Journaling hacked!

By now, it’s pretty well known that journaling is one of the best habits you can establish in your life.

According to Kaiser Permanente there are multiple benefits to journaling:

  1. Goal-achievement
    Writing down your goals in your journal can help you keep track of your intentions. As a result, you will stay accountable and remember what you need to do to achieve them. Be sure to get specific.
  2. Track your progress and growth.
    By reviewing previous entries, you can see how much progress or growth you’ve made.
  3. Gain self-confidence
    Seeing your progress can boost your confidence as well. Looking back at the challenges you faced and seeing how far you’ve come can make you feel proud.
  4. Improve writing and communication skills
    The more you write, the better you become. Writing every day is like practicing the art of writing. It will also strengthen your overall communication skills if you keep a journal to express your thoughts and ideas.
  5. Reduce stress and anxiety
    By keeping a journal, you can express your thoughts and feelings if you are facing a challenging situation, this can be extremely stressful — it can even worsen the situation. But It can help you to release negative thoughts if you put them down on paper.
  6. Find inspiration
    In his journals, Leonardo da Vinci drew some remarkable invention ideas. Journaling is a great time for brainstorming and letting your imagination run wild, too. You may even be surprised by the inspirations that pop up as you write or sketch.
  7. Strengthen memory
    In the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers showed that writing down your thoughts can reduce intrusive thoughts about negative events and improve working memory.

These are just the ones they mention, but there’s a plethora more out there, maybe you even have your personal reasons.

Numerous personal journals kept by wise people are now infamous (Anne Frank’s is basically required reading). Even if you are not escaping from Nazis and the most interesting thing which happened today is a witty thing you came up with talking to a barista, writing on that journal is a great way to reflect upon your life.

There are multiple kinds of journals, you don’t even have to write a “dear diary” entry about every life lesson of the day Dougie Howser style, there are gratitude journals, dream journals, to-do lists, and if you search on Amazon you will find TONS of already structured journals.

Here’s the thing: keeping up with the habit is sometimes a chore, mostly so when you are not a professional writer, and you can’t think of anything worth writing, or you start feeling imposters' syndrome.

Well, here’s a solution that has worked wonders for me:

Get yourself some 365 days of wisdom books!

There are a lot of great ones:

  1. 365 Days with Self-Discipline
  2. 365 Days 365 Lives: Live a New Life Everyday
  3. 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts
  4. A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul
  5. The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done
  6. Daily Mindfulness: 365 Exercises to Deepen Your Practice and Find Peace
  7. The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature
  8. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

These are just some of my favorites, there are a LOT out there.

My system:

  1. Buy the books I like for Kindle. Since I already prefer reading on my Kindle device, this works for me.
  2. Make a collection of “Daily Reads” with these books.
  3. Lay out an Evernote page on a notebook called “Journal” where I will write the day’s entry with the image of every book in the collection.
  4. At morning, copy the day’s entry of each book on the journal of the day, do not read yet, just try to make a nice and well laid out page with all the day’s wisdom.
  5. At night, once the day is over, go back to the day’s entry and read it. You can highlight it and even write down some of your comments on each entry. Once finished, maybe you can write a little final reflection of your own… Or not… That’s the best part: you don’t have to feel the pressure of writing down your pearls of wisdom, they are already there.

That’s what has worked for me. I feel consistent, I feel motivated, I feel accomplished, and best of all, I feel like I really learned something and reflected on the day I had.

So, what do you think? How would you do it different? Drop me a line if you have some suggestions of your own or just shout out if you liked my method.




Alex is a shower philosopher; indoctrinated in logic, passionately nihilistic, and sentimentally Stoic.

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Alex G. Rangel

Alex G. Rangel

Alex is a shower philosopher; indoctrinated in logic, passionately nihilistic, and sentimentally Stoic.

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