Journaling is a great practice for improving mental health and well-being:
Bringing your thoughts on paper throughout the day:
- curbs stress & anxiety
- tracks progress & growth
- and increases your communication skills by clarifying your thoughts
No wonder journaling is becoming more and more popular among modern days tech workers.
But actually, writing for yourself to clear thoughts is an old practice that dates back to ancient times.
Particularly, stoic philosophers like Epictetus or the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius were enthusiastic journalers.
Marcus Aurelius’ famous “Meditations” is actually a bundle of journaling entries written by him over a span of almost 20 years. In fact, he never intended to publish them.
In today’s world journaling is moving into the electronic world: Apps like Obsidian, Evernote, or Notion provide good setups to start journaling. While some people still prefer pen & paper, apps come with the advantage of providing unlimited journaling space and making it easier to find your old entries again.
With his Stoic Life Journal Template for Notion young digital creator, Pascio is now combining the Stoic journaling tradition with modern-day’s technology.
Is this a good Notion journaling template, and does it really make sense to journal like a Roman Emperor? Lets’ find out!
Honest Notion Template Review: The Stoic Life Journal by Pascio
When opening the template you are greeted with a board view database called “My Phrases”:
Here you can insert motivational phrases to important life topics like death, work, misfortune, justice, temptation, anger, or love. Some of those categories are prefilled by Pascio, but it is probably meant to fill it up with your own phrases and beliefs.
Daily Stoic Quote
The template comes also with a Stoic quote widget that motivates you with stoic wisdom. This is a nice add-on for the template
Now we are coming to the main area of the template: A monthly database for your journaling entries.
You can use the template button to generate a new database every month. The idea is probably to simplify archiving your entries. Personally, I would prefer to save them in just one database.
When creating a new entry, you can choose between 5 templates:
- Marcus Aurelius Method
- Epictetus Method
- Gravestone Method
- 4 Virtue Method
- Free Writing
Let’s look at each of them:
The Marcus Aurelius Method is based on the questions the stoic emperor asked himself during the day. For example, he famously started the day by asking himself the following 3 questions:
- What difficulties am I likely to encounter today?
- What one thing do I most need to get done today?
- What am I grateful for today?
By constantly journaling throughout the day, he found a way to shed any mental weight that was pushing him down during the day (and accidentally created one of the most impactful books of history).
The Epictetus Method.
The slave-turned-philosopher asked himself the following questions at the end of the day:
- What did I do well?
- What did I do wrong?
- What duty remains undone?
Evening journaling is a powerful technique. because it allows you to review the events of your day, allowing you to reveal what you can do better tomorrow, but also letting you sleep better by processing your thoughts.
The Gravestone Method consists of writing about events of today: good, mediocre or bad.
**In the next step, you imagine that you’ll look back on these events 1, 10, or 30 years from now (when you’re still alive).
But we are not finished yet.
Lastly, you zoom out further, 100, 1000 or 5000 years into the future, and then imagine someone finding this journal. Imagine how they’d look at the events of today. What’d they think of it?
This is a powerful technique to bring current events back into proportion.
The 4 Virtues Method
The Stoics divided virtue into four main types:
- and temperance.
This template let you reflect on them by writing about how you succeeded and failed them throughout the day.
Free Writing Method
As the name suggests: Here you have no instructions and no preformulated questions. Just write whatever comes to your mind.
What do I think about the 5 journaling templates?
I liked them a lot and think that those journaling prompts can bring a lot of clarity into your life, They work even when you are not an adherent of Stoic philosophy.
The weekly review is an independent section of the template that allows you to reflect upon your week. Pascio provides the following questions for your weekly recap (of course you can add different questions or more)
- What went well?
- What could be adjusted?
- What to stop doing?
- What to start doing?
- What to continue doing?
- What are my current character flaws and solutions?
- What are my recurring problems? How to fix them?
Finally, you can also rate your week with a traffic light rating (red, orange, green)
This is a solid weekly review template. maybe.
I would only change one thing:
If I would use this template, I would likely expand this section and include monthly, quarterly and annual reviews as well
How easy is it to navigate this Notion template?
The template is pretty straightforward, comes with a flat architecture and does not require its users to have any knowledge of rollups or relations.
Thus, it is beginner friendly, but still attractive for experienced Notion users.
For whom is the Stoic Life Journal a good Notion template?
For every Notion user who wants to journal regularly and has an interest in the old tradition of stoicism.
Whether you have prior knowledge of stoicism or not, this template can work for you:
Most stoic journaling questions are popular journaling questions anyway. And in the end, you can always customize the questions to your philosophical preferences.
What would I improve?
When creating a new Month for your daily entries, you are always creating a new database. This can be a little bit cumbersome when you are journaling for a long time and searching for a specific entry without knowing the exact date. I would prefer to have all the entries in one single database and use the filter option to create an archive. However, the template can be easily modified for doing exactly that.
Would I use the Stoic Life Journal myself?
If I would start using Notion as a newbie again, I would be pleased to have this template at hand. Overall, it offers a solid journaling framework for Notion, and the Stoic theme is also very attractive to me.
I will surely use the Stoic journaling prompts for my personal journaling routine.
Easy to use and straightforward template architecture.
A creative approach that stands out among the zillion other journaling Templates for Notion.
Simple Notion Template Look
Overall Rating for the Stoif Life Journal: 4.5/5
Purchase the Stoic Life Journal by Pascio on Gumroad:
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