Friday, July 9, 2010

Tool Time: Stress Less Journal

This week's focus is on the Stress Less Journal ..a tool that I have developed for me that has helped me balance my resources...

DISCLAIMER: please ignore the poor quality of the video ...I tried to use my computer's webcam, and didnt realize until after a couple hours of work, and an hour and a half of uploading to youtube, that it was as dark as it was. I thought it was my tired eyes playing tricks on me! Lesson learned, next time I will use the camcorder! :)

About the SLJ ..I have written a post on this but really, it is too long and makes this simple concept a bit to complicated. So, I am gonna start over again! :)

The Stress Less Journal is something I use to help me balance my resources well does that by being a place where I can write down my stresses, my thoughts, my ideas, my prayers and my study. It gives me a place to put my many lists that help me clear my head of menu ideas, shopping lists, gift ideas, blogging thoughts, cleaning lists, etc. I have alot of dividers in mine, but that is because I love to have things ordered that way.

The SLJ is just a three-ring binder, with a set or two of dividers and some notebook paper. The dividers make it yours, so make sure to only use sections that will be helpful and not stressful to you.

Some of the dividers that I have ...

*My Stress List: we will talk more about this soon, but basically it is a place to jot down everything that is weighing on me, my husband and my children. For me, it is useful to help me see where I need to deploy my Stress Strategies!  ..something else we will talk about again soon!

*Menu List/Shopping List: a place for me to jot down recipes and stuff my family likes, I refer to this   when I need some inspiration for the menu

*Cleaning Lists:  straight off of Flylady ...reminders of what to clean in each room, if I ever get a chance to do some deep cleaning there!

*Blog Ideas:   I found a great blog calendar online yesterday, this would be a great place to put it!

*Routines:  having mine and the boys routines written down helps me to identify areas we need to make more time, or reorder our resource of time

*Contacts:  I use this tab alot! Its a place where I have my church directory and a printed sheet with all my and my husband's family listed with phone numbers and addresses. Also, our doctors, dentists and emergency numbers. This is in a page protector toward the back, so I can find it easily.

*Coupons: I also keep my page protectors with my weekly coupon inserts in the back of my binder. For me, it is less stressful to have fewer binders to deal with! :)

*Prayer/Study/Thoughts:  these are three separate tabs for me, and help me keep my spiritual mind focused as well as my life ordered. It is what it is all about, after all :)

Another obvious addition would be a calendar ..I use something different for my calendar now, but it may help you to add one for your SLJ!

If you want a more in depth (or, at least more wordy) version of all this, please go here.

Otherwise, keep it simple and let it work for you!

Some tips..I stole this from the wordier version:

  • clean it out frequently - all those little pages can add up. Throw away when you are done, dont let it build up. It adds weight, clutter and stress!
  • pay attention to sections you use, and ones you dont - it may surprise you which sections you dont use at all, get rid of them!
  • I keep my stamps, and some blank notes in the front pocket of my book so I can easily write a note to a friend if they come to mind while I am praying.
  • Keep a clear zipper pocket in the front of your book to keep pens, highlighter, white out pen, stamps, paper clips, etc.

Remember, if it causes you stress then it defeats the purpose!

Does this idea inspire or stress you out? Tell me, and share with all of us some other ideas for dividers you may have!


  1. Great vlog! Before reading your blog I never paid attention to mine or my husband's stressors. Last night I washed the window on the back door simply because Daniel was looking out it one day and mentioned that it was getting all smudgy. Was it stressing him, really? Probably not to the extent that it could be chalked up to "stress," but he noticed it... and noticed it enough to mention it, so I washed it. Now we can both enjoy a clear view :) So, thank you for the influence!

  2. so, so, so excited about compiling this journal! I love the concept of listing out what is stressing me to make a plan to change it! Great stuff Court!

  3. I love the concept of the journal, but I haven't had a lot of success with the big "home binder" system. I don't know what it is, but I never really used it when I had it. In theory, though, I'm all for it:).

    What has worked for me this year is a simple notebook-sized planner that has big, blank, lined boxes for each day. They are big enough for me to keep running tabs on my Bible reading and blogging, running, crunches, "learning time" for the kids, goals, etc., with extra room to write a little prayer to God about my day. The prayer also kind of serves as a journal entry b/c it usually contains some kind of recap of my day.

    The thing I love most about having some kind of journal system is that it helps you to live your days on PURPOSE. Planning my day ahead of time helps me to prioritize and to focus on what's most important. I know that the Stress-Less Journal is one great way to do that.

  4. Miriam ..yay! That reminds me that one day my husband asked me if "we ever clean that door?" response was less humble than yours :) Good job seeing that as a potential area of stress, and being willing to take care of it for the sake of someone elses' stress! :)

    Erin ..thanks girl! I know you are SO much like me when it comes to ordering such things. I bet SLJs would look very similar :)

    Kim ..I have tried your idea, and it is a good one for me too. I like having a written place for my daily goals and achievements, rather than the broad and general ones I have in my SLJ.

    I think that you are right about purposing our days makes all the difference for me! :)

  5. What a great idea! I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love the idea. I need to apply it. So i am going to work towards pulling that together. Right now I just work off of a marker board in the kitchen, which works great when i am standing right there, but now so much anywhere else :)


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