How to Journal Every Day for Increased Productivity, Clarity, and Mental Health

How to Journal Every Day for Increased Productivity, Clarity, and Mental Health

(bright thoughtful music) – Hi, everyone, my name is Matt, and welcome to another bullet
journal productivity video. In this week’s episode, I’m going to be showing you how I journal and create a daily practice of journaling using this tiny pocket-size
Baron Fig Confidant. I love this little thing. It’s fantastic. Fits right in the back pocket as you would expect from
a pocket-size journal. Make sure that you check
out all these videos. You’ve seen how I’ve used a
normal-size bullet journal on all the videos that I have for that. They’re going to be linked
everywhere on this video, so make sure you check those out. But I’m mainly going to be concentrating on how you can use a simple daily practice for journaling and keeping your ideas down using this pocket-size,
and so that’s where we’re going to be concentrating on today. Can’t wait to get into it with you. Here we go. I want to show you in size, real quick, the difference between the pocket-size and the flagship size for
the Baron Fig Confidant. As you can see, it’s
almost double the size. Actually, I don’t know that. I just kind of made it up. But you can see it’s significantly bigger, the way that it, you know, this will obviously fit into your pocket. This has no chance, unless you’re wearing some sweet cargos, shout
out to the cargo pants that are still being worn
out there in the world. But we’re not going to worry
about this one right now. I just wanted to show you the difference. I hate the first page, I
don’t put anything on it. And then I just kind of
fill in some other details. This is from Tim Ferriss: life rewards the specific ask but punishes the vague wish. So I’ve just got a bunch
of bullets right here. A couple of icons, just notes
about the day, the weather. Whatever I want to put
in here is totally fine for me to put in here. Feel free to write down ideas, make notes, ask questions, put down icons, don’t think of this as overly structured, and that you have to this
like flowing wonderful journal that people are going to obsess over. You know, maybe, maybe that’ll happen. Maybe that’ll happen for you. Google some of Leonardo
da Vinci’s journals, and you’ll just see that
his were very random and haphazard as well. So now I just want to
show you some other pages that I’ve marked, just
so you can get an idea. Doing a lot of icons on this one. You can see multiple days on one page. January 7th, 8th, 9th. A lot of the same ideas and notes. Just making notes and ideas about the day and not taking it too seriously. Not going to lie, wanted
to brag about this one. This was a day that I flew. My flight got canceled and then rerouted, so I actually went from
San Diego to Seattle, three hour layover in Seattle, Space Needle here, and then
long flight back to Nashville. Another little example
that I wanted to show you where you’ll recognize
this from the last video that I just did is that this is the project planning template that I just put into the previous video. You can check that out
with the link, something, I don’t know, you can find it. But this is just where I started, this is where I was
using that a little bit. And in fact, scooting
down a little bit more, you can see here that this is like, this is where I started scoping that out. This is where I started just sketching out what it was going to look like. This is the kind of thing
that I’m doing in the journal. It’s not just that I’m
writing things down. It’s not just that I’m making,
oooo, that one’s good, too. It’s not just that I’m making notes or writing down feelings. I’m doing all those things. Like, I’m doing whatever I want. I’m doing as much as I
want in this journal. Another little thing that I’ll do. You probably recognize
this from another video on the evening routine. You can check that one out as well. But I drew out the thumbnail image right here in this journal. So just another thing, another thing to do using pictures, using icons. One thing that I do want to bring up and I want to make specific is that backfilling is okay. So you can see right here. This is eight days. Eight days on one page. So if you ever get to the point as I did right here where you’re like, oh my gosh, an entire
week without entries, what do I do? Just go back, try and remember one thing, maybe just one thing about each day, and make a little note of it. ‘Cause it’s still
something that’s going to, that’s going to make it
more memorable for you, that’s going to cement something
important in your mind. So the four parts of journaling that I want to emphasize to you and make really concrete so that you have some takeaways for this video is to, number one, make it easy. Even just one word to start,
even just one line on a day. Any of that can be a good way to start. Number two, use pictures
and icons to have fun, make it a little bit different. They don’t have to be super fancy. Just make it easy, make it as
simple as some stick figures. You’ll be surprised how much that’ll make it more interesting for you. Number three, just use
it for whatever you want. So write down ideas,
notes, questions, icons, sketches, anything that you want it to do. This is, it’s really for you. And I want to really emphasize that, that whatever you’re doing in here, this should be for you. You shouldn’t be writing
this or thinking about it in terms of well, what’s going to look, what’s going to look super
fancy if someone finds this? Don’t worry about that or you’re totally going to get stuck. And the last thing is
that backfilling is okay. So if you miss some
days, even an entire week without entries, then I
wouldn’t worry about that. I also wouldn’t worry about it if you don’t want to go
back and fill things in. However you want to use
this, that is how you, my friend, should use your journal. I do want to say, like this entire video came out of conversations that I’ve had with other people in the community, so make sure that you’re commenting, make sure that you’re asking questions about what you want more clarification on, things that I can help
you learn more about and be more productive, and be more mindful of where
you’re spending your time. Specifically, I want
to say thanks to Allen for bringing up this idea initially. We’ve talked about it some on Instagram, so you can comment below, you can send me a DM or
comment on the photos. And also, a shout to my
friend Kayley on Twitter. I’ll link to her bio in
the description below, but she’s a shoot, she, (laugh) but she’s a super-smart writer, and
she and I were talking about journaling throughout
the week as well. So shout out to her also. The last thing that I
want to remind you about is you can also go to to download the entire productivity pack, including the ten blocks,
the time-tracking grids, the monthly project planner that I just laid out in
the previous video as well that everyone’s been loving. So check all those out. Get everything that you
need to be more productive, be more focused, and be more mindful of where you’re spending your time. You’ll also get added to the email list when you do that, and I
send out special emails, like email content and
just like general questions and thoughts that I
don’t send anywhere else but to people on the email list. So when you join right there, you’ll get access to all of that as well. So can’t wait to keep
interacting with you. Like I said, there’s three
main ways to do that. Commenting here, please do that. Give this a like and a thumbs up. I think that’s the same thing. And subscribe, and then
check out the email list and Instagram as well. There’s a lot of different
ways we can interact. Do what’s best for you. I’m going to be here for you, and can’t wait to keep
sharing all this with you. Hope you have a great week. See you next time, bye. (thoughtful electronic music)

