Analogue v digital: journalling

by Amanda Fleet

Well, it's me. So the answer is, of course, analogue! But also, as it's me, I have LOTS of different journals!

1. Daily journal

I've used a variety of journals/diaries for this in the past - generally an A5 page per day. I write in it every day - a combination of recording what I did and reflecting on what's happened. In general, it tends towards recording, rather than reflecting. This year, I've moved to a B6 Stalogy. Down the LHS of each page, I have the day time-boxed to see what I've done. The majority of the page is used to write about the day. Despite being smaller than A5, the 0.5 cm grid spacing means I still have lots of space to write (I have small writing!). The basic layout is shown above (minus the journalling, which is too private to share). I've been trying to 'pretty it up' a bit and not just have blocks of text in the journalling, but I'm really not very good at it! I've printed off pictures taken with friends and stuck them in, and used banners and things for special days (book launches!), but the most visual bit is often the time-boxing.

2. "Writing journal"

This is an A5 Ciak journal. I don't write in this every day. Or even every week. Or month. I generally have a bit of a splurge every now and then. This is essentially where I journal/record/reflect about writing - how it's going, what I'm working on, how I feel about it all. I've been trying to write in it more often, but not always succeeding! It's always interesting reading back through it though. Sometimes I've been angsting about something, then when I re-read it months later, I think, "Really? I was all bent out of shape about that?"

3. "Processing crap in my head journal"

This is a beautiful Nanami A5 notebook, gifted to me by a friend. Again, I don't write in it all that often, but when I do, I often write pages. I usually write in it when I need to process stuff or 'write it out of me' - when one of my cats was killed; when I was millimetres from a breakdown... sometimes there are some positives in there, but these days, those generally go in the "Amazing days journal". I've also used it as a bit of a scrapbook at times - pasting in cards from friends after the launch of my first book (I didn't have the "amazing days journal" then), or interesting stamps on something I ordered from Japan. I should try and do more in that - again, life has been stupidly busy over the last year or so and it has been neglected.

4. "Amazing days journal"

This glorious beast was a Christmas present to me from my hubby, a few years ago, when I was emerging from some serious mental and physical health issues. It has ~400 pages in it and I use it to record really good days, so I have something to look back through, especially when life feels rubbish. I've printed off pictures - either using a wee printer that prints on to special stickers, or running sheets of blank stickers through my laser printer - to illustrate the days. Pictures of my book covers; people I've had an amazing day with; the cat; glorious scenery... lots of different things! It's always amazing to look back through it.

There we go... my multitude of journals. Writing this post has reminded me I really should write in them more often! Why are they all analogue? I genuinely can't imagine opening up a file/app/whatever on my laptop/phone/tablet/whatever and scrolling through things. I do flick through these pages and smile at the pasted in cards, the stamps, the stickers etc. But each to their own, I suppose.