Get in the Habit of Keeping a Journal

If you have a great memory, you are one of the lucky few. This article probably isn’t going to add any value for you. For the rest of us, we have a difficult time remembering what we ate for breakfast this morning unless it just happened.

Keeping a journal can be a great way to improve our situations. Because we have a difficult time remembering what happened in the past, we can simply refer to our journals. These journals will contain entries that specify the events on any particular day, as well as personal notes to ourselves. These notes can be related to the events, or they can be completely unrelated. It’s up to you.

The value of the journal won’t be apparent until you have been using it actively. This is where making it a habit comes into play. You need to discipline yourself to make an entry every day. Doing it daily is best. But, if you have a hard time with that, then shoot for once per week.

Try to avoid haphazard entries as the value of the journal will diminish. The journal is the reference book of your life. It also can serve as providing answers to problems you had in the past. The entries will contain notes about how you solved the problems.

It’s up to you whether you want to create this journal online or handwritten. There can be more of a commitment when you handwrite your journal. But, the choice is yours, as long as you keep it going and use it.

Some productivity tools can help in your efforts to journal. For instance, Evernote is a free online tool where you can create notes. You can date these notes and create a section called journal. They even have a feature where you can set up checklists or task lists. The information is saved in the cloud and is secure.

If the entire concept intimidates you, start out small. Don’t try to create volumes in your journal in the first few weeks. The journal structure that you come up with will evolve over time. You’ll keep what is working and scrap what isn’t.

A journal can help you recall information, but it also serves to help you improve your memory. As you continue to record your daily events, you are training your brain with this activity. You’ll end up relying on the journal less and less. Another great idea is to turn your journal into a book and sell it.

10 Comments

  1. Cherry-Ann on January 24, 2022 at 4:06 am

    Journaling is something I wrestle with, which is odd, given that I’m a writer. But I’ve been warming to the idea over the last week. Maybe this post is a sign from the universe to just get on with it.

  2. Sinziana on January 24, 2022 at 5:04 am

    Good morning Paul! This is a thing I always say I will start doing…but never do…I know would be good for me in so many ways…I just need to start….Have a great week!

    • Paul on March 3, 2022 at 9:45 am

      Starting is always the hardest part 🙂 You can start today with just a piece of paper if you want.

  3. Tamara on January 24, 2022 at 5:17 am

    My blog (and my photo gallery) is my journal – sort of.
    While I have a good memory for random (useless) facts, it’s good to know there’s some reliable info stored somewhere, as one’s memory can definitely be deceiving.

  4. Laurie on January 24, 2022 at 8:44 am

    I used to journal, and it was like a lifeline. It was me talking to God through my writing. Somewhere along the way of babies, then kids and busy life, I stopped.
    I’ve made some feeble attempts at getting back into it. Bought a couple of cute journals, and they are still blank. I think what holds me back is knowing that I don’t have the time to “write it all out” like I used to. But I also think what holds me back (and maybe others) is the fear of going too deep—putting those hazy thoughts into black and white words makes them more concrete, which means dealing with them instead of ignoring them.
    But…a gratitude journal should be easier. It skips some of the above drama and goes straight to the heart—will I be grateful for what God has given me so that I can actually appreciate more? You’ve about convinced me to pull out that journal and try once again!

    Thank you for persistently reminding us to be grateful!

    Laurie
    Ridge Haven Homestead

    • Dr.Amrita on January 24, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      This is the second time this month someone talked to me about a journal.This I really need to get started with.Gratitude Journaling I have heard is life altering

  5. Shepherds Run Farm on January 24, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Very sporadic is my issue. Great intentions but no follow through with the exception of the dinner meals. I keep a list each month of what we had for dinner. It helps with meal planning. Unless something is really important I don’t write it down. But as you pointed out, I might find it more helpful if I actually stuck with the task.

  6. Roy A Ackerman, PhD EA on January 24, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    I kept a journal in the past. But – yes, my memory is pretty good- I found it to be superfluous.
    Instead, I jot down instances when I feel over the moon- whether it’s because I just finished creating that great gizmo, my kids did something superb, my staff (all or some) wowed me and the world, etc. And, when I feel the entire weight of the world upon my itty bitty shoulders.
    I review those once a quarter- seeking out how I got in those predicaments (positive and negative), seeking out ways to augment the positives and eradicate the negatives.

  7. Kebba Buckley Button on January 24, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    Paul, I have an unusually good memory. I do journal my spiritual journey and specific comments from the Divine. But thanks for the clue about Evernote!

  8. Laura Orsini on January 24, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    My journaling life has been sporadic. I find notebooks here and there with a couple days’ entries. They’re always interesting, though! I love the idea of a gratitude journal, though I’ve never personally kept one.

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