• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Monday 3/22/04 Noontime question from Michaelskis

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,985
Points
49
Today’s noontime question is something that I started this weekend, and the more I think about, the more that I am going to incorporate this into my everyday thing. I was reading a book, (motivational) and it mentioned the importance of keeping a Journals and putting daily goals in them, then one week later, re reading that entry, and thinking about if you achieved that days goals. I also am doing a 50 point guide for what to write about, and how that topic relates to what is currently going on in my life. (it takes me 5 to 10 minutes a day)

So I ask…

Do you keep a journal or diary, and if so, what types of things to you put in it?

Also, does anyone know of any cool (FREE) online journals?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
I don't keep a diary per se. However, I do jot down observations I've made after a long walk. Usually, I jot down urban design thoughts relative to specific places I've walked by. I note nuisances, deteriorating infrastructure (sidewalks and roads), wayfinding thoughts, visual clutter, incompatible land uses, line of sight and other work related observations (both positive and negative). Sometimes I refer back to these notes prior to meetings where these topics are discussed. I tend to do a little brainstorming with these notes. Sometimes I stop into convenience stores or other places to get a napkin to write something down so I don't forget. Call me wierd.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Sometimes there are things you can only understand by experiencing them outside of your car. This is one of the reasons I like to make these notes after a walk or glide. At one time I kept a notebook of people I'd given Segway demos to, but it became a hassle.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
No daily journal for me. I have only done it on travels or vacations. I find it useful if I revisit.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Journals

I used a journal when I was in an internship in an elected official's office -- good for remembering unique observations about how that operated. Journals also remind you of how you dealt with certain situations, lessons learned and funny occurrences along the way...

I try to keep a journal of the types of things Budgie mentioned, but don't have the discipline to -- I end up using the closest piece of paper I can find
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I've kept a journal for at least ten years. Mostly I chronicle what I did or thought about the day. Sometimes I make note and observations on things in the news, etc. I've found it to be a worthwhile enterprise. It keeps my writing skill sharp. I also find that it helps me remember better. I can remember when something happened usually within a day or so, even if it happened years past. On a few occasions, I have been able to go back and prove to someone that I paid a bill on time, or did something I promised to take care of.

I would caution anyone who does keep a journal or diary not to put anything down that you wouldn't want someone else to read. Because at some point someone will. Whether it is your spouse snooping, or your kids going through your stuff after you are dead. There are some thoughts it is okay to leave unexpressed.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,391
Points
39
This thread and otterpop's wise advice has made me remember an old lesson from historiography: The historian's classic conundrum is how "complete" is any journal/diary and how much is written specifically for others to read? Many historians have thought they found the mother lode when they discover a journal or diary, only to find that the author was "less than truthful" :-\

I keep a sketch book -- I'm a decent delineator but by no means an artist.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,324
Points
36
I don't keep a daily journal, but I've tried. I do keep "memoirs" - I write down things that happened to me when I was a kid. They aren't written chronologically, rather, I write them as I remember them. The book is for my kids to read when they want to, but I don't think they ever have.

Also, if I meet someone that interests me, or someone tells me a story about themselves that impressed me, I write about it.

I also keep a file called "Inhospitality". It's all about rude things that my sister does when she has parties. B-) She is not a good hostess.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
I kept a journal for something like 12 or 14 years. I thought it would be a lifetime thing, but I stopped during my grad school years because I was simply too busy. I was never able to start up again consistently. Too bad -- I found it very therapeutic.

Mostly I wrote about what had happened that day, but there was always a lot of reflection and evaluation of my thoughts and feelings. It's kind of scary to go back and read what I wrote as an adolescent.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I don't keep a formal journal. Rather, I have a notebook where I jot down random ideas from my own mind or an occasional interesting story I've either experienced or have been recounted by other people. The problem is this stuff gets written down on whatever is available at the time (post-it's, bar napkins, etc.) with the intention of transcribing onto notebook paper. However, lately I've been really slack and it's all just been stuffed into the notebook.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
I've never kept an actual journal, but when my son was small I would jot down milestones, funny things he did, etc., in my daily planner. So I do have a record of sorts.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I used to have a daily journal, but have not kept up with it... I keep meaning to get back to it though.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,194
Points
29
michaelskis said:
So I ask…

Do you keep a journal or diary, and if so, what types of things to you put in it?

Also, does anyone know of any cool (FREE) online journals?

I kept a journal from January to May, 1983, when I was in high school and took a class in which writing one was one of the requirements. I had an enourmous crush on some girl at the time and wrote a lot about it in the journal.

