Keeping a Journal

Call me crazy, but visiting office supply stores and book stores is my dream! I love them; I could spend hours in them, looking at all of the different gadgets and gizmos, books and binders, pens and puzzles. My husband and I were out on a date night tonight, and he suggested we make a stop, so I took the opportunity to go today and browse through the local Barnes and Noble to take a look at their “journal” section. Barnes and Noble actually has a nice selection of journals from the traditional “diary” style (with a lock that I had when I was a child) to the spiral bound 5×7 size notebook with a pretty design cover. They had them in all sizes, and even had some that were bound in leather and removable. I actually bought myself a new one today, and have a drawer full of them for various purposes. Today, I chose a spiral bound book with limited pages in it, hard cover though. It lies flat when open for ease of writing which I love!

There are so many different ways to keep a journal. Looking at your local office supply store you will find a section just for this purpose. I looked at their section of “journal and record keeping books” and found everything from electronic journal schedules – simple and time oriented – to the leather bound journals like the ones I saw at Barnes and Noble or something as simple as a spiral notebook. I don’t particularly care for the computerized ones. I am on the computer all the time, and normally, if I am not too tired, my journal time is my quiet time. I just want the quiet: a lamp, the dog at my feet, and my pen and paper. Often times we only write when things are bad or really exciting, but the journaling of something as simple as the day-to-day mundane things is quite critical in telling your heritage about your day in and day out life. I learned in a class about two years ago to do this. I have since then kept my own to-do lists from each day – they are bound in a spiral smaller notebook, dated, with all kinds of notes, phone messages and such written throughout the pages. I am an avid list maker, so having the book comes in handy. I love the accomplished feeling of checking something off my list.

I hope that I get into the habit of writing each and every day. Normally my journal consists of “big news, or happenings” sometimes letters that are never sent, and sometimes a note to someone special. All very personal, but not very consistent. Although to be really honest, I will most likely transcribe most of my writings into the computer for ease of reading and binding. I have found that typing a journal entry sometimes isn’t as honest as when I am writing it in a book. But we shall see.

I have a few different journals I keep, it is up to you what you put in yours. I have been keeping a genealogy journal for about 18 months now. I document each and every contact and account I have of searching out my family history. I want my daughter to know the stories behind the dates and names, more so than just doing the work. I thought this might be a good way to do it. I give journals to each of my clients when they start with me for the very same reason. Sometimes carrying the note book around and having a brainstorm of ideas or memories is the best way to get them out!