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Are you feeling out of control, out of routine, or out of sorts in this lockdown season? I have. Iâve found it difficult to focus. Iâve had tons of thoughts spinning around in my head, and I havenât been able to work at my best. And itâs probably to do with not giving myself time to think, reflect, and come up with ideasâall things I used to do at cafÃ©s, on the train, and when meeting with friends. So what Iâve done is return to a practice I swore by a few years agoâworking with a journal in front of me. Why? Let me tell you!
ð Letâs start with paper. Paper, for me, is like an extension of my brain. I have tons of it around me. I use big sheets and small sheets. For all kinds of things. Paper is like having a dedicated screen for all the important stuff I need to access right nowâand one that I donât need to switch tabs or apps to access. It doesnât crash. I can jot on it. I can doodle on it. I can quickly glance at it and see what I need. And itâs all separate from where Iâm doing the workâon a real screen.
ð And then thereâs the paper upgradeâa book! A book combines the best that separate pieces of paper offer with an easily accessible visual history (flipping back a few pages). Itâs way more mobile, far less cluttered, and thereâs more space for doodles, sketches, wireframes and writing.
ð° A cheap journal allows me to use it for everythingâhex codes, website measurements, aha moments, todos, notes, wireframes, sketches, ideas, feelings and whatever elseârather than a Moleskine journal, which I feel pressured to fill with awesome stuff.
ð Each day I get to start a new page, and bring over any undone todos from the day before. Itâs related to the stuff before, but I donât have to see the prior stuff if I donât want to.
Hereâs how I do my journal each day:
Top left: date and the main thing Iâm working on.
Left hand side: anything to do with the current projectânotes, comments, todos, sketches, wireframes
Right hand side, in another colour: anything to do with anything elseâfeelings, ideas, thoughts, questions, realisations, stuff for another project.
Format: my left hand side stuff isnât too long, thatâs why I use the right hand side for the other stuff. I use boxes for todos, dashes for notes and thoughts, and doodles, scamps and wireframes are just that.
I do this each day, and once or twice a week Iâll go back and read through previous pages and cross out irrelevant stuff, highlight important stuff, and maybe even digitise other stuff.
Consider giving paper, and maybe even a book, a try! How do you use paper, or a journal? And what have you changed or adapted since lockdown?
â¤ï¸ Big loves from Amsterdam â Rich from TapTapKaboom (https://taptapkaboom.com)
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