Sometimes you just really want to remember everything. If you’re a sentimental person, you value keeping moments as much as you could, including every little detail about something that you think would never happen twice. We like to be nostalgic so that we can have the same feeling all over again, and sometimes we do it by keeping a written record about what we did, who we were with and where we were.
Journals and notebooks were made for such things, even though they tend to be more useful when you write about something that makes you productive, such as basic plans, bucket lists, simple schedules, goals and yes, recollections too. It’s the end of the year again and you’re probably thinking of purchasing one for 2019. And just like your 2018 notebook, it may easily end up stale, considering how we live busy lives and forget to organize, let alone really write. If you think you’re more determined of keeping a journal this time, here are the most important elements it should have:
1. Reflection: Reaching your goals is quite challenging even when you’re halfway through it. Every businessman or any adult who has a career have had their share of frustrations where it was so easy to give up altogether because they don’t know how to find their way back. A journal which allows you to write your reflections down, even if you can’t make sense out of them yet, is perfect to make sure you’re still on the right track.
2. Progress-check: A journal serves as a good way of recording progress or lack thereof. Our goals are easily forgotten when life steers us back to the easy and carefree way of things, free from routine and pressure. Our personal lives also distract us from our dreams and pursuits of achievement and success. As a result, we lose focus which eventually leads to frustration and it’s easy to feel like we have done so much but haven’t really accomplished anything useful.
3. Bucket list: Many of us want to experience a great many things in this lifetime and yet we’re so easily distracted and lose focus because of the ease to which we can enjoy everyday life’s guilty pleasures such as the internet, books and our mobile phones. You lose track and forget your goals for a while. It happens. But that doesn’t mean you’re just going to give in to these distractions, and listing down the things you want to do and places you want to go helps you get back on track fast.
Keeping a journal and notebook helps you stay on top of your schedule, goals, commitments, and responsibilities. It can also serve as a brain dump for when you want to write something-a thought or idea that you don’t want to let go of or forget, lest it becomes useful for business or for some sort of creative endeavor. Follow these steps to make sure you keep and manage a notebook and journal well:
1. List aspirations: These should count as your bigger or more important items. Include writing your personal and career long-term plans and goals. An effective notebook would also serve as a good tracker lest you fall short on personal and business tasks that needs checking or those that you need to complete.
2. Plan your day: This may seem like an added task to an already packed daily hourly schedule but writing down the things you want to accomplish for the day helps you manage your responsibilities better, allowing you time for more if you still can. Otherwise, you can treat yourself to an hour, maybe two to yourself.
3. Document: Some of us have too much going on in our heads that we fail to make sense out of, yet. But most of what we’re thinking, whether they’re about what happened during the day or something we failed to understand but refuse to let go of, could be useful, even valuable to some extent. Use your journal to write down these thoughts, no matter how mu mundane or nonsensical they seem for now.
4. Use your journal every day: People who are serious about their commitments have a better chance of keeping to those commitments. Some habits are hard to break but having the conviction to do one small “task” in a different way will build a better habit and replace the old, less attractive one.
Your notebook and journal won’t be of much use if you don’t make an effort to divide it into a section or customize it according to your lifestyle and priorities. Here are some tips to help you organize better with a notebook and journal:
In a time of touchscreen keypads dominating the ways to which we keep record and communicate and where tasks are easier to complete using technology, the thought of something as traditional as writing in journals and notebooks seems a tad impractical. After all, aren’t everything set to be digital? But you won’t believe how many people still prefer written “to do lists” and analog word processors which include these three:
The two most common standard paper sizes are the ones from the A series and B series. These sizes are under ISO print standards:
A diary is more personal. Those who keep them records or writes activities of their life as they happened. You can treat the journal as a diary but they’re ideal for helping your thoughts and ideas take shape and the contents aren’t as dependent on a calendar date as the diary.
It’s okay to dedicate time in a day to write on your journal or keep to a schedule you have set so that you can manage your commitments better but you don’t want to feel pressured to the point of dragging yourself into the task. Otherwise, you’re likely going to abandon journal writing altogether when the frustration starts to kick in.
Having the tools to help organize your life better doesn’t make you an expert in writing down plans and keeping track of responsibilities overnight but trying doesn’t hurt and it certainly makes a difference in planning properly, accomplishing more and fulfilling both short and long-term goals necessary for personal, academic or professional growth.