Go watch Lauren’s video, come back here and watch mine, and then let us know what you think!

As I said above, both breadth and depth are important to me in my planning. My System can handle breadth; regardless of what comes at me in the course of a day, as long as I write it down, it all ends up where it needs to be in order to get done. The Method provides the depth. The Method helps me to see why I’m doing things.

For me, the Method is the filter through with all things pass before being fed into the System, which is the nuts and bolts, i.e., my planner. The Method is, for me, in essence, Mindfulness.

The Method helps to clear mental distractions and self-doubt. The Method helps me to choose what to do, helps me to see why I’m doing it, and the System shows me how and when to do it.

The Method helps me to see connections between seemingly disparate things in the System, which makes me more efficient and brings depth to those things.

Six Benefits to Having a Planning System

Six Benefits to Having a Planning System

Now that you’ve seen the current setup and my planning system, I thought I’d share the top six benefits I’ve found in maintaining a planning system.



The Six Benefits, Summarized:

  1. Allows for flexibility in what materials you use to “hold” that system.
  2. Allows me to focus on completion rather than organization.
  3. Peace of Mind.
  4. Reference and Archival Purposes
  5. Fewer things fall through the cracks.
  6. Quick, custom access to what I should be doing and what I need to do it.


Six Steps to Deep Planning

Six Steps to Deep Planning

What is Deep Planning? To me, Deep Planning is the flow state that occurs when I am truly living in and working through my planner. Last fall I started to feel a huge shift in the way I interacted with and utilized my planner, and I realized it was because I was feeling this Deep Planning Flow more and more often. In addition, I noticed a significant increase in my productivity and a shift in my self-esteem.

Deep Planning Yields Deep Results

I’ve identified six things that make planning and my planner itself conducive to this Deep Planning Flow State. There might be more, and they might be different for you, but here is what has been working for me.


  1. Create and maintain a consistent system that works for you.
  2. Write. Everything. Down.
  3. Create and maintain a consistent review system.
  4. Organize projects in such a manner so that next actions are readily available.
  5. Spend the first four minutes every day with your planner only focusing on positive things.
  6. Flexibility is not Failure.

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