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Want to use a “Journal”? You’re probably doing it wrong!

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fauche65

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 6, 2013
24
85
31
Toronto, Canada
(Almost) Every day, someone is creating a new, awesome, never been done before, guaranteed to keep you organized, and “hit your goals faster and easier” Journal. Just search Big-G and you can find hundreds, if not thousands of new journals which you can buy for $10.00, and all the way up to $1,000.00. You can get physical journals, digital journals, and apps that dictate for you (I can’t wait for the apps that read your thoughts and capture them all for you) J.

All of them claim to be better than the rest. The challenge I have found with all of these “better” and “best” Journals is that THEY ARE NOT REALLY JOURNALS!

What is a Journal?
The dictionary definition of a Journal is “a daily record of news and events of a personal nature”.

While this is true, I believe that a Journal should also be used for documenting the creative ideas and thoughts we all have daily. Before you buy something for the purpose of organizing your tasks and breaking down your goals, you should start with a Journal to CAPTURE YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS!

In other words, a Journal should be used for Brainstorming and Reflection.

Jim Rohn opened my eyes
Many years ago, the legendary Jim Rohn opened my eyes and my mind, about how to really use a Journal. I used to take notes on all kinds and sizes of scrap pieces of paper, backs of old envelopes, napkins, Post-it Notes, and even on my body when absolutely necessary. Most of these would end up in my drawer for “safe” keeping, or would litter the surface of my desk in the home office.

I would go through them when I remembered, or needed to clean out the “drawer full of scrap paper”, and I would always get the same reaction from myself; ”Oh yeah, I remember that idea! Why didn’t I ever map it and test it to see if would work?” Unfortunately, the answer was always the same too…..

…..BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT THE FREAKING NOTE!

A Journal vs A Planner
When most people want to buy a Journal, what they are really looking for is a “Planner”. Planners are for organizing goals, identifying and prioritizing tasks, and tracking daily activities. Journals are designed for so much more.

We have all likely seen the online ads for BestSelfCo, and their “Journals”. When you visit their website, even they have the word Planner as a description for their “Journal” products; Self Journal - "A Powerful Daily Planner" (SELF Journal).

Do these custom Planners have values to you and I? They certainly might. After all, as entrepreneurs, we often have a lot of the same challenges and obstacles when trying to stay focused. The challenge I have found, is that there are so many of these Planners out there, and they were created to solve all of the organizational and disciplinary challenges of the person that created it. Valuable…Yes! Perfect….No!

I always needed a Planner with a lot more of me and my business in mind.

If you need a Planner to keep you on the straight and narrow, and can’t find that perfect one online (or in store), create one yourself! It’s easier than you think.

Keeping a Journal
There is just no other way to say it - If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal! And it’s best to carry a paper Journal - don’t trust your memory. Electronic journals are great, but you have to have it in hand when the big idea or creative thought hits you, so it’s not always practical.

When you have a great idea – Write it down!
Find a product that you can improve on – Write it down!
Have a dream to change the world – Wake up and Write it down!
When you listen to something valuable - Write it down!
When you come across something important - Write it down!

2 ways to Journal
I believe that there are 2 “types” of Journals
· A Brainstorming Journal, and
· A Reflection Journal

Let me explain my logic behind separating the Journaling process into 2 categories, and then how I integrate a Planner into it.

Brainstorming Journal
I have a paper Journal that I carry everywhere. I have has it for several years, and use it for the sole purpose of capturing my business thoughts and ideas. Back in 2005, I would get up at 3:00am each morning, for no earthly reason, and have business “visions” (products, services, solutions, people, etc.) running through my mind.

To this day, I can’t explain it. It just happened……..3:00am every day without fail, my mind fully awake, and my thoughts full of creativity and ideas. At first, I did not write them down, but as it started to go into week 2 like this, I started taking notes…..lots of notes.

This went on for a few months. As time went on, and I began to be able to sleep (somewhat) normally again, I continued to expand on my ideas when I was awake. I also started to look for other ideas and inspiration. All of this was captured in my Journal.