From 1984 to 1993 or so, I just made one or two line entries into a weekly planner/calender.

Since 1995 I have kept a journal for most of the vacations I have been on, starting out with lists of items I purchased and the route I took, but later adding detailed decriptions of the events of each day, including weather, what my kids did, etc.

I also made a few entries about my kids after they were born (from about 1998 to 2001) but I haven't updated it in a while.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
I kept a journal for most of the '90s, and found it extremely therapeutic. It helped me to test thoughts and ideas on a whole spectrum of things. I stopped about five years ago, but I'm gonna get back to it.

I've kept a daily nutrition/workout log for more than 10 years. I can tell you what I had to eat on August 24, 1997, and how well the workout went.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,584
Points
59
I can't even keep a list of things to do or a grocery list - me bad :-c
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I've sporadically kept a journal since 8th grade, but I really only write when I'm going through unhappy periods. It helps me sleep better to unload that day's crap into pages. Recently I started to read my highschool journals and promptly called my mother to apologize and commend her for putting up with my high drama for the horomone years. it was awful - i couldn't read more than an entry or two at once without wanting to slap myself.

For Jack I do a monthly recap in his scrapbook - what he did that month, where we went, etc. And since I'm doing weight watchers, I food and exercise journal also.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
I have never had the patience to write with a pen, as fast (and sometimes half baked) as I think. I tried journaling on my 'puter. That went nowhere.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
I used to keep a journal and have been known to return to that practice when I have something on my mind that I feel a need to work through or whatever. I eventually shredded and threw away my journals. They were filled with my mental and emotional explorations of taboo topics while I was in therapy. And I often recorded my dreams, my dream interpertations, and my sexual fantasies. I decided that stuff really didn't need to be lying around in a written record for someone to get hold of it, take it completely out of context, and slander me or whatever. :-D I have absolutely no desire to have to "explain" why I wrote...whatever...on some topic that would be likely to totally freak most folks out -- or, worse, get the wrong type of person interested in me. :-c
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I started a dream journal in December. I only fill it in when I have a particularly memorable and detailed dream (had quite a few recently). You can add a few notes about what's going on in your life to help interpret what's going on in your dreams. I could write so much more about this... I think including the occasional dream will enrich your journal contents... let me know if you want to know more about this Mike :)
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,266
Points
71
I think the journal thing is probably theraputic, might be helpful in trying to psychologically 'understand' oneself at some later date, might even be of historical interest after you're gone........the problem I have with the practice is that in keeping a journal there is a written record of your innermost thoughts and secrets and, well, someone else could end up reading it. Most people probably wouldn't give a rip but depending who reads it they might...... :-0
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
Maister said:
I think the journal thing is probably theraputic, might be helpful in trying to psychologically 'understand' oneself at some later date, might even be of historical interest after you're gone........the problem I have with the practice is that in keeping a journal there is a written record of your innermost thoughts and secrets and, well, someone else could end up reading it. Most people probably wouldn't give a rip but depending who reads it they might...... :-0
When I was in college, a guy I was dating decided to read through my journal in my dorm room while I was out. Boy was I pissed. He mis-read something I had written & accused me of cheating on him. Jerk! That was the end of that relationship... I couldn't trust him after that. I saw him at one of my high school reunions a few years ago & STILL (after 20 yrs?) didn't want to talk to him.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Maister said:
I think the journal thing is probably theraputic, might be helpful in trying to psychologically 'understand' oneself at some later date, might even be of historical interest after you're gone........the problem I have with the practice is that in keeping a journal there is a written record of your innermost thoughts and secrets and, well, someone else could end up reading it. Most people probably wouldn't give a rip but depending who reads it they might...... :-0
That's what shredders are for. Trust me. I have destroyed boxes and boxes of journals...
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
michaelskis said:
Are THEY out to get you again?
Honey, someone is ALWAYS "out to get me"... oh, wait: do you mean that in a paranoid way? Maybe you don't want to know about all the men throwing themselves at me. <cackle> :p
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I realized after the "list" postings, that as well as being a listaholic, I am also a journalaholic. I keep travel journals. I kept a journal of my 19 months in Alaska. I also have a journal I began several months before my son's birth chronicling my upcoming fatherhood and his birth and development. I thought about starting one for the new house we bought in January, but I think I just need to stop. One more journal and I would have to quit my job and dedicate myself to writing about myself nonstop. Even I don't find myself that interesting. :-D
 
Top