Life Hacks

📔 How using digital planner has helped me be better at reflecting on life

2021-02-24

✍️ Writing bullet journaling and making digital planning is the best productivity hack

My journey towards using digital planner started with being obsessed by bullet journaling. Journaling always felt compelling for me but never had courage to actually give it a try. The primary reason was the commitment of doing it regularly every day seemed to be too much for me.

I was also not sure how or what am I going to write in the journal regularly. Also, I was confused about whether to use some digital tool or go for actual journal. Then I in the end of last year, when I was planning for year 2021 I decided to give bullet journaling a try & I did some research in that direction.

In my research, I found out that many people were actually doing bullet journaling as a part of digital planner. A digital planner seemed to be a complete package if staying organized which is more than what I was looking for. So I decided to go for digital planner.

Physical diary 📔 or digital?

I'm one of those people whose handwriting is lousy & which is something is my biggest motivation killer for writing something on the paper. Also, I am a tech-savvy person and I like to rely on technology as much as I can. Hence, I decided to do digital journaling. I use Goodnotes on my iPad for journaling. There are so many good templates online, I downloaded few of them & decided to go with the minimal template which is very handy for customization.

In my opinion doing bullet journaling successfully is all about making habit and having control on your time. The big benefits of bullet journaling I've observed are:

  • I'm more focused & organized - I've designed my digital journal in a way that it's a go-to place for almost everything happening in my life. I put all my idea, thoughts, feelings and plans into specifically defined paths.
  • I've peace of mind - I actually reflect on the day & phrase it in words which somehow gives a peace of mind & feels in control of your life ✌️

Here is how I am able to make bullet journaling work for me

Motivation

I believe some sort of motivation is the key force for any big shift happening in the universe. I think with the lack of motivation you can fall off the track easily. My motivation to do bullet journaling is I want to do things out of my comfort zone in 2021. Things like learning new technologies, build a side project & change my core nature of being introvert online. To achieve these things staying focused is the key 🔑 which is my biggest motivation to start for journaling.

Make a plan

You need to have a good plan to go about because it's going to be a long term thing in your life. You need to plan what exactly you're going to write in your journal, when during the day, how you make a time for yourself. To make a good plan knowing of your strength and weakness is crucial. I decided to start small and go with the specific format in the beginning.
What to write?
In my digital planner, I've calendar with monthly & weekly view where I can put anything about the days & months in advance. I don't use monthly view that much apart from putting some recurring stats & special events.
I have a separate pages for Financial Stats 💰, Books reading progress 📖 , Ideas 💡, Current Projects overview, Favorite quotes.

In mainly write following things in my daily journal

  • How was my work day
  • How am I feeling now in general
  • What was good/bad today
  • Quote of the day - I try to make my own few words quote for every day. I'm repeating myself many times

Sometimes I also write about what I am proud of, how am I doing on my long term goal, how is my side project going on

Start Minimal

I remember when I started I did not have very clarity, so I just started dumping my thoughts and then later I developed the format. I think it was the good that I just started doing & then figured out what I need from practice.

Make it a Habit

Starting off with anything is not a big deal, doubling it down or making it a habit is crucial. I write in the journal regularly in the evening before dinner around 7 pm. I try to sit on the same corner of the sofa for journaling for 5-10 minutes every day. The reason is, I think that helps in a way to build it as habit, I read about this in some book that in order to make any habit you have to repeat the thing in really same fashion.

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