Keeping a Journal

United States
August 8, 2010 12:11pm CST
I'm suprised that there are so few postings on journaling and perhaps I need to look around on the site a bit more to see if I've missed something. I would definately be interested in connecting with a few people here who keep a journal to exchange ideas and methods. I essentially sit and write for ten or fifteen minutes several times a week to capture thoughts, ideas, set goals, and mark accomplishments. I also use my journal as a place to take notes for meetings and sermons. One of my issues is that I don't go back and reflect often enough. How structured is your journaling? How often do you go back and reflect? What do find to be the biggest benefit of keeping a journal? I'm looking forward to having some discussion on this one!
1 person likes this
11 responses
@XiaoLin (289)
• Italy
9 Aug 10
I don't know the difference between keeping a diary or a journal... I guess I can say I used to write down things that happened to me during the day, thoughts and hopes, together with worries and sad feelings. I used to call it diary, and I kept it since middle school to university, not writing averyday and sometimes with long periods of silence. But during the most unhappy times I would go back to it, sometimes I would read it, most of the time I would just put my thoughts in words. I threw away all my diaries during university period, I didn't want to read them anymore and didn't want others to read it as well. Now I regret it. I went back to writing a few months ago, when I was so confused and didn't know who to speak to. It helps me a lot but I can't say I'm doing it everyday or every week, sometimes I write several times a day, and nothing for weeks. Thanx for asking. :o) Linda
• United States
9 Aug 10
Thanks for your comments. I think that the difference between a journal and a diary might be the privacy issue. That's not an official definition, but I think some people, (myself included), perceive a diary as a place a young school girl writes down her private thoughts...and if I take the stereotype a bit further...which boy she has a crush on and all the details that might pertain to that. It is too bad that you threw them out :( As you write now, I hope you'll consider that perhaps someone can read them in the future...you'll have to be mindful of content, but you can leave a great legacy. Abundant Blessings!
@XiaoLin (289)
• Italy
11 Aug 10
Thanks for you explanation! Well mine was a diary for sure, and I wouldn't call a journal what I started writing again in these days, too. Even if the content has, ehm, improved a little bit, well, it's still too private. Still a diary, I must day. Happy mylotting and thanks for the friendship Linda
• United States
11 Aug 10
Glad that was helpful :) Perhaps you would benefit from keeping both?? As I mentioned in some of my responses, I went away from writing anything too private...primarily because I see value in leaving something to my kids and grandkids. But..I'd also make the point that writing down what is private is more of a pain to keep hidden than it is worth & if someone finds it reads it anyways, there is the possibility of hurt feelings. To me, it's just not worth it...there are enough good things in life to capture...and we'd all benefit from focusing a little more on the positive :)
@Catana (736)
• United States
9 Aug 10
I've never been able to stick to journaling for any length of time. And I found that I prefer to blog rather than keep a personal journal. I don't do that regularly, either, but the advantage is that sometimes I get useful or enlightening comments, and can get in a conversation with someone interesting. That's impossible with a private journal. I learned that there's no point in setting goals, at least not with a set time frame. I'm a born procrastinator, so I prefer to stick with a calendar program that at least keeps keeps stuff right in front of me where I can't forget about it.
• United States
9 Aug 10
I completely relate to what your are saying with developing the habit...I've stopped and started more times than I can count (actually, I could count if I looked the dates for my journal entries). There are some definate benefits to blogging or journaling online...but I'm captivated by the legacy my journals will leave for my kids and grandkids.
@Catana (736)
• United States
9 Aug 10
I've never even thought about leaving my journals to my family. Maybe it's partly because we're not that close. I'm pretty sure nobody would even look at it because they're all so immersed in their own lives. Also partly because I'm so private that I wouldn't want anyone to see thoughts that I hadn't already been willing to talk about.
@aevans (255)
• Malaysia
16 Aug 10
I write journal when I free. It is good that we can keep record on what have we done, our thought, or opinion regarding some issues. Keeping a journal ensure that we won't forget our past and all of these can actually lead to success in our life. Sometimes writing a journal also becomes a way for me to express my feeling when I feel no one I can talk to. I write journal since I was 18. I enjoy read the journal that I have written. For me, writing a journal is like writing something for our future.
• United States
17 Aug 10
You and I think a lot alike on the subject. I've been thinking about starting another discussion here and have an idea from Jim Rohn on writing in your journal that I was going to save...but I'll use it now and probably use it again later. He says that we shouldn't be so busy with life that we forget to capture it (in our journal)...and that we shouldn't be so busy capturing life (in our journal) that we don't allow time for living life.
