How to micro-journal with the Reporter app

How to micro-journal with the Reporter app

“What gets measured, gets mastered” often gets attributed to Peter Drucker, the legendary management thinker. But with business and life moving at light speed, how can we create a habit to notice our surroundings and feelings?

I spoke to the information designer Giorgia Lupi the Rad Awakenings Podcast. Alongside fellow designer Stephanie Posavec, they created this lovely weekly exchange of illustrated post cards, which documented a week’s worth of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings in a book called . Here’s an example:

Not only is it inspiring and artistically beautiful, there’s a power in actually taking the time to reflect on what’s happening in your life. Adds Giorgia:

The power of noticing negative thoughts

Noticing your negative thoughts gave me the tools to investigate my mind. At the beginning, I found it difficult to grasp what a negative thought was; was it confusion, fear, or anxiety? And when you are on the go, the negative thoughts can linger for hours [unnoticed]. Having the task to stop, acknowledging, name it and even determine an action to overcome it. It gives you such a superpower!

What surprising behaviors did you notice?

Everybody would learn that we all fail to notice the nice things peoples for me. For example, we tracked the interactions with our husbands and how they made us feel. And I would notice all these tiny things he does for me – carrying my bag, always being very attentive, putting my needs before his, letting me eat with my hands off his plate. It’s an assumption that the world works like that.  I learned that I failed to notice the positive acts of the people closer to me.

Giorgia recommends the simple Reporter app that can assist in asking yourself a set of questions at a pre-set frequency. The questions can have different answer types ranging from multiple choice to unstructured text. Think of it as micro-journaling meets Morning Pages. And the app is beautiful to boot.

Giorgia uses the following questions:

  • What was the highlight of the day?
  • What made me happy?
  • What was missing?
  • What made me feel anxious?
  • What are some actionable steps I can take?
  • A brief note for context (where was I, where there any unique circumstances?)

This reminded me of a similar set of questions asked by Frank Ostaseski the founder of the Zen Hospice Project:

  • What inspired you?
  • What challenged you?
  • What surprised you?
  • What did you learn about love today?

And there’s an entire community around Reporter and forums that contain entire entire glossaries of questions. Can’t wait for y’all to ’report back.’

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