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?”
- If you are considering launching your own platform—or just getting serious about it—you need to start with a self-hosted WordPress blog.
This is not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, I have put together a step-by-step screencast on exactly how to do it. You don’t need any technical knowledge. I walk you through the entire process in exactly 20 minutes.
- The Launch Conference for this fall is filling up fast. In case you don’t know, this is the conference for professional speakers or those who want to be. It’s all about the business of public speaking.
Specifically, we teach you a powerful, four-part framework designed to help you:
- Discover your assets.
- Design your products.
- Develop your market.
- Determine your value.
This is the conference that launched me into my professional speaking career. We will be holding the conference on September 16–19, 2013 in beautiful Vail, Colorado.
This is one conference that will pay for itself almost immediately. I paid for mine in the first month after I attended.
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?