Karin's thoughts on journaling...
Journaling serves many purposes... it can be a daily record of the day's events, i.e. the weather, to do list, phone calls, mail received or sent, online orders, bills paid, etc.
Here are some things I include:
1. Funny happenings: I recorded all the funny things my grandchildren have said, since their mom is too busy to do it. My husband comes out with these treasures of phrases, if I don't write it down right away, it's lost, because neither of us can remember it exactly. Amusing things happen during the day; if recorded, it can be read again for a good laugh.
2. Recipes: self-explanatory
3. Health and nutrition tidbits: I often read snippets of helpful information on facebook or in an email that pertain to my health or people I know. I jot them down in my journal.
4. Special cards: I either tape the card right on a page, or copy the sentiments. If the cover picture is funny, sweet, or cute, I want to keep it.
5. Articles from the paper or magazines: I cut them out and tape them right onto a page for future reference.
6. Special Pictures: developed or printed on paper, I tape them into my book.
7. Craft ideas: Quick notes of an idea get jotted down, along with sketches.
8. Books I've read or want to read
9. Letting off steam: Sometimes you need to let it blow, but you don't want to hurt anyone, and you don't want anyone else to know. I use a code, sometimes, for names or words that only I can read, just in case someone is nosy enough to read my thoughts. I'm also not afraid to be messy... scratching out words, using a page to do some math. It doesn't matter to me. It's not always neat.
A journal doesn't work unless you number the pages and have an index. I use the front and back of the first page to keep track of what's inside. For example, mine looks like this:
Kyle's poem - 164, 177
funnies - 31, 43, 130, 178
ideas - 148, 192
cleaning tips - 3, 20, 50-55
quotes - 17-20, 82, 88
Krista's tire incident - 44-46
websites - 145, 172
pictures - 3, 5, 11, 16, 20, 77, 190
recipes - 13-16, 27-30, 41, 92
diet - 23, 91
story idea - 33-35
I started with a boring composition book, but that's not fun to look at. So my first ones I covered in blue duct tape. Then I glued cute fabric to the outside. Now they make adorable composition books, that make you want to pick them up over and over and write in them. Use a good pen that flows smoothly and doesn't make your fingers cramp up. Start with a small or thin journal, because there is such a feeling of satisfaction when you've come to the end of it. You feel like you've actually finished something! Also, you might get bored with the cover if it's too thick.
When writing, always start with the date. Many times, I've been able to go back and find just the story I was looking for because I knew the time period. On the front of your journal, record the # of the book and the dates that are inside. For example, mine looks like: Book # 7 3/29/10 - 7/11/10
I also write rough drafts of stories in my journals, indexing them by title, and sometimes add to it in another journal. Every noteworthy event is recorded. I often keep a smaller journal specifically for bible study and jotting down revelations and inspirations from the word. These are usually prettier, gift journals from friends. I keep a tiny journal in my purse to jot things down to put in my big journal later.