My new working definition of the word journal is: a recording over some period of time. I’m giving a little journaling workshop next week for the writer and non-writer and this is one of the questions we will consider. This simple definition expands the concept of journaling and more easily accounts for the many different ways we can house our journals. Based on this new definition, I brainstormed all the places where I might find a journal:

  • Car – have you ever come upon a rolling  journal? A car covered with travel bumper stickers?
  • Composition  book – so inexpensive at this time of year.
  • Sticky note pad – I did this recently and it was extremely satisfying and portable.
  • Leather-bound or finely bound journals – I’ve never been too interested in these fine journals – though I love to look at them.
  • Sketch books – so open ended.
  • Checkbook – do people even use one of these anymore? Oddly, this fits the definition. They can certainly be memorable.
  • Computer – obviously.
  • Mp3 recordings.
  • Vlog – video recordings are great for me as they are spontaneous but they are hard to search through.
  • Blog – whether public or private you can include most any kind of media – kinda’ cool.
  • Scrapbook – My husband and I did one of these a few years back. It was a family scrapbook. Although we put it together over time, the items we put in the scrapbook were recorded by different people over several lifetimes.
  • Photo book.
  • In the Cloud.
  • Journaling and Note Apps
  • Calendar – paper or digital.
  • In a planner.
  • Recipe book – I’ve recorded all kinds of things in them– including drips and spills and I love the torn and folded pages. I rarely even look at cookbooks anymore, but when I come across one or two they remind me of some journeys I’ve been on.
  • Altered book– any book can be altered and become a journal
  • Collage – not every collage is a journal. However, I have one hanging in my living room that qualifies.
  • Home made journals – a stack of papers, or other journal making materials collated together or not.
  • Song or album*
  • People – in many ways human beings are a living journal*

Isn’t a Facebook Timeline a journal of sorts?

Why aren’t there journals that record the smells we love or the taste of the foods we’ve enjoyed or big hearty hugs?  On the other hand, maybe we humans are living journals?

What do you think of my working journal definition? Have I missed anything? Next time I will be posting at least fifty reasons why you might want to consider having a journal. It’s also a nice list to review if you have a journaling practice and are interested in exploring a bit.

– Mary

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*8/14/2015 – added thanks to recent journaling workshop.
1/2/2017 – for clarity, crispness and I updated the image.

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