I go through this dilemma quite often. Currently, I am wondering whether I should have a separate journal to record inspirational quotes and my notes on why they inspire me. I’m also drawn towards having a separate journal for some personal development experiments I’ve got planned.
To be honest, I know what my decision is going to be, yet I go through this mental argument time and again. I keep one main journal, in which I write most things. This is the journal I carry around with me, and it’s the one I write in regularly. When I talk about journaling, this is the journal I’m usually referring to.
However, I also have a:
Writing Journal: Specifically for Fiction, because I don’t want to go through various different person journals to find story ideas or fragments of dialogues I might have written. Though my personal journals inevitably contain things about my writing, as they contain something about everything.
Dream Journal: I don’t actually use this. I started it few years ago, recorded a few dreams, and it’s still waiting for whenever I feel like adding a few, but I doubt I would use it much. It was an experiment that is still open.
Tarot Journal: same as the dream journal. It was an experiment. Not attempt to do future-reading, but rather a creative exercise. I used Tarot Cards to work on personal development. It was an interesting experiment, and I might fill few more pages of journal now and again, but this is not at all an active journal.
So basically, I have two active journals: my main personal journal, and a writing journal (for fiction)
As much as I now get tempted to start a new journal for something new (because let’s face it, I love starting journals), I’ll stick to using just one main journal.
Here is why:
- I want my journal to reflect my whole life, the all rounded version of it. So if I am doing Personal Development experiments, but then have a bad day at work, or a fight with my husband, well that’s going to have an impact on my experiment. If I kept a separate journal, I would only write about the experiment, and so it wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of the process or the result because it would be missing “life” elements that have a major impact.
- It’s impractical to carry multiple journals around. I take my main journal everywhere, so that I don’t need to have specially assigned journaling time. I write when I have an opportunity, and sometimes when I must write something down, I create an opportunity. I feel comforted by the knowledge that it’s right there, with me, safe. If I kept multiple active journals, I wouldn’t carry them around, and so the frequency and possibly details of writing would suffer.
- Journaling, like life, is an organic process. You can do your absolute best to plan everything, but then something out-of-your-control comes along and changes everything. That’s why my Dream Journal and Tarot Journal are half-empty. I tried something, and moved on from it. Therefore, it makes sense to have everything in one place, so that I not only record my process and growth in particular areas, but also see the pattern and movement of my changing tastes and priorities.
What about you? Do you keep multiple journals, or just main one?
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
Look at your current journaling process. Is it working for you? Do you need to change anything, whether it’s to combine multiple journals into one, or create separate journals to get optimum results? Are you getting a fully rounded view of your life in your journal?