Is this the year you start a journal?

My journals since 2004.

The secret of my productivity is writing everything down. We all do way more than we give ourselves credit for. But we forget. The months slide by. In a life stacked with well organized planners, it took till I retired to appreciate the value of random scribbling and doodling as a way of keeping track of myself.

You’ll need:
:: Notebook that fits on your lap (not scary-beautiful, but not ugly)
:: Pen (add’l colored pens as your joy requires)
:: Glue stick or tape (to add random notes, etc.)

RULES that work for me:

  • Make it a ritual. Free-floating with your first cup of coffee or end-of-day brain dump.
  • If you miss a day or a week, nevermind. Keep going.
  • Be random. This is soul therapy, not a business report. Don’t overthink it. Don’t over-structure.
  • Throw in everything: ticket stubs, random Post-Its, doodles, photos, clippings.
  • Write whatever is on your mind. Include intentions, reviews of yesterday, mind-maps, diagrams, sketches, notes from your reading, ideas.
  • Make it as messy and disorganized as you can tolerate. A filled page is beautiful no matter what it contains. Enjoy the lack of constraints.
  • Keep it private. That’s liberating.
  • If your first attempt doesn’t work (e.g., pages are too small or the ink bleeds through), rip it apart and paste the good stuff into a better notebook.

Looking back over a month or even a week will amaze you. You are more creative and more engaged than you give yourself credit for. This is energizing.

2 Replies to “Is this the year you start a journal?”

  1. Been thinking of purchasing a rocket or similar smart pad notebook for journalling, your thoughts??


    1. I prefer paper, but then I occasionally scan my pages into a pdf, for posterity (whoever that might be… usually just myself looking for some pearl of wisdom).


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