Earlier this week, I re-tweeted a great comment from casting director Dana Bowling:
Since several people asked me about my journaling process, I thought this post with a few ideas might help you start or further your own.
In short, there are no rules to keeping a journal.
Dana Bowling listed some meaningful journaling prompts in this follow-up tweet.
I’ve shared a number of journal entries on my blog (mostly 10 years older than the article date) and added some take-always. You can read them in the This Date in My History category. You might want to start in reverse order.
Lots of people are following the Bullet Journal method. I started journaling long before Bullet Journaling became a thing.
I prefer to follow Jim Rohn’s wealth of examples and instructions in his fantastic audio program How to Use a Journal. Here are a few of his golden nuggets from my copious notes when listening to that program:
- If an idea is worth reading, worth listening to, worth remembering, then it is also worth capturing in your journal.
- A journal is a textbook of self discovery and self-awareness.
- When you have written about what your eyes have seen and what your ears have heard, go one step further and describe your feelings. Capture the joy of your victories and agony of your defeats.
- Whatever you create on paper in your journal, you can, with enough belief, discipline, commitment, and desire create in your life.
For a while, I kept a physical planner/idea repository, which I have since moved to Evernote. My ideas and necessary information used to be scattered in different apps and in my journals. It was a game-changer to start saving everything in a central on-line depository so it’s accessible anywhere using any device. Since most of my journal entries are too personal to put on-line, I often take a picture in Evernote of my hand-written journal entries that I want to refer to often or repurpose in another form.
You add what you want to your book in whichever way you want. You can simply write, or you can do anything your creativity calls you to do. In addition to the entries I write almost every day (which includes a gratitude list of at least 5 things), I’ve copied quotes, affixed business cards and stickers, drawn pictures, and created collages in mine, like this one I shared in my June 2019 newsletter:
The daily practice of journaling offers a bounty of benefits, including:
- improving your communication skills
- magnifying your excitement and diminishing your fears
- relieving stress
- keeping you on track
- allowing you time for self-reflection
- visualizing your future
Do you keep a journal, or are you about to start one? I’d love to get your take on it in the comments!
Immediately after I posted this article, I noticed a couple of recent stories I wanted to add to it:
- Evernote discussed writing down your routines as a start in changing your habits.
- In a brilliant marketing move, superstar Taylor Swift released excerpts from her private, handwritten journals in 4 deluxe versions of her new album. Fans will buy all 4 to get all of the entries. I loved seeing the sneak peek into her process in this New York Times story.