I keep a journal. I actually have several forms of journals too. I have a todo list that i’ve maintained for over 3 years now. I never delete anything from the list unless its completed. But I’m using a wiki so even those can be retrieved again if I really want. After a few months when the list gets too long to ever complete, I move the unlikely-to-be-completed ones to a Skipped list. I find it frees up tremendous amount of creative energy; versus constantly working to remember and remind myself about event-related and order-of-operations and high-priority information. And it is therapeutic for me to go over the list after a year–take pride in my accomplishments, laugh at the things i thought were a priority that turned out not to be, and dig out some old gems that I am now in a better position to do for the next year.
I also own a two-sided scansnap scanner and I scan everything. If it doesn’t fit in the scanner, I cut it in two. Everything gets scanned and shredded. No more file cabinets. No sensitive data lingering around the office. All the PDFs get backed up online with Dropbox. I can now access my physical mail from anywhere. The new freedom is mobility. I can find anything and everything I’ve ever got, faster. I applied for a new mortgage loan and they were amazed at how fast I could produce every document they required. I have every receipt in case I am ever audited.
Then I have a blog where I post things I want public feedback on, or things I want to contribute to the world.
I keep notes on every call I make in a notepad and save the file with the timestamp for the day and a summary in My Documents folder. I can refer back to every call quickly–a better and simpler system than any CRM software I’ve ever tried.
Then I have a private journal where I talk about things I am not ready to share with others.
Its great to review all these things. Especially when I am burdened. Its a great source of strength, strategy, and a catalyst for creativity. I can totally understand how journaling answers tough questions. Nobody cares more about your problems than you. Nobody has thought more about your problems than you. And often times you already know the answer, you just need someone else [like your past self] to remind you.