Analog system

My 3 Criticisms of Using UgMonk’s new ‘Analog’ Productivity System.

Is working from a to-do list better than working from a calendar? And what is the biggest mistake people will make when using this system?

Jason Chatfield
11 min readFeb 7, 2022

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🎵 On the 12th day of Christmas, my fellow systems enthusiasts gave to me, the gift of Analog in a Pear Tree.🎵

(I don’t know why they had to hide it in a pear tree, but I was very grateful all the same.)

Being my best pals, they knew me well. They were aware I’d been gleefully noodling around with different systems for getting shit done as a freelancer over the past 18 years. This fancy new Analog system threw a minimalist, aesthetically pleasing and deceptively simple spin on the tradition of working from a To-Do List…

The Analog System
Images from UGMonk.com

I’ve written extensively about my system of getting a lot of shit done with minimal friction, bypassing willpower depletion, mental hurdles like Parkinson’s Law, Procrastination, Distraction and so on with much credit due to the work of Cal Newport, David Allen and James Clear among others.

A still from the “How-to” video for Analog.

It was heartening to see that the creator of the Analog system, Jeff Sheldon, had the same stack of books on his desk as me. He has done his homework. He can stay.

Based on the ‘how-to’ video for the system, it seems he also trialled using index cards to keep his work in check. He’s basically taken that concept, added a modification of the BuJo and GTD bullet-point systems, and made it look super pretty. I’m a fan.

L: On my desk before I got Analog R: Jeff’s video of what he used to use before Analog…

I’ve tried a BuJo, Index Cards, GTD systems, Pomodoro timers , TeuxDeux— the works. It seems like Josh has, too. Everyone’s different, so my brain is going to have its own bespoke system that might not match yours, but…

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Jason Chatfield

New York-based Australian Comedian & Cartoonist for the New Yorker. Obsessed with productivity hacks, the creative process, and the Oxford comma.