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The easy way to journal everyday

 

Lots of people want to keep a daily journal, but don’t know what to write or find it becomes a bit of a hassle.

In this video I’m going to share the format that will make your daily journaling session easy, fun and repeatable.

PLUS, the behavioural science that makes it work.

Let’s get started.

While I use my favourite bit of tech, my reMarkable tablet, pen and paper is perfectly fine.

Simply draw a quadrant, splitting your page into four. In reMarkable, I’m using the four storyboards template.

We’re going to use these four boxes to sift and sort your thoughts for the day.

Starting at the top of box 2 write the heading “Highlight”, box 3, “Lowlight” and box 4, “Insight”.

Now back to Box 1.

This is where you include context for the day. 

Include things like the date, day of the week, time and where you are journaling from. You may even like to include the weather. Aside from the temperature, I like to draw what the weather was like. 

This serves to place you at a moment in time, so when you look back on this entry you’ll be able to get your bearings.

Below the picture, include any dot points about what you did that day - I include things like where I walked the dog, meetings I’ve had–a quick chronology of the day.

Box 2 Highlight

This is your highlight of the day. I try to draw something to capture it, and then include some text below.

Box 3 Lowlight

This is your lowlight. What didn’t do so well? Similarly, I try to draw something and then explain in text below. 

Box 4 Insight

This leads us to our insight. Thinking back on your day, what was (or is) your insight? Looking back, what did you learn? 

The beauty of asking for an insight is it shifts us from a “doing” mindset, to a reflective learning mindset. We get to step away from details and look for meaning.

So that’s a bit on the mechanics of the format, but what makes it work so well?

Two things.

  1. By starting with four empty boxes, we’re using “completion bias” to motivate ourselves to fill them in. It’s just the right amount of irritation to make you want to complete each box.
  2. Using a visual storyboard prompts us to draw. And drawing accesses creative pathways in the brain that we may have neglected.  And most importantly, it means each day takes on a unique look and feel, so these pages become a storybook of our day-to-day life. 

Here are two other quick tips to set you up for success:

  • The final thing I do after I’ve journaled is to set up a page for the next day. I create a Notebook with the date, write the date and day in box I and add the H, L and I headings. This makes it much easier to get stuck straight in the next day.
  • Build a streak. Once you’ve got a streak of days together, you will become loath to miss a session. In the four years I’ve been doing this I’ve probably only missed 2 or 3 days.

Did you like my journaling format? Will you give it a try? Or perhaps you have a format that works for you? Let me know in the comments!

 


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