Today, I am always on the lookout for ideas in every interaction I have, and I am always glad I have my journal with me!

Reflection Journal
At the end of each day, I try to take time and capture my thought on the day’s events, both good and bad. I do this on my workstation in my home office, using a software Journal program. I have included the program in the “Resources” listed below.

I find that sitting down every day, and taking time to write my accomplishments, shortcomings, emotions, mental state, progress, and gratitude, helps me push forward tomorrow. By Journaling every day, I get to go back and see the start, and make sure that I am following through on my goals. It also helps me spot trends (both positive and negative) in what I am doing, how I am doing it, and my emotional state.

My Journal-Planner-Journal Organization Method
So I have 2 books, and a software program that I use daily. The first is my paper “Brainstorming” Journal where I capture my thoughts and ideas.(Yes, this IS my Journal)


</br>

</br>

</br>

The second is my Daily Planner. This is where I have my daily tasks and action items.



And the third is my “Reflection” Journal at the end of the day.


photo uploading sites

Using a Journal and Planner will help you get organized, focused, and make sure you have a reference point for continued action.

RESOURCES - NO AFFILIATE LINKS!

Jim Rohn - How to Use a Journal - Combo How to Use a Journal CD with Leadership Journal by Jim Rohn

Want to listen to the audio without getting the Journal, just search Google or YouTube for “Jim Rohn How to use a Journal”.

BRAINSTORMING JOURNAL
No recommendations here. Go to your favorite stationery store and pick something you like and that you are going to use. It has to fit your lifestyle, or you won’t use it.

The “Passion Planner” is a hybrid Planner & Journal. You can download for free here - Passion Planner

DAILY PLANNER
I use the Blueline NotePro Undated Planner - NotePro Undated Daily Planner . I like it because it has 2 pages per day, and enough room to keep my notes organized. I have used others over the last several years, but I like the simplicity and cost of the Blueline.

You can also check out Franklin Covey. I used to use their planners, but they are a bit more expensive - All of our Planners and Refills - FranklinCovey

REFLECTION JOURNAL
I use “The Journal” by DavidRM to write down my end of day thoughts and reflections. The program is easy to use and very flexible, and David provides great support. There are also add-on templates for specific goals and projects.

Electronic Journal Software - DavidRM Software's The Journal – Write, Organize, Remember, Find
Add-on Templates - Add-ons for The Journal – DavidRM Software's The Journal

To your success!
 
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Supercar

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Mar 14, 2012
273
509
253
Michigan, Arizona
I love Jim Rohn. He was my first business and self-improvement teacher. I used to listen to his six tapes, The Art of Exceptional Living, which were bootleg copied from my college library. Then I had his six CD's in a CD changer in my car, playing all the time, often set to play at random. I still quote some of his pearls from memory, and I can recognize many of Jim Rohn's words in your post.

- - - - - -

Back to the journal: I do not trust my memory. And I am interested in tracking how my values, priorities and thinking change over time.

My Reflection Journal is electronic, and since the days of Palm Treo is located on my smartphone. A journal on a smartphone is searchable, easy to back up, and is always with me. It is a simple collection of txt files. I put date, time and location in each file's name. This is usually enough to keep everything sorted and organized. I should, although I do not always, periodically re-read these files. But when I do, it is always entertaining and valuable.

For tasks I have a system. Many people are familiar with the Eisenhower's Urgent/Important 2x2 matrix. I added two more dimensions to it: Quick/Slow to complete, and For Myself/For Others. So, my matrix is 4x4 with 16 cells. In the upper left corner are tasks that are Urgent, Important, Quick to complete, and For Myself.

For long-term goals I use a Todoist app. You can use their simple programming language to apply tags, priorities and due dates to the tasks, and then write filters and queries to sort and prioritize all the tasks once again. I have incorporated my prioritizing system into this app.

