For those who journal, the getting started and into one can feel liberating and joyful. As a place for all those details and thoughts, goals and dreams, commitments and recordings of time, the benefit of a free mind cannot be overstated.

However, for me, a journal is overwhelming; like my head spins off into five dimensions. I've tried a number of practices - 

  • a to do on a sticky note (reason being if your list is longer than a sticky you won't complete it)
  • an index card with one task per day per week.
  • a simplified month at glance calendar
  • a detailed day by day calendar
  • a digital task manager
  • google calendar

None have proven efficient or effective over the long term. Where I personally fall down is in collating all the pieces together. For example - there's never enough room to jot down an idea I had and then a way to easily retrieve them; there isn't a place to drop in little bits and pieces of inspiration along the way. Most journals are extreme - there's a lot of time at the onset of going through pages, answering questions that are then referenced to map out a plan for the year.

So I was hopeful when I picked up the this year. But it hasn't gone along as I'd hoped. For starters, while I ordered it in November, it didn't arrive until the end of December so I didn't have time to really get into it until AFTER the new year. Which was kind of defeating the purpose out of the gate.

I then struggled with the initial pages and about fell over when I got to the actually mapping things out; I had a hard time getting through the plan for the year ahead, let alone what 3, 5 or 10 years look like. As a small business with an unpredictable income, it's not really possible for me to map things out that many with salaried jobs can.

So that's the not so good parts. The parts that ARE working for me (and is taking some adjustment) is folding in a daily ending. Like the morning ritual has helped me in productive ways, closing the day out with a review of what I achieved and what I'm thankful for, and a little bit of writing on what the day held - what I learned - is deeply meaningful. 

I'd love to hear form you - what journal do you use? What methods have you found useful for creativity and the mass of ideas that we hold? How do you organize them for easy retrieval?

Would love to hear our thoughts.