This page and pages linked to from this page are designed to share easy journaling tips with you. Journal writing is a passion of mine. It has been since I was very young.
I was 10 years old, or there abouts, when I received a blank writing journal from my parents. It was a Christmas gift. I am 42 years old as I write this. It is still a prized-possession of mine.
During my teen years, my paternal grandmother often included photo copied excerpts from old family journals in the same box that contained my Christmas gift.
These were journals written by or about her father, grand-father, great-grandfather and others. I looked forward to this part of my gift every year.
This, I'm sure, is what inspired me to keep a journal of my own. These journals are a treasure of the highest level for our family.
I continue to enjoy them and share them with my kids.
The other night my wife and I rented the famous movie "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. While my wife and I had watched it before, our six kids had not. They loved it!
At the end of the movie I read them this short journal passage written by my grandma about her father John Simeon Murdock (born in 1883).
"As a boy he (my great-grand father) lived in Kanesville, Utah. There was a young man there by the name of Butch Cassidy. He and his gang would come down there to lay low when the law was after them.
Dad said he was a nice man and he couldn't believe he was as bad as they said that he was. He was so good to all the kids in Kanesville.
Dad rode on Butch cassidy's horse many times!"
This is just too cool! People journal for many reason, but journaling to pass on stories is what it is all about for me.
Cool Resource: Put fun back in your life with a Dream Life Journal!
Here are some journaling tips that I've come by over the years.
Dating your journal entries is essential. I can't image why anyone wouldn't want to include the date along with each entry.
Determine Your Best Journaling Method
Today many use the computer to keep a journal. I do. I use a very robust program called The Journal.
Others keep an online journal/blog online. Then there are still others who do it the old fashioned way ... they write it in a standard journal.
I still use this method when I am traveling and don't have access to a computer. I later transcribe it into The Journal. You can download a free copy of The Journal Here
Make it Not Just a Record
Share feelings and thoughts...not just happenings with places and dates. This has been my biggest problem throughout my years of journaling.
I've always kept up a brave front...not wanting to really share feelings. I guess it is a guy thing. I now realize what I worry about, think about and feel about things will someday communicate more about me , to my posterity, than just dates and places.
You Set The Pace
One of the most common lines in my journal is "Sorry I haven't written lately". Journal as often as time allows and don't worry about it.
Use Journaling Prompts
It's easy to convince yourself that you really don't have anything to write about on a given night.
Yet, the reality is...
You will never run out of things to write about!
Here is a cool daily journaling technique that I developed and use when I don't think I have anything to write about. Think of it as a journaling cheat sheet!
Use of this journaling tip will benefit your journal writing greatly.
Choose Comfortable Place to Journal
It's hard to really think and write when there is so much noise and distraction around.
Write Now While it is Still Fresh in Your Memory
There have been many times when I had something that I knew I should write about in my journal, but it was near the end of the day and I was tired. I told myself that I'd write it all in tomorrow's journal entry. Many times it never happened.
Even if you only write two or three sentences, make the entry today, not tomorrow.
For me, I like Life on Record to get memories recorded, while they are still fresh in my mind. Life on Record makes it possible record a (verbal) journal entry by simply dialing a 1-800 number from your cell phone...or regular phone.
Now when one of my kids says something cute, I call the number and tell what was just said or describe what cute thing one of them just did.
Be Thorough in What You Write
Don't assume that everyone that reads your journal will know everyone that you know or that they will be as familiar with certain locations as you are.
Include names and details about places, people and events.
I wrote a pretty detailed article on cool things to include in your journal.
Having only one copy of anything is dangerous. You must ensure that journal entries that you intend to pass on to family someday is preserved.
This is almost like my "not just a record" comment above.
I often gave all my journal entries a positive spin, and perhaps still do. I don't want to have everyone think that I was just someone who had problems and troubles. But these are the things that will help your children and grandchildren realize, as they are going through similar problems, that the solving and the overcoming of these problems are what life is about.
Our example of how we dealt with and overcame the same problems will be supremely valuable to them.
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