How I Journal

I’ve had a journal off and on for years. Blame Harriet the Spy then, later, Bridget Jones’s diary. There’s just something very therapeutic about recording what happened each day. Getting it all out on paper so it doesn’t cloud my head the next day. Also, I have a horrible memory for what happened in the past and writing it down is about the only way I have of going back and jogging my memory.

I’d been looking for a good journaling format since I first got my MTN last summer. I played around with bulleted lists or attempting to doodle-record my day but nothing seemed right. Then I came across this post on LifeHacker about a simple format for journaling.

I used the literal format the author described for a little while and enjoyed it. Lots of structure, different ways of looking at your day. It’s now evolved a little.

How I Journal Now

  • Where: Right now, it’s in my graph paper MTN insert. May move to a lined insert as it works for my format.
  • When: Usually the next day, after breakfast but before the day really gets going. Weekdays, it’s at my desk at work. Weekends, usually during nap time.
  • What I record:
    • Weather: Cold? Hot? Rain? Snow? Wind? Record it so I can go back to see if it really was as chilly in February as I remember or if I was freezing only┬áin retrospect.
    • What I Wore: Yes, I am shallow, but I’m writing it down to help when I do purges of my closet. Something never show up? Toss it. Something show up all the time? Tells me to look into buying something similar to it in the future.
    • What happened: Main part of my daily pages. Detailed list of what I did or generally went on around me during the day. Short sentences, maybe a bit of reflection.
    • Accomplished: What I managed to get done, even if it’s as little as “did a load of laundry!”
    • Learned: What I learned about myself or the world that day. Main place to record news (e.g. Friend A is having a baby boy!)
    • Thankful: Specific things I’m thankful for that day
    • Impression: Got the idea from here. Basically, a little square representing each day in a month/quarter (whatever fits on a page). Each color rates the day, overall as great/ok/bad.

Do you journal? What format, if any do you use? Is it all words or images or both? When do you journal?