What things do you do to remember things? I’m not talking about remembering to write a blog or remembering to get groceries. I’m talking about remembering things like:
- You worked 16 hours to complete a project, or to get a project going.
- You talked to a friend that you hadn’t seen in a long time.
- Your spouse was in a particular mood (happy, grumpy, stressed, etc).
- How you felt after a conversation or a project.
- Something you did for your business that you don’t want to forget, like your first facebook ad or a facebook ad for an event.
Are you keeping a journal that has things like this? In many parts of my personal life and my business life, my blog was my journal — but I don’t always have the time or energy to blog — and sometimes — I just don’t want my thoughts out in public. What got me thinking about all this?
Yesterday I found out a friend of mine journals by shorthand. He takes a calendar, and writes down things that matter to him. Sometimes it’s the weather. Sometimes it’s his mood. Sometimes it’s who they had dinner with. Sometimes it’s about how many hours he put in working that day. It’s never a whole sentence. Usually it was between 3-10 words. I’m calling this — journalling by shorthand. For some reason, he brought out one of these calendars (from 2004) yesterday – and shared it with his adult children and me. We read the comments and laughed really hard at the things he chose to write down, but now a day later — I’m just thinking about how smart he is to keep notes! Here are some of the things we read:
- worked late.
- snowed a lot. Lots very muddy.
- worked Group A cattle.
- Went to salebarn with daughter #3. Great talk.
- Grandchild #2 born.
- Daughter #2 home from college. Seems stressed. Very Quiet.
- tired and stressed.
Ok – those comments might not mean anything to you or to me. He didn’t write down every time it snowed, or every time they did a certain task on the farm, and he didn’t even write something down every day. On days like yesterday, when he wanted to reflect on past years – he can take them out and read or scan thru them.
But as we read his journal, I was wishing I had one for every year of my life that I could go back and read. I worked for the VA for 30 years. There were work triumphs, there was heartbreak, there were times when the politics of a government agency stressed me out, there were the years when I traveled between 25-35 weeks per year. I can’t remember what I was thinking during those times — but I wish that I had something that would help me remember!I learned a lot of lessons – and I’m pretty sure that life would be easier moving forward, if I had all my ideas documented (successes and failures).
I was also thinking how smart he was to actually keep his journal notes on a calendar! (big “duh, why didn’t I think of that for me”). Simple, inexpensive, and you can record your shorthand notes on the day with appointments and events! This is a person who learned his lessons from life not from books or formal education – and I admire his knowledge of the world and his ability to turn his knowledge into advice for specific situations.
As I look back on my first year of my own business – again, I wish that I had a journal to reflect on. I would know what worked, and what didn’t – and how I felt. I always thought that journaling had to be long and well written. Silly me! Journaling by shorthand is something I can do and it’s something that I started last night!!