You know what they say….It’s hard out here for a pimp…..and it’s just as hard for a designer. Or something like that.
What we’re trying to say is, to be on our game all the time, churning out rad graphics, killer websites, and custom branding can strenuous, y’all. So- we are always looking for ways to keep the creative juices flowing. Journaling is one method we find effective. The others involve alcohol…but that’s for another blog post.
First, let’s talk about what “journaling” means. We’re not talking about an antique writing desk overlooking a lake, candles, archival paper bound by leather and a dedicated time each day to write. Shit- we are BIG fans of Post-It notes around here (and emailing ourselves).
Ashley always has a sketchbook nearby where she journals, doodles, makes notes about client projects and lets those never-ending ideas just f-l-o-w.
Your “journaling” doesn’t have to be fancy.
Just make time to get thoughts out of your head. They don’t belong there. And they won’t help your clients or your business by staying trapped up there. Journal in whatever way makes sense for you (you lazy folks can even download a dictation app for your iPhone!).
If we haven’t convinced you to journal yet- check out these 5 ways journaling can spur creativity (i.e. increase business and help you make more money).
#1 – Journaling quiets the mind. We know how this sounds to a creative. A quiet mind? Not possible. But it is friends, it is. Journaling is a way to get all of those great ideas (and even the sucky ones) out of your head and onto paper so that you can see what it really looks like.
You might find that you trash 50% of your initial ideas. They’ll go straight into the garbage after you journal them. That’s sad, but it’s also WAY smarter than spending billable time on designs that won’t pan out. Plus, clearing space up top makes room for more ideas. #winning
#2 – Journaling helps you balance the pros and cons of your ideas. Like we said in tip #1, not every idea in your head is one you should run with. Getting those ideas down on paper allow you to also get the pros and cons down on paper.
Think of an idea in your journal like you would online dating. Everyone looks like a perfect match online, but you want to date them in real life a few times to see if they are as amazing as their profile made them out to be. Check those pros and cons people. Check them hard.
#3 – Journaling is a way to gauge your growth as a designer. When you journal, you are keeping a record of your ideas, who you think you are (in that moment) and what you want for your business (in that moment).
It can be really cathartic (and downright hilarious) to go back read old journal entries from time-to-time. We recommend this be an annual Friday night activity (with whiskey or wine included, obvs).
#4 – Journaling can help you become more comfortable and confident as a writer. You might roll your eyes at this one because, after all, you’re a designer NOT a writer. But, hear us out.
Being a good writer, being creative and being funny is all a part of designing. We can’t tell you how many one-liners we’ve pulled from our collective journals to help with a tagline, copy or even coming up with business names for our clients.
#5 – Journaling is a safe place to be honest with yourself. Remember what your grandmama said, “Honesty is the best policy!”. And- we should always agree with your grandmama. Journaling is a safe space where you can share whatever your little heart desires and no one in the world even needs to know about it.
Being honest will spur creativity like you wouldn’t believe. It takes the pressure off from comparing your designs to others in the industry, and what makes you a good designer will have space to blossom.
Do you have any other tips when it comes to journaling? We’d love to hear them! Hit us up with a comment below or contact us today.