I have written about the benefits of keeping a journal. Here, in the hope that an example will be helpful, I will show you how I organize my journal.
You can write your journal free form, as most do, or you can create a structure for it, as I have. Let me tell you how I do it . . .
I keep an electronic journal, not a handwritten one. Typing is much faster than writing for me. And, unlike my writing, typing produces a readable result. I like being able to easily add photos and links to my electronic journal. And I love the fact it is searchable.
I use a journal template I created, and here it is, with some comments about each section . . .
TOP 5 VALUES
The first thing I see every day is a reminder of what I’m all about, what I’m trying to achieve through my activities.
At the end of each year, I develop 3 – 5 major business and personal goals for the upcoming year, and they appear near the top of each day’s journal. I want to be reminded every day what I’m trying to accomplish and whether I’m making consistent progress toward my goals.
1. Read at least one book and write takeaways
2. Weekly calls to [family and friends]
3. Monthly calls to [friends and business associates]
Monthly goals are partly derived from my annual goals. These are the things I must do in the current month to stay on pace to achieve my annual goals. I set these on the last day of the preceding month.
Some of my monthly goals are the same each month. I have shown several examples, such as staying in touch with family, friends and business associates on a regular basis.
1. Call [family, friends, business associates]
Weekly goals, in turn, are derived partly from my monthly goals. These are the things I must do in the current week to stay on pace for achieving my monthly goals. I set these on Sunday.
Some of my weekly goals are the same each week. Examples are keeping in touch with family, friends and business associates.
TODAY’S TO DO LIST
1. Edit yesterday’s journal entry.
2. Make today’s journal entry.
This is my TO TO list for the day. I normally create this list at the end of the preceding business day. If I couldn’t, I create this list in the morning before I do anything else.
Some of my daily goals are the same each day. I have listed obvious examples of reviewing yesterday’s journal and making today’s journal entry.
Fitness is a priority of mine, so I keep track of my fitness efforts and hold myself accountable every day. I record the details of that day’s workout.
Here, also, I want to be accountable daily. I want to know each day how much pressure I am putting on the planet.
When my blood pressure started to creep up, I began measuring it every day. That focus has helped me make the necessary changes to bring it back to where I want it.
A.M. Snack –
P.M. Snack –
Late Snack –
Diet and exercise are the core components of health. Therefore, I make a record of my diet so that I will be accountable to myself each day. (Although I have 6 entries for meals, I don’t always eat 6 meals a day. I may eat 3,4,5 or 6, depending on such things as my activities.)
I want to know on a daily basis how I am spending my money. This helps me decide whether my financial priorities are sound and whether I’m making progress toward my financial goals.
This is a description of what I did during the day. It is usually the longest entry in my journal. I include details such as phone numbers that I may need again and order or reference numbers. Sometimes I include thoughts about future activities.
IDEAS & THINGS TO REMEMBER
This is where I record ideas and anything else that is important enough to remember. For example, if I’m researching a consumer purchase, this is where I keep my notes. I also record interesting things I have learned, as well as projects or goals I am contemplating.
That’s how I organize my journal. My journal system may be more complicated than you want, need or have the time for. Or it may not be detailed enough for your needs. It’s just an example. I hope it helps you design your personal journal.