Chris Bowler writes about making journaling stick as a habit. While I love some of the advice, parts of it feel wrong to me.

Yes, start small. Write down anything for the day. Doesn’t matter how long it is. Even just list the meals you had and if you liked them.

I also agree fully that you should review your journal from time to time. I do this the first time as I finish one. I walk back through it and see what I was up to. Then I go back to older journals at various times in the year.

The whole automation thing though…not so sure about that.

A Journal as Deeper Thinking

I think that part of my disconnect with what Bowler recommends is that outside of pushing photos to Day One, I’m an analogue journal person. I use a modified Bullet Journal.

It’s part productivity tool since it keeps track of my projects. It’s part journal as I write about my day as I pass through it.

I think that the biggest benefit to writing down your thoughts is the act of thinking deeper about the topic at hand. Handwriting helps with this because you have to slow down and think through what you’re writing in a way that typing doesn’t. The added friction brings more complete thoughts.

This is why I tell you to hand write your filtering documents in The Art of Focus. I’ve had many clients type out their filtering documents and there is regularly something missing. They tell me it just doesn’t feel done in some proper sense.

The solution continues to be, writing it down by hand. They write more and think more and when they finished they stand back and say that the work is done. They feel that the work is completed in some way they can’t quantify.

I love writing a journal. It’s one of the support systems that helps me deal with thoughts of depression and suicide.

If you want to start journaling, put a time on your schedule and start doing it. Stop being in love with the idea that you’ll have a bunch of notebooks one day and start enjoying the process of building them.

If you don’t enjoy the process, you’re likely never going to get where you want to be.

Photo by: thebetterday4u