I 'Journal' to help me remember things ... yeah ...

Journaling is good for your mental health.  Google it.  See?

I need so much mental improvement that I am required by law to use four and a half journals to help me keep track of my brain.  I also have a bunch of fountain pens which help make it more fun.

I manage to write in at least one of the four and a half journals I maintain every day, but the daily writing (in each) is often a difficult thing to keep up.  So I like to think of journaling as "the medicine" and the fountain pens as the "spoonful of sugar" to help the medicine go down.

It's a pretty tough tome.  I punched a little hole in the back of mine and ran some elastic string through it to hold it together and keep the pen from falling out, etc.  I actually write in this one several times throughout each day.  There's a post done 1st thing every morning and there are also entries made throughout the day (randomly and irregularly), lately and mainly, to record, track and analyze 'what I do,' and 'what happens,' at work each day.  And then, before retiring at night, I 'evaluate' the day a la 'Ben Franklin's system,' one which he made up when he was somewhere in his 20's, I think?  Here's an explanation of Franklin's 13 virtues system.

You could also use the BF13V as a planner, too, I guess - remind yourself to do stuff in the future and all that.  It's a rather innovative little journal at least *based* on a version of his but centered around observing his 13 virtues concept.  I try to not use it too much as a planner because then the planned things or scheduled stuff on certain dates and other reminder-future-kind of entries would take up too much space and detract from the effectiveness of the space I currently use to record all the notes about daily events and non-events, etc., ... we'll see.

The Benjamin Franklin 13-Virtues Journal is half journal of the day's events, half planner of 'What Good Shall I Do This Day?' and 'What Good Did I Do This Day?" and another half with a specific purpose to keep track of how you think you did each day with regard to keeping a tight rein on those 13 virtues thought by Dr. Franklin to be important in being a good person.  

RECOMMENDATION:   The lines and grid on the chart are better marked with a fine nib.  An 'M' or something too wet is going to mess up your book.

I also make daily entries in the 2nd most used of the four journals, mentioned in an earlier post (last week?).  It's called a "Leuchtturm1917 Some Lines a Day 5-Year Memory Notebook."


This one is specifically dedicated to memories of my Dad and was started on the day he passed away.   It has 365 pages, 1 page for each day of the year (labelled w/the month and day at the top-center of the page) and then each page is divided into 5 sections, each of which are labelled "20___."  So the only 'date' you enter in the journal is the last two digits of the year you're in ... your pages are already predesignated for 5 years.

Because of this 365-day design, 1 Jan to 31 Dec layout, many people who *really* need to be organized (or feel like they are, anyway) will purchase one of these journals and then decide not to start using it until January 1st.

Many people don't notice that the book comes with TWO ribbons/bookmarks for this reason.  One of the ribbons is to mark the date you started the journal and other is to mark where you are/where left off with your last entry.

But no.

"I'm starting mine on January first!"

"Why do they have TWO bookmark ribbons?"

"Why don't they have just *one* like everybody else?"

"This is weird!"

I also write in a 3rd journal every day, but I'm thinking that one might not count as a journal-journal.  It's the one I use at work.

My "work journal" (marked in the top photo on this page) is a nice rustic-looking, leather-bound coupling of 2 inexpensive lined notebooks; they're glued in and will need to be rrrrrrripped out when I'm done.  The 1st notebook is marked "Work Stuff" and 2nd one marked "Personal Stuff."  And that's how I think of it - "My notebook for work" more than "a journal."  I've been using it since around the June timeframe, when it was thoughtfully willed to me by Kathy Donovan when she retired after a bajillion years in the U.S. Navy.

Then there's the "Good Journal."  Also called the "Cracker Barrel Journal."  I actually have 4 of them and am about halfway thru the 1st of that group.  If you find one at a "Cracker Barrel Country Store," let me know, will ya?

Cracker Barrel Journals
I write longer entries in this one but not as often and always use cursive handwriting in this one to 'practice.'  I use pretty much 'block printing' in the other journals (I need 'room' to use cursive!) and I often go days without putting anything in it.  It's become handy as a good place to put (or "post") stuff that I can't post on Facebook because they'd probably ban me again or publish on this blog because I don't want you to know things like I think you're kid is ugly or that you dress funny.

Oh ... almost forgot.   The .5th (the "halfth?") is a little passport-sized, leather-bound 'field notes' journal (sometimes called a 'Fauxdori' rather than a 'Midori' ... Google it) which comfortably fits three little notebooks; it's either in my jacket, on my desk or in the car with me ... it's for things like phone numbers, names, things to remember to Google, etc., etc.


