Paper journals have had a resurrection in recent years. While keeping track of your calendar on your phone is better than paper, (remember Filofaxes?), keeping track of other things in your life separate from your smartphone can actually improve productivity.
Whether it’s a feeling you are trying to explore or a task that must be completed, there’s something to be said about the power of physically writing something down to make you really connect to its importance.
Here are four paper journals to help you become more productive.
Be Fulfilled Journal
Designed specifically for entrepreneurs, the Be Fulfilled Journal packs maximum exploration into minimal commitment. If you aren’t sure if journaling is for you, this is a great place to start out.
Every day has two pages with room for tasks, a schedule (which you can fill in, if you’re so inclined), a short gratitude list (we can all find three things we’re grateful for) and your current focus. There are also sections for writing down the best part of your day, one thing you learned and something you are grateful for in the evening. There’s also a blank journaling area. A numbered chart provides a place to rate non-work related things in your life including sleep, exercise, food, focus, happiness, attitude and “you time”.
What I love about this journal is it allows you to touch upon every aspect of your life, albeit briefly. You can give it very little time, but get so much out of using it.
Protip: Fill out the to-do list the night before, so you can hit the ground running in the morning.
Habit Nest Morning Sidekick Journal
Having a good morning routine is essential to success. But giving yourself the kick you need to establish one isn’t easy. That’s what I like about the Habit Nest Morning Sidekick Journal, if you can commit to using it every day, eventually, you won’t need it.
The format provides flexibility and approaches things realistically. For example, you can list the steps of your morning routine, which aren’t always the same every day. There are also places to track your sleep/wakeup time, identify distractions, label what’s important and give yourself an overall strategy for what you’re trying to achieve. It’s almost the paper equivalent of a life coach!
One of my favorite line items to fill out is how to improve your life by 1% every day. Imagine what would happen if your life could improve by 1% every day?
Each journal lasts for 66 days with new content to read and reflect upon daily.
An Inspired Life: A Journal For Thinking, Dreaming, And Discovering
This journal isn’t about your to-do list, or goals, but rather, it gives you a place to explore yourself and open your mind. Every section features a quote and writing prompt or question. For example, Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got (Janis Joplin) is followed by the prompt: “These are some qualities I don’t ever want to lose.”
You don’t have to write in this journal every day, but rather you can use it as a secret weapon against mental blocks. Do you feel frustrated? Do you need a five to ten minute break, but want to maintain focus? Just keep this journal in your desk and take it out to use for those occasions.
Brain Dump Journal
Although the expression is rather crass, the sentiment remains the same. We have a lot in our heads to release. This journal gives us a place to direct these thoughts. Whether it’s business ideas, things that are bothering us, fears, or even the tasks we are terrified of forgetting to do—writing it all out can help make us feel better.
Using a journal like this can be helpful in conjunction with other journals. Even add it to your morning routine, set a timer and go. Allowing two to five minutes for a daily brain dump can make a world of difference in a short period.
Of course, you don’t need this specific journal for brain dumping. Any blank notebook will work for this purpose.