Journalling has become a popular pasttime in recent years. We’ve also observed new methods of keeping a diary or planning system through the Bullet Journal method – which I love. And it’s for good reason too! The practice of journalling has received much appraisal for helping with a variety of common lifestyle issues – ranging from depression to overwhelm. But is journalling really as beneficial for our minds as people claim or is it is just a trendy form of diary writing? Moreover, can anybody start a journal or is it a writing exercise best reserved for talented writers? One of the 12 new challenges that I’m undertaking this year is to try journalling. I tried journalling for a month and this is what happened..
How Do You Start Journalling?
Although there is a huge choice of fancy notebooks and planners on the market, you don’t need to invest in an expensive organiser to get started. My advice to you would be to start off with a plain notepad and see how you get on. As you progress and discover your journalling style you will see whether it is an activity that you enjoy. Throughout the years, I’ve gradually upgraded my writing tools because I really enjoy writing in pretty notebooks and using a quality pen that is comfortable to use. But of course, writing is a huge part of my business and therefore it could be considered a business expense, which then makes it quite an inexpensive habit. You only really need a pen and paper to get started. Failing that, you could even start a digital journal if that appeals to you more.
Who is Journalling For?
Anybody can start journalling. The term “journalling” might make you believe that you have to be a budding author with an encyclopedia of words to offload into your journal, but that isn’t the case. A journal can be a neat and tidy literary aid or a messy volt of notes, doodles and random points. There really are no rules. The principle of journalling is the practice of offloading your thoughts, ideas and plans into once place. Keeping a journal is an excellent way of staying organised and lessening that feeling of overwhelm. As a business owner, if you constantly find yourself conjuring up new ideas, your journal could be the one place where you note down these ideas and keep them all together in a safe place until you need to use them. There’s also no age restriction. The Bullet Journal method isn’t just for logging business meetings, tracking exercise or logging recipes. It has in fact, proved extremely helpful to school pupils who struggle with concentration problems.
What Should You Journal About?
You can journal about anything you choose. Keen writers will love the freedom to pour their deepest thoughts and feelings onto a page. Entrepreneurs might find journalling a great way to organise all the striking thoughts and business ideas that pop into their busy minds. For some people, interesting business ideas don’t occur too frequently. Yet so many business owners feel overwhelmed to the point of anxiousness with all of the plans they think up. Artists could benefit from using a journal to jot down sketches and creative prompts. The way you use your journal will depend upon the kind of person you are and the way in which you best perceive thoughts and ideas.
Here are some fabulous ideas on how to fill a journal:
•To do list
•Interior design ideas
•Foreign language tracker
•Blog post ideas
•Creative writing prompts
•Write a novel
•TV show list
I Tried Journalling for a Month and This is What Happened…
I’ve been using a Bullet Journal for a couple of years now and I absolutely love this method of planning! I couldn’t be without my Bullet Journal. I’ve tried many organisation systems and planners but the Bullet Journal method is the one that works best for me. I use digital resources for some things, but when it comes to article writing or everyday planning, I much prefer using pen and paper. There is something really fulfilling about physically ticking off a task from your to-do list and research has actually proved that this is beneficial for our brains too! I use my Bullet Journal for organising my daily work and personal life in the same way you’d use an annual planner. For over a year I’ve kept a separate journal for miscellaneous, spontaneous business ideas that pop into my head which I am unable to implement at this time. I write them down in my journal so that I have a safe place to store them and I can check back later on to see if they’re still relevant. Although I’ve always logged my ideas in some way, I’d never been consistent with my journalling attempts. So, as part of my pledge to try 12 new things this year, I decided to dedicate the month of January to journalling regularly. I wasn’t sure what to write about, so instead I decided to plan out my business visualisations each morning as I sipped my morning coffee. Another habit I adopted was penning what I was most looking forward to at the end of the working day. As I work from home, it is quite easy to lose the sense of structure to your day. If you’re not careful, your working day and free time can merge into one, but it’s important to set boundaries. One of the journalling routines that has worked best for me is writing out my plans for the day and what I have to look forward to at the end of the day. Like I mentioned above, sometimes there doesn’t seem as though there is much differentiation to your life when you work from home, so it’s important to have something to look forward to when you finish your working day. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Planning to watch a new Netflix series, reading a book, eating your favourite snack, doing your nails, going out with friends, etc. are all great examples. I’ve also found that this is a fantastic solution when I am struggling to get motivated or procrastinating, because it gives me something to aim for at the end of my working day.
After a month of planning my day and writing down what I have to enjoy when I finish work for the day has been an amazing motivator. It has changed the way I work and has helped me to be so much more productive. It is definitely a habit I will continue. Would I recommend journalling? Absolutely! The important thing is not to copy what others do. Simply source inspiration and curate your own journalling habits based on what works for you. Stay tuned for my review of February’s challenge: going zero-waste for a whole month. Stay up to date with my daily life over on Instagram.