Keeping a journal is a good thing, right?
But it's tricky to find the time. Here are three ways I keep a journal without spending much time on it. Just to clarify, I also keep a real journal where I do spend time writing. But these ideas add many entries that I wouldn't have time to write otherwise.
1. Keep your old calendar.
Whether you use a paper planner, a pretty calendar on the wall, or a digital calendar on your phone that you can print after the month is over, this is an EASY way to keep a journal.
My paper planner calendar is the "what my daily life consists of" part of my journal. So after the day is done I like to jot extra details, like a long phone call with my mom or an old friend. Or that we missed Gabe's soccer game to stay a few extra hours at Temple Square after doing baptisms in the SLC temple. Or that I was gone from 9 am to 9 pm and was tired but happy to watch Pride and Prejudice with Grace when the males of the house were at a camp out.
This is good stuff. I want to remember it. I want to hang onto it. But my memory is insufficient. So I use my calendar to hang on for me. Just for fun, I use a four-color pen to differentiate activities relating with church, education, spending money, and others.
2. Print special emails.
Years ago I had one of those days that you hate when you're going through it, but it makes a fabulous story later. Our five young children included newborn twins. An old college friend had come to visit with her three young children. These were the antics our kids did all in one afternoon:
- combined honey and sesame seeds in the watercolor water and then splashed it around the kitchen
- made it rain a bucket of rolled oats
- the icing on the cake was a kitchen fire and spending the evening outside to air out the stinky house
My friend accidentally turned on a burner where my large Tupperware bowl sat. It caught on fire. I sat helpless in a chair holding my two newborns. She frantically searched cupboards for something to put out the fire. My husband, a prosecuting attorney who was on the phone with a policeman, calmly said, "Hold on a second, we have a fire here." He calmly grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire, and went back to his phone conversation.
We laugh about that day now. And have many times.
I wrote that story in an email to two of my siblings who were serving LDS missions at the time. It dawned on me that I just typed up a great journal entry. So I printed it to save as a journal page. I've done that oodles of times since.
These emails would all make good journal entries:
- an update on our children, that's a perfect journal entry
- the pros and cons of a decision
- a thank you message or compliment to me about a talk I gave in church or another speaking event
3. Recording on your smart phone.
A recent magical moment day was my twins' twelth birthday at the Salt Lake LDS temple and at a buffet restaurant. On the drive home, I pulled out my smart phone, clicked "record" and introduced the date and event. Then we handed the phone from person to person so everyone got a chance to tell their thoughts and feelings about their first special experience in the temple, and other fun memories of their big day. I never lifted a pen to paper. But we logged some great memories.
What other ways do you keep a journal in no time?