Brain Dump! I remember keeping a notebook from a very early age—it had my “to do” lists, my goals and aspirations and gobs of other lists and categories—how I wanted to decorate my room, things I wanted to try, and so on. When I was in 6th grade or so, I remember feeling stressed and overwhelmed with homework and time pressure. Can you imagine—in 6th grade? Anyway, my mother suggested that I write everything down that I could think of that I needed to do or wanted to do and go from there. That was my very first brain dump!
This last week, I led a bullet journal workshop for college students, and it got me thinking about the why behind journaling. Why do most people journal? Why do you journal? What do I? Is it meeting my expectations?
The group in my workshop wanted to use bullet journaling as a means of staying organized and being more productive. Beyond that, I think bullet journaling with all the bells and whistles—or fun stickers and Washi, can be something relaxing to do with our hands while we catch up with friends. Some people are really drawn to the artistic opportunity in bullet journaling—the beautiful spreads to draw, the visual representations of interests, changing seasons, and so on.
Those are all good reasons, but they aren’t my reasons.
Here is what I get out of journaling:
- It stops overwhelm. My brain is full of ideas, thoughts, and to-do’s. Getting them on paper rocks. Getting them on paper in an organized fashion that I can revisit later—rocks even more.
- Increases my creative ideas and creative action. Having a place to put creative ideas seems to mean I get more of them. Having a place to outline my action, and my plan, has me taking more action.
- It helps me be purposeful, intentional and strategic with my time, money and talents. In my bullet journal, I can lay out my goals and my intentions. I can see my responsibilities and my commitments. From there, I can juggle and rearrange, and move toward my goals.
- It keeps me organized and it makes me feel organized. Being organized is wonderful—feeling organized—having an in-hand physical representation of said organization is empowering
- Tracking my goals makes me feel accomplished and gives me a sense of control over my life. I love seeing my progress each month as I set new goals and review the past month.
- It allows me to be proactive instead of reactive. When I am planning a specific event—such as a holiday or a conference, my journal gives me room to think about how I want things to go. Whe I take time to do that, I am more likely to get the outcome I want.
- It provides me with a keepsake. It’s a type of diary—maybe an idea and appointment diary, but a diary nonetheless. It’s practical and useful as a guide for every day, and when I finish a journal, I have a keepsake about my life during a certain period of time.
Why do you journal? If you don’t, why not?