“Write your dreams in journal, notebook, card or on a cork. When you pen down your dreams, an a inner strength and divine power is activated for your to work towards the fulfillment of your dreams.”Lailah Gifty Akita
Do you journal as a part of your daily routine?
Have you ever considered starting a journal specifically for your business?
Business journaling, basically what I call journaling as a part of the process of building your own business, is something I think every online entrepreneur should do. Whether you’ve been at it for a while or you’re just starting your business, keeping a journal will help you learn a lot about yourself, your business, and most importantly: your customers!
Your journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you should be able to have everything in one place. Maybe you want to keep a notebook or maybe you prefer an app or something else online.
I don’t recommend using your blog as your business journal, though you totally could publish stuff from your main journal. You want to be able to be 100% honest about your feelings, open with your ideas, and feel free to be yourself. A private journal is much better for this.
Of course, you need some ideas for what to write in your new business journal, so let’s take a look at some of the different ways I use my own journal!
Ways to Keep a Business Journal as an Entrepreneur
Make sure you take some time, preferably daily, to write down things like how you feel about your business, your progress with building your business, or even brainstorm ideas based on other things you’ve journaled.
You’ve probably been doing this with your business a bit already. I noticed that just doing my day-to-day work, I’ve basically been journaling and I didn’t even realize it.
I keep a lot of notes regarding business strategy, content and product ideas, and also any notes from webinars or other live presentations I attend all inside a series of pages in the Notion app.
This is basically my digital business and idea journal and planner. While I do keep some physical notes and planners, most of my ideas I record into Notion first to flesh out later.
Your business journal is basically all the notes you take for your business in one neat, organized place!
So with that in mind, here are 9 ways to use a journal as an online business owner.
Record new ideas
A journal is a powerful place to record and keep track of new ideas for your business. You can sort through which ideas seem the best to go forward with, add in the results of experiments, and record which seem to be a hit with your audience or customers.
Keep track of progress
Having a journal is a good way to record what you’ve done each day or even the results of what you’ve done.
If you had an awesome day for sales, write down why you think that happened.
- Were you featured somewhere?
- Did you start a new ad campaign?
- Did you send out a certain email?
By keeping track of what you’re doing, you can easily work on repeating your successes and learning from your failures.
Recognize unhealthy emotions related to your journey
This includes the ones mentioned in my post on 6 struggles entrepreneurs face. You could work through a lot of them by keeping a journal.
Here’s a quick example:
Feeling like you aren’t progressing? Start writing down everything you’ve done or learned each day.
If it’s not much, motivate yourself to try harder. If it’s a lot, realize that you are doing things, but make sure they’re things that move you forward rather than make you run around in circles.
Your journal is a safe space where you can be honest with yourself. No one is there to judge you and you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. With that kind of freedom, you can discover the areas were you need the most help and seek out ways to deal with them.
“Your Journal is like your best friend, You don’t have to pretend with it, you can be honest and write exactly how you feel”Bukola Ogunwale
Take business-related notes
If you’re anything like me, you need to write stuff done or you will forget them fast then you can say “awesome business idea.” I make sure I have easy access to something to write my ideas down.
In my case, this is usually the Notion app, but I also keep a pen and notepad close by in case my phone battery is low or something.
Another way to use your journal for note-taking is as I mentioned before. Use it to take notes during live trainings or while you’re reading articles from other blogs. This way you won’t forget the important parts and you can always refer to them later.
Create a business plan
Do you know what you need to do to make your business a success? You can plan it all out in your journal.
You might feel anxious about creating an official business plan at first, but starting one in your journal might seem like an easier way to get started. Then you can discover if you need to find the answers to questions like how you’ll attract customers to make sales or what operational costs to expect.
If you need help with what exactly to put in your business plan, check out How to Write a Crazy Simple Business Plan in 8 Steps over at Crazy Cute Co. for a good starting point. There’s even a downloadable template that you can print out and stick in your journal!
Track your money
To run a successful business you need to know where money is coming in and where it’s going out. A journal is a good place to track this when you’re just getting started, though you may want to upgrade to accounting software or hiring an accountant eventually.
Set and track goals
I’ve already mentioned in several articles why it’s so important to set the right kind of goals and to focus on building a systematic process to achieve them. A journal is the perfect place to keep a record of your goals and your progress.
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” — Japanese Proverb Do you set goals for yourself and your business? You probably find yourself struggling to stay on task, hopping from one thing to the next if you don’t. You also might feel like your progress has become stagnant. Maybe you’ve […]
Create a wish list
I like keeping a wish list for my business. It’s kind of like setting a goal, but it’s more like a list of products and services I’d like to try out for my business.
I think having a wish list like this is a good way to consistently remind yourself of the importance of reinvesting in your business. You’re also more open to spending the money once you’re ready for items on your wish list because you’ve been looking forward to them for a while.
One last way to use a journal as an entrepreneur is inspiration to keep working on your business. Motivation is sometimes hard to come by, but looking back through your journal can show you that you’ve come much too far to quit now.
You may also want to take some time to write down affirmations or your favorite quotes to help you get through particularly tough days.
“Journal writing gives us insights into who we are, who we were, and who we can become.”― Sandra Marinella, The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss
There are some pretty standard ways to use a business journal, but you don’t have to do all these things, nor are they the only things you can do. It’s your journal, you can do what you want!
The important thing is that you have a place to write, record, and track various information about your business and your progress with building your business. Make journaling a part of your goal-achieving process as well.