Derek Sivers wrote a wonderful piece on the benefits he has realized via his diaries and journals. He talks about why he likes keeping his daily diary.

We so often make big decisions in life based on predictions of how we think we’ll feel in the future, or what we’ll want. Your past self is your best indicator of how you actually felt in similar situations. So it helps to have an accurate picture of your past.

It was especially fascinating looking at the list of topics he keeps a journal about. A great, great inspiration for any one looking out for what to journal about. He puts down a prime example.

I especially like my Regrets” journal. Whenever I do something I regret, I write it down there, noting why I regret it, what I wish I would have done instead, and how I hope to prevent this in the future.

Derek has given me so much to ponder on. I have bookmarked this, I may reference this every time I question my resolve to journal more. Even outside of a journal, I think this is a great suggestion to write everything.

Ask yourself questions, then question your answers.

To be frank, it was when I read his account that I got to know that diary and journal are not the same. Apparently, diary is for an account of one’s daily activities while journal is for more comprehensive thoughts on specific topics. Some may say that’s minutiae, but it’s good to know.