My Current Journal Pages and Trackers

Starting at the back of the journal, I add pages for specific projects. Some of these are trackers. I am a fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” method, so I write the name of the thing I’m tracking across the top — making my minimum daily word count on a writing project, for example, meditating, and reading — and then set up one week per line as follows:

Week of 4-10 March S M T W T F S
Week of 11-17 March S M T W T F S
Week of 18-24 March S M T W T F S

There is a note on the daily page to remind me to touch this tracker. When I’ve completed the task, I go to the tracker page and cross off the day with a big, satisfying X. That’s all there is to it. I do this on one page, rather than just checking it off for the day or putting a tracker on the weekly page, because it has more gravity. I can see how I’m doing over time, and it makes me want to maintain the momentum.

Other pages are purely for data capture. I have pages for future projects, where I can write down ideas as they come to me. I’ll organize them later, when it’s time to actually start outlining that project. There are pages for projects that have their own journals, so I can write down ideas when I don’t have those books with me. I keep pages for books, movies, and meals that I hear about and want to check out.

I use Google Keep to keep track of shopping lists and errands that need to be run. It’s convenient because it’s on my phone, which is easy to carry and reference when I’m out and about. When I’m writing and working, I turn off the internet to avoid distractions and place my phone on the other side of the room. A lot of my journaling time is also “no electronics” time. So I have an “add to Keep” spread. When I realize I need to add something to the grocery list, or have an errand to run, I can write it down and transfer it to my phone later.

That’s about it. It’s not particularly exciting, but people asked. Next week I’ll get into the two types of project journals that I maintain, which will likely also be pretty dry. Hopefully you’ve found some ideas in these posts that you can swipe and use for your own journaling, project planning, and general time management.

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