I don’t journal.
Maybe that makes me the badboy in the progressive spirituality circles, but there you go. It isn’t that I have anything against journaling, per se. It just never worked for me, and I never can manage to keep up the habit.
I have a row of partially used journals and notebooks on my shelf in the hallway. I have folders in my dropbox called JOURNAL with digital files with names like 01_20_17.doc. None of it works for me enough to keep doing it.
When I do journal, I am glad I did it. But not because it gives me any spiritual insight, but because three years from now, when I come across that entry, something I mentioned in passing will stir up memories I had forgotten. In other words, I find it most useful as a memory device. (It can also be good in helping you figure out what you believe)
So, I don’t journal anymore. But I do have a logbook. Like the Captain’s logbook on Star Trek, it is a record of where you have been.
It is really simple. Mine is just a daily calendar, like this one, but any sort of thing would do as long as it is dated. Or you could write the dates in yourself, I guess. You could do it electronically, too, but I like the act of writing – something I don’t get to do much anymore.
Don’t let the tools get in your way here. It is always more fun to shop for running shoes than it is to actually, you know, run. Getting bogged down in the tools is easy.
So, you take this datebook and at the end of the day, write down 3-4 things that stood out to you about today, and anything you want to make sure you remember later. Here is a transcription of the logbook entry from a random day that doesn’t have anything compromising in it.
Monday, June 19, 2017
- I ran. Saw two does on the greenway.
- Power outage at work – closed early.
- Renee and I went to Lassiter Mill [a local park] and took pictures.
And it is as simple as that. I find it invaluable. Because to know where you are going, I think it is important to know where you have been.
Note: I first heard about this idea from Austin Kleon, in his book Steal Like an Artist.