My Journaling System
Infrastructure Requirements - Paper Journal System: Daily -
-2 Pieces of White A4 paper
(First batching done in am of the day - I usually do this after exercise in the morning or before my morning work)
- Date - Upper left hand corner
- 3 Grateful (Here I write three things I'm grateful about)
- 3 Things that would make today Amazing (Here I write three things I want to focus on doing or accomplishing that day)
(Second Batching done in the pm of the day - I usually either do this after work or in the morning of the next day)
- 3 Amazing Moments (List three amazing moments from the day)
- 3 Learnings (Three things I learned from today, if there was an outcome that I didn't like I will sometimes write about it and reflect on how I would approach this situation in the future if represented with a similar situation. Often though the learnings are pure learnings and don't need to be tied to my behavior modification).
After this in the top Right hand corner of the sheet I write a numerical value for the day quantifying how nice of a day it was for me emotionally. Was it an incredible day ---> +2 - Was it a totally shit day ---> -2. It's only for me, I can be as picky or not as I want.
Often under the numerical value for the day I'll write basic rundown of the day.
- Will also document if I completed the 3 things that would make today amazing tasks
After this I flip the papers over and write the date on the opposite sheet on the left hand upper corner of the page and 1 on the Right hand corner of the page. Then I write for 3 pages longhand about whatever is coming up for me.
Organization of Papers-
I have 2 papers for each day that I keep in the computer part of my work bag when I am working and I travel with white sheets that I then integrate into the main stacks when travelling. I fold the sheets and make a small packet from them and work up from day 1-15 and 16-end of month for each month so each month will have 2 packs of sheets.
For Miscellaneous notes I usually write these on white sheets of paper that I transfer into Evernote on a work batch day. I am currently changing this system as I integrate non me workers into the equation on the data input side of things. (Also, I like your system Derek and use of plaintext and may likely use some derivative of this. I enjoy the cross referencing feature from Evernote and being able to match idea sequences from different note topics when there are common keywords. )
After 3--6 months of this on a quarterly or half yearly basis I do a batch day and either photograph everything or scan everything (especially if I have access to a big scanner). At this point I have a digital copy but the input side is missing.
I'm preparing to send these to a virtual assistant for the data input side of things. I will use a spreadsheet format for data input and for subsequent analysis and quantification of former me to be nice and help future me with some insights about past me :)
Hope this is useful!
Post Scriptum Comments:
*(The comment is a natural add on to the previous considerations and also responds to the asterisk * from after the first comment - Before moving to the current system I tried doing everything on a computer. At first I wrote everything out in a type of excel sheet. This didn't resonate with me and I didn't enjoy the experience of doing this. After this I threw some money at the problem after seeing a friend of mine play with his Surface Laptop and tried to create a written note that would incorporate all of the elements while still having the experience of writing. This did not work because often when travelling I either didn't have a computer or it was back at xyz place while I was at abc place. Sometimes I would also be far enough away that I didn't have a charge anymore and couldn't charge the computer. If not completely in nature I've found it possible to ask for a piece of paper and a pen almost everywhere in the world from the richest to the poorest places and so even if I lose my pen and paper this format has been accessible everywhere I've travelled or been in a more stable way. Usually when I move to a new place I go to a cheap store and buy one block of A4 paper. It doesn't have to be A4 it can be any page of paper circa 20cmx30cm. It can have lines or not or be colored or not.)
^ I use the basic format from the 5 Min Journal in terms of daily prompts without the part on affirmations. I integrate this with some of the daily note taking habits from Jim Collins (Jim + Tim on the Tim Ferris Show talks about this and how he catalogues his days and time)as well as Jim's Scoring system for the day -2 to +2.
~ Daily Journaling comes mainly as a practice for me from the Artist's way by Julia Cameron. 3 pages of whatever comes, no right, no wrong.