Writing Wednesday: Daily journaling?

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writing in Journal 21

A few years ago, I had fallen off the journaling wagon, much to my despair. My children were small, and we were moving internationally frequently. I had a lot to write about, but I didn’t know where to begin.

Most of that problem was because I didn’t know what I wanted my journal to be. I didn’t have the time or desire to write about my thoughts, feelings and speculations. I’ve done that in the past and I never look at it again. I wanted a record of our lives, but just opening a blank book and starting to write felt daunting.

So I started using a day per page planner as my daily catch-all book. I had seen daily planners used this way by other people and I was always fascinated by what was captured on the day’s page. Phone numbers, directions, little sketches, notes, weather, cute things my kids did and said, anything and everything ended up on the daily pages. Each page became a snapshot of the day.

One page per day was both liberating and limiting. I felt free from the pressure to write a lot each day. Anything I wrote down was good. But there were days when I wanted to write more than just one page.

When my friend told me about the Bullet Journal system, I jumped right in and adapted it to my own needs. I simplified and streamlined the process. I’ve been using it for almost two years now, and overall it’s been very successful for me. I still manage to write something every day, even if I need to back-fill my pages later during busy times. The more I have to write about, the less time I have to write.

Sometimes it does feel like a lot to keep up with to write every day. Most days I write my to-do list and the day’s schedule, then fill in details as the day goes on: weather, wildlife sightings, notes. And yes I still write cute, fun and interesting things my kids say and do.

I love having a record of our days. For example now that my kids are back in school, I can look back and see what we did each day of their summer break. Fishing, canoeing, playing in the river. I didn’t need to write pages and pages about these activities. Just a few words brings back the memories.

Even though sometimes it feels like something to keep up with, I still value writing something, anything about how I spent each day.

Do you journal daily, or keep a record of your days? How do you do it?

9 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Daily journaling?

  1. Laurie, I’m curious–what notebook do you use for your Bullet Journal? I just bought a TextAgenda 2015/2016 because I was having trouble using a plain notebook for BuJo (because of the lack of future planning). But I also worry about running out of space, because I have big handwriting. I wish there was an 8×5 version of the TextAgenda! 🙂

  2. Last year, I issued myself a personal challenge to do a year of daily journaling challenge which I successfully completed. I used a Moleskine large DPP. Everything went in it, notes, tasks, daily schedule, journaling, musings, news items, etc.

    This year is a different story, I’ve not been able to keep up with the habit. I also don’t want to be bothered with the bulk of the larger DPP planners. This year, I have a Paperblanks Midi size journal that I hope to finish before the year is out, and a Textagenda, so whatever fits on the page is what fits on the page.

    • Anaya I agree, that was one reason why I switched from a large day per page planner to a notebook, because it was lighter and easier to carry around. I love the Textagenda for portability, and it still has a good page size for lots of writing.

  3. I have 2 journals that I try to write in each day. Yes, I know it’s overkill, but one of them is a 5 year journal. It only gives you 4-5 lines to answer a question that’s printed at the top of the page. I like this little book because I can see how my answers change as the years go by.

    My other journal is a standard Moleskine style blank book. I try to list things that happened during the day, if I walked, if I worked out, etc. I used to find it hard to write entries because I wanted them to be interesting and profound. I guess I realized that I’m not as interesting and profound as I’d like to be, so I just write real stuff ;o)

    • Julie I’ve found over the years it’s the day to day stuff that I prefer to look back on instead of whatever I thought was “profound” at the time. Those little daily details paint a good picture of what my life was actually like. And I agree, I find it hard to write if I have the expectation that what I write should be amazing. Too much pressure!

      I’ve never used a 5 year diary, but I bet that is fascinating to see how your answers to the same questions develop over the years!

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