How to manage your productive life with BASB, GTD, and Scrum

Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

People often tell me that I seem to have a very busy life. They ask how I keep it up, and whether I should relax once in a while. And even though I really make room in my life to watch tv series with my wife every day, listen to some music, discuss a good book together, or just talk and think together about life and the world, nevertheless I also have a creative and productive side that I want to give attention, just because it gives me pleasure and energy. In addition to my daily work as an IT Solution Engineer, I have many creative interests, like photography, drawing, writing books, and writing articles for my two websites. I cannot balance my day job, all these interests, and normal life activities in a healthy way without some kind of productivity system. In this article, I want to give you a look into how I implemented a combination of BASB (Building a Second Brain), GTD (Getting Things Done), and Scrum, to manage my productive life. This article will also be the foundation for future articles in which I will fill in this productivity system with a diversity of productivity tools.

Content of the article

  1. About the value of a productivity system
  2. The foundation for my productivity system
  3. About GTD – Getting Things Done
  4. About BASB – Building A Second Brain
  5. About Scrum
  6. My personal productivity system

In this article, I want to talk about how I manage the creation, recording, planning, and execution of internal and external triggers, and how I go from these raw triggers to refined ideas, projects, tasks, and references to keep. And such a standard system works well for me in all situations, regardless of the type of idea, task, and expected result.

I get a lot of inspiration from productivity-minded people like Ali Abdaal, Thomas Frank, and Matt D’Avella, but my personal productivity system is mainly based on and inspired by two well-known methodologies:

  • GTD (Getting Things Done / David Allen)
  • BASB (Building A Second Brain / Tiago Forte)

There are many frameworks, systems, visions, methodologies, and approaches out there that can help to manage your creative and productive life. But in my opinion, the “Building a Second Brain” methodology by Tiago Forte, and the “Getting Things Done” methodology by David Allen, provide in combination a wonderful productive synergy. And, in my opinion, they are the most practical and compatible tools to set up and maintain an effective productivity system, based on clearly defined phases. 

Next to these two methodologies, for my personal projects and activities, I am also inspired by a framework that my productive day job is based on, namely Scrum. You may have heard or read about Agile before. Where Agile is an overarching project management philosophy, Scrum is a specific Agile framework in which an end goal is broken down into multiple smaller deliverables spread over several short blocks of time, also called Sprints.

Read the complete article “How BASB, GTD, and Scrum help me to manage my productive life” on

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About John Been

Hi there! My name is John Been. At the moment I work as a senior solution engineer for a large financial institution, but in my free time, I am the owner of,, and author of my first book "Linux for the rest of us". I have a broad insight and user experience in everything related to information technology and I believe I can communicate about it with some fun and knowledge and skills.

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