Introducing Decision Journal
Make better decisions.
A decision journal is a simple, yet effective tool. It helps us to avoid hindsight bias, recognize patterns of mistakes in our decision making, and provide accurate and honest feedback on the decisions we make.
For those unfamiliar with what a decision journal is, it is the simple idea of keeping track of your decisions by writing them down for the purpose of reviewing it in the future. The Nobel Prize winner and famous psychologist Daniel Kahneman introduced the basic concept of a decision journal:
“Go down to a local drugstore and buy a very cheap notebook and start keeping track of your decisions. And the specific idea is whenever you’re making a consequential decision, something going in or out of the portfolio, just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen and then actually, and this is optional, but probably a great idea, is write down how you feel about the situation, both physically and even emotionally. Just, how do you feel? I feel tired. I feel good, or this stock is really draining me. Whatever you think.”
This, Kahneman said, helps us avoid hindisight bias. The bias where everyone tends to look back on their own past in a favorable light. It’s the tendency people have of attributing their success to their own skills and talent but their failures to bad luck.
By keeping a decision journal, we avoid this bias by writing down exactly how we feel in the moment of making the decision. That way our future self can’t create a false narrative. We’re forced to be honest with ourselves.
Many decision makers in all walks of life use decision journals to help them improve their decision making capabilities. The problem is they can be challenging to maintain and keep track of. They require you to always remember to write down the decisions you want to keep track of and to go back and review them periodically. This causes many people to stop using them or to use them sub-optimally.
What if there was a more convenient way to use a decision journal?
With Decision Journal, we tried to take all of the awesome benefits decision journals offer and augment them with modern technology and software. Let’s go over some of the app’s key features.
Always with you
One of the challenges in keeping a good decision journal is making sure that you remember to write down the important decisions you want to keep track of. Not only that but the whole point of a decision journal is so that you can later recall exactly what you were thinking and feeling at the time of the decision. The challenge is that we don’t remember everything and the longer you go without writing down your thoughts, the more likely what you write down will be inaccurate.
That’s one of the great benefits of using the Decision Journal app as your decision journal. It’s always with you. Whenever you make a decision or begin thinking about making a particular decision, you can pull your phone out of your pocket and jot it down. Plus, given that it is on your phone, we’ll sync it to the cloud every time you save it so that you can keep track of your decisions on your own time, whenever is most convenient for you.
Another important part of keeping a decision journal is so that you can accurately and honestly evaluate your decisions. However, one of the challenges is in remembering to do so in a timely manner.
We’re probably all too familiar with setting out our New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each year, only to never follow up and review them. Why? Because life happens and we lose track of things. We’re human.
But that’s where technology can come in and assist us. With the Decision Journal app, we’ve made it super simple to mark a particular decision for a review at some point in the future. And you don’t have to remember to follow up, the app will do all of that for you. When it’s time to review a particular decision, the app will send you a notification letting you know that a particular decision is up for review.
And we didn’t just stop there. Sometimes you make decisions where the outcome of that decision can take place over long periods of time. That’s why we made it easy for you to schedule multiple reviews for any decision.
Analyze the results
The whole point in keeping a decision journal in the first place is to try and improve on our decision making ability. That means picking up on patterns of errors and mistakes that we may be making.
With a paper and pen journal, this can be quite challenging. We may be able to remember the most frequent patterns of errors that we make but we might also miss a lot due to information overload.
This is another area where modern technology and software can help us. With the Decision Journal app, you can tag every decision you make to easily find trends and patterns in any particular category of decisions. In addition to tags, we’ve also added a powerful search capability that allows you to find decisions in a flash, so that you can be sure you’re not missing anything.
Make better decisions today
Decision journals are such a powerful and effective tool for helping you make better decisions. Everyone should be using them. The problem is, they can also be a challenge and a burden to keep. That’s why we created the Decision Journal app for iOS and Android.
It takes the powerful concept of a decision journal and expands on it with new capabilities made possible through modern technology and software. We think it is an essential tool for any decision maker out there, but don’t just take our word for it, give it a try today.