Journal and PenDo you journal?

You should.

Keeping a journal will help your business be more successful.

Having a daily or weekly record of your business growth helps you keep track of new ideas, measure your progress, celebrate your successes and analyze your flops.

What is journaling? Journaling is simply the act of putting thoughts or ideas onto paper.  There are many ways to do it, but for our purposes, I consider journaling either using pen and paper or typing on the computer.  Audio and Video journals serve a different purpose and aren’t as effective for business journals as writing is.

Write down ideas, record your successes and your failures, write about your challenges and how you handled them. A journal is a great place to analyze and note what went right, what went wrong and what you would do differently next time.  Don’t waste time beating yourself up but if you need to vent, it’s better on paper than yelling at your partner or kicking the dog.

What’s the difference between a business journal and a personal journal or diary?  A personal journal is just that—it’s where you write about your daily life, your kids, your vacation, current events and the price of milk. A personal journal is for the story of your life.  Your business journal is the story of your business.  It’s a place to brainstorm, to analyze and summarize meetings and events, and to plan strategies and assess your progress (or lack of).

Writing down thoughts and ideas frees your mind from having to remember everything, enabling you to focus on creativity and running your business.  Having a written record of your progress helps you see patterns, organize your thoughts,  find your passion, and see changes and refinements that will improve your business. Writing can help boost your creativity.  It can be an outlet for emotions you aren’t comfortable sharing with others. Writing can give you clarity. I often find that a problematic situation becomes less so when I can put everything down on paper and then review it more objectively.

Write daily if you can.  You don’t need to write a lot. Set aside 10 minutes at the end of each workday to journal.  If not daily, write at least twice a week and whenever the thought strikes. Writing about things while they are fresh in your mind will give you a more accurate and complete picture of your life and your progress.

The beauty of journaling is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. I carry a small notebook with me wherever I go. I never know when I’ll need to jot down an idea or when I’ll have a few free minutes that I can spend journaling. Ideas that have made their way to my journal are not always implemented right away but I have found inspiration when I read back through it at a later time.

Do you journal? How do you do it and how has it helped your business?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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