Q & A – Keeping a Journal

Q & A

Created by Julie Goucher – Feb 2020 Using Wordclouds.com

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
    • worries
    • obsessions – hobbies, books
    • projects
  • 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:

BLOG Posts ImageDon’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!

Happy journaling!

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, Pharos Tutor, lover of Books, Stationary & History, Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, avid note taker and journal writer.
This entry was posted in Q & A, Stationary,Filofax, Journals & Notebooks. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Q & A – Keeping a Journal

  1. BookerTalk says:

    I started keeping a notebook/journal but was using separate ones for genealogy and blogging – as you said, the issue is that you never seem to have the right one to hand….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.