“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things….”
One of my favourite songs from the movie ‘Sound of Music.’
So many times, we forget the little things which make us happy!
To-do lists, little reminder post-it notes put up on your work desk, alarms to prompt you about tasks, bucket lists, goals, dreams, plans…Are you reading this article to help find ways to be more organized and find time to do the things you love doing? Well, yes, writing a journal could help you with this.
A journal is a home. It is home to your thoughts, ideas, goals, and plans. And as is with a house, your journal becomes a place of comfort. In my experience, there is no correct way to journal. It reflects who you are, were, and what you want to be.
Some common misconceptions associated with maintaining a journal are perfectionism and consistency. A search on journaling pulls up perfect calendars, lists, and titles that seem too daunting to integrate into our daily lives. And why add another task to an already never-ending list?
The answer is that having a journal is like having a friend. Your journal doesn’t have to be perfect; you don’t have to write something in it every day, and you do not have to make it look beautiful. Maintaining a journal is about doing what suits you best by figuring out things that work for you. A journal helps you organize your thoughts with ease. You can be as creative as you like with your journal.
Some things work best for me, and I have made a list of them here.
The Beginning- Choosing a Diary.
It is important to choose a diary that suits your purpose when you begin journaling. The kind of diary you want depends on your preferences. It is better to go for a journal with thick pages if you like drawing. If you need to make lists and tear them out, go with a spiral-bound notebook or notebooks with markers for tearing off pages. You may want to go with a diary that has a quote you love on the front page or may choose to add something inspirational yourself.
Choose something that makes you excited and makes you look forward to writing in it.
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll gives a lot of ideas on making and maintaining journals. It suggests using logs as a simple method for people to follow and customize according to what suits them. Logs help you organize information according to your chosen topic or any particular time frame.
Monthly or weekly logs are used to mark important dates in a list or a calendar to keep track of all the events in your life.
A daily log has pointers about all the things you have to do in a day. These help you prioritize and choose how to spend your time. Noting things down declutters your mind and allows you to focus. It stops you from constantly revising everything you have to do lest you forget. Also, ticking or checking off completed tasks provides a sense of accomplishment. It is like celebrating a small victory for everything you do.
Gratitude logs help you keep track of things that you are grateful for or that makes you happy. They make you see something good about every day and help you recognize patterns of behaviours that bring you joy. My daughter maintains a gratitude log every month and writes at least one good thing about her day for all the days in the month.
You can also make habit trackers, like a water log, exercise log, or mood log. These help you track progress and improve habits. You can look back on your progress and feel proud of the changes you have brought in life.
We often find ourselves overburdening our schedules and feeling sad about not completing all the tasks we planned for that time. Shifting tasks helps you tackle that problem. You can easily mark the piece of work you have not finished in your daily/weekly/monthly log and carry it over to another section. It helps you reschedule tasks without feeling that you are abandoning the project for the time being. It also makes you realize how much work you can do in a day without feeling burdened and makes you re-evaluate the time you give to work and recreation.
Creativity, in any way, makes a thing your own. Spending time with your journal allows you to customize it and add snippets of motivation to it. Adding quotes, doodles, and stickers to the pages of your diary can make you feel cheerful when you start to work on a task or look back on the things you have achieved. Once again, these things do not have to be defined by perfection. Art is a perfectly imperfect form of expression, and that is where its beauty lies. Have fun with your journal, experiment, and be creative.
Maintaining a journal lets you look back at your past self and notice how you have grown as a person. It also makes you acknowledge how priorities keep shifting and how every stage of your life has been critical in shaping the person you are. It helps you realize what makes you happy, what works for you, and how you may want to change certain aspects of your life.
The most important thing to remember is that a journal is a diary that makes your life easier. You may even want to keep some of your lists in your journal, like your shopping list, medicines list and many others. This acts as a quick reference to refill the monthly requirements. There is no particular way to a journal; it is about doing what suits you best in organizing your life. The best way to start is to go for it and figure it out from there.
All the best, happy journaling!
“Write what should not be forgotten…….”
– Isabel Allende
Wise, R. (Director). (1965). The Sound of Music [Motion Picture].
Carroll, R. (2018). THE BULLET JOURNAL METHOD. London: 4th Estate.