Keep Your Life Together with One Journal

Keep Your Life Together with One Journal

There are three things I use to keep my life together. Of course, without these things, my mind would be in complete shambles and perhaps my business would fail as well. Granted I am not counting my business books, that is completely separate. No, what I am talking about here are my dump journals, bullet journals, and Google Calendar. 

I will only give you one at the moment. My journal, or dump journal as I call it. It holds all of my life in its pages and helps me in many ways. You could be asking. Why not just use one bullet journal instead of two separate journals? Well, I did try that, and I noticed I didn't get as much done. I needed both. So, one day I will dive into what my bullet journal looks like, and all that goes into it. 

Today we shall jump into my Dump Journal!

Idea Behind the Dump Journal

I have read everywhere that we need to free write and to get our thoughts out of our minds and onto paper where they won't keep bothering us. I agree. I get my thoughts out on paper all the time. But this dump journal is specifically for lists and once in a while a brain dump or two. 

 

One rule I have is I do not care what this journal looks like on the inside. This journal is where my free thoughts can live and only be judged by me. Well, that's what I tell myself anywho. This rule is how I get kids to start writing. Telling them it doesn't matter if you misspell a word, or forgot to add a period or three. The point is to get it down. That lets your brain think freely. 

That is what my Dump Journal is. 

Now let me tell you what I write in it. Barely legible I might add. 

In My Dump Journal

1. Brain Dumps

Kicking it off with the obvious. I write brain dumps in my journal. This is when I am truly feeling overwhelmed with an idea or just stressed about something. I give myself the liberty to free write for as long as I need. Sometimes it's a page or sometimes five. The idea is to get those feelings on paper and then I feel so much better afterwards.

If you're trying a brain dump. Just let yourself write it down no matter what comes to mind. Scribbles, misspellings, and even words you're not sure are words will pop up, but at least it is out of your mind, and you might even find the solution to your problem all on your own.

2. Flesh Out Ideas

Now we are getting into the thick of things. This is possibly the main purpose of my dump journal. Let's say I have an idea for a blog post or product. The moment the idea comes to mind, my brain begins to come up with all sorts of ideas for it. What color should it be? Perhaps I should add different wording? For sure this needs to be there! and so on and so on. I can explode if the idea doesn't get written. 

So I begin writing the idea down. Usually, it then becomes a list of all sorts of things. Things I didn't even think of until I began writing it down. Sometimes even with a drawing if I really need to see it. 

Lists are my best friends and they live in my dump journal along with my weekly to-dos. 

3. Weekly To-Dos

Weekly To-do's can get overwhelming at times. I feel I have a list from here to the mailbox and back. But thanks to my dump journal. It doesn't seem so overwhelming because it's actually not that long. Since I can't see it, I make it much larger in my mind. So, once it's all on paper. The list is shorter, concise, and feasible. It is easy to see what needs to get done and when I can do it. 

I break up my life into sections. I have two businesses and my personal life. Each section gets its to-do for the first part of the week. Then on Wednesday night, I review it and plan for the following days. Whatever doesn’t get done I push it to the final part of the week. If I truly don’t get it done the whole week, I debate over the weekend if it is necessary for me to do it or not. 

I don't plan the weekends because it seems that is always up in the air. Anyting can happen.  

4. Business Ideas

I don't think my businesses would have gotten off the floor if I hadn't first planned them in my dump journal. I try not to think too deeply about a massive project. I just make sure it's possible. Pray about it. Then plan how I'll start and a few goals. If all seems to point in the right direction. I jump in. If I think too much about it, like months and months. I will definitely think myself out of doing anything, no matter how small of a project it is.

You don't need to start a business but just saying some of my best ideas have come from writing in my dumb journal. :D

5. Brainstorms

When the idea is rough and a bit complicated, I brainstorm. I draw a little cloud in the middle of a new page with the idea written on it. Then begin drawing other little clouds around it with connecting parts. And connect other mini clouds to that cloud. You know the thing they teach in school, well once in a while. This way I have an overview of the whole project. 

I do this to see how much I truly know about a certain project, and I learn how much research I need to do to truly try it out. Also, a fun way to make a list too. 

6. Notes

The notes I mean are when someone is teaching and I wish to jot some notes down so I don't forget. I recently went to a conference, and instead of using a whole different notebook for about 8 sessions. I decided to just use the same dump journal. That way the notes are with me always and I don't have to waste a journal for something like that. Plus the added fact that I'll remember what mental state I am in during that time.  It's fun to look back on how you saw things back then. I tend to go through 2 notebooks a year.  

If you are curious about how I take notes? I write an outline. Which I'm guessing is what the speaker has as well.

7. Planning

As I said above, my dump journal is truly to flesh everything out. When I need to plan a trip, project, blog post, or even a morning routine this is where I write it first. I don't care how things look. I just want to see which order may work, then if things need to be switched around, I rewrite it. And so on and so on. When it is completely thought through or at least mostly, I then write the final copy in my bullet journal. That way I can easily find what I was planning and can refer back to it when needed. 

It’s funny. All my trips are written here. I carry my notebook everywhere I go. So, when the conversation turns to trips I can easily pull out my journal and start writing things down. 

Also, whenever an idea strikes I begin to write. I got this idea from a writer, who said you need to have a journal with you always. What if a brilliant idea stikes you and you have nowhere to write it. Like J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter. Thankfully she remembered her story idea. 

Funny enough my best ideas come when I am supposed to be paying attention to something. Like a lecture of sorts. :D

8. Bonus: Have Pressed Flowers :)

I am that girl who now loves gathering pressed flowers wherever I go. In my brain, it's a way to remember trips randomly throughout the day. I leave them in the journal I am using at the moment. Then when I return to my journal I have the pressed flower which usually still has some of its scent. It reminds me of what I did that year. Or when I picked it. I will say that I sometimes forget where they came from. The least special ones at least. :D

Conclusion:

This one little journal is for sure one of the things that helps me through life, and genuinely brings me joy looking at it and helps me bring to life many ideas and dreams. If anyone knows what I am thinking and who I am, it's that journal. 

Let me know if you are a paper-and-pen type of girl, like me, or if you prefer keeping notes on your phone. 

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