Why You Should Take Notes on Your Life
Whether it’s a grocery list or your thoughts and emotions, you’ll feel better if you write it down.
How many times have you made a trip to the grocery store only to get home and find out you forgot the most important item? Come on, be honest. I know I’m not the only one. You go to the store for bread and come home with everything except bread.
That experience shows the importance of keeping notes.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.” It’s frequently reworded to, “Better a dull pencil than a sharp mind.” No matter how you say it, the point is clear.
Note-taking is a bit of an obsession of mine. Between sticky notes and notebooks, my home and office are littered with notes.
I work full-time as a bookkeeper, manage a blog, and am an active volunteer. Writing notes is the only way I can keep everything straight and make sure everything gets done.
Of course, we all have the best of intentions of remembering things, but today’s world often throws too much at us. Work, personal and family schedules are usually jam-packed, and each usually has its own to-do list.
The Case for Journaling
Journaling can help a lot to keep your mind focused. Keeping a journal is so important to me that I wrote a story, 5 Useful Reasons Why You Should Be Journaling.
Writing things down helps to reduce stress. Really? That may not seem possible, but there is some peace-of-mind that comes from knowing you don’t have to remember something because it’s already written down in a safe place.
Journaling is beneficial because it helps you to make sense of the noise and the confusion that can sometimes fill your mind. I like to call it a “brain dump” because it’s my chance to spew out everything in my head in a safe environment.
No one’s feelings are going to get hurt, and you won’t have to apologize for anything you write in a journal. Well, as long as you don’t let anyone read it, and no one should read it because it’s your safe place.
Write It Down
Are you upset about something? Write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Once the words are out of your head, you may find that you feel differently.
Need bread at the store? Write it down on something you will have with you when you go to the store.
If you concentrate on getting more out of your head and on to paper or some other digital medium, you’ll save yourself the stress of having to remember everything. As you do, take note of how it affects you when you know that things are safely written down.
As for me, I’m headed back to the store to finally get that bread.
Scott Ninneman is a bookkeeper by day and writer by night. He is most widely known for his blog Speaking Bipolar where he writes about living with bipolar and chronic illness. His interests include gardening, cooking, reading, hiking and too much TV.