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John Rogers
1) All right, I've received enough DM's, I'll make myself useful -- the notebook system!
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
2) First, a dedicated notebook for every project. This notenbook is creative -- questions, rebreaks, notes from the room that require in-depth consideration, etc. This is the creative/thinking space.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
3) I have a separate notebook dedicated to examining my own workflow, notes about screenwriting or management books I read, etc, but you can skip that because you're normal people.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
4) The new notebook I've been using for the past two years is a system to track EVERYTHING, because my company has 5-10 projects minimum going at a time, plus shitloads of phone calls for production when in production, tracking deadlines, that sort of thing.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
I use the dot gridded Leutner 1917 -- I like the paper in Scribbles That Matter better but I don't like the size. IN the back I've saved a bunch of pages to list the wishlist/recommendations for books, podcasts, TV shows, movies, so I always have "what's next' for media.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @donttrythis
The "to-do" timeline/process for active projects are back there too, using the square checkbox system from EVERY TOOLS A HAMMER, a book I cannot recommend enough. It is not the book you'll think it is, and it's better for it.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
From the front -- I skip the bullet notebook future log, etc, everything's too in flux. I'm fine keeping the calendar generally in Google cal, it's better coordinated with my assistants and out-of-company-invitations.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
8) Dammit, dropped the numbers -- right, then, each month, 1st section Bullet point to-do, All outstanding from last month, *everything*. If you know GTD, this is where all your unsorted tasks go. Add to it as you go, so give yourself three pages or so.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
9) FWIW I keep an index card on me at all times jotting down new tasks or an open text file on my desktop, and then data dump at the end of the day.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
2nd Section -- OPEN AND FOLLOW-UP. We get a lot of "sure, call me back about that project later" or "where's that contract?" This is specifically for phone calls, because my business is phone call intensive. Emails create their own threads, they're fine sitting where they are.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
10) 3rd section -- MONTHLY DELEGATED. Similar to the previous, but internal. The previous is contact oriented, calls I personally need to follow-up up. This is assigned, actionable tasks. Usually the first word in the entry is the name of the project, because that's how I think.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
(Ugh, the numbering's a loss) 4th Section: WORKOUTS. You don't need this, but having to stare at this on a regular basis keeps me running often enough to not die of rage.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
5th Section: MONTHLY CALLS, I track calls and meetings in the daily pages, but have a few pages just for a bullet list of all the calls in the month, just so I can remind myself of who I talked to on what day, and go to that day for the notes.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
Now we're into the daily pages. At the beginning of each week, there's a page of WEEK X - PRIORITIES, with three categories. MUST SHOULD COULD Three to five items in each. Achievable goals. NO MORE THAN THAT. If it's more than that, it's just a to-do list, and that's useless.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
Then each day has a timeline, 6am to 9pm running down the lefthand top of the page, and the 3-5 goals of the day on the righthand top. below that, a section marked MORNING, then CALLS then MEETINGS, then EVENING.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
(Each day is a page, if that was unclear). MORNING is just reminders, mood, news, etc. Each CALL has a quick bullet summary, as does each MEETING. More details if necessary go in the project notebook. EVENING is just a paragraph of things to remember, be they personal or historic
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
Just like a bullet notebook, whatever task doesn't get done gets shoved to the next day. The list does not get longer. It stays the same. If you accomplish more -- aces, that goes here too. But you start each day with three things, and if you get them done, YOU WIN THE DAY.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
FWIW I do a quick wrap-out page for every month, just general feelings on projects, workflow, whatever. Again, flavor to taste.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
Everything's in one notebook. Everything's in easy reach. What I need to do & call is right in front of me. Leutner 1917 will take about six months of this system. Every day is roughly timeboxed, every day has actionable goals I have to consciously decide upon in the morning.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
This sounds like a lot -- it is not. Trust me. Once you're in the flow of it, each day is five to ten minutes of conscious choice -- which is what you should be spending thinking about your work day anyway.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
And, finally in the front of the notebook, written big red ink so I see it every day is the list (I think) from GTD -- DO IT (if it takes less than two minutes) SCHEDULE IT DELEGATE IT FILE IT TRASH IT a reminder for my emails but also task in general.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
Does this system make me a paragon of efficiency? Abso-fucking-lutely not. But I'm never lost or confused, and I'm always moving forward on *something*. And that's good enough for me.
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John Rogers Jun 7
Replying to @jonrog1
I'd also note the idea of keeping a daily journal working on specific projects comes from Elizabeth George's great book on novel writing, WRITE AWAY. Absolutely changed my creative life. /fin
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