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How Do You Journal?


dvalliere
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I've never been great about journaling consistently. I have improved since getting into fountain pens but thought I could glean some insights from you all: HOW do you journal? Long stream of consciousness? Brief snippets/phrases rather than complete sentences? Summaries of what you did that day/hope to do that day? Highlights to look back on? Thinking yourself clear "aloud"? Other?

 

Share your habits, please.

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Most of my writing is stream-of-consciousness descriptions of what I did, saw, learned, read, and/or ate that day. I use complete sentences and correct punctuation, but I do not always break this up into proper paragraphs. The pages end up looking like one or two long blocks of writing from margin to margin, using every inch of paper.

 

Occasionally, I do long bullet point-style entries, usually when I don't want to bother connecting one thing to the next or describing the day in chronological order. I still use complete sentences and write from margin to margin, but each bullet describes a moment or thought or whatever from the day.

 

I write on every page, front and back, starting new entries right below the previous one, generally using the same purple ink, although I occasionally play around with other colors. I do use a different color of ink to make a header for each entry with the date and time done in calligraphy or some other lettering. I've been fixated on Foundational and a non-serif Roman for awhile now, so the header is usually written in one of those.

 

When I am in the mood, I supplement my writing with drawings, stickers, stamped images, pasted-in ephemera, and other random bits. I also draw/sketch for its own sake, so there are pages of that as well.

 

I don't feel compelled to make an entry every day. That's the best way I know to grow to hate keeping a journal.

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When I actually work on my journal, I try to do it daily. I have been trying to respond to a book of daily affirmations, each evening when possible. i write a paragraph to two pages, depending on what is going on, and what spirit moves me. The affirmation has been a jumping-off point to whatever I am thinking about each day. I write in the evening, shortly before bed, usually, in paragraph form with full sentences.

 

When i am able to get started, I am usually good about writing daily or every other day. If something happens and I fall of the wagon for more than three days, though, it is hard for me to get going again (i.e., I am currently on a month-long hiatus).

 

Sharon in Indiana

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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Since I journal daily for me and only me, I write about anything, good or bad, that's on my mind when I opening up my journal. I feel like there's something incomplete and unrealistic about only writing about the good things, so I don't censor myself. There are some times where I think of something to write when I can't immediately reach for my journal out and write, but I just remember it until I have the time.

 

Most of the time it's in multiple paragraphs, unless one topic immediately flows into another one. I write everyday, and now that I'm looking at my journal, my entries are usually about two or three healthy paragraphs long. If I wake up with a lot of thoughts I will reach for my journal, but for the most part I write in the evening.

 

I feel like I journal in a way that's true to me. My last journal that I filled up back in May was filled with black ink and lots of printouts and pictures, but the one I'm in now is simply filled with the same minuscule handwriting that I've always written in (just in case someone decides that they want to be nosy) and small drawings that I watercolor.

 

If there's something I want to list or write down, but I don't want to create a separate paragraph for it, I usually just draw a little box and put it there...usually it's a list of songs I've been listening to during the day, but it's pretty much good for anything.

 

I don't speak very often in my daily life, so I write in my journal basically to have all the conversations I didn't (or couldn't or was too afraid to) have during the day.

 

Thanks for the great post!

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If there's something I want to list or write down, but I don't want to create a separate paragraph for it, I usually just draw a little box and put it there...usually it's a list of songs I've been listening to during the day, but it's pretty much good for anything.

 

 

A little box. Darn! Why didn't I thinnk of that? It's why I hang out here; somebody outs with a handy idea that I can use.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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I simply note the major activities of the day to have a reference to look back on. Sometimes I write about how or what I am feeling, sometimes I note the weather. Never too much, sometimes only a line or two.

PAKMAN

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Mine is a "morning pages" journal. Three pages, first thing when I get up. Stream of consciousness -- whatever comes into my brain goes onto the page. So, dreams (if I remember them), to do lists, reminiscences of what I did the day before, rants, whatever.

I found an old journal in a drawer the other day, that never made it into the box of prior volumes. I looked at it to see if it was a used journal or not and the first entry was from 2003! I had no idea I'd been doing it for so long.... I'm guessing that the entries would have been written with one of the old cheapie Parker cartridge pens (Reflex model?) and would have been in Quink Permanent Blue.

I'm rapidly coming to the point where I am going to have to start a second box, and IKEA no longer seems to have the palm leaf covered boxes in the large size. So I guess I'm going to have to break down and get several of the intermediate size (the ones I use to store ink bottles) before they completely sell out of that size as well....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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A little box. Darn! Why didn't I thinnk of that? It's why I hang out here; somebody outs with a handy idea that I can use.

