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Keeping a Diary or Journal

A girl writing in a journal.
A diary or journal is a great way to get your daily thoughts written down. It can help you get organized, work through problems and issues, or simply be a creative outlet. This is a guide about keeping a diary.
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By 21 found this helpful
September 19, 2011

My solution for sanity, organizing, and shuffling through the many thoughts that go on in my mind is using my journal. I have very close friends who journal all the time. Until last year, I had never really given it a chance. I took notes which wound up everywhere except where I could find them.

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I have taken Bible study with many notes about the subject I was learning at the time., raised a baby with special needs which required extra researching, and home schooled my oldest from preschool through high school, all without any journal.

These are a few reasons I feel everyone should keep a journal. However, since journals are very personal I'm sure you have your own reasons. There are so many things I wish I could go back and have a redo. This is one. All of those recipes that have gotten lost, misplaced, maybe thrown away by accident. Taking the time to write it down, for each thing to have its place would have prevented many headaches. Lesson learned.

I now just enjoy having several, each for something separate. I live on more than a tight budget, they don't have to be the ones in leather, or with your initials on the cover. It can be a simple school folder. With school just starting now would be the time to buy several. Back to school notebooks cost 10 cents last week. Maybe a different color for each topic would be a help, don't let that stop you a pen works quite well.

My friend had heard me make so many excuses she is the one who actually bought my first one, it had rings which makes it easier to write in. How blessed I was with a gift now that will live way past my lifetime. Even with others telling me how gratifying it was to write down ideas, thoughts, prayers, dreams and, yes, even recipes; until I did it I never understood. I wished I could have all of those home schooling notes back today to pass on to my son. The prayer I prayed over each of my children, explanations of the "whys" so when I'm long gone they know what I really was thinking.

If you want to burn your journal after it's full (don't suggest it), it still is a wonderful way to release all the clutter and make certain things make sense or NOT. Something about writing it down gives it reality, a purpose, maybe a mission. Writing it down also makes it so I have a plan, a reason not to forget about it. Maybe I'll follow through on the many things I pray I can do in one lifetime.

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When my grandmother was telling me all her secrets or things about my mom or her favorite Thanksgiving desert, if I had that do-over, I would rush home and write it in my journal, later passing it all on to my children. They, in turn, would have it to pass on to theirs.

Many people do this. Many songs, poems and history was started in someone's journal. It doesn't cost much, can be so relaxing and, in my case, got rid of more than one kind of clutter. Go out an buy a notebook, give it a try.

One more suggestion: make sure you title them (if using more than one) and date it. I don't write in mine every single night so I always date mine. When it's full, you can put away in order. For recipes, try separating them. It's much easier to find the one you are looking for. The notebooks that have a sheen are great for recipes because they can easily be wiped off. Like I mentioned the one with rings are the easiest to write in. In the back of Ross, TJ Max and many other store sales, you will find the pretty more expensive ones. I always look, usually those are given as gifts. It's a wonderful way of telling someone you care.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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By 7 found this helpful
June 15, 2011

I always keep a small book or paper and a pen by my bed, so I can write down ideas that come to me during the night. This happens a lot. I have even written down poems in the middle of the night and things I want to remember to tell people about or to do myself. This has worked just great for me!

Source: I thought of this when I was working and had a lot of things to accomplish in a short time. I was a bookkeeper and would have to balance to the penny. When I didn't, the answer usually came when I was sleeping. I would write it down so I could go back to sleep quickly.

By Cheryl from Nova Scotia, Canada

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By 9 found this helpful
April 4, 2013

Having lived many years, (80), and raising 9 children, I realize that I have forgotten so many things. If I had just had a weekly journal, it would be so much easier for me to remember things that happened and would be invaluable to my children and grandchildren, etc. I am working to remember as much as possible and my children and grandchildren are contributing the funny things that happen in our family, for our memory book. I strongly recommend that everyone have a journal to preserve precious memories.

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By 7 found this helpful
August 26, 2011

Do you love to journal? Me too. Here are some tips for your journaling.

  1. Be sure to date each page.
  2. Use different colored ink pens throughout the journal. Buy the best.
  3. Doodle on pages; around the edges or in the corners, or if really talented, fill a page with your doodles. Use good quality colored pencils.
  4. Write your prayers for family members and friends.
  5. Copy a poem. Be sure to write the author's name under it.
  6. You don't have to write everyday, don't make it one more duty.
  7. Glue articles and pictures on some of the pages. Use Rubber glue, as it is wrinkle free, and you can reposition it.
  8. Buy journals that have the spiral back so they lay flat.
  9. Have fun, be creative, and if you have to cross out a word, or sentence, and start over, let it happen. If you don't have good handwriting, be sure it is readable, but it is your hand, so love it! Some days I write great big and uses every other space. (line)

    By hopeful from Salem Oregon

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    Comment Was this helpful? 7

May 20, 20051 found this helpful

Recently as part of some estate work, I arranged for the removal of the contents of the deceased person's home library. There was a Journal at the end of the book shelf and when I opened it, it read "The Books I Have Read In My Lifetime".

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By 1 found this helpful
June 7, 2011

I keep notebooks around for when I have an idea. I keep one for goals, one to keep track where my money goes, and one for poems when I have a poem to write down.

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