How to journal: Lists

For the past couple years, the cornerstone of my journaling is gratitude lists. Almost everyday I write 10 things I'm grateful for, usually it's the very first thing I do when I wake up. Often, I follow up the gratitude list with an idea list on any random topic, like "10 Businesses You Could Start For $500" or "10 Funny Names For Cartoon Dogs" (I stole the idea from a well-known self-help guru).

Writing lists is easy, goal-oriented, structured and productive. My favorite thing about writing lists is that I can feel myself stretching my brain and I can create nice creative challenges for myself.

My second favorite thing about writing lists is that it's an economical form of writing. Trying to keep a diary about what I did today can be prohibitively tedious, especially if I write everything out in sentences and paragraphs. But it's not too difficult to write a list of where I went today, or who I talked with, or what I though about, or what I worked on.

Anything I want to write becomes a lot easier (I think) if I figure out how to break it down into lists.