 

I'm glad I can be of any sort of assistance, Paddler! Before I started adding the boxes in, I was finding that there was always something small that I wanted to write down without taking up a lot of space, and that's the best solution that I've come up so far, as I'm not really a big fan of tipping in a lot of different things into my journals. Also, sometimes it's nice to add somethings to break up all the text on a page!

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I write brief headers for my entries and I draw a box around each header. I usually know what I'm going to write about before I write it. Summarizing it in a few words beforehand is remarkably easy. Anyway, I start the header on the top line of what will become that entry, try to keep the whole thing about 1 inch squared, draw a box around it, and then write from left to right as usual, wrapping my writing around the box. When my entry begins to morph into another subject I try to pause, skip a line, and write another header. I put the headers on the fore-edges to make them easy to read as I flip through pages. Things in boxes are easy to scan as your flipping pages. And I found that when I would flip through journal pages to find some specific piece of information or a specific entry, it was easier to find with a header inside a box.

Edited by Bookman

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

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I'm glad I can be of any sort of assistance, Paddler! Before I started adding the boxes in, I was finding that there was always something small that I wanted to write down without taking up a lot of space, and that's the best solution that I've come up so far, as I'm not really a big fan of tipping in a lot of different things into my journals. Also, sometimes it's nice to add somethings to break up all the text on a page!

 

It gives one furiously to think, doesn't it? I could have been using your idea for 30 years.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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I journal every day. But my journal isn't just a journal. It is my "brain".

 

Each morning, when I have my coffee, I start each day with a new page in my journal, labelled with the date, day and time. I spend some time thinking about the previous day, concerns I had, etc. and I write down what I think, feel, and ideas I have. I also spend some time reading the Bible, and I write about my thoughts concerning the passage I am reading and thinking about.

 

Throughout the day, I use my journal to write down my "to do" lists, scheduled appointments, etc. When I have phone conversations with clients, I write notes for those conversations, along with weekly conference calls and video conferences and research notes. Because of what I do, I keep excellent notes. I write about people I am negotiating with - their statements, their needs and my perceptions. This helps me organize for my next negotiation with that person.

 

Because my journal serves so many purposes, I make sure that I like to write in the journal. It is generally one that is bound, made of quality paper for fountain pens (either Rhodia or Tomoe River), and is easy to transport in my bag. I prefer the A5 size (or thereabouts). And I carry 3-4 fountain pens with me whereever I go - each of a different color. I separate subjects by a double line or box. Generally the last 5-6 pages of my journal I leave for an index. I index by date, and list quick action words or key events for that day, such as "08/26: Nego. w/ ClientX, PC with Dr.Chu, Carpet laid, Prov.2:1-5". The index lets me quickly find the information I need from the journal.

 

Yes, I go through journals quickly - generally one every 2-3 months. Each are carefully labelled and stored in a closed plastic box.

 

I have developed this technique over years, but it works well for me.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Generally the last 5-6 pages of my journal I leave for an index. I index by date, and list quick action words or key events for that day, such as "08/26: Nego. w/ ClientX, PC with Dr.Chu, Carpet laid, Prov.2:1-5". The index lets me quickly find the information I need from the journal.

 

I'm very intrigued by this idea. Do you just save pages and work left to right or do you start at the end and work backwards by date (bottom to top, last page backwards) and let the index and context meet whereever they happen to meet?

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

A little box. Darn! Why didn't I thinnk of that? It's why I hang out here; somebody outs with a handy idea that I can use.

 

Indeed a nice tipp. Thanks.

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Hi,

 

I use hash tags at the top to remind me what information the page contains at a brief glance. I usually journal, last thing at night or first thing in the morning for the previous day's events.

 

My journaling, is always about thoughts, feelings and a word of the day that I try to fit in to my writing. I always find the first page hardest to write on.

 

Ben

''You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes''. A A Milne

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I've never been great about journaling consistently. I have improved since getting into fountain pens but thought I could glean some insights from you all: HOW do you journal? Long stream of consciousness? Brief snippets/phrases rather than complete sentences? Summaries of what you did that day/hope to do that day? Highlights to look back on? Thinking yourself clear "aloud"? Other?

 

Share your habits, please.

