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My Analog Tools

December 21, 2015


Hello friends!

Lately, I’ve been writing extensive entries in my journals because I’m beginning my 37th year on the planet and I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next year.

Since I’m journaling so much, I thought it would be fun to share my current analog tools.

My Notebooks

– The Midori MD Notebook is a beautiful notebook. I love the paper quality and how the binding lies flat when it’s open. It’s perfect for longer entries and for drawing. I’ve also been using the journal to record my gratitude lists.

– I’ve turned my Midori Traveler’s Notebook into my bullet journal. Currently, I’m using one grid insert and a plastic folder for notes and papers.

– Currently, I’m using the Desire Map Day Planner to keep track of big picture goals. The Day Planner is always on my desk; that way I can refer to it throughout the day. I usually don’t bring the Desire Map Day Planner to coffee shops or on walks because I try to minimize the number of notebooks I carry in my backpack.

I’ll use a similar analog system during 2016, and I’ll add my Everyday Adventures 2016 Planner into my journaling mix.

My notebook system might seem complex to you, but it works for me. I like segmenting my journals by topic so I can easily reference ideas at a later date.

Tips for You

1. Whether you are a beginning journaler or a seasoned writer, I encourage you to experiment with the types of journals you use and how you journal. I like to keep my journaling practice fresh and fun, so I change up my analog system frequently. For example, I was using my Midori Traveler’s notebook as a diary earlier this year, and now I’m using it for to-do lists.

2. And speaking of fun—have fun while you journal! Your journaling practice doesn’t have to be an hour-long session. It could take five to fifteen minutes. For instance, I’m reading Syllabus by Lynda Barry. I use her five-minute journaling layout, and I