How I use my Journal and Planner Together.
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! 😆