5 Ways a Journal Can Make You More Productive

When was the last time you wrote down what you accomplished?

Or better yet, wrote down what you want to accomplish?

Journals are very powerful tools to help us realize our dreams.

They can document what we have done.

And clarify our actions and drive our productivity.

They can help detail our hopes, goals, and dreams.

Do you keep a journal to improve your productivity?

Journaling to Your Dreams

I often talk about not being driftwood on the river of life, but rather charting your own course and path to your goals.

Journaling can be a powerful way to document what you have accomplished, and also to set your future goals. It is a great tool to help us explore our thoughts and priorities.

Keeping a journal does require some discipline to consistently write in it. Additionally, you need to have some openness to writing down your inner thoughts and ideas. However, the benefits can be tremendous.

“Writing a journal not only lets you see where you’ve been, but can be a window to your future.”

I find that writing in a journal not only helps you document your accomplishments, but also lets you see where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.

My journal increases my productivity by clarifying what my goals are and by spotlighting things that I may be overlooking that I need to do.

Here are 5 Ways That A Journal Can Make You More Productive:

  1. Gather Your Thoughts – Journaling is a great exercise that lets you write down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you write down things you have done, things you want to remember, or things you want to do. Your journal can be a place to simply collect your thoughts.
  2. Hold Yourself Accountable – When you write down your goals, you are much more likely to accomplish them. Seeing your dreams in writing can be powerful, and seeing your goals in text can be daunting. When I look at my journal, it motivates and drives me forward.
  3. Capture Ideas – Journaling can be a powerful experience in “emptying your head.” The ideas just start coming. I often find myself adding things to my todo list while journaling. Tasks that are important yet intangible in day-to-day life are spotlighted when I write them down.
  4. Hear Your Inner Voice – Writing in a journal is like having a conversation with your inner self. You get in the zone, and your inner thoughts just start flowing. Sometimes you don’t even know what had been on your mind until you write it down.
  5. Ponder What’s Most Important – Journaling lets you confront what is most important to you. Internally, we know what is important. But, sometimes it takes putting it down in our journal to make our priorities clear and apparent.

My Favorite Journal Software

There are many ways to keep a journal. Some prefer the look and feel of paper. Writing with a good pen can be a wonderful experience. If you are looking for great notebook for your journal, try a Moleskine.

On the other hand, there are many advantages to keeping your journal electronically.

This is the method I prefer. I enjoy the speed and interface of an electronic journal. This makes it easy to review and even makes it searchable.

Currently, my favorite journaling app is called Day One by Bloom Built.

It is a simple app with a great interface. It makes journaling a joy.

It even will prompt you throughout the day to make entries in your journal. (You can turn this option off if you do not want the interruptions.)

Even better, Day One is available for not only Mac, but also iPhone/iPad. It will also keep your journal in synced across platforms. So, you can enter thoughts via any of your devices.

Check out Day One for Mac here. You can also get Day One for iPhone/iPad here. (affiliate links)

Write Your Story

Keeping a journal can be a powerful way to boost your productivity.

I use mine to not only see where I have been, but plot a path to the future.

Journals help get your thoughts out of your head and discover what is most important to you.

And of course, they can be a great way to look back and remember what you have accomplished.

Do you keep a journal? If so, how has it helped you?

73 thoughts on “5 Ways a Journal Can Make You More Productive

  1. Wow, Craig. This is a beautiful outline of some great info on journal-writing for managers. I so firmly agree that journaling can be a great personal development tool, and also more specifically, a way to improve yourself professionally. I’ve seen it transform a struggling new manager into a polished leader. A few more resources I would add to your list are as follows.

    1. Another article about using journal-writing for professional growth. http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/bid/92162/Journaling-A-Fresh-Tool-for-Effective-Managers

    2. An excellent book that uses journaling and writing exercises for becoming a competent, organized and reliable leader in any organization: http://www.amazon.com/Employee-Capable-Organized-Reliable-Empowered/dp/0977291413

    3. You mentioned “Looking Back” and “Looking Forward” — two keys for anyone serious about their career. This is a program I put together to help people do just that. http://www.tinyurl.com/JournalKit

    For people who say they don’t have the time to keep a journal. I respond, “If that’s true, then you don’t have the time NOT to. Journaling has been one of the best time-saving tools I’ve ever used in my career.”

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