Hey friend! How's your fall going so far? For me, I'm ready for FALL! It's October, our oldest is THRIVING in kindergarten, and this seems like a GREAT time to talk about journaling and planning. Because... I do both of these things simultaneously, and I can't do without EITHER. (So it only makes sense to talk about them BOTH.) 😆
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I have been journaling for 18 years. WOW, that's a long time. 😮 I started journaling when I was 12, and if I'm being honest: I'm really glad I threw all those old journals away. 😂 Since my young teens, when I attempted to navigate hormones and cute boys and thought a daily log of "what I did today" might somehow be interesting... let's just say I've learned a LOT. 😬
I've learned how to journal in a way that works for ME. And it's been a lifeline for me at times - especially when I was struggling with depression. It has become the way that I pray, how I sort through my mental clutter, how I process difficult situations or feelings.
It's also how I take notes from books I'm reading, work though new business ideas, and do long-form writing and brains dumps that used to get scribbled on random pieces of paper (that would float around the house for weeks 🙄)!
So... how do I use my journal and my planner together?
Well, it works like this:
Awhile ago I realized that I had a TON of papers all over the place, just taking up room — but they were FILLED with amazing ideas! I started using my journal instead of scraps of paper. (If I used my planner to work through those, I'd be filling a planner a month!)
Inside my journal, I write down ideas that I work through, and take notes from the books I'm reading, and I have a "code" that I use for keeping track of those.
As I'm taking notes, brainstorming, or fleshing out a new idea, I'll put a check box beside any action-items. Then, when I'm ready, I go though my notes (usually after I'm done reading a section of a book or feel like an idea is fully "ready") and I look for those check boxes.
Then I put the ideas into my planner! They might go in my calendar as blog posts for specific days, on my to-do-list, into a master list or on a new blank page! Once the idea is in my planner, the box gets checked off in my journal.
For my planner, I use the "dot-grid planner" system — so my planner has my schedule, calendar, ideas, lists, doodles, blogging, podcasting... etc. I also take sermon notes in my planner, keep our weekly grocery list and use it to keep track of my goals. It's basically my life in a book. 🙊
And I really can't have one without the other! 😆