Today is day 1 of our 7-day journaling challenge. Thank you for joining!
There are hundreds of fellow AE fans from all across the world taking this challenge. We are looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
During the next week we will be posting one new tip each day. The tips are quick and easy to implement. Just follow along and you will be well on your way to a consistent journaling ritual that will help you get your thoughts, ideas, ponderings, learnings, gratitude, actions, values and intentions out of your head and into a trusted holding ground.
The benefits of journaling are numerous. The price of admission is low.
Who is this challenge for?
This journaling challenge is for people who:
- have always wanted to start a journaling ritual and don’t know where to start
- have a journaling practice but are looking for a few more ideas to up their game
- journal but can’t seem to do it as consistently as they’d like
- worry that journaling will take a lot of time
If this challenge for you, commit now. Research shows that committing to friends and family about a new ritual helps with follow through.
Now let’s dive in with the first journaling challenge.
Challenge #1: Decide on the medium (paper / digital) and then answer the question: “What did I learn today?”
A lot of people wrestle with the question of whether to keep a traditional paper or digital journal. Both formats have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Is one way to better than the other? I don’t think so. It’s a matter of preference.
Going with paper and pen
The strongest reason for the traditional route I’ve heard is from Asian Efficiency nerd Thanh Pham.
Thanh keeps a paper journal because he enjoys the different context his physical notebook gives him. For Thanh, journaling is more free form and reflective in nature. As someone who works all day on his computer, he associate the computer with work. The work mindset is not the best way to pull ideas and feelings out.
Some other advantages of keeping a paper journal:
- Portability: No need for electricity or internet
- Durability: It will never crash or have software glitches
- Customizability: Freedom to draw, write or sketch without restraint
- Quality: Long hand notes tend to be processed a bit more deeply than typing
I personally use a digital journal. I find writing digitally is the way I can keep most consistent.
Some other advantages of keeping a digital journal:
- In Sync: Sync across multiple devices
- Efficiency: Faster entry
- Shareability: Can be shared on a blog or social media
- Flexible: Spell check, grammar check, bullet points, copy and paste are all ways to make your thoughts or ideas more clear
- Security: Password protection and automatic backups
- Reviewability: Easier to see patterns with tags, search, date and location stamps
- Multimedia Options: Can include photos, video or audio
Weigh the pros and cons or go with your gut. Either way, make a decision about where you are going to put your thoughts down. You can always change your mind later if you feel like another medium actually suits you better.
Once you’ve made your choice, answer this one question before the end of the day:
“What did I learn today?”
The learning question is one of my favorite structured journaling prompts because when you capture what you’ve learned you are also capturing what has had your attention that day.
Did you learn the next move on the salsa dance? Did you learn that taking breaks in the afternoon actually makes you more productive? Did you learn an interesting historical fact?
Ask yourself this question every day this week and you’ll have at least 7 new ideas that can potentially serve you or someone you know. In addition to an archive, taking the time to capture your learnings will allow you to remember the idea more clearly.
Here’s an example of 3 things I learned last week.
So pick your medium, write down what you’ve learned today and check back tomorrow for challenge #2.
Let us know in the comments if you’re in!
Update: Challenge #2 is next.