Keeping Track (Journal Keeping)

Pen and Paper

Keeping your own journal and writing down your adventures is really important. To do this you will need a sturdy hard-bound book so that all the pages stay in it. A journal is meant to be permanent so keep this in mind – what you are really doing is creating a book and the subject of the book is your adventures – how cool is that?!?. You can get good blank books at stationary stores, bookstores, big box stores, ‘dollar’ stores, etc… If you keep on the lookout you can get a good personal journal that is right for you.

How do you want to use your journal? Do you want to mostly write in it or would you rather draw pictures or paint or sketch or make technical drawings?

I draw all my illustrations in crayon so that they don’t run if the paper gets wet and so they won’t smear. You can also use ball point pen, Sharpie markers, and pencil to draw your pictures but I think crayons work best. And when I write, I almost always use ball point pen so it won’t smear or run.

I do all of the above and I will sometimes tape in a photograph or postcard or put in a relevant sticker from the places I’ve been to. For my journal I usually use one that has graph paper lines in it – that means it has even squares on every page rather than lines or being blank. Mostly I write in mine so the squares keep my handwriting from going all over the place – and the little boxes help me to line up the pictures and cards when I put them in. Also, the grid lines help me to draw things since I’m not very good at drawing.

It is important to have one main journal and put everything in it so you always have it all in one place and you can reference it.

One thought to “Keeping Track (Journal Keeping)”

  1. Good Day,
    I like what you said about keeping a journal I think that it is always important to keep one. Because it presents itself (the journal) to you each day as you see yourself in the world around you. I wish that when I was a young girl growing up that someone had told me about how to keep a permanent journal. I agree with you it should be a hard bound book. I have used spiral notebooks as journals . I got them on sale at CVS, Staples, and so on… It never failed that the front cover would have tears or the spiral would come loose from the journal. So for my journals I turned to hard bound composition books. I am a collector of hard bound books to use as journals now. I traveled to Walt Disney World for two weeks for my birthday in September. I went to Walt Mart I bought a hard bound journal, and I went to dinner at a wooded resort and I saw two journals that I thought I had to get them in my collections. They had Walt Disney World drawings on them and they were so handsome one was a teal blue and the other was black. I bought them both and I am waiting to use. After I started using the composition book I found out that to keep my thoughts of the day in the composition book journal which only had a few pages that I had to buy a lot. I still have today the same unwritten in journals via composition books from when I bought them on sale at CVS and Staples around 2003. I also salvaged the spiral notebooks minus the pages that had writing on them. I love keeping journals. One way I kept journals was to document my job experiences when I worked at the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the Headquarters Marine Corps, as a Military Personnel Records Clerk. When things did not work out for me according to my employer due to job performance or job attendance, or job conduct. It was only eight days before my one year probationary period. I filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint with the agency and I used my journals to rebut my employer’s allegations. To be sure it took a long 18 months to decide my legal fate but it was decided in my favor. A good thing too because I had used up all of my extended unemployment insurance benefits. I resorted to selling off my things at the pawn shop. However I think it is important to keep a journal of what you like to do. What I mean by that is I used to have a sketch book because I took several art classes. I sketched all the time mostly self portraits. It is not that I lost interest in art I loved those classes even thou I did not know how to draw the models or the still life scenes. I never wanted to stop but it was difficult to handle the art paper and supplies when you are living in a homeless shelter because there was no place to put your things I had a storage unit. If you left them out anyway you might come in for the night ready to draw and find out that you broke a shelter rule and your drawing materials were thrown out. I lived in a homeless shelter or transitional shelter from September 6, 1995 my birthday until about July 2011 when I closed on my Springfield townhouse. I had a storage unit starting 1995 when I was evicted from my apartment. I kept everything at the storage unit until I was no longer homeless. I liked what you said about using graphing paper but I like straight lines. If there are no lines to guide me I write really large and unevenly. I feel most comfortable using a hard bound journal with lines that guide me to write. Although I have used the notes feature on my IPhone and Kindle Fire. I am disabled female veteran.

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