One of my favorite practices as a creative arts entrepreneur is to keep a business journal. As the leader of your business, you have so many hats to juggle that it helps to have a place to track those ideas. It also helps you make decisions about where to grow your business and yourself.
I know that my clients who keep a business journal, find it extremely valuable, a real difference-maker in their businesses. This is true regardless if journaling is done in a pretty book, on an iPad, or with our weekly Success and Strategy Summit tool.
Have you been putting off journaling for your business? Here are six reasons why you should start:
- Journaling increases your focus. You have to focus when you journal. If it becomes a regular practice, you will find it easier to focus on your other work.
- Journaling helps develop clarity. I know you have lots of thoughts swarming around in your head. Getting them down on paper lets you evaluate what is working and what is not. It forces you to look at the hard questions. And, it helps you forge a direction for your business.
- Journaling builds confidence. Most of what you do is one small step at a time. When you look back at all you have accomplished and the problems you have solved, it is rewarding and confidence building. You can see what you are capable of achieving, and this is very motivating.
- Journaling gives you a great place to capture your brilliant ideas. You may not be ready to put those ideas to work for you, but if you have them in a journal they are ready when you are. Check out the blog post on your $5,000 notebook for an idea of how to use them.
- Journaling allows for a level of accountability to yourself. While it might not be so evident when you first think about it, consider the food journal that you may keep. It is the same thing. You are tracking your journey and holding yourself accountable when you fall off track.
- Numerous studies have shown that journaling is a stress reliever. It diminishes symptoms of depression, and improves physical health and well-being. Who would not want some of that?
So, where do you start?
You have lots of options for keeping your journal. Many of you are tactile and like the paper method. Just don’t get the really pretty book and then decide you don’t want to “dirty” the pages! I use a collection of journals I have purchased over the years at Barnes and Noble, Home Goods, and even the composition books I find at Staples.
Some of you prefer going digital. Options could include using your Evernote app, which allows written, audio, and images. If you want to use an app exclusively created for journaling on your iPad, try Notes Plus, Noteshelf, or Notability, which allow for handwritten notes.
What can you capture in your journal?
You will develop your own routine with your journaling over time. You’ll settle on a timing that works for you — daily, every few days, or every week. Here are some ideas of what to journal about:
- What you accomplished and how you felt?
- What you did not accomplish but wanted to and why?
- What is challenging you and what the solutions might be?
- What opportunities you see?
- Your lessons from the day?
- Quotes that you may have read.
- Notes from conversations you want to remember.
- That big idea! (And, if that big idea comes in the shower, you can even buy a waterproof white board to track your big ideas.)
It’s your turn!
Share your wise words below. Do you journal now? Why or why not? What are your journaling tips?