Pretty much since I could write I have kept journals and diaries. My mum recently found one of my earliest diaries in the loft at my parents house; it is a mixture of crayon drawings and half page writings of my pre-teen adventures.
During my teens I added to my regular diary with a whole host of note books for journaling different elements of my life. I had a dream diary, a film notebook, a creative writing notebook… I even got a Diary Tracker notebook where I gave each diary a code and logged each entry in chronological order, so that I could read all my journal entries in order. I think in my head I was helping out the future historian who would one day stumble upon my diaries, long after I had died, in an abandoned house somewhere in a dark mysterious forest. How pleased would that future historian be to have my little cross referencing book and fit my life back together again!
I don’t keep a cross-referencing tracker any more but I do still write in multiple diaries simultaneously, I like to call it ‘Scattered Journaling’; recording my life journey in different ways and using different mediums. It is pretty much the exact opposite mentality to Bullet Journaling! Why keep one diary when you can keep five! Here are the ways I journal at the moment:
Life Diary: The classic simple diary, used by the likes of Samuel Pepys and Bridget Jones. This is where I write things that have happened, how I am feeling, what is going on in my life right now.
Study Journal: This is for Sermon notes, Bible Study notes and preaching prep. I started taking notes during Sunday services again this year and I am so glad I did. It’s really helped me to focus and remember the messages each week.
My Book of lists: This notebook was three euros from a novelty shop in Ireland and I love it so much! Half of the pages are lined and half are grid pages. In this book I write all my to-do lists, self improvement goals, house keeping check lists, and plans. It’s most excellent for carrying around places and putting satisfying little ticks in the boxes when I get something done!
Bible Journaling: This is where I draw pictures or write short entries in the pages of my Bible to help me to connect to the word. I blog about it here and here.
Cookbook Journaling: Whenever I make a recipe from one of my cookbooks I will write on the page a review of the recipe but also a couple of lines of what we did that day and who we ate with. I blogged about cookbook journaling here,
I like Scattered Journaling because it helps me to focus on one thing at a time, and each one evokes a different mood; my life diary puts me in a reflective frame of my mind, whereas my Book of Lists, inspires action and movement, whenever I pick is up my brain knows that it is time to get stuff done.
The other thing I like about scattered journaling is how it scatters memories throughout our house. If someone picked up a cookbook on our kitchen shelf and leafed through the pages, they would be met with a collection of short stories of days we celebrated and friends we shared our table with. My Journaling Bible also tells a story, although I would be the only one able to read it; but every picture, line or word evokes a memory of God being good to me; teaching me or comforting me, building up my hope and reassuring me of His love. My personal faith journey is recorded on those pages and it makes the Bible all the more precious to me.
Having journal entries scattered throughout our home is a bit like burying treasure. I am tucking away polaroid pieces of our family life in the pages of books, preserving them carefully so that one day we may dig them out again and see them shine.