My daily To-Do lists, as well as Brainstorming notes, are usually on plain letter-sized paper. I do not carry paper with me, but plain paper is easy to find anywhere. I date every such sheet, then punch holes, and add them into a binder at the end of the day. Some of the daily tasks remain unfinished, which is okay, but they are never lost or forgotten.

Time-specific tasks and appointments go into my Google calendar. I usually do not review those records afterwards.

Any task that takes under 5 minutes to complete should be started and completed instead of being put on a to-do list.
 
Last edited:

justonemore

Contributor
Speedway Pass
Dec 19, 2017
62
85
122
NewYork
I like this, thanks!

I started keeping a sort of journal 6 months ago.
I keep it beside be when watching youtube videos or reading a book.
I hear good ideas all the time, and then forget them, so this is to create notes of all those good ideas.

I also use it to mindmap ideas, brainstorm decisions, etc.
 

WJK

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
2,230
4,952
1,148
Alaska
You make it sound so complicated! An electronic Word file for my day to day notes, and appointments -- and a simple notebook for my thoughts and reflections is plenty for me.
 

Parker P

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 25, 2017
33
34
61
25
San Jose, Ca
This is awesome. Journaling in one form or another is a must. I prefer to keep notes on my iphone on the notes app as I always have my iphone on me, can have different folders for different topics, and can sync it up with my macbook's notes app. But I also have a friend who must have a physical notebook with him. It's different for everyone, but nonetheless, journaling and note taking is important.
 

timmy

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 29, 2013
293
281
127
Ireland
(Almost) Every day, someone is creating a new, awesome, never been done before, guaranteed to keep you organized, and “hit your goals faster and easier” Journal. Just search Big-G and you can find hundreds, if not thousands of new journals which you can buy for $10.00, and all the way up to $1,000.00. You can get physical journals, digital journals, and apps that dictate for you (I can’t wait for the apps that read your thoughts and capture them all for you) J.

All of them claim to be better than the rest. The challenge I have found with all of these “better” and “best” Journals is that THEY ARE NOT REALLY JOURNALS!

What is a Journal?
The dictionary definition of a Journal is “a daily record of news and events of a personal nature”.

While this is true, I believe that a Journal should also be used for documenting the creative ideas and thoughts we all have daily. Before you buy something for the purpose of organizing your tasks and breaking down your goals, you should start with a Journal to CAPTURE YOUR THOUGHTS AND IDEAS!

In other words, a Journal should be used for Brainstorming and Reflection.

Jim Rohn opened my eyes
Many years ago, the legendary Jim Rohn opened my eyes and my mind, about how to really use a Journal. I used to take notes on all kinds and sizes of scrap pieces of paper, backs of old envelopes, napkins, Post-it Notes, and even on my body when absolutely necessary. Most of these would end up in my drawer for “safe” keeping, or would litter the surface of my desk in the home office.

I would go through them when I remembered, or needed to clean out the “drawer full of scrap paper”, and I would always get the same reaction from myself; ”Oh yeah, I remember that idea! Why didn’t I ever map it and test it to see if would work?” Unfortunately, the answer was always the same too…..

…..BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT THE FREAKING NOTE!

A Journal vs A Planner
When most people want to buy a Journal, what they are really looking for is a “Planner”. Planners are for organizing goals, identifying and prioritizing tasks, and tracking daily activities. Journals are designed for so much more.

We have all likely seen the online ads for BestSelfCo, and their “Journals”. When you visit their website, even they have the word Planner as a description for their “Journal” products; Self Journal - "A Powerful Daily Planner" (SELF Journal).

Do these custom Planners have values to you and I? They certainly might. After all, as entrepreneurs, we often have a lot of the same challenges and obstacles when trying to stay focused. The challenge I have found, is that there are so many of these Planners out there, and they were created to solve all of the organizational and disciplinary challenges of the person that created it. Valuable…Yes! Perfect….No!

I always needed a Planner with a lot more of me and my business in mind.

If you need a Planner to keep you on the straight and narrow, and can’t find that perfect one online (or in store), create one yourself! It’s easier than you think.

