I never used to journal. Never.
I tried to keep a diary of my things when I was a child, keeping hold of memories when I went on vacation somewhere or in case something dramatically interesting happened to me. Yet other than that…I didn’t find much value in writing things down.
That was of course, until I reached my second year of college and the stimulus overload of projects, life and stress finally did my brain in. I was shot.
Mentally I was scrambling. Physically I was exhausted. Emotionally I was craving something, anything to settle things down.
I felt that I already had a good grasp on my life at this point, minimalism was helping me see clarity in the things that I did and I was eating healthy again.
But still, there was something amiss.
Over the Christmas break, my close friend had talked to me about the journaling that she always did during school. She claimed it helped her keep track of stuff that was on her mind, ideas, schedules…all the stuff that clutters our brains and makes us stress out.
I thought to myself, what the hell. I might as well try it. So I went out, bought myself a nice Moleskine journal and wrote my name on the first page in large and still relatively neat capital letters.
Little did I know that at this point, I had embarked on something that I never could’ve known its full potential.
Writing in a journal gave me a multitude of things that I never thought I could have access to. It was somehow so much easier than entering my schedule online and keeping track of things on my phone.
That was my first stipulation that I had. I wanted to be able to keep track of my life, organize my events and plans…but I wanted to be able to do it without looking at my phone every five minutes.
The Moleskine became my saving grace, allowing me to write everything down that might otherwise slip my mind.
Writing in a journal allowed me to take the clutter from my mind and put it on a page. Often times when I did this, the magnitude of the problem was suddenly a lot less stressful than before. Problems don’t seem nearly as big once you’re staring at them instead of thinking about them.
Other than giving me a forecasted look at my schedule for the week ahead, I was able to organize my tasks in order of importance. Knowing which tasks required the most attention and the most time I have been able to properly allocate my time and resources to these necessary items without worrying that I am neglecting other tasks.
Furthermore, it’s given me time to look back on things that I’ve done in the past year and everything I accomplished. In a weird way, it offers a unique sense of retrospect when you’re able to look back and recount the daily events that you were doing exactly a year ago on the date.
So if you’re scrambling to keep track of things in your head, want some clarity with your schedule or simply want an easy and efficient way to jot your ideas down, a journal just might be for you.
It’s not the cheesy diary, write about your crush, bullshit stigma that everyone seems to have. For me it’s a practical tool that keeps my life in check and keeps me accountable.
So why not try it?