We all have our own ways of keeping up with our goals, dreams, and ideas. Today, I am going to share mine. I’ve shared a lot in the past about my planners and bullet journal, but this post is going to expose another side to my planning. The sloppy side. The messy stuff. I’ve been using a business journal for over a year now. It has been so helpful that I wanted to show you exactly how I use it!
This didn’t start as an intentional decision. I am a huge fan of writing things down on paper, though, so it came naturally. It all started with a list of 100 blog posts on the day I decided to start this blog. From there, it blossomed into a whole system of journaling that has brought me through my first year on the blog!
How I Use a Business Journal
When I think about planning and setting goals, the first thing that comes to mind is my planner. The truth is, though, that isn’t the first place I write things down. As long as I can remember, I have always kept stacks of basic notebooks to use for notes, to-do lists, and anything else I want to remember. I got even more dependant on them when I started my blog. It is so neat to look back on everything I have written down over the last year to see how far I’ve come. My whole business is in these notebooks! If you’re looking for some ideas on how to keep a business journal, I’m going to share some of the things I track in mine!
Related: My 2017 Ringbound Planner Setup
Every single idea I’ve ever had for my business has gone in my journals. Ideas for blog posts, emails, or even social media posts! I jot them down so I don’t forget, and usually add a few lines to go along with it. I don’t always use the ideas right away, but since they’re written down, I can come back any time and have ready-made content. When I’m ready to use it, I just need to elaborate a little and add a picture!
I keep to-do lists.
Does this surprise anyone? I think I’m the queen of to-do lists already, and this is just another place I keep them! These are usually running to-do lists that last for weeks at a time, so it’s different than the small daily priorities I write in my planner. Sometimes they’re personal tasks, and sometimes they pertain to my blog or Young Living business. I use these lists as a brain dump, so there’s usually no rhym or reason!
On any given list, you might see things like “schedule social media,” or “finish Wednesday’s blog post.” Then again, it also might say “make to-do list,” or “call mom.” It really is all over the place!
I take notes.
I learn best by writing things down, so I outline every single video and business course I watch. usually, I write the notes more than ocne! Any time I need the info, I’m able to go back and find it in one of my journals. These notes also serve as a nice reminder any time I go back and flip through one of my older notebooks, and can help me break through a plateau or get out of a rut.
I write down my goals.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”
This is one of my very favorite quotes, and I keep it visible at all times, because I truly believe in it. I’m a big goal-setter, and I share them regularly here on the blog and on Instagram. Every month, I write out my goals for the month and then list all the action steps I need to take to get there. I don’t achieve my goals every single time, but I get closer every day, and that’s what’s important. There’s a page in my first journal that lists my goals from when I first started my blog. It’s incredibly humbling to look at, now, because it has goals like “reach 300 pageviews” and “get 100 followers on Facebook.” It’s easy to look at your day-to-day tasks and feel like you haven’t accomplished much at all. By writing these goals in a place I can see, I realize just how far I’ve come in a year.
It’s even more impressive to look back on March, which was my first month with my Young Living business. I had goals like “enroll my first member,” and “learn the comp plan.” It’s only been 5 months, but so much has changed. I’m teaching others about the comp plan, and I’m coming up on 20 members in my organization. Looking at those goals and seeing how much has already changed makes me excited to look back next March!
I write notes to myself.
Whether I’m writing my struggles or jotting down some positive affirmations, my business journal is where it all goes. These notebooks are full of inspirational quotes and happy take-aways from books I read. If I’m feeling down or I’m struggling with something in my business, I write that, too. When you’re struggling with something in your business, it can be hard to see a way out. Writing these things down tends to help me. It also serves as another reminder when I go back and look through my journals later! I can see that I did get out of that slump or figure out a solution to a problem. That makes any current struggles a little less stressful!
Keeping a business journal has been so valuable to me. I love being able to go back and look through my notes and musings every now and then. Sometimes I find old ideas I never used, and sometimes I just find the inspiration I need to keep going. These journals keep me motivated, and help keep the creative juices flowing! Do you have a journal for your business? If not, you should try it out! It might be just the thing you need to keep going on the hard days!