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Micro-Journaling: A Worthwhile Journey of Small Steps

Calling all journal-scribblers! In this blog post, we’re focusing on a journaling trend that has changed how journalers document their lives.

If you journal regularly (or aspire to), you may wonder what can be done during those times when you get anxious at the mere thought of writing. Your anxiety may be rooted in trying to give words to your feelings in just the right way, or in using only your best handwriting, and as you focus on these things, the purpose and intention behind journaling is lost.

To help you use journaling as a tool to reduce anxiety and inspire creativity, we’re putting the spotlight on micro-journaling: the process of jotting down your thoughts and feelings in small chunks, single-words, or bite-sized snippets, that ultimately have a BIG impact.

  • Traditional Journaling vs. Micro-Journaling

Journaling is the process of regularly, and often extensively, documenting your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, into a journal or visual diary with the intention to better understand yourself, and unpack your psychological state on a deeper, more detailed level. Micro-journaling, on the other hand, does away with long-winded entries and focuses rather on short, impactful snippets. Micro-journaling can be super useful if you don’t have the energy or time to write, while helping you to refine what you record to its very core.

  • The Benefits of Micro-Journaling

While this type of journaling is usually without the frills and fuss, it does have a number of benefits that make it highly worthwhile. These include things such as inspiring creativity, boosting the quality of your memories, and increasing your productivity. Because of its ‘check-in’ nature, micro-journaling also allows you to keep working through thoughts that may trouble you, while simultaneously getting things done.

  • Tips to Get into Micro-Journaling:

1. Sticky Notes Help!

You know the sticky notes you have stuck all over your desk to remind you of the things you need to do? Well, turn them into micro-journaling notes! Use sticky notes to record a feeling, or a passing thought, to later stick into your journal or diary, to help keep a regular record of your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. This is helpful when it comes to reflecting on where you’re at, and what you’re going through, and over time, it can give you deeper insight into what you want, what you fear, what upsets you, and what brings you joy.

2. Go Digital for Ease of Use

Another way to incorporate micro-journaling into your day as efficiently and effortlessly as possible is to take advantage of the digital tools at your disposal. A quick way to keep up-to-date with your thoughts and feelings is to send yourself a message on Whatsapp (you can set up a conversation with yourself). You can also use the Notes app on your phone, or download journaling apps (like Day One), whenever you have a thought or idea you’d like to revisit at a later date.

3. Journal and Micro-Journal Together

Micro-journaling works best when it is used in conjunction with longer-form traditional journaling. By recording micro-moments, thoughts and ideas, throughout the day, you'll be able to put the dedicated time for longer-form journaling to better use because you'll have a clearer idea of the topics and feelings you may want to explore.

4. Start with the Fundamentals – and Go From There

If you’re still uncertain about what to put on the page, here are a few simple, but effective ways to make getting started less intimidating:

  • Write the date – even if it’s all you write! This grounds you in the present and serves as a visual reminder of where you are at while in the moment.

  • Start with a list. It can be a list of books you’ve read recently or places you’d like to go. Lists can provide excellent starting points from which to reflect on things you’ve learned, or want to learn; the experiences you’ve had, or still want to.

  • In one word, write down what you’re grateful for.

  • Forget perfection, punctuation, grammar, and spelling. When it comes to micro-journaling, just strive to write!

Taking a few seconds out of your day to make a micro-journal entry can make a world of difference, both in the short- and the long-term. And now that we’ve given you a little insight on how and why you should, we hope you'll give it a try because it could work for you. On that note, maybe your first micro-journal entry should read; ‘This is how I feel about micro-journaling…’

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