Do you keep a journal? In today’s mostly digital, paperless world the idea of a journal might conjure thoughts of secret teenage crushes or something that you “used to do.” But why? As you get older the benefits of keeping a journal only grow stronger. Here are 10 great reasons for keeping a journal, in reverse order.
10. For emergency and contingency situations
Ever need to know what you did on a specific day? This is one way a journal can be invaluable — documenting what you did and where you were. Examples include lawsuits, where you need to know exactly what you saw on a particular day. Your journal can be an important recording tool in emergency situations.
9. Improve your writing
The most certain way to improve your writing skills is simply to write a lot! This is more easily done if you keep a journal — especially if you write on a daily basis. In addition, any creative ideas you record in your daily journal can be reused and expanded on later.
8. Keep track of important decisions
A journal can be an important tool to track important decisions in your life. It’s a natural chronological record of your progress and can allow you to remember the reasons behind your decision-making for those all-important life events.
7. Interactions with people
Over the course of your life, most likely you will have had many, many significant and even profound interactions with the people you know. Keeping a journal helps you record those interactions. Review them from time to time to remember and understand why those people were so important to you — long after the events have passed.
6. See your progress
Progress is a critical component of any person’s growth and improvement. Did you become the person you are overnight? Of course not. In the context of your important life goals and personal objectives, a journal helps you see and keep track of the things that are truly important to you. Progress comes little by little.
5. Remember who you were
As a record of your personal history — all the events, decisions and important people who make you the person you are now are in your journal. Keeping an accurate and complete personal history can be extremely useful. By remembering who you were yesterday, you can avoid making the same mistake today.
4. Enhance your organizational skills
Journals are structured. Starting and maintaining a journal is one way to organize and structure your life, line upon line — like the lines and paragraphs of a journal.
3. Explore your thoughts
Keeping a journal can help you record all the thoughts you have on a particular day. They may be irrelevant, but they also may be inspirational and even educational for you when you get older and reflect on them. You may never know, but it never hurts to try.
2. Give meaning to your life
Meaning in life is a very subjective concept, unique to each person. Your journal can track your own dreams and aspirations and, through structure, allow you to figure out what is most important to you.
1. Daily reflection and self-awareness
Introspection is one of the most important human skills to master to become a more compassionate and overall better person. A daily journal allows you to have that introspection — even if it’s just a taste — to reflect on who you were that day.
PlanPlus Online includes a Daily Notes feature that can be used as a journal. There is also a Journal Report which allows you to select a date range and print out your notes based on that date range for safe keeping or archival offline. See this feature in action.
About Keith Norris
Keith is an advocate of process improvement, goal planning and a leader of the ‘culture of productivity’ tribe. An author, lifelong entrepreneur, proud husband and father, tandem road cyclist, and ice hockey player, Keith’s day job is CEO of Complete XRM, inc. (PlanPlus Online). Connect with Keith on LinkedIn.
PlanPlus Online (www.planplusonline.com) formerly owned by FranklinCovey, is a personal productivity system plus customer relationship management (CRM) software tool. Use this link for a free trial of PlanPlusOnline.com