In this episode, I talk about the benefits of keeping a journal. I also share my own practice and offer a few tips. Whether you have never journaled, need a little motivation to keep going, or are just curious about what others do, I think you will find this episode helpful.
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Between blog posts, podcast show prep, courses, speeches, and books, I typically write several thousand words a week. However, I have never been a consistent journaler. I tried. I had friends who swore by it. It just never worked for me, until recently.
On our vacation last summer, my wife, Gail, challenged me to give it another try. I reluctantly agreed and fell in love with it. I have now journaled daily for more than six months.
If I had to sum it up, I would say journaling has afforded me seven benefits.
- Process previous events
- Clarify my thinking
- Understand the context
- Notice my feelings
- Connect with my heart
- Record significant lessons
- Ask important questions
When I started journaling, I did it the old fashioned way. I kept my journal in a physical notebook. I happen to use an EcoSystems Journal. However, I am not the best at writing lots of text by hand. The legibility of my writing deteriorates quickly.
On day three of my journaling experience, I stumbled upon a software program called DayOne. This is a beautiful minimalist writing tool that reminds me a lot of ByWord, the program I use to do much of my blog writing.
About a month ago, I started using Evernote for my journaling. Several people had suggested this from the beginning, and I finally saw the wisdom of it. It makes all my journal entries readily available when I search for a topic, making my notes available for blog posts, speeches, books, etc.
Regardless, there are a thousand different ways to keep a journal. Don’t get hung up on the method or the software. The most important thing to do is just to start.
- Aaron Johnson asked, “Some people just can’t seem to journal. Are there other ways people can engage in the process of self-reflection?”
- Bud Brown asked, “How do you flag pages in your journal, so you can get back to the important stuff?”
- Christopher Scott asked, “How do you catalog or keep track of previous journal entries?”
- Lynn Morrissey asked, “Is journaling scriptural or should Christians be wary of it as a New Age practice for self-exploration?”
- Jackie Ulmer asked, “Is your journal more of a Cliff Notes summary of the events of your life or is it super-detailed?”
- Jason Jones asked, “Is there a benefit to paper journaling?”
- Kwin Peterson asked, “For whom do you Journal? Who is the audience you envision?”
- Linda Kuhar asked, “When you are journaling, how do you keep yourself from lapsing into performance-mode and writing for an audience?”
- Sam Lytle asked, “What are the benefits of keeping a private journal as compared to a public one, like writing a blog or engaging in social media?”
- Platform University is going great! We now have in excess of a thousand members. If you haven’t done so yet, please check it out.
If you are serious about building your platform this year, you couldn’t make a better investment. Each month, we offer four significant content components:
- Master Class—This is where I or another expert take you through some key aspect of platform-building. This month, for example, I discuss the importance of starting with wow and how to build that into your platform. We make this available in video and audio, along with a study guide.
- Q&A Teleseminar—This is where I host a one-hour live teleconference and answer your specific questions about building a platform. We just had our first Q&A last night. We had hundreds of people on the call, and I got very, very specific in my answers.
- Member Critiques—Each month, our members volunteer to have me critique their site. I pick one and tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly. The whole thing is recorded, so that all our members can learn and improve. It is amazing how much you can learn by watching a real live example.
- Backstage Pass—This is where I take you behind the scenes and show you exactly how I do something. This month, for example, I give you a tour of my workspace. You’ll see my computer setup, my standing desk, and my podcast equipment. And, I explain the rationale for why I have tried to engineer everything to optimize my productivity.
- We still have six tickets left for the Platform Conference, which will be held here in Nashville on February 11–13, 2013—just two weeks away.
- My next podcast will be on the topic of “How To Get Out Of That Funk.” I will be talking about coping with the winter blues and how to keep your energy up during this time of year. If you have a question on this subject, please leave me a voicemail message. This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because I will link to it, just like I did with the callers in this episode.
In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:
- Book: The One Year Bible
- Book: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Conference: The Platform Conference
- Journal: EcoSystem Journal
- Podcast: “Become More Productive by Reengineering Your Morning Ritual”
- Post: “The Difference Between Trying and Doing”
- Post: “Why Should I Journal?” by Don Whitney
- Software: Evernote
- Software: DayOne
- Template: My Evernote Journal Template
- Website: Easy Journaling
- Website: Platform University
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Question: Do you journal? If so, what has been the primary benefit?