Tips volume 1 (November-December 2013)

Here's a compendium of the tips we sent out in our Daily Reminder emails in November and December of 2013. 

  • Find self-analytics tables and charts on the Lab page. 
  • Currently the app displays dates in US format (mm/dd/yyyy). The default is today's date. If you click in the date box, you will be presented with a calendar to select a different date if you'd like. 
  • Mobile... we don't have an iPhone or Android app, but it's easy to access your journal just as if it were one. First, bookmark the site, then add the bookmark to a free spot on your home screen. Next time you go to journal, just tap the icon and you'll go right to the front page. If you'd prefer, you can bookmark the Add Event page to go right there when you tap. 
  • "Accomplishment Ratio" on the Lab tab trends accomplishments divided by (accomplishments+setbacks), as a percentage. If this ratio falls below 75% for any prolonged period, it likely signals that you are not satisfied with your inner work life. The idea that work progress is a crucial indicator of job satisfaction was first expressed in The Progress Principlewhich has much more to say about this. 
  • Promising yourself to journal regularly (or daily) is a great New Year's resolution.
  • Find self-analytics tables and charts on the Lab page. 
  • If you find a certain time of day convenient to journal, establish a recurring appointment that will automatically remind you. I set a 5-minute time at 4:30 every weekday, and skip the weekend. Do what works for you!
  • I use the "MIstakes" classifier to log situations that didn't go the way I expected them to. I may not have caused them to go wrong, but they veered away from my plan. I like to look at these on a quarterly basis to see if there are any patterns that I should make changes to address. 
  • Mobile usage. You can use 3Minute Journal on your phone or tablet. Just open your browser and go to http://3minutejournal.com or http://3mj.me (our short URL). Log in as normal and you'll have your journal right there with you! 
  • Journaling Gratitude. Some research has shown that being grateful for can increase overall happiness. If something happened today that makes you appreciate someone or something, answer the "This event describes" question as "Grateful for."
  • "How Long" question. It can help to make your own internal time scale for this question. For me, "a while" is months to a year or more. "A long time" is several years, and "Not very long" is measured in weeks. What's your scale?
  • Something significant happens after you journal. From time to time, you will finish your journal entry, and then something important happens. I take one of two approaches when this happens. Sometimes, I do a second journal entry that day; or I treat it as part of tomorrow, and think of it as part of the things I did the next day.
  • Daily reminders. If the reminder comes up before you're ready to journal  and you use Gmail, marking it "unread" will keep it near the top of your inbox. 
  • If you miss a day of journaling, just write two entries the following day.  
  • If you are journaling your work life, review your calendar, notes, etc., to recall what you did that day. Then pick out the one event that sticks out the most to you and write about that.
  • Mindfulness can be a difficult concept to grasp right away. There's a very straightforward podcast on the subject at the Harvard Business Review website. Check it out here
  • Did you know you can access your journal using the short URL http://3mj.me?
  • Access the analytics page from the "Lab" menu. "Good Days Index" measures the percentage of entries marked with positive emotions compared to all entries.