If I have 4.5 freakin' journals to write notes about stuff, to plan and to keep track of stuff -- how come it is that I can't remember what day it is?




There are a lot of meanings for the word "hack."  

Most commonly of late, maybe:  "My Facebook account has been hacked!"  Your account isn't really hacked, actually, it's ... nevermind, that's a good topic for another morning.

HACK.  A hack, to hack, hacking, hacked, hacker, hacks, hack's ... there are other meanings and uses for the word but, in the case of the coffee mug in the photo above, it was the name of an eatery in Bethlehem, PA which I don't believe exists any longer - at least not at it's former location.  

Places are like that.  They can close up shop and move.  Sometimes you have advance notice that they're closing, sometimes you don't.  Sometimes you know where they went if they went, sometimes you don't.  Usually, especially if you liked the place a lot, you'd like to know where they went and if you can't go there like you used to, it can be upsetting. 

Sometimes a lot.  

The coffee mug in the picture above was my Dad's.  I was considering taking it to work to become 'my coffee mug' but, considering my history with coffee mugs at the various places in which I've worked (I usually lose them or break them), I'm thinking that a good place for it is on my desk at home ... by my computer keyboard ... where I'm a hack.  Where I hack.  Where I've been hacked.  Now there's an appropriate coffee mug with me when I'm there to remind and motivate me that there is usually more than one way to look at something, whether it's straight on and wearing blinders so you're not distracted, or from afar so you can see what's around it and what may be affecting its condition or its behavior, or whether you look at it like this:

This is how people look at me when they think I'm not watching them.  :)

I spend a lot of time at this spot.  Here at my desk.  The spot where my Hack's mug now resides.  My time here is usually spent reflecting on one thing or another, reading, riting, researching, plotting and planning, carrying out strategic preemptive strikes and other stuff like that.  Another important part of having a good spot like this is the ability to also be able to listen to your favorite music.  Speakers, headphones, earbuds, 33s, 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, whatever.  It's important to always have your favorite music somewhere where you can get at it.  You don't have to have it connected to your head all the time ... you will miss a lot of the world or get hit by a truck if you walk around with ear-things on your head listening to your music nobody else likes.  

But it's good to listen to your favorite music when you want to.  And when you need to.

Worthy of note is that, here at my spot lately, I've foregoing the keyboard somewhat for the written word.  In cursive.  Journaling.  And I've converted to using fountain pens for this purpose - for journaling.  Suddenly I'm picturing that development as if I've been transformed into a vampire, why is that?  Seriously, the way fountain pens look and work and feel in your hand when you write; the way you don't have to apply pressure when you write ... and the way the handwritten word looks on a page is somehow more gratifying (if that's the word I'm looking for) than if I just banged everything out on this keyboard.  See?  If gratifying wasn't the word I was looking for, I'd have had to cross it out or lined it out, but I didn't.  I *should* have deleted it, but I didn't do that because I knew I wanted to make this stupid point about one of the differences between handwriting with a fountain pen or using a freakin' keyboard.

Leuchtturm1917 "Some lines a day 5-year journal"

One of the journals which I am hacking through on a daily basis since recently is a Leuchtturm1917 "Some lines a day 5-year journal."  (pictured above)

If you ever considered keeping a journal 'but don't like to write' or 'feel that you can't make the commitment,' this tome may be for you.  It doesn't leave you much room to write more than a sentence or two on any given day, but it lets you do so for up to five years.  There are 365 pages, each one dated and each one divided into five sections, one for each year.  

  • Got an idea for a project?
    This is a good way to track it or force yourself to think about it every day.
  • Starting a diet?
    This is a good way to track your progress.
  • Starting a workout program?
    ... get the idea?

I just thought I'd share all this info with you about my coffee mug, how people look at me funny, and one of the journals I write in.   The real reason I'm banging away on this keyboard is because I should probably be sleeping, but I can't.

My Dad would have frowned upon talking about myself so much or about my stuff, but I thought this post was important -- and he also very much believed in being persistent and not giving up on something if you thought it was important; even to the point of not giving up when most people would think you probably should.  He held out to the last second he could, my Dad.  And he left while listening to some of his favorite music.

Leuchtturm1917 makes good stuff, I'll probably put a link in here somewhere one of these days, don't be surprised if you see that.  It's not important.  I just want to.