The Journal Tweak Experiment

I was served an ad for the self journal on Instagram ( Have you seen them? They are pretty great. I was incredibly curious about the company and I appreciated their openness to share what the journals offer and how they developed the idea. I loved that it’s a mash up of a day planner and a journal. I loved that it could help me set clear, concise, 3 month goals for myself.

However, I didn’t run out and buy one because:

  1. We are flat broke right now and they are $30 a pop.
  2. I have a ridiculous journal collecting hobby. I will probably never in my lifetime fill the journals I already own.
  3. I knew that although their page layouts seemed great, I wanted to tweak the journal to my own tastes.  

And so, I set out on my own to improve upon their design for my own needs. I grabbed my return address labels and filled out an Adobe Illustrator template with section headers from the self journal pages. I applied labels to about two weeks worth of journal pages and began using them. Each day I would add a note about what I liked and didn’t like about the sections, and noted what sections I was repeatedly adding in the free-form sections of the pages. I went back to the illustrator template and adjusted the stickers for the next set of pages. The other part about the journals I didn’t jive with was that you are supposed to start with a 3 month plan. I have been using my daily pages to come up with the skeleton for my three month plan so that I can be more confident that my goals will be successful.I am almost done with my first pass of the journal and am ready to set out on a three month journey towards my goals.

The 5,000 foot view of those goals are:

  1. Continue on my journey to be a kick-ass, generous, and creative developer.
  2. Becoming a speaker, mentor, and/or teacher for other developers, especially women and kids.
  3. Find positive people to work with who inspire me to do better than my best.
  4. Bike 700 miles over the course of 14 weeks.

My one problem is, I feel guilty about not buying one of their journals. I have benefitted so much from the efforts of it’s creator., To tamp my guilt, I’m recommending them to my friends… sort of like when I used to make mixed tapes for friends in hopes of turning them on to new bands. Maybe everyone I know gets a self journal for their birthday this year.