One of the readers who asked about blogging, also asked about how they could journal.
Julie, I have admired over the years your posts about journalling and am amazed that you have kept a journal for decades. How do you do it? M
I don’t have all the answers about journal keeping, but I can share a few tips and thoughts and hope they help.
- Select a notebook and pen that you enjoy writing with.
- Date every entry
- Use ink if possible, of course if you are arty then you should use whatever instrument appeals
- Number pages if the journal does not have them
- At the beginning of the book keep a few pages for an index (hence the page numbering!)
- List why you are keeping a journal – here are a few ideas
- current interest
- obsessions – hobbies, books
- Decide what your journal is to include
- All or specific things
- Keep a pen with the journal
- Entries do not have to be daily
- The journal does not have to be an expensive one – just one you want to write in.
- Decide how you are going to archive your journals
I love stationary. Nothing fills my heart with joy more (except genealogy and books) than a stationary shop. The trick is going in and leaving without purchasing – something I rarely manage. Choose a notebook you love – if you invest in selecting a book you are more likely to keep writing.
I write all sorts in my notebook – I keep a planner separately and that holds my commitments and to do list, whereas my notebook and journal is for everything else. If I look at the current (a Moleskine expanded plain) notebook, I have some entries of research from FamilySearch and Ancestry, the next page has note on a book I was reading then the following three pages are about COVID-19. In addition I have professional development material. I do have a A5 Filofax that I am using for planning blog posts. The Filofax never leaves my office, but my notebook wanders round the house with me. As I said it is a Moleskine expanded, so it.has 400 pages, I started this in March and will finish it at the end of June I expect. I also have a health and medical notebook which lives in my office and is used when I need to note things,
My journals are numbered and live in a draw in my filing cabinet along with planners from past years. Each notebook has a label on with the start and finishing date on it. The most recent notebooks – the last three are next to my desk, because they have material that I am going to share here. Eventually they will move to the filing cabinet. Research notes are transferred to my genealogical program as soon as I can.
There are positives and negatives for keeping lots of notebooks – I tend to use only one as I have described here, because otherwise I found that I would want to note something and then did not have the right notebook. That still happens for my medical notebook, but I make those notes and transfer them.
Over the years, I have switched and expanded how I keep my journal and what it contains. It is more like a “Common Place book” Here are a few useful links:
Don’t make keeping a journal complicated. Let it reflect you and your interests. If you want to stick bits in then do, if you want to draw, pictures or genealogical trees then do – I am no artists, but I do have genealogical trees in my notebook! (and I stick bits in!)
Your journal will be an unique as you, so enjoy it!