Austin Kleon blogs that in his diary writing he tries to start with writing down the best thing that happened yesterday. Calling it ‘cheerful retrospection‘ Judging by his post he writes his diary by hand.
For the past 3 years I have had a survey hosted on my laptop to do self reflection. It contains that same question. When I started using the survey, which I named self-pni, I wrote that the survey has
“three distinct question blocks. A block asking questions about what happened during the day and stood out, and why it stood out for me. A block with more mindfulness oriented questions on how I felt in the here and now. A block about my current outlook. All in all a mix of qualitative and quantitative elements.”
The survey hasn’t changed in 3 years, but I also haven’t used it much either. Long periods go by without filling it out. Only when I feel stressed or otherwise feel there’s something that needs to change, it is that I return to the survey. I also as yet haven’t tried to do anything with the database, other than browsing my responses occasionally. I know from others that for them part of the benefit of asking those questions of themselves lies in doing it in handwriting on paper. Writing it down brings an impact even if you don’t look back at it at all they report. For me answering the questions without ever looking in the database has effect as well: it makes me stop and reflect. I imagine writing it out takes a bit more time, and makes that ‘stop and reflect’ moment longer.