Journaling has become quite important to me in recent months and I’m finding that it really helps me in both my personal and business life. It is certainly a habit worth fostering.
Here I record a few thoughts and ideas about journaling.
My Journaling App of Choice
I currently use an app called Day One on an iMac computer and on a Samsung S8 phone. Journal entries are synced between the two devices.
Day One allows me to create multiple journals, which is an important feature for me.
What I Journal About
I journal every day and often add entries to various journals several times throughout the day. I have a number of journals set up that cover different aspects of my personal and business life.
Here’s a rundown of my journals and what I use them for.
This is my primary personal journal. I use it to record not only what I’ve been doing on a given day but also how I’m feeling. I write about things that might be upsetting or stressing me as well as positive things.
Often, it acts as a brain dump that allows me to get out all of the stuff that is running through my head. I usually don’t fuss about spelling and grammar in this journal.
Due to some personal issues, I have had a lot of anxiety and stress over the last 8 months or so. It is only in the last three months that I’ve been journaling more seriously. But, I’ve found that the habit has been a great help and comfort to me.
Writing down my thoughts and feelings in a private space not only allows me to vent but also step back and analysis where the thoughts and feelings are coming from and how I might best address them.
So, I find journaling a very powerful tool for improving mental health and reducing anxiety.
Health and Fitness
One of my goals for 2018 is to lose a lot of weight, improve my diet, and become fitter and healthier overall.
I use various diet and fitness tracking apps to help me achieve these goals. And, I also have a journal dedicated to the topic. I usually write an entry for this journal once a day in the evening.
I’ll write a brief report about the exercise I’ve done that day. For example, I might record where and for how long I walked and include a photograph that I took with my phone during the walk.
If I’ve tried a new healthy meal, I might make a record of how I prepared it and whether I liked it or not.
I also use this journal to track and analyse my sleeping patterns since insomnia has been an ongoing problem for me.
And, if I’m getting a little off track with diet or exercise, I’ll write about that as well. Making a commitment to writing a health and fitness report to myself each day helps me stay motivated.
And, at times when I have gone off track a bit, writing about it has helped me work out what has gone wrong and what I needed to do to refocus and recommit.
This journal is just for recording reminders, things that I need to do, resources such as websites that I’ve come across and may want to go back to later, random snippets of information, and anything else that I feel the need to jot down.
I used to keep a hardcover notebook in my office to record such things. I called this my Day Book. So, this journal is a digital version of the notebook.
I’ll often make entries in this journal via my phone when I’m out walking. It’s great to be able to make a quick record of such things wherever I happen to be. Otherwise, they tend to slip my mind.
So this journal is basically a scratch pad, a memory aid and a productivity booster.
Insights and Ideas
This journal is for recording new business-related insights, ideas and concepts. I also use it to map out ideas for articles I might want to write.
When I’m out walking, I’ll often get an idea for my business or for a story that I want to explore further. So, I start an entry in my Insights and Ideas journal with a brief outline of the idea. Then, later on, I can expand on the entry and map out a more formal plan for the idea.
Having this journal helps me turn thoughts into plans all in one place, so it’s a powerful productivity aid.
I also create temporary journals for particular tasks that I want to achieve. For example, right now, I have a “60 Day Photography Challenge” happening. In the first entry, I define what I’m wanting to achieve and how I aim to proceed. For example, “improve my photography skills by taking courses, reading tutorials, and practising”. Then, each day I’ll add a brief report about my progress and include one of the photographs that I’ve taken.
This journal is just a simple motivation tool, but nevertheless quite effective.
And, This Blog!
Finally, there is this blog, which I count as an extension of my journaling efforts. The blog is more or less my public facing journal and a place that I use to share a few of my thoughts, ideas, images and stories.