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What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
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Fred'n'K Offline
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Post: #1
What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I'm thinking about starting to write one, just to organize my memories and reference back to them when needed, but I read, and heard, that there are more benefits to it than just that. Do you guys keep a journal? If so, why, and how did it help you to improve yourself and is it worth it?

Ps: I was told that it is also beneficial to keep a dream journal, but I think that's a different animal altogether. Thoughts?
01-07-2017 01:45 AM
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Isaac Jordan Offline
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RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I've kept a journal for the past few years. Got into the habit of typing up a short summary of the day's events right before I go to bed each night. Mostly a factual account of what happened that day, although from time to time I'll include some introspective thoughts or my emotional state at the time.

I started the journal because I have an awful long-term memory. When I think back over the past six months or a year, a few big events stand out, but there are many others that I can't quite recollect until someone reminds me of them ("Hey remember that time...") or the memory is triggered by a specific smell/song/food/topic/etc.

I don't have any trouble remembering the details of a particular memory once I'm reminded of it; my problem is finding the memory in the first place. Sort of like having lots of files stored on a hard drive: once I find what I'm looking for, everything is right there for me to view. It's finding that "file" in the first place that gives me trouble, and the journal entries help me do that.

Also, when I'm traveling or making a lot of unique/exciting memories in a short period of time, it can be hard for me to later recall exactly what happened and in what order. (For example, taking a road trip through a foreign country or meeting up with friends for a crazy weekend bender.) Jotting down the day's events before bed ensures that I don't miss any of the smaller moments, and provides a timeline for me to look back on and appreciate after the trip is finished.
01-07-2017 03:10 PM
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R_Niko Offline
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Post: #3
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
It depends what your goals are. I fancy myself a writer, short stories and essays, occasionally published, and I find journaling instrumental for coming up with ideas. I also find writing ideas down before bed makes me sleep better, I think it helps clear the mind.
01-08-2017 11:20 PM
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Alsos
Valentine Offline
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Post: #4
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
01-08-2017 11:43 PM
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tapthatass Offline
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Post: #5
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I don't write a journal in the traditional sense. I honestly think writing about every single thing you did is a bad idea. I guess I'm too lazy but it never worked for me. So, I keep it as practical as possible.

1)I have a habit tracker app in which I enter my daily habits (smoking, sex, exercise, writing blog, reading xxx). It analyzes my data and indicates how strong my habits are. I use it to control my bad habits and reinforce good ones.

2)I use a "notes" to enter something I learn. It's a dynamic word document which is modified as I learn new stuff.

Example: I read some philosophical stuff about death yesterday. So I opened my notes and modified the column "my philosophy" by making a new sub category about death and had written my thoughts down.

Think of my "notes" as some kinda blog that I had written for myself. You can find my tips related to sex, career, friends, relationships etc. Everything I learn will be dynamically modified and internalized in my notes.

This practical "notes" worked for me better than writing it in the form of a journal. My notes is neatly organized and categorized so that learning new things get easier.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2017 01:29 AM by tapthatass.)
01-12-2017 01:27 AM
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Kurgan Offline
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Post: #6
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I used to write in diaries starting in middle school and ended it in college. I was going through a lot of hard times so my writing really reflects how I was really out of reality to deal with the stuff going on.

I now keep a small writing journal in which I write affirmations daily to keep myself going. This started on January 1st and it's made an impact. I'm much more motivated to do things. I just took a lot of money from friends at a poker game and ran my ass off today.
01-12-2017 10:29 PM
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Lexington Patrick Offline
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Post: #7
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
Writing your ideas and life story is essential. I always carry a notebook with me to write down shit that went down, a good to semi-questionable idea, or something I want to blog about. Before you know it, you end up with a body of work that can act as your personal self help guide. Whenever I need advice, I look through my old notes and inevitably find the answer.to my problem. Never allow your thoughts to drift away.
01-19-2017 07:21 AM
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rkIE Offline
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Post: #8
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
These days I use the DayOne app for iPad for my journaling. I've recently been building habits successfully, and am now journaling every day. What works best for me is going over a simplified play-by-play of the day, what went right, the things I did, and also time wasted and mistakes made. It seems to have really helped me with my productivity, because when I record something that caused an issue with productivity it makes it much more clear what to avoid in the future. If I record the same cause of lost productivity multiple times, then it stands out as something I must take action against.
01-19-2017 10:25 PM
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monerap Offline
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Post: #9
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I use Blogger.com for my daily progress. Each day, I write a daily post about how I feel, how the progress is going, what should I do more/less to reach my end goal.

You can set up a blog in 1 min with Blogger. Keep blog or posts private.
01-20-2017 09:04 AM
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Alsos Offline
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Post: #10
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
(01-08-2017 11:20 PM)R_Niko Wrote:  It depends what your goals are. I fancy myself a writer, short stories and essays, occasionally published, and I find journaling instrumental for coming up with ideas. I also find writing ideas down before bed makes me sleep better, I think it helps clear the mind.

Ditto. Not literally a journal (I don't record events of the day) but a repository of ideas and such.

I typically have a small spiral notebook on hand at all times for this, a habit I picked up in high school based on an interview with Ray Bradbury. I start a new page for a new day, date it, write out whatever came to mind (an idea, an observation, a quote, a useful fact...), and expand on it for a page or two if the mood strikes me (which is about half the time).

When finished, I follow Thomas Jefferson's practice of writing a common keyword in the upper right corner of each page, related to what is written there. I use about a dozen generic terms for this purpose. Makes it a lot easier to thumb through a notebook for a particular item.

When I fill a notebook I go through it systematically, using the keywords as a guide. Anything that still strikes me as worthwhile or useful gets appropriate follow-on treatment.

ETA: the benefit is the organization and documentation of your thoughts. When you see them spelled out, it's much easier to think through your ideas and organize them and make them coherent and consistent while adding depth (vs. just bouncing them around in your head). Plus, it's easy to forget some great insight you had if you don't do anything further with it than think it. A juggler can keep a lot of balls flying around in the air, but a man with a table can manage an indefinite number of them, stack them in pleasing shapes, examine them individually, etc.

Which is why I'm an advocate of doing it longhand on paper. Hand-writing is a slower and less forgiving process, so you have to think ahead as you write. That thinking makes the thoughts stick better (which is straight out of College Student Skills 101).
(This post was last modified: 01-22-2017 06:29 PM by Alsos.)
01-22-2017 06:23 PM
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bucky Offline
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Post: #11
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I've been keeping a journal off and on since I was about 12 years old. I'm almost 50 now. It's fascinating to look back and see what my thought processes were decades ago, how I've changed, and all the things that seemed important then that I've since forgotten that would be lost in time like tears in rain without my journals.

For example, I had the worst oneitis for a girl when I was in college. Went on for years, never got anywhere with her. When I read through my journals now with the knowledge of women I've acquired on sites like these, I can see that she was interested and was giving me a chance, I just had zero game at the time and made all the wrong moves.

Feminism in ten words: "Stop objectifying women! Can't you see I've hit the wall?" -Leonard D Neubache
10-10-2019 11:08 PM
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D'Kora Koloth Offline
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Post: #12
RE: What's your experience with keeping a daily journal?
I try and keep a weekly journal. It doesn't always happen, but I don't worry about that.

I find it really good to get thoughts, anger and anxiety out. If I've had a pressing day, and I sit down and do some writing, I feel much better, like I've taken out the anger and anxiety out of me and put it in the journal.

I've kept them on and off for a couple of decades, and like bucky said, it's fascinating to look back on what was important to you at 30, 20, 10 years old.

It's also good hand exercise.
10-12-2019 11:29 PM
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