The need for journaling

Published on August 18, 2020

I used to be able to get by every day without knowing exactly how things made me feel. When people asked me how I felt, the answer was quite easy “I dunno. Everything seems ok so I’m fine”, and I was always answering “Fine and you?”.

So I started journaling because I wanted to know what I accomplished every day. This was a pain in the ***, not because it was hard to do, but because I had to invest time into writing things I accomplished every, single, day. So I asked myself, there has to be a better way of doing this?

Meet my approach to journaling — I got some goals I want to accomplish this year, and I only want to journal the things I do for those goals and on some occasions other things that just made me feel either good or bad but are worth remembering.

So I created this Notion document where I just put my goals on a top-level and then I create entries for each goal every time, now I don’t have to keep putting entries every day with what I did and what I could have improved to make my day better, I’m working towards these goals and my questions are more around, what did I do today to be closer to accomplish this? What could I have done better to make a bigger step than what I did?

Is it journaling? Most people will say it isn’t, but it’s a way for me to remember what’s important to me and what I’m doing to become the person I want to be.

I have discussed this methodology I have created for myself in the past with a couple of friends and they have also told me that journaling has been difficult for them, the commitment of having to write every day a lengthy review of your day with a specific guideline can become an overwhelming feeling, defeating the whole propose of starting a journal.

For them, my way of viewing journaling makes sense and they have also found that they can tweak it to accommodate their lifestyle and own goals. My only complaint is that the ecosystem of journaling apps is fixated into this behavior of writing every day and they all try to increase your commitment levels of writing into your journal by showing you fancy mood graphs, your year in pixels, etc. And yeah, Notion has been nice, but it also feels like it’s missing things for a journal like a workflow. So I might start thinking sooner rather than later about doing an app that fits my needs and who knows, maybe it will fit others too. (This is the same thought process I had with Chomp Treats)