The problem

Sometimes, a task in your bullet journal is blocked because you are waiting for something. You might be waiting for a reply to an email, a decision to be taken, design proposals, a code review, etc.

When reviewing your backlog, it is convenient to see at a glance which are the tasks in “waiting for” status. If you are looking for a next task to work on, this allows you to easily skip the blocked ones. That also streamlines reviewing blocked tasks, in case you might want to send some friendly reminders.

The “waiting for” status is a somewhat dynamic attribute, you set it, then you unset it, maybe set it again, …. Due to that, collections don’t seem like a good fit to me. I have been looking for a way to manage this task status for a while, and finally found a solution that is working fantastically well for me.

The solution

I departed from the standard BuJo notation for tasks early on in my bullet journaling, because I like writing tick marks on completion. That is perfectly acceptable, bullet journaling is a system. The details are all up to you.

So, for tasks I use a hollow square:

If that task arrives to a “waiting for” status, I just fill the square with a pencil:

In a review, that gray box is easily identified among the rest. When the task is unblocked, you just erase the pencil and get the hollow square back.

Eventually, the task gets completed:


PS: In case you are wondering about the red marks, I call those task extension points. Blogged about them in this other post.

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Everlasting student · Rails Core Team · Ruby Hero · Freelance · Life lover

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