Journaling, Another Way of Capturing

3 min readMar 27, 2024


“I can recapture everything when I write, my thoughts, my ideals, and my fantasies.” — Anne Frank

So we have seen how capturing is the first step you need to take to gain control of your life.

It is a behavior that, carried out habitually, allows you to become aware of what things concern you and are important to you in all aspects of your life, and, on the practical side, to generate a list or inventory of your pending commitments, internal or external, large or small, personal or professional.

An additional way to increase your awareness and improve your control could be journaling. Journaling is about keeping a kind of diary, a written dialogue with yourself, in which you write down your thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations, desires, fears, experiences, or whatever you feel like.

It is not something that is “included” in the GTD methodology but David Allen, its creator, totally recommends it. It’s an indirect way to activate your awareness. Besides, mankind has been doing it for thousands of years and, if only for that reason, you should consider it.

Psychologists also recommend it as an activity to improve mental health, as it helps to deal with stress and anxiety, but also to get to know yourself better and see things more clearly. Sometimes certain aspects of life only become apparent when we are able to go into a more reflective and intimate mode.

Journaling has no predefined format or theme. One day you can write about a thought that worries you, another day about what has happened to you, and another day you can write a list of goals for the next year. Write about whatever comes to mind, quickly and without thinking too much, if you want to access what lies in your subconscious. The level of reflection or intimacy may vary from day to day.

It doesn’t exactly have to be a daily activity either. One day you may write a couple of times in it, and another day you may not write at all. The important thing is that there is a regularity, a habit.

You can use a notebook, your computer or even an app, but writing on paper has some benefits that makes it advisable in this type of activity.

In short, a journal is a tool that facilitates self-management and improvement for several reasons:

  • It helps to manage stress
  • It helps you know yourself better
  • Helps you express yourself better
  • Helps you manage your emotions
  • Helps you identify negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Helps to strengthen your memory
  • Helps to prioritize problems, fears and worries

Writing in this way gives you the power of observation, the ability to notice and sense what’s going on. And when you are more aware of your patterns of thought and behavior, it is easier for you to make the most appropriate decisions regarding your priorities.

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