Over the past couple of months, I’ve come across some amazing tools, which I’ll share links for at the bottom of this post. First, though, I want to share what they all have in common: they revolve around handwriting. Handwriting is something I typically haven’t done much since my sophomore year in high school when I took a typing class and learned how to type with all ten fingers. I remember as a girl watching my mom’s fingers float across the keyboard like magic and I couldn’t wait until I could learn to do it too. These days, though, pulling out a piece of paper and a pen has become the romantic thing to do, the novelty.
Handwriting vs. Typing
There are a lot of studies out there about the effects of handwriting versus typing on creativity, memory, and information retention, and there are arguments for both sides. Handwriting helps us better remember information we’re given, sharpens our memory as we get older, and slows us down to potentially allow for more developed thought processes. But typing is faster, often lets us better express ourselves–since we’re not cutting out words and sentences to save our hands and our time–and better ensures we don’t lose a train of thought, unable to get it down fast enough. For fiction writing, I still prefer typing–there’s just too much of it to write in too short a period of time–I’ve noticed handwriting other things, such as my goals, plans, and dreams has greatly increased my focus and clarity on those things.
Think about it–how many times have you had a good idea for a blog, a story, an agenda for next month, a manifesto for your life or career, etc., etc., but as you thought about putting it into words, you had that sinking feeling of where am I going to save it on my computer?
What program should I use? But if I put it there, when will I ever see it again? Do I have to set a reminder somewhere to review it? Where am I going to set the reminder so I’ll actually see it? There are a the thoughts that have run through my mind for years and by the time I get to the end of those questions, I’ve already written off the whole idea and vowed to myself I wouldn’t forget. Which, of course, I would. And on top of that, trying to keep all those loose thoughts in my head makes me agitated, forgetful, and feeling a little lost.
Tools for Handwriting Your Goals
Over the last couple of months, though, I’ve found and created some tools that I now always keep close at hand and I can’t believe how much clarity I’ve gained in writing down all the things I’d once allowed to slip from my memory or go unexamined. Those three tools are: 1) a journal, 2) a planner, 3) a binder of printed worksheets from my favorite websites and workshops.
Taking some time for myself to put my thoughts into words is a one of the best ways to connect with my subconscious that I’ve ever found and it’s surprising all the rampant thoughts you can find hiding in there. They guide your actions more than you realize but once you get them on paper, you can examine them and see if they are getting you closer to your goals or further away from them.
I’ve been raving about this thing all over social media so I have to include it here. A friend of mine introduced me to it in December and as soon as I got my hands on it, I couldn’t wait for the year to start. The best part about it is that it combines a regular day, week, and month planner with more sections for journaling, reflecting, and connecting with bigger picture goals as opposed to just daily appointments and to do lists. I downloaded and printed my copy but the creator also offers faux-leather-bound copies you can order.
Recently, I’ve been participating in more online workshops, and I’ve also joined the Female Entrepreneur Association (which I can’t say enough good things about). Something that’s becoming common practice is providing workbooks and worksheets for printing that provide questions you can answer to get clearer on your goals for the workshop topic or, as with FEA, your goals in general. At this point, I think I’ve written down my goals for this year a dozen times and I have never before felt so much clarity about what I’m doing and where I’m going. The Secret Owl Society offers some great free printables and I’m sure with a Google or Pinterest search, you could find anything you needed. Get yourself a 3-ring binder and a hole punch, and you’re set!
The reasons I love all of these tools, and handwriting specifically, are that:
- They are always close at hand so I never forget or put off writing something down.
- They keep all of my information in one place and organized.
- Since I’m using them so often, I’m looking at my goals and plans every single day.
- Each of them, while being created by others, give me lots of freedom to make them my own.
After only using them for a couple of months (even after the first week, really), I don’t know how I survived before without them.
Do you prefer handwriting or typing? Do you have any tools for staying focused on your goals that you’d like to share? Because seriously, I can’t get enough of them…