100 thoughts on “How to Journal Every Day for Increased Productivity, Clarity, and Mental Health

  1. Hey everyone, thanks for watching! Do you have a journaling process? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

  2. I've got too many journals and notebooks as it is ๐Ÿ™„ but now I want one this size! ๐Ÿ˜ Loved it thank you ๐Ÿ™Œ

  3. Once I've stopped caring about social media my life has improved a lot! Check your Instagram once per day and watch yourself grow exponentially.

  4. Beautiful journal but too far from what most of people can. The most important is to catch the general idea and make it personally with our own way.

  5. This is helpful. I write lots of notes nearly every day. I cut used letter size paper into fours and staple the upper left corner. I just never keep them very long and they get thrown out. This looks like a good way to keep them together.

  6. Hi Matt, thanks so much for this its really put a lot of things in perspective, I have total journal vanity! So worried about how it looks and I end up with SO many journals with the intention of keeping things in categories and then it all gets too much and hectic and there's no way ill be carrying around 5 journals with me! At the moment I seem to be trying out so many different techniques and its boggling my mind a little so its nice to know I just need to find what suits me. Anyway, thanks again for this. Best, Alice

  7. If you carry this in your pocket, do you always have access to a pen when you want to journal? Or do you do your journaling at a more specific time of the day?

  8. Woahh Youโ€™re good at drawing!! U inspire me to try this Iโ€™m definitely trying this today and buying a journal

  9. THANK YOU, KIND SIR!! this was all the reassurance I needed to get back into journalling, I feel refreshed already.

  10. Awesome, I'm here from Matt D'Avella
    email about journaling. Great idea, will get started right away tonight.

  11. I'm not here to hate. I'm genuinely asking… But what's the value in doing this? It seems like fun but not very dense, not much exploring of thought… I seriously am not here to troll. I watched the whole video. I don't understand what Matt here takes from doing this. Just seems like fun.

  12. Amazing! I discovered the video thanks to Matt D'Avella and it's a really cool way of journaling. I'll start on May 1st with his new challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Awesome idea you got there Matt.
    Recently I met a girl which could be my life partner, we had fun time together.. however i had short memory and sometimes I felt sad when I forgot some special occasions.. I wanted to start a diary or something to keep all these good memories in one place in case I forget again…
    your video really give me some cool ideas.. I would like to know if you have anything more and interesting ideas to share with me so that I could make my diary or journal looks simple yet awesome..
    I prefer simplicity or minimalism.. looking forward to hear from you Matt. Thumbs up for you =)

  14. Yep. I'm here from Matt's email as well, though it took me several days to do so. What? I've been busy.

    I've already been journaling daily since I began a social media detox on April 6 and am looking forward to continuing it throughout May.

  15. Writing a journal or a diary is in many ways a practice destined to fail. That's because when you write a paper journal the chance that someone will read it without your explicit permission is rather high. That means that you already won't be able to write everything you could possibly write but rather that which would be acceptable if a close family member read it. (for example if you pass away and journal remains). You wouldn't be able to write something like a description of your dirty thoughts about sex, or feelings about how you hate someone. If you can't do that it won't be the same. Writing on notes in your smartphone is in some ways safer because if you have password/code to enter the phone then its not likely that after you pass away that the company would unlock it for your relatives to snoop in. So you could choose whom to send it to, or if there is a person who may have your password with instructions only to read it if you passed away.

  16. at 240 you mention a Project planning template that I can 'just find the video on somewhere' I would like to watch it but cannot find it.

