In a world that has become increasingly dependent on electronics, the thought of having a physical journal may seem antiquated.
But believe it or not, a journal can make you more successful, happier, and a better man.
Don't believe me?
Allow me to prove you wrong.
In today's article, I'm going to explain why every man needs to keep a journal. (I've been doing it for 20 years!)
How to Journal Like a Man
Men's Journal Step 1. Find A Journal
This first step is simple – purchase and begin using a paper journal. The choice is yours – from a spiral-bound notebook to a fancy leather-bound journal – there's a huge amount of options out there.
I also recommend a high-quality pen. After all – you’re going to be writing a lot – and you don’t want something that will fail on you.
Men's Journal Step 2. Find the time To Write and Stick to It
Journaling needs to become a daily routine for you. Find a time that's most convenient for you and stick to it. Some of you may like to write in the morning while having a cup of coffee. Personally, I like to write at night. The point is – find what works for you and make it a routine.
Men's Journal Step 3. Write
You might be wondering what you should write about. The simplest answer is anything on your mind. Write about your day – accomplishments and failures. Your journal will reflect your mood. Even if you think what you’re writing about is boring, keep going. The more you write – the more you'll understand yourself.
8 Reasons Why All Men Need A Paper Journal
1. A Journal Expands Your Memory
A Queen's University study found that, on average, humans have 6,200 thoughts per day. From the idea of turning your alarm off at 5 am to commercial advertising telling you to buy something, your brain is bombarded with ideas. Great ideas get lost in the shuffle.
When you try to remember a great idea you had earlier – all the details are gone. That great idea you had is lost forever.
But, a journal can become a second brain for you. If you have a journal by your side, any thought can be written down quickly and revisited later when you have more time.
For example, George Lucas had the idea for Star Wars while filming American Graffiti. He stopped filming and wrote down all of his thoughts immediately. After wrapping American Graffiti, he teamed up with his writing partner Gary Kurtz to pen the first script draft for Star Wars. If he didn’t have that journal – we wouldn't have Star Wars today.
2. Paper Journaling is Better Than Digital Journaling
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why don’t I use my phone as a journal?” The answer – distractions.
Notifications, you love, and so do I. They keep you and me up-to-date on breaking stories and social media. But, notifications distract us.
You’re in the middle of journaling about your day on your phone, and boom – CNN drops a notification with a story you have to read, or Facebook tells you that you have memories to look back on. Immediately, your brain goes in a different direction, and you’ve lost all focus. Once you lose focus, it’s tough to take the time to go back and finish your thoughts.
A paper journal has no distractions. You are free to write and think about anything you want for as long as you want. And the best part – no load times. Just open your paper journal and start writing.
3. Physical Writing Improves Your Memory
A University of Los Angeles study found that students who wrote out their notes (instead of typing them) had a better ability to synthesize what they had learned. The act of writing had improved both their factual memory and comprehension of relevant topics.
This same concept applies to journalling. Like most, you probably have tons of different tasks to complete in your day. It's hard to remember all of them. Even when you type them into your phone – you can still easily forget to do something. By taking the extra step to write out what you need to do, you’re improving your memory and your brain.
4. Physically Crossing Off Tasks Is Extremely Satisfying
Since you took the extra step to write out your tasks, you get the extra satisfaction of crossing things off of your to-do list for the day.
To-do lists take the chaos of life out of your tasks—our brains like structure. A to-do list can free you from anxiety. Wake Forest University professors compared two men – one with a to-do list and one without one.
They found that the man with a to-do list and order to his tasks could accomplish more than his counterpart and had a lower heart-rate while working.
5. Journaling Makes You Immortal
Remember reading about Lewis and Clark in school? If you don’t, you weren’t paying attention in your US History class. Lewis and Clark led the first expedition exploring unknown territory west of the Mississippi River after the Louisiana Purchase. Any idea of how we know the stories from their historic voyage – journaling.
Great men have kept journals, including Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin. Andrew Carnegie. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Winston Churchill.
All of these men’s journal(s) have been read and studied. They have become immortal icons to historians around the world.
Believe it or not, one day, your children and even grandchildren will want to read your journal. You might think your life is ordinary and mundane, but you’re wrong.
Don’t wait – you won’t be able to remember everything clearly in the future. Half of the time, people can’t even remember what they had for breakfast, let alone what they did ten years ago.
Imagine if you could read a journal from your great-grandpa about the day the stock market crashed or about each day he fought in a world war – that would be amazing.
One day, your offspring will look back and wonder what you thought when the World Trade Center was attacked or when Barack Obama was elected or even when Donald Trump was elected. Don’t wait – start journaling and become immortal for your future family.
6. Keeping a Men's Journal Improves Your Mental Health
You might be wondering how writing in a journal can help your mental health – it’s just a bunch of words on a page. Believe it or not, the practice of this can help those struggling with mental illness.
Journaling requires the application of the left side of your brain. This side of your mind is your analytical, rational side. This helps you to work through any issue or feeling you’re feeling. It also gives the right hemisphere or your brain a break to refresh and allow your creativity to flow freely and flourish when you need it to.
Journaling has been found to boost your mood, reduce depression symptoms, and enhance your sense of well-being.
For example, keeping a journal is extremely helpful to those with PTSD or a history of trauma. Making people with these issues write their feelings enhances their mental health by guiding them through previously inhibited emotions. This helps them with the coping process and unearths feelings they didn’t know about in their subconscious.
Don’t have any trauma to work through? Journaling can still help you to enhance your mental health and make you more self-aware. Journals allow you to detect unhealthy patterns in your thoughts and behaviors.
7. Journaling Gives You A Sense of Worth
Keeping a journal affirms value in your day. If you own an account of everything you accomplish in a day, it gives you the ability to reflect on your day.
Bad days need to be recorded because you can reflect and make sure the next day is much better than the last.
As stated before, eventually, your journal will be ready one day. It might be after you’ve passed away, but you will go to the grave knowing that someone will care enough about you and your life to value the things you loved and read through what you wrote. In the increasingly existential world we live in, your journal reaffirms your significance as an individual and your relevance to others.
8. Your Journal is Judgment-Free Zone
Ever feel like your voice isn’t heard? Maybe you feel like you can’t voice your opinion because you’ll be persecuted for it? The perfect solution is a journal.
Your journal is the place to get all your thoughts on paper. Instead of blowing up on a co-worker, you’re angry with, write about it. Take all that negative energy and write through it to work through it.
By allowing yourself to be 100% open and honest in your journal, you begin to learn who you are. Journaling doesn’t always have to be structured. It can be a free-flowing unimpeded list of feelings and thoughts. Writing things out can open a secret door blocking the path between your heart and mind.
Most of you are probably afraid of peeling back the onions of your emotions and feelings. Still, I would encourage you to do so. Leverage a men's journal and say everything you’ve always wanted to say. There is a great sense of relief when you express your feelings with words.
Conclusion – Men's Journal Reasons
With so many distractions, there is no better time than now to have a paper journal.
A physical journal helps your personal and professional life by helping your mental health.
To recap, the reasons you need a journal are:
- A Journal Expands Your Memory
- Paper Journaling is Better Than Digital Journaling
- Physical Writing Improves Your Memory
- Physically Crossing Off Tasks is Extremely Satisfying
- Journaling Makes You Immortal
- Keeping a Journal Improves Your Mental Health
- Journaling Gives You A Sense of Worth
- Your Journal is Judgment-Free Zone
A men's journal will change your life in a ton of different ways and should become a part of your everyday carry.
What else should be in your everyday carry? Click here to discover the best budget options for all of your EDC needs!