The Marine Corps develops a plan before an invasion. The Navy SEALs strategize how to conduct a special operation before taking action. Is it any less important for you to detail your plan of daily engagement? We have one life and how we allocate our time is critical.
What is the structure of your journal?
I have used three different formats over the years. The five-minute journal is a quick bulletized list of questions regarding planning, accomplishments, and gratitude, completed in the morning and evening. Julia Cameron popularized the morning pages in her enduring work, The Artist Way. These pages are three stream-of-conscious pages written in longhand that free up the creative mind. My spiritual journal documents what scriptures I read and the learning, insights, and impressions I encounter as a result of reading and meditating.
If committed to keeping a journal, the only bad journal is the one left blank.
What systems have you used and what were the benefits of each? Why did you change techniques?
What is your journal review cycle?
At year's end, I reexamine the five-minute and spiritual journals as a recap for the year. I am new to the morning pages, but they are not intended for evaluation. This ban preserves the integrity of this journal as a safe space for the mind to release and not be held accountable as a reference document.
Who else do you intend to read your journals?
Once I gave up the illusion, my journaling would be of interest to others; they became useful tools to me. There are no codes or secret passwords that will open a wormhole to save the world.
Do you allow others to read your writings? What is your expectation for the journals after you are gone?
What other journaling tactics come to mind? What questions have more strings to pull and could be expanded? What questions were missed?