Use this Smart Journal Template in Notion to finally build a journaling habit, kickstart your Personal Growth and track your progress towards your goals.
Getting better is hard.
You have dutifully set yourself some ambitious goals around New Year.
But you can’t seem to make progress towards them.
You know what matters to you.
Yet in the day-to-day life, the distractions seem to always have the upper hand.
You write everything all your tasks on your To-Do list.
And by the end of the day, that list just seems to have gotten bigger than before.
How do you escape that circle?
Keep a journal. It is not for what is recorded. But for the habit of rendering account to yourself of yourself in some more rigorous manner and at more certain intervals than mere conversation or casual reverie of solitude require - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wait, how is journaling supposed to help with all of that?
- Studies show that reflecting on your goals and how you could achieve them greatly increases your chances of success
- Analysing your past experiences for potential lessons accelerates your personal growth journey and has been linked to additional benefits like improved immunity.
- Regularly identifying your key priority and recording how well you act on it will help you better align your intentions and actions.
Journaling on its own is already a great habit to have. But combine it with the famous Weekly Review and you get an unstoppable force for personal growth.
- Reviewing your past commitments helps you understand whether you really spend time on the things that matter to you.
- Tracking your progress ensures that you don’t just “set and forget” your goals
- You actually learn from your past instead of just letting these lessons go to waste.
But how to start Journaling in Notion?
Staring at a blank page each day can be scary.
What are you supposed to write?
And doesn’t it take a ton of time to do all of this?
With this template, you can do all of this with 5 minutes per day (and an extra 10 on the weekend).
Here’s how it works:
- You start by defining your goals and intentions. But instead of an empty commitment, you will be guided through an exercise designed to turn your insights and ideas into action. You’ll finish with a well-defined habit that will get you closer to your goal, one step at a time.
- On a daily basis, you will fill out a short and concise template to commit to the ONE most important thing on your To-Do list and to track your habits (so that you make continuous progress)
- One per week, you will review your progress, identify what’s working and what’s holding you back and implement changes. In addition, you will do a short introspection exercise using one of more than 52 unique journaling prompts.
- Once per month, you will review your overall trends and look for specific improvements that could be implemented going forward.
- Once per quarter, you have a short intervention for yourself to mimic the Fresh Start Effect of New Year. Are you still focusing on the right goals? Are your actions in line with your intentions?
And thanks to Notion, you can fully focus on your personal growth instead of having to spend tons of time analysing your habit tracker or looking for your old entries when you want to revisit them.
With this Journaling Template in Notion, you can
- Define your goals and develop an actionable plan to achieve them.
- Track your progress towards your goals and make easy adjustments if you get off track.
- Make sure that the ONE most important thing on your to-do list gets done, no matter busy things get
- Finally start a journaling habit and stick to it
- Use introspection as a powerful tool to learn from your past.
Get your Journal in Notion Template and kickstart your Personal Growth
Or read on to learn more about how to use this template
Meet your new Journal in Notion
The dashboard of your journal template in Notion is designed to give you everything you need, in one place.
- You’ll be reminded of your current intentions to make sure that they actually guide your decisions.
- You can quickly jump into a Daily Entry or complete one of the three Review Cycles to make things as easy as possible.
- Your Personal Assistant is ready to give you a quick report on your process.
A unique mix of journaling & reviews
Journaling is great. Reviews are a hidden cheat code for productivity. Taken together, they can be your new hidden superpower.
Daily Journaling in Notion - designed around Gratitude & Focus
Daily Entries will help you build a gratitude practice and focus on the ONE thing that needs to get done today.
We are prone to overestimate how much we can get done in any given day (also known as the planning fallacy), which means it’s likely that we spend too much time on small and unimportant tasks instead of committing to something that would actually move the needle. With this journal, you can identify these keystone tasks and track how well you execute them.
It also comes with the essential tracking features, namely
- how you are feeling on any given day
- how much you’ve slept (8 hours of sleep is crucial for your health)
- whether you’ve done your habits
Plus it’s lightweight. Once you get used to it, you’ll be able to complete this in 5 minutes, meaning it can easily fit into any morning routine.
Weekly Reviews in Notion - designed around Accountability & Clarity
Your Weekly Review is a true powerhouse.
With a combination of smart analytics and journal exercises, you’ll be able to assess your progress towards your goals, make the necessary course corrections and gain new insights.
Whenever you enter data throughout your Daily Entries, it will show up here. Just take your habit tracking as an example. This is how a typical habit report would look like:
Or remember the most important task you’ll commit to each day? Yeah, it will track your progress there too:
And after assessing you your last week went, you’ll be guided through some journaling prompts. Each week of your Journaling Template in Notion will come with a new question to help you explore different angles. Never journaled before? Don’t worry, with these prompts in front of you, you’ll get into the habit in no time.
Monthly Reviews in Notion - designed around Intentions & Improvements
Once a month, you can zoom out and take a look at your progress holistically. The Monthly Review aggregates data across the template so that you get a better feeling for your overall trajectory.
It will also resurface your journaling sessions from previous weeks.
Armed with this information, you can then reflect on the past month and decide what you want to change going forward. What’s something you plan to improve on? Are your habits still in line with your goals?
Quarterly Reviews in Notion - designed to Pause & Reflect
I know what you’re thinking: “another review? This is too much!” - don’t worry.
Everything in this template is designed to be compatible with a busy lifestyle.
- Daily Entries will take you roughly 5 minutes.
- A Weekly Review 10-20, depending on how much time you spend journaling.
- Monthly Reviews hover around the same time but tend to be a bit shorter
Quarterly Reviews are a bit of a specialty here. They don’t really show you anything new. Instead, they are build-in friction throughout the year, a small pebble in your shoe to help you pause for a second.
We’re trying to capture some of the New Start Effect that we usually know from New Year. By dividing the year into quarters, we get a chance every three months to pause and re-align our actions with our intentions (or to realise that our intentions are outdated).
So it might be as quick as a glance realising “I’m on track” or take a bit longer if you need new goals and intentions.
Get smart insights into your habits & routines
Throughout the template, you’ll find dashboards and reports to help you make sense of all your data. This Journal uses the Checkbox Method to get awesome statistics in Notion.
Learn more about this technique in this blog post or watch this video to see how things are done.
Set Goals and track your progress
Did you know that, on average, people stick to their health related New Year Resolutions until... January 19th?
Setting goals is one thing, following through a whole different challenge. With the Ultimate Journal & Review Template in Notion, you get some help along the way.
Instead of just setting goals and then occasionally checking in how you’re doing (hint: if that’s the whole process, probably not all too well), you’ll be guided through a series of introspective questions that will increase your odds of success.
Drawing on the lessons from James Clear’s Atomic Habits, the Huberman Podcast & the best advice on goal setting from the world of productivity, these questions will help you identify
- why you want to do something in the first place
- how to pre-emptively address potential risks of failure
- the best way to continuously make progress towards your goals