Entrepreneurs Who Keep a Journal, from Richard Branson to Oprah Winfrey

MYnd Map - Successful entrepreneurs who keep a journal

I am a firm believer in writing things down—especially our thoughts, our ideas, and our goals. There are many studies that discuss the cognitive benefits of writing things down. If you don’t believe us, perhaps these famous and successful entrepreneurs will help you appreciate—even convince you to begin journaling.

Richard Branson

How often have you forgotten things? With our busy days and tight schedules, it is so easy to forget. Writing them down will help you remember them better. At the beginning of 2017, Sir Richard Branson penned an article dispensing his one important tip for the year: keep a pen and notebook, and write your ideas down.


What kind of things does he write down? “Ever since I was a child I have made lists of all kinds, including short-term tasks, long-term goals, and resolutions.” Most importantly, he attributes his success to journaling—how else could he have acted on his ideas if he didn’t remember them at all?

Ryder Carroll

Ryder Carroll is a digital product designer and the inventor of the analog tool we all know as the Bullet Journal. A bullet journal is a flexible journaling system that is designed to be a to-do list, a diary, a notebook for thoughts and what-not, and even a sketchbook. The idea is to help anyone “track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

It’s a very simple system and one that anyone can pick up. Carroll was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as a child and developed the bullet journal system to help him focus. He has since outgrown his ADD but realized that this tool continued to be helpful to him. He credits the bullet journal in helping him make better choices and be more productive, instead of being overwhelmed and busy.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has successfully advocated the power and pleasure of gratitude. This has influenced many too, like her, begin and maintain a gratitude journal, the ritual of writing down five things one is grateful for every day. 

Oprah recently confessed that she stopped journaling altogether, given her very busy schedule. But by doing so, she felt consumed by work that she felt too busy to even find “time to delight.” So, she returned to journaling because she felt that it made a difference in her life. Since then, she has felt more fulfilled, and more grateful and happy for the opportunities that come her way. 

She believes that keeping a gratitude journal knowing how to appreciate “whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”

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