My Analog Productivity System for 2023 Redux

Ben Darfler
2 min readNov 1, 2023

This is an update to My Analog Productivity System for 2023 which is one part of a multi-part series on how I get things done

At the start of the year, I wrote a three part series on how I get things done. That system is the culmination of years of iteration, and much of it remains very stable. However, over the past year, I made some small refinements to my analog productivity system.

In the past two years, my meeting load increased as I moved into a Director of Engineering role and my organization tripled in size. As I mentioned in the initial post, I’m a big fan of the got-done list to build a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. With more time for meetings and less time for tasks, I was starting to miss that experience.

At the same time, I had rediscovered rapid logging and was curious to try it out. Documenting the day as it happens, including events, felt powerful. However, to make room for this experiment, I had to change up my weekly spread.

Layout wise, compared to the previous version, I moved the projects section to the left side to make more space for the daily log on the right side. Additionally, since no two days are the same, I now let each day take up as much space as it needs.

Process wise, I now start each day by writing down the meetings for the day (denoted by the O symbol). I am still a big fan of daily most important tasks and I write those down next. Finally, as I move through the day, I’ll capture more events and tasks as I go.

I’ve been using this approach for most of a year, and I appreciate having a better accounting of my time. This, lets me reflect on where I spend my time and keeps that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction going.

Finally, for the careful observer, you may have noticed I changed up my pen. I’m now using a Pilot Explorer Pen with a fine nib as my daily driver. I do still use my Pilot Kakuno Pen with a medium nib for the page structure.

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Ben Darfler

Engineering Leader, Father, Meditator, Elected Official, He/Him. Currently Director @ Honeycomb.io