  17. I like your idea of drawing little things in a journal because it kind of just uplifts and spices up the atmosphere of the journal and it makes it feels more personal/personable

  18. Great vid! I have one about journaling for emotional processing and personal growth!

  19. @mattragland thanks you this was so helpful, I was unsure of what I was doing, thanks a lot…. Journaling is so great…. I must say …

  20. Journaling has been super helpful for me! I use google docs just because I can access it anywhere. But I also use a physical journal for when I go to therapy. Thanks for this ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Great video! I connected with the back-filling idea! I KNOW I get busy …I am a busy person, but some days, I think to myself "What did I do today?" I think the day might have been wasted. But once I jot down a few things that were accomplished I can rest easy and sleep at night! I learned to backfill many years ago, some one else called it being 'busy as a backward bee'. Be productive and write it all down later. It is so satisfying!

  22. pretty new to the whole journal thing, but do you use this in addition to a large bullet journal ?? just transfer stuff between the two ?

  23. So helpful! Amazing work. We do videos on Mental Health as well, do check out our work as well.

    More power to you!

  24. Proof of Life, or a glimpse of something good, outside of the endless & dark tunnel of perfectionism. : D

  25. I love how you are incorporating your productivity and creativity in one video and in your journaling process. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I really love this!!! I wish there were more guys making journaling videos :'( Maybe I just need to find them.

  27. People used to have a memory, what happened? We all turned into goldfishes with an attention span of 8 seconds?

  28. I really want to start daily journaling but when I start writing it dont sound good and sounds like I'm just rambling on any tips

  29. Love this. Started bujoing this way, also with to do lists for each daily entry. How do you incorporate to do lists with this?

  30. This looks more like diary to me. How are you going to effectively evaluate your progresses and if you did't reach a goal why that happend?

  31. Hey Matt, thank you for making this video an easy one. you mentioned you'd drop a link to your friend's twitter at 5:46. it seems you forgot and I'd like to follow her page.

  32. Thank you Matt! I just started journaling again after a few years hiatus… I appreciate the reinforced idea that I can make and write in my journal any which ways I want…

  33. I call mine a diary even though I am a guy. To me journal makes it sound like recording science and engineering progress. Its cool if other people call it a journal. If this works for you then more power to you. I also like to keep everything in a binder until I have enough content to glue pages together and make a text block that can be fashioned into an actual book. This also makes it possible to decide if I want blank or lined paper when I write or draw. I don't normally use bullet journals for a diary because being an artist and a writer I normally take a drawstring backpack with me everywhere I go anyway.

  34. Hi Matt,
    New subscriber with a question…
    I noticed you have a nice book collection as your backdrop. Any chance that you will do a review of your collection in the future?

  35. so i started the video laughing at the pocket comment (i hate women's pockets – they're useless!) and ended the video inspired and at peace with myself and what how i'm journalling… sometimes we just need to remember that it's something for ourselves and it doesn't need to be the prettiest to be the best for us. so thanks for that ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. According to you What would be the solution to the problem i.e not taking the any task seriously keep delaying it… instead of doing it…..
    How to be a doer..??

  37. Thanks for the video! Awesome summary of the benefits of this practice.

    Journaling didn't seem natural at all to me, but I recently gave it a try and my life changed in so multiple ways. A few weeks after I started journaling, I looked into journaling apps and found out about Journey, which counts with web, desktop, and mobile versions. It has a clean interface and portrays many features to make the journaling experience more dynamic, like adding pictures, links, and other items.

    If you are interested in getting to know it, check:
    Different than other journaling apps, you may use it for free with all the basic features. And if you want to dive seriously in it, pay less than $3/month for a membership. Just a cup of coffee that will light up your whole month.

  38. Thanx, that really helped me. I have always tried to journal, but I found myself lacking ideas …. that truly gave me some insight of what I should begin with.

  39. Anyone has tips for hyper active minds and journaling, if i use a journal that size i will finish it in a few hours…literally writing the same idea in different ways a million times…

  40. Started doing this from today, pocket size. Soon gonna get baron fig here to India! Thanks to you โ™ฅ๏ธ
    What pen are you using tho? :p

  41. I just write everything and its kind a boring when I see how you do your journal. The reason why I skip my daily journal is I'm just tired of writing ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. Thanks for this video ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  42. Great! I'm new to journaling and this is the first 'how to' I've watched. So glad I found this! As a professional writer I tend to … well … write too much! I will keep my journal simple and bulleted. This all started because there are many life's moments I don't want to forget … faith, family, and playing in a cover band!! Can't wait to start the process. Thank you for your post!

  43. What I would like to know is what happened that week that you fell behind? I keep a digital journal because typing is quicker to get what I did down for that day. And I keep a book similar to yours in this video for my ideas.
    BUT I would love to know how to be consistent because what happened to you that week that just slipped by without entries happens to me constantly.

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