Do you keep a journal?  In todays world of digital “this” and go paperless “that” the idea of a journal might conjure thoughts of secret teenage crushes or something that you “used to do”.  But why?  As you get older the benefits of keeping a journal get greater and greater. Here are 10 great reasons for keeping a journal.

10. For emergency and contingency situations

You never know when you will need to know what you did on a specific day. There are very real and probably situations where a journal may be invaluable to have. This includes events such as temporary amnesia or lawsuits where it is important for you to know exactly what you saw on a particular day. This means your journal can be an important recording tool in case of any emergency situations.

9. Improving writing skills

The most certain way to improve your writing skills is simply to write a lot! And this can be done easily if keeping a journal, since it means that you will write on a daily basis. In addition, any creative ideas you record in your daily journal can even be reused and expanded on later.

8. Keep track of important decisions

A journal can be an important way to track important decisions for you to keep track personally of your actions. This is a helpful chronological record and can allow you to remember the reasons behind your decision-making for these important events.

7. Record important interactions with people

Over the course of your life, you may have a lot of significant and even profound interactions with the people you know. By keeping a journal, you can record each of them and review upon them and remember and understand why they were so important long after the events have passed.

6. You can see your progress

Progress is a critical component of any person’s growth and improvement. A journal allows you to track your progress over the years and how you got to where you are now. It allows you to track this progress in the context of important life goals and personal objectives, and to keep them in mind so you don’t lose track of the things that are truly important to you.

5. You can remember who you were

A journal is an important record of personal history. It keeps a record of all the events and decisions, as well as all the important people who make you the person you are now. And maintaining an accurate and complete personal history can be important and even useful to an individual, since it means that they can take note of an avoid past mistakes.

4. Enhance organizational skills

Journals are structured. By keeping and maintaining one, you can also begin to organize and structure your life, not unlike the lines and paragraphs of a journal.

3. Explore your thoughts

By keeping a journal, you can record all the thoughts you have on a particular day. They may be irrelevant, but they also may be inspirational and even educational for you when you get older and reflect on them. The thing is that you never know, and it never hurts to try.

2. Give meaning to your life

Meaning in life is a very subjective concept, unique to each person. But a journal can track your dreams and aspirations and, through structure, allow you to figure out what is most important to you.

1. Daily reflection and self-awareness

Introspection is one of the most important human skills to master to become a more compassionate and overall better person. Daily journals allow daily introspection and for every person to reflect on who they were that day.

PlanPlus Online includes a Daily Notes feature that can be used as a journal.  There is also a Journal Report which allows you to select a date range and print out your notes based on that date range for safe keeping or archival offline.  Here are a few video links showing this feature in action.