Keeping a Journal
There is just no other way to say it - If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal! And it’s best to carry a paper Journal - don’t trust your memory. Electronic journals are great, but you have to have it in hand when the big idea or creative thought hits you, so it’s not always practical.

When you have a great idea – Write it down!
Find a product that you can improve on – Write it down!
Have a dream to change the world – Wake up and Write it down!
When you listen to something valuable - Write it down!
When you come across something important - Write it down!

2 ways to Journal
I believe that there are 2 “types” of Journals
· A Brainstorming Journal, and
· A Reflection Journal

Let me explain my logic behind separating the Journaling process into 2 categories, and then how I integrate a Planner into it.

Brainstorming Journal
I have a paper Journal that I carry everywhere. I have has it for several years, and use it for the sole purpose of capturing my business thoughts and ideas. Back in 2005, I would get up at 3:00am each morning, for no earthly reason, and have business “visions” (products, services, solutions, people, etc.) running through my mind.

To this day, I can’t explain it. It just happened……..3:00am every day without fail, my mind fully awake, and my thoughts full of creativity and ideas. At first, I did not write them down, but as it started to go into week 2 like this, I started taking notes…..lots of notes.

This went on for a few months. As time went on, and I began to be able to sleep (somewhat) normally again, I continued to expand on my ideas when I was awake. I also started to look for other ideas and inspiration. All of this was captured in my Journal.

Today, I am always on the lookout for ideas in every interaction I have, and I am always glad I have my journal with me!

Reflection Journal
At the end of each day, I try to take time and capture my thought on the day’s events, both good and bad. I do this on my workstation in my home office, using a software Journal program. I have included the program in the “Resources” listed below.

I find that sitting down every day, and taking time to write my accomplishments, shortcomings, emotions, mental state, progress, and gratitude, helps me push forward tomorrow. By Journaling every day, I get to go back and see the start, and make sure that I am following through on my goals. It also helps me spot trends (both positive and negative) in what I am doing, how I am doing it, and my emotional state.

My Journal-Planner-Journal Organization Method
So I have 2 books, and a software program that I use daily. The first is my paper “Brainstorming” Journal where I capture my thoughts and ideas.(Yes, this IS my Journal)


</br>

</br>

</br>

The second is my Daily Planner. This is where I have my daily tasks and action items.



And the third is my “Reflection” Journal at the end of the day.


photo uploading sites

Using a Journal and Planner will help you get organized, focused, and make sure you have a reference point for continued action.

RESOURCES - NO AFFILIATE LINKS!

Jim Rohn - How to Use a Journal - Combo How to Use a Journal CD with Leadership Journal by Jim Rohn

Want to listen to the audio without getting the Journal, just search Google or YouTube for “Jim Rohn How to use a Journal”.

BRAINSTORMING JOURNAL
No recommendations here. Go to your favorite stationery store and pick something you like and that you are going to use. It has to fit your lifestyle, or you won’t use it.

The “Passion Planner” is a hybrid Planner & Journal. You can download for free here - Passion Planner

DAILY PLANNER
I use the Blueline NotePro Undated Planner - NotePro Undated Daily Planner . I like it because it has 2 pages per day, and enough room to keep my notes organized. I have used others over the last several years, but I like the simplicity and cost of the Blueline.

You can also check out Franklin Covey. I used to use their planners, but they are a bit more expensive - All of our Planners and Refills - FranklinCovey

REFLECTION JOURNAL
I use “The Journal” by DavidRM to write down my end of day thoughts and reflections. The program is easy to use and very flexible, and David provides great support. There are also add-on templates for specific goals and projects.

Electronic Journal Software - DavidRM Software's The Journal – Write, Organize, Remember, Find
Add-on Templates - Add-ons for The Journal – DavidRM Software's The Journal

To your success!
Wow...That's a looong post...but I did read it all with great interest.

Well done and I concur with all that is stated here.In fact .

Thanks for sharing
 

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