@AvI0907 (231)
• Malaysia
9 Aug 10
i love to journal. my feeling is different than others. Normally, i wrote my journal when i feeling sad. This is the only way that i can expressed my distress. However, all the journals that i been written is only for my personal review.
• United States
9 Aug 10
I'd encourage you to think of other benefits of journaling...there is a healing aspect that comes from writing down things that distress us, but I think there is so much more. I'd encourage you to think in terms of the best cas scenario...in relationships, spiritual matters, health and physical well-being, finances, and whatever other areas of life are important to you...and just write and try to imagine ways of making those thoughts come. You might find some other things you enjoy with journaling :)
• Thailand
9 Aug 10
i think an interesting journal lies in the enthusiasm of managers journal, when they meet requirement of readers.
• United States
9 Aug 10
I tend to keep my journal primarily as a part of my personal journey through life, but I do keep in mind that there might be an audience. I don't hide my journal, so my wife or my kids could pick it up and read from it if they chose to do so...and even though they respect my privacy for the most part, I am sure they have. It is a consideration that people should allow for.
@xandavon (102)
• Philippines
9 Aug 10
I write about a few seconds only many times a day. That way the thoughts are not jumbled or forgotten.
• United States
9 Aug 10
I write thoughts down throughout the day...I usually carry a notebook but also use my planner for doing so...I don't always remember to come back and write what I've written down in my journal though.
@dianajen (77)
9 Aug 10
Journaling...I don't know if you would agree to me. I love to write anything under the sun whether poems, blogs, diary. For the past few years since I was in high school. I did combined all of those meaning I write poems and react to it a year after or a month, meaning everytime I write something in a notebook or a planner I keep it. After a year if Im bored or had nothing to do, I would read those again and react on the things I wrote before. In that way I can assess how mature I become.
• United States
9 Aug 10
I think it is a different process for everyone. Some like to capture life, some like to solve problems or "mind map" things out, others like to just write, and some even like to draw or doodle in their journal. Part of the beauty is that there is no wrong answer...but there are considerations. I journal often enough that I can leave behind an incredible footprint of my life for my kids and grandkids...so I am mindful of content...perhaps a little bit of a blessing and a curse :)
@shira0524 (483)
• United States
8 Aug 10
I love to journal as well, but sometimes find that my thoughts get really scattered. I also love trying new journaling sites and picking pleasing layouts as I find that liking how my words look online (in regard to the layouts) helps me keep writing more. :)
• United States
8 Aug 10
I find my thoughts scattered sometimes too...best way for me to get past that is to try to write a few sentences or a paragraph on one thought and then move on to whatever is on my mind next. LOL...it drives me nuts tho' because sometimes I realized I hadn't finished a thought and have to go back to something I already wrote about! I suppose that being able to edit is a good argument for doing it online...not for me though :)
@mokellus (11)
• United States
8 Aug 10
I love to journal. Unfortunately, I either have too much going at one time, or completely lapse for too long. I have my own personal journal, a journal that I write in to give to my son when he is older and a birthday letter book for my son. I really need to focus my energy on one of these at a time, so I can write about what id truly on my mind and not rush to get to the next one. Like you, I often don't go back to reflect often enough. You have inspired me to do so today.
• United States
8 Aug 10
Thanks for the response. I know that when I get busy it is easy to not put "journal" on my planner...and after just a few days it seems that the whole habit is erased. On a brighter note, after a few days...it always feels really good to make a fresh entry :) Enjoy reflecting!
• United States
13 Aug 10
I usually write in my journal before I go to bed about the day, how it went, good and bad and my goals for the next day if I have any. I go back and reflect often. I like to see what my thoughts were the day before and see what I need to improve on in my life. Sometimes if something upsets me that day and I go back the next day to look at it, I think to myself it wasn't that serious. Why did I react that way? Well, now I know something I need to work on to improve myself. I think it is very good for self reflection and self improvement =)
• Philippines
9 Aug 10
I do not keep a journal nor write one. :D When I were in high school we were asked to write a journal after the topic we discussed. It improves my english and the vocabulary. I'm from Philippines, that's why. Writing a journal also concludes that you understand something from your meetings. The only thing I use for a reminder is my ipodtouch. I put all the dates, requirements, appointments and etc there. at times I also do forget the take a look at my ipod and miss some stuff i need to do.