• Manuela Bruderer

Journaling – A secret super power

Aktualisiert: Juni 30

Journaling is recommended to students and business people as it has many benefits. In a study conducted by Thropp (2017), it was found, that students who were encouraged to use reflective journaling during their learning process performed significantly better at a test compared to students who did not. It seems that reflection through writing promotes the development of metacognitive skills, that might be beneficial to handle new and challenging (course)work. Also plenty of recognizable people in the business world such as Tim Ferris or Blake Mycoskie have recognized that journaling is key to their success and productivity. Journaling supports your mental health and boost your creativity and productivity.

Even if journaling seems to be a kind of trend these days, it is not a new phenomenon. Great minds such as Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and many more use the Journal to give their ideas space before they became reality.

Bringing down ideas to paper makes them more tangible, whether captured in words, little sketches or mind maps, the chaotic nature of thoughts can be organized on paper and from there action steps can be elaborated more easily.

Writing by hand has a magical effect, which cannot be accomplished by writing on a keyboard. Handwriting forces your brain to slow down and focus, which allows you to express ideas and feelings more clearly. According to Maud Purcell, a Psychotherapist and journaling expert, “Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Writing by hand helps you learn, understand, retain and retrieve information more effectively. On a personal level, through writing by hand you can better cope with stressful events, relive anxiety and as a result boost your immune system.

According to Dr. James Pennebaker, an expert in expressive writing, it is recommended that you do the following when journaling:

  • Forget about grammar/spelling when you write

  • Be honest and authentic, write like no one else is going to read it

  • Adopt cursive writing to get your thoughts out faster

While journaling is often celebrated as an effective strategy for personal growth, keeping a journal in business can be beneficial too. It can help you prioritize, clarify thinking, and accomplish important tasks. So why not start your work with journaling for 5 to 10 minutes, tuning in with your mental state, organizing the task of the day and bringing to paper ideas to solve problems and enhance business? Why not create that next elevator pitch for your business idea by writing everything that comes to your mind for that pitch into a journal?

As you move through work, have your journal next to you to capture ideas, new to do’s and key insights that come your way. Before you finish your workday, you can review your notes to see what you have learned, what you need to follow-up on tomorrow and you can cross trough tasks that you have completed for a sense of accomplishment.


As outlined, keeping a notebook can be really powerful. Even CEO’s in technology-driven Silicon Valley are jumping on the cellulose bandwagon, often choosing paper notes over digital apps. That must be for a reason. When journaling supporting reflection is combined with action, it can definitely sky rock your productivity.

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