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My notebook, with cute little sticky tags provided by the library.

I carry a notebook with me almost everywhere. This is just something writers do. I wish I could say my notebook is filled with amazing ideas and insightful essays, but mostly it contains to-do lists. If I don’t write it down, I’m going to forget it.

At times I do jot down observations and ideas. I’ve done this for years. But only recently have I taken the time to go back and read through what I’ve written. On the rare occasion when I do think of an idea I want to pursue later, I will write it down. But if I don’t go back and see it, it’s gone forever. I’ve used the sticky flags to mark ideas I want to return to. During the school year, I don’t have much time to flesh out ideas. This time of year, with the academic year winding down, I can get ready to put more energy toward the ideas.

I spend a lot of time looking forward — what needs to be done today or this week. Looking at my notebook reminds me to take the time to reflect. I can pause, collect my thoughts, and use those thoughts and ideas to move forward.

I also spent some time reviewing my personal journal (yes, I keep two journals). This was helpful prior to an intentions workshop I attended last Sunday. On New Year’s Eve, I wrote down intentions for the year, but they aren’t going to do me much good if I can’t even remember what they were!

I plan to review my journals toward the end of each month, so I can enter a new month with focus and energy.

Do you keep an idea journal? A writing journal? How often are you reflecting on what you’ve written?