Answers to common questions about Zen-Journal
1- What’s Zen-Journal?
Zen-Journal (ZenJo for short) is a task and life management system for your favorite pen and the notebook of your choosing. Its minimalist design allows for maximum productivity by allowing you to focus on what’s most important.
2- Who’s it for?
ZenJo is perfect for writers, journalers, and those who’ve been frustrated by the limitations imposed by off-the-shelf, pre-formatted planners that set limits on space thereby limiting your productivity and creativity.
3- Why is it called “Zen-Journal?”
The essence of Zen is total union with the present moment; you’re not daydreaming about your date on Friday, you are right here, right now. If you’re taking the time to read this answer without distraction, you are totally present and experiencing Zen. ZenJo promotes this mindful experience with its minimal design and simple, straightforward practices.
When I created Zen-Journal, I wanted an analog system that brought the same mindful awareness to my journaling and planning practices as I experienced in my meditation practice. Zen is the school of Buddhism that most resonates with me and is informed the writing of my memoir, The Practical Buddhist.
4- What’s required to get started with ZenJo?
A pen and a notebook are all that’s required. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, even better!
5- How does my smartphone fit in with ZenJo?
ZenJo users are primarily writers, artists, journalers, and other creatives who love having a pen and a notebook handy. However, they are also aware that they live in a digital world and that their digital devices can do a much more efficient job of tracking their schedule, appointments, lists/collections, and contacts. ZenJo doesn’t depend on a branded app, so those apps that you already use for keeping your schedule and trackings items of interest and contacts remain in place.
The chief benefit of ZenJo’s ability to dovetail with your digital device is that when you come to the end of a notebook, you don’t need to migrate these data sets to a new notebook. I don’t know many who have time for that especially after filling their notebooks with such vital information.
6- What should I read first?
- For a quick tutorial on how to set up ZenJo, download the free Set-Up Guide here or over in the sidebar at the top of this page.
- To see how I use my own ZenJo, read this post about my morning workflow.
- For a recommendation and review of popular notebooks and the one I recommend, read this post.
- To understand how ZenJo differs from Bullet Journal®, read Five Ways ZenJo Differs from Bujo.
- For a deeper understanding of the ways theory behind ZenJo planning, definitely read these:
7- How do the memberships work?
I’ve just launched a two-tiered membership over at Patreon. You can check it out here.
The memberships are for those who want to dive deeper into ZenJo use and get the most out of using it to streamline roadblocks to productivity.
- The ZenJo Monk tier is perfect for those first-time users of Zen-Journal who want a thorough grounding in the principles that guide its use, including access to the private Patreon blog and video posts, and two eBooks by me… all for just $6/month.
- At the Zen Master level, a generous $11 monthly contribution brings those who want to use their ZenJo for personal life planning as well as task management a lot of additional benefits, including access to the private Patreon blog and video posts, and two eBooks by me; a monthly webcast; ongoing access to all books and trainings; a free 30-minute ZenJo coaching session via Skype or FaceTime; and as added BONUS: a Free LEUCHTTURM1917 Notebook (personalized by Baz and shipped after 3 months of membership).
- Click here for the full details
8- Where did Zen-Journal come from?
Hi, I’m Barry (Baz to my friends) and I created ZenJo after I became frustrated by the lack of writing space and the amount of migration required by other analog systems as well as by their unnecessary focus (in my opinion) on creating artistic spreads that further imposed boundaries. After writing The Bullet Journal Power User Guide, a book about how I used the popular Bullet Journal® system, I decided to reinvent my modifications and create a new system altogether. You can read about the origin of Zen-Journal here.
Beyond that, in 2012 I published *The Practical Buddhist, a spiritual memoir of my religious journey from big religion to Practical Buddhism. I wrote many posts about mindfulness, meditation, and how I practice kindness in the world and they are still on the site.
- *Get a free copy of The Practical Buddhist in PDF by joining the ZenJo Memberships on Patreon!
9- Do you have additional questions?
Send me an email or hit me up on Twitter; You can find links to both in the footer!