Just as feeding our bodies with proper nourishment is essential for our physical well-being, so is properly nourishing our minds.
Throughout human history, humans have hunted for their food, slowly evolving into harvesting and storing it.
The collecting (capturing) process was key to keeping us and our tribes alive. The storing allowed us to endure the times when food was a scarce resource.
Capturing and storing what really matters in terms of information is similar.
Day Zer0 Journal is a journal template I developed to help you focus on what really matters throughout your day. It captures and organizes your Info Bricks − information that is relevant to you − in a way that you can easily retrieve in the future.
How Did I Come Up With It? (Skip if you want)
For years, I wrote down all my notes on physical notepads.
Initially, I used to write down my notes on every single blank page I had available, with no structure at all.
New notes from several days would stack upon each other. Not even a date to label or group them.
That was Day Zer0 Journal v 0.0.
Later on, I decided to assign one sheet of paper per day.
I wrote down the date at the top of the sheet, and from then on, that page was reserved for anything worth capturing that day.
In the beginning, many pages were left with only the date at the end of the day. That was OK, though; this is how you get into the habit of journaling.
Within a few days, I started taking notes of my meetings or capturing ideas that seemed interesting. All of them mixed in the same bag.
After getting the hang of it, I realized that finding important notes from the past was a difficult chore. That’s when three types of note categorization emerged.
The first one was the standard bullet point list—nothing else.
The second and third ones were “Ideas” and “Things I am curious about”. I assigned the 💡 icon for the former and the 🔍 icon for the latter, right next to the notes to help me identify their category.
At that point, I had developed “Day Zer0 Journal v1.0”. That felt like an accomplishment in itself!
This new format helped in taking notes unapologetically and fluidly, and I was able to find important notes a little bit easier than on the first version of the Journal.
After a few months, I increased the number of categories to more than just three. I realized that even though note management had improved, finding them was still difficult.
That’s what motivated me to try different options until I came up with the next version: “Day Zer0 Journal v2.0”!
How Does the “Day Zer0 Journal v2.0” Work?
Let me introduce you to the “Day Zer0 Journal v2.0”!
Day Zer0 Journal is a structured Journal page designed to help you focus on what matters one day at a time.
The way it’s organized helps you capture and visually organize your Info Gems – any piece of information relevant to you. Its design makes it easy to find those pieces in the future and identify patterns in your thinking over time.
Click here to get a template of the Day Zer0 Journal. Price: $0.00!
The Day Zer0 Journal is divided into 8 sections explained below:
MIT’s or Most Important Things. These are the 1-3 top tasks that you MUST accomplish on this day to progress in your business, at your workplace, with yourself, or in any other area of your life.
You can define your MITs the night prior (highly suggested) or first thing in the morning.
In essence, this is the traditional journaling space where you annotate relevant events to you, thoughts worth remembering, or emotions that you experienced during the day.
For example, you had an important meeting at work, and you want to jot down the things that worked well or not. Probably, you had a tough conversation with your romantic partner. Write down here the feelings that came up during the conversation.
Originally, I used to take notes indiscriminately in this section, meaning every note worth capturing was stored here (Day Zer0 Journal v1.0). That was ok, and you can still do it too.
The reason I created these other sections was because taking notes in different compartments helps you keep a visually organized and clearer way of thinking.
Note: This section is called the Bug Book inspired by Jim Collins’s personal journaling practice.
Capture here all the unpredictable To-Do’s that come your way daily.
Use this section to capture projects or business ideas.
Sometimes I get excited about a promising idea, so I let it marinate here for a few days before acting on it (check the Weekly Review part).
Newsletter📝 Recurring Project ♼
Here, you can capture ideas for projects that have a recurring due date.
For example, every Friday, I send out a newsletter (you can subscribe here) that curates the best I’ve discovered over the week. To accomplish this, I capture those little gems that I want to share with you, the subscriber, during the week. So, when it’s time to write the newsletter, it’s super easy to go and collect those gems from this section.
Other examples: Daily status report at work?
Curiosity Backlog 🔍 (Future)
Here I capture things that I’m curious about and that I know I will regret not knowing if I get distracted at that very specific moment. Articles, podcasts, concepts − literally anything.
Today I Learned 👨🏻🎓
Write down any insights that you extract from your daily life here. Anything about school, work, conversations with other people, etc.
This one is the very last thing you do at night. The goal is to answer 3 questions:
- What went well today?
- What didn’t go well today?
- How can I improve tomorrow?
In my case, usually I set my MITs right after the Kaizen Log is done.
Journaling notes is indeed a habit, and it requires attention and effort at the beginning. Nevertheless, if you practice for a few days, capturing, organizing, and finding Info Gems will become your second nature.
Now, the secret to this way of Journaling is…having a Weekly Review.
A Weekly Review is a period you allocate at the end of your week to pause and reflect on what happened during the past few days.
Most people experience immediate benefits from the Day Zer0 Journal by allowing themselves to unload their thoughts to it. And by having a Weekly Review, they ensure that they reap the retroactive benefits of their journaling effort.
Other benefits of the Weekly Review are:
- It helps you find patterns (they usually come from the Journal Section).
- It helps ideas that have been marinating for a while re-emerge and become easier to evaluate without the excitement influencing your train of thought.
- It re-connects you with topics you’re curious about.
- It helps you remember lessons you learned previously.
I’d suggest that you take 10-15 minutes at the end of your week to go through your latest 7 pages. Then capture anything relevant in the “Today I Learned” section of the last day.
What About v3.0?
This is when things get digital.
If you’re interested in knowing how to digitize your Day Zer0 Journal, shoot me a message, and let’s stay in touch. I want your opinion on the prototype!