How Journaling Changed Our Lives Part 2

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How Journaling Changed Our Lives Part 2

Rich’s Journaling Journey

Journaling has played a huge part in Zentano for many years. Both Rich and Dave have embraced journaling as a tool to increase their productivity and focus, to reduce their stress and anxiety and to drive meaningful personal and business growth.

Journaling has been particularly helpful during this unprecedented period of uncertainty, frustration and anxiety. As many of us find ourselves confined to our homes with our daily routines obliterated many people are struggling to cope with the onslaught of depressing news, lack of structure and reduced social contact. For those in some jobs it might be increased social contact that is driving your worries.

As journaling has been so helpful to the Zentano community, we wanted to share our personal experiences in an effort to spread the incredible benefits journaling can have for you. So, this week we interviewed Rich and Dave to share their personal experiences with journaling and why they think everyone should try it!


This week we have Rich's Journaling Story, click here to read Dave's journaling story


I Hate Rules – Rich

For as long as I can remember I’ve been fairly disorganised, overlooked detail and got easily distracted.

Whilst working as an employee in a large organisation this wasn’t much of an issue. My disorganisation was hidden as long as my work got done, if I forgot jobs I was usually reminded in a flurry of emails and if I overlooked details, they were corrected by someone else.

But this all changed when I become self-employed. My disorganisation and distractions had nowhere to hide – the buck stopped with me! But I muddled by, I never forgot or overlooked anything absolutely massive, but I’d definitely forgotten to invoice for things, doubled booked myself for appointments and just completely forgotten or overlooked tasks I was supposed to do, resulting in many last-minute panics.

Perhaps some of you are reading this and have a little niggling in the back of your mind as you recognise a little bit of what I’m saying in yourself. It’s not uncommon!

When I merged my business with Dave under the Zentano brand it was no longer just my reputation on the line. I was the face of a business and my disorganisation, much to the chagrin of Dave, did not just reflect badly upon me - but upon Zentano too. So, I decided something had to change.


Making Order from Chaos

I hate structure, guidance and rules. When I go to Ikea, I want to walk in the opposite direction to all the arrows on the floor and walk in all sorts of wiggly lines. Something about blind obedience and restrictions I think are pointless and constrictive, wakes something slightly rebellious in me and I want to resist with everything I have.

So traditional lists, calendars, diary’s and journals just annoyed me. I found them constrictive, narrow and just annoying. I tried many methods to get myself more disciplined, structured and organised. But nothing stuck for more than a few weeks until I forgot about them, got annoyed or slipped back into bad habits.

That was until I discovered Bullet Journaling.

Bullet Journaling is a unique method of journaling that’s completely customisable. Yes, it does come with a set of guidelines that lay out a system for journaling, but you can make it your own. You do not buy a book that comes with lines and titles and lists premade, you buy a blank book and make it yours. But equally, the system means you’re not just madly brainstorming on a page, making 20 to-do lists and forgetting calendar appointments.

Bullet Journaling combines a calendar, to-do list, journal and trackers into one neat, accessible and structured package. But there are no constraining boxes or strict rules. The method is driven by me and there is something very empowering about a system I can control.

Bullet Journaling stuck. Four years later, I’m not only far more organised and focused, but also less stressed, anxious and distracted. The calendar elements of my Bullet Journal ensure I’m where I’m supposed to be, my varying levels of to-do lists allow me to prioritise and focus, my daily journaling allows me valuable reflection time and my trackers keep me on top of healthy habits – i.e. exercising.


Journaling in Lockdown

Bullet Journaling has been a lifeline during lockdown. Whilst everything else in the world was up in the air my bullet journal remained the same, remained consistent. Although the content of the journal was a little bit weirder than usual the foundations allowed me to maintain some sense of normality and routine as I sifted through what I needed to do.

I couldn’t more highly recommend Bullet Journaling. Especially right now. Many of us are grasping for a way to draw back normality and many of us will struggle with reintegration to work and the world.

When used effectively, Bullet Journaling can provide you with a much-needed system to order your thoughts, reduce your stresses and increase your focus. And because it’s completely customisable to you, you feel that it’s yours. Some people create elaborate, beautiful and time-consuming structures for their bullet journals because they find it cathartic. Some people keep it simple, functional and punchy to order their days. Others use it to empty the content on their brain onto a page.

The beauty of the bullet journal is it’s versatile and can be what you need it to be. If you want to get started with Bullet Journaling, I’d suggest reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. 


Try It

Journaling can take many forms; these are just the types we’ve found particularly useful for us. Some of the Zentano team find Gratitude Journaling to be ineffective but Bullet Journaling to be great. Others can’t stick to Bullet Journaling but love Reflective journaling – we’re all different.

We’d recommend everyone try journaling at least once. Commit to it for a few days or weeks, play around with different types of journaling (bullet journaling, gratitude journaling, reflective journaling, illustrative discovery journaling) and experiment.

Find what feels good for you, you might be surprised.

Click here to see Dave's journaling story

Dave's Journaling Journey