All of the above, and then some: My Little Book Of Kung-Fu Film Reviews And General Rants...Deep Nagging Questions...Sock and Bag-making Notes...(those are fraternal twins)...Childhood Memories...Fiction Settings, Story Bibles, Character Notes.

 

I don't even know if daily Task Lists count, but I do know I have WAY too many separate journals, and have been trying to cut back or combine them somehow.

 

Yikes.

 

Ps: Also, I doodle. As in, little drawings noting weather conditions, and sort-of Zentangles. If there seems to be anything I may want to remember, I flag it with a teeny sticky note that is yet big enough to jot a key word.

Edited by Sailor Kenshin

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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I do a bit of almost all discussed, I always start with the full date, time of the first entry and current weather. It's fun to look back a year or so and see what it was at the time, nothing detailed, just current temp, forecast high and low and what it's doing out side...rain, sunny, overcast etc.

So space and time are linked together. As we are looking across space, we are looking back in time. The further and further away those stars are the further back in time you are looking. Now you are seeing a star that is say six thousand years ago. Imagine somebody at that star looking at us They would be seeing us as we were six thousand years ago. Which of those two is now? - Alan Parsons Project The Time Machine - Temporalia (Paraphrased)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm very intrigued by this idea. Do you just save pages and work left to right or do you start at the end and work backwards by date (bottom to top, last page backwards) and let the index and context meet whereever they happen to meet?

Leuchtturm notebooks have numbered pages and about three pages at the beginning for indexing. They also come with a sticker for the cover that can be used for archiving.

 

I keep a very odd journal. I bought a Moleskine daily planner over the internet never fully realizing it was the pocket one. So, instead of using it as a daily planner, I've been using it as a journal!

 

It was odd at first, but these days I'm finding it very useful for a variety of reasons. First off, it disciplines myself to write every day or to go back and fill the empty pages -which makes for an interesting memory exercise. So far, slacking has never been more than a week. Secondly, since all entries are correctly dated, I can go back to reference events on a given day. Lastly, the small size has forced me to become much more efficient in depicting my days. Instead of chronologically listing my day with each chore included, I focus on the thoughts, ideas and events that really matter. In short, I focus on the sort of things that I would like to read many years down the road. Being very introspective helps!

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Loving this thread - thanks for all the shares!

 

I journal/write consistently throughout the day and use a variety of pens and inks. I write the day of the week, date, location, time, and pen & ink at the top of the first page for the day. Whenever I decide to switch to a different pen, I note the pen and ink (for my own enjoyment and record of what I've been using). If I come back to write later on the same day (I usually do), I'll write down the time of that entry along with the pen & ink (I switched pens a lot throughout the day if you cannot tell already haha).

 

In the past, I did free-form writing, filling the page with stream of consciousness words and ideas - every inch of space was covered. Now I enjoying branching out a bit more and changing up the use of space and color, mostly because I was inspired by the artist/writer on Instagram @ellbrt.

 

Here's a quick example on my new B5-sized Tomoe River notebook (though it doesn't show the initial day, date, location, or time as I'd been writing a lot that day):

 

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j73/benjitzu/Mobile%20Uploads/5B827410-73F8-4C5B-890A-8034BF3CE60D_zpstvtepum6.jpg

Edited by benjitzu
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My journal is a "Whatever Book." I would like to write daily, but life seems to get in the way of that, so it's maybe 3-4 times a week. Each time I do an entry I like to use a different color ink, so I can easily see where entries break. It's also visually pleasing to me. I date each entry, and sometimes I include the time and place.

 

When I write, I try to completely go with wherever my mind wants to go; seems that eventually I get through all the clutter of my day and end up figuring out what the important things are. Style changes based on mood. Sometimes it's long paragraphs, sometimes it's bulleted lists, sometimes it's boxes of words or ideas... whatever feels right.

 

I used to use recycled composition books (so versatile, age nicely, sturdy enough to hold up to constant travel, and a wide variety of covers!), but they don't take fountain pen ink well - lots of bleedthrough, especially with wetter inks, so using the back of each page is problematic. I like the look of a fully filled book, so writing on one page isn't a pleasing option for me! Lately I've been using Clairfontaine's bound books.

 

I'm currently enamoured with the idea of a Commonplace Book (google it... I can't find the blog I originally saw it from....). It's an age-old practice. For me, I'm working on it being a distillation of things I wrote that are worth saving as well as things other people wrote (quotes, poems, etc). I've seen many of them filled with illustrations, or clippings... whatever is interesting, thoughtful. Often, Commonplace Books are indexed by broad subject....

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