How keeping a journal can change your life
Probably not enough journal-keeping is being done. My favorite gift for a 13-year-old girl on her birthday consists of a large plain-paper hardbound journal, a pen, and a lockbox (especially if she has siblings).
Besides the traditional daily journal, journals can have a specific purpose: a trip journal, a project journal, a college journal, a course journal, a relationship journal, a dinner journal, an Artist’s Journal (Julia Cameron’s 3 morning-pages idea) and so on.
Here’s a list of ways in which keeping a journal might change your life.
UPDATE: I should also mention the decision journal, strongly recommended by Schoemaker and Russo in their books Decision Traps and Winning Decisions. The idea is to improve your decisionmaking skills by evaluating the outcomes. But because our memories trick us, you have to keep a record: when you make an important decision, enter it into the journal along with the reasons you made that decision, the information and assumptions on which the decision was based, and the outcomes you expected at the time of the decision. Then, in the aftermath and when the outcomes have become evident, return to that decision, read the record and expectations, and note any oversights and mistakes you made in making that decision. In time, your skills will improve. And, undoubtedly, your humility will increase.