Paper and Digital Journals

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Do you agree with the following description of a paper journal?   Have digital journals caught up?

“A journal is personal.   I can play with margins, draw doodles, and make corrections in my own way.   When I go back and look at my marks on the page, I can even follow the train of thought that led to the changes.   The paper is mine, and I can skip pages or even fold them.   Words pour from the heart to the brain through the hand and pen onto the paper. This is the process of writing. Palm pilots and computers are excellent for logical order, planning and things, but not the free flowing emotion that is the centerpiece of a journal.” (by Robert I., college student, about 8 years ago.)

What do you think?



8 thoughts on “Paper and Digital Journals

  1. Digital is for technical writing. Logical, fact-based, linnear thinking that needs heavy editing.

    When I write fiction, when I journal my innermost thoughts, when I went on Pilgrimage – that all requires paper and pen and beautiful inks.

    I’ve tried creating on electronic devices. It simply doesn’t happen. But give me a stack of good paper journals and a fountain pen loaded with free-flowing ink in the right color…there’s no stopping me!

  2. A wonderful topic. I have to agree with @Lanzman. It depends. My blog is for my knitting updates, nowadays for my Filofax adventures. But my journal is for my private thoughts. Littered with doodles, drawings and cut out poems pasted in the middle of the page. I love the feel of the pen on the paper in black, blue, purple. My thoughts just flow and go all over the place, or let’s say page.

  3. For me it depend on what I’m doing. If it’s a diary-type thing – I went here and did this and saw that and talked to who – then electronic is fine. If it’s a more journally journal with innermost thoughts and feelings and whatnot, then nothing beats pen and paper. Electronic media tend to be a bit sterile.

  4. I kind of disagree with the “freeflowing emotion” thing. In fact, digital technology (or better: writing with digital devices) can support you in having a free flow of thoughts. I feel less restricted when doodling, mindmapping or brainstorming on digital devices. What I miss with them is the feel that a great pen and quality paper gives you. I would consider paper & pen more “art” than the digital approach. For me, it works best to combine both worlds. I’ve tried everything (iPad, Asus EeeNote, Livescribe) and I use the best of both worlds.

  5. I can’t even understand digital journals. I tried to keep a digital journal, but it didn’t work. The tactile sensation of pen on paper wasn’t there. The ability to make edits while I type takes away from the though that goes into what I want to write on paper. A paper journal has permanence. Once I’ve written a word, it’s there and can’t be taken away. It show’s how I was feeling when I wrote the words and the process I used to choose them. Digital is fine for typing up what has already been written on paper and can be great for business and technical writing, but I don’t see myself ever using a digital journal.

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