Joshua Ginter, writing for his blog The Newsprint on his daily Journaling & Diary habits from the past year:
"What’s odd is the admittance of keeping a diary. Diaries are for secrets, right? They are for our deepest, darkest thoughts — thoughts of secret loves in high school; rash emotions of fear and desire when swayed off our feet; and awestruck words only our own eyes can read.
I mean, who hasn’t heard the quote “girls keep diaries, boys keep journals.”
This is so wrong. So bloody wrong. In so many ways."
"I also feel my diary/journal has helped me identify the passage of time in an entirely new way. I’ve learnt how one third of each day can affect the other two thirds significantly. I’ve learnt to schedule, to capture, to retain, and to spend time efficiently"
"By completing this survey at the end of each day, and by inputing some of my major written notes into Day One, I essentially have the benefits of a written journal and a digital journal all rolled into one. Via Day One, I can keep track of my photos, locations, or links, and I can achieve all the memory benefits of writing with a pen and paper."
"Logging the journal section has been easy, but it’s perhaps the most time consuming part of the process. Logging the day is where the self-discipline of this entire workflow comes into play as well. Jotting thoughts and ideas into a Field Notes throughout the day is easy enough and the daily summary survey is fairly quick and painless to fill out. But finishing up a scheduled log at the end of each day is tiring and sort of boring."
"The mind is a muscle which needs to be flexed. It needs exercise and rest just like — and even perhaps more — than any other part of our body. In this respect, journaling is hard on the mind. It pushes the mind to explore deeper trains of thought and it stresses consideration of new ideas and concepts."
You guys don't understand how hard it was not to quote basically Josh's entire article here. That much of it resonated with me.
I've been keeping my own digital / analog hybrid journal for just over 2 months now, but it's cool to see someone who's kept this up for a year and can now look back over it and reflect. The raw number of the posts in Josh's Day One app (1734!) made me excited for when I'll hopefully write a post in a similarly reflective nature a year from now.
A major point of Mr. Ginter's article which resonated with me was the discipline portion of keeping a dairy / journal like this consistently. Like I said I've only been doing this for 2 months but it's already been a big deal for me to try and stay true to logging & journaling every day. It's not a chore for me to write things down in my Field Notes throughout the day, but often I find myself tired at the end of the day and not in the mood to parse what happened in response to a simple Launch Center Pro questionnaire. It's then that I have to push through and make myself stay consistent with my goal.
It's gotten to a point where in a similar fashion to how Josh puts it, I feel like I've broken a promise to myself on the infrequent nights when I rationalize into just going to bed without logging my day. Thankfully I can go back and fix the log the next morning, but it's starting to become a habit that I won't feel right about unless I get it done in my day, and that's something that I'm glad about and proud of.
I'll mirror Josh's opinion in that if you've never tried keeping a journal / diary then I'd highly recommend it. Besides having a record of how you've felt, what you've thought, and what you've done, you also get to discipline your mind and almost "force" some inflection into your life in a way that -in my opinion- makes you a better and more well-rounded person in general. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried something like this before.
Aside from these points of course Mr. Ginter's piece is lush with quality product photography which always inspires me to get out there and start working on my own photo skills. Some of the shots in this piece, especially the ones showing his now-worn Field Notes, were enough to make me (hypothetically) drool. I feel like I say this almost every time I link to one of Josh's posts, but it's worth reading just for the photography alone, so give it a skim even if journaling isn't your kind of thing.
Also major props to Josh for pulling off using the adjective "bloody." I can only hope to reach that level. 😉