Journaling

By Tyler Jefford • October 7th 2020 • 4 min read

I don’t hide the fact that I journal. It is an incredibly powerful tool I use everyday that helps me grow, learn and remember things that is going on in the world today.

I use Day One to journal every day (at least I try to every day). Its easy to use, secure and private, its cross platform and it has great features. One of my favorites is the “on this day” memory of what you wrote about that day in history. You get to relive your journal day by day through time.

Memories

I love to write about things that are happening good, bad and indifferent. Before the pandemic, if I had gone out to dinner or met up with any friends, I would write a few lines about that. Maybe what we talked about, thoughts about them and what they are going through. I may add pictures, or quotes I am thinking of.

Through the day-to-day busyness I may lose track of these memories over the years. When was the last time I even spoke to Omer? And when I see the memory pop up in my journal it brings a smile to my face to recount the last time we had drinks. Sometimes that inspires me to reach out if it’s been a while.

I also feel a closure to the day when writing in my journal. I typically write at night, dumping my brain into the screen and trying to make sense of it. Some nights works better than others, but it always helps me sleep at night knowing I have drained my head of things I wanted to remember or people on my mind.

Thoughts and Ideas

You know when you wake up from a dream and can still remember everything about it including how you feel and what you were thinking during the dream. I don’t find myself in this scenario too often, but when I am, I reach for my phone and immediately jot down all my thoughts so its fresh and untampered. I add a tag of dream and go on with my morning routines.

Another way I use my journal other than notes is to log ideas and random thoughts I have. Things that pop in my head and stick with me for hours or days, I’ll end up writing down. I tag those with idea or random. If I am trying to process something about a problem I am seeing or having myself, I will write down the problem, I will write down some solutions or even what my ideal state is and try to bridge the gap.

I have even written down jokes I have thought of, but after looking back at them I don’t find them nearly as funny as I did when I wrote them down. But thats kind of the fun thing about a journal is to have the ability to look back and see how you evolve.

Journeys

A few times since I have been journaling I have thought it would be really useful to catalog certain events and decisions and details into a collection of pages. With Day One there are premium options that allow you to have multiple journals and I have created a few to track these journeys.

One such journal was about the time I worked as CTO of a startup part time. I wrote down our decisions, who I was talking to, our direction and milestones we were achieving. I also wrote a lot about the challenges we were facing and the conflict within the team. I do plan on blogging about some of this, eventually as I learned a lot.

Another journal I separated out was for COVID. I wanted to keep throughs and news about the pandemic separate from the daily flow of writing.

COVID diaries

Shortly after I began to work from home, I started writing about coronavirus. This was around the same time it became a pandemic. There was a lot of information and a lot of things happening globally and I wanted to keep my head around it all. So I started to copy news headlines, my thoughts and what things I was personally seeing in the world.

Its been 204 consecutive days I have added entries to that journal. Some days its difficult to write about the things happening, others its therapeutic and hopeful, like when the positive vaccine new was breaking. I want to look back at this time and remember as much as I can when we are decades past this pandemic.

Why not start today?

I ask this question to everyone. Why not start journaling today? It boosts memory, reduces stress, helps solve problems and can resolve conflicts with others (like writing a letter to a loved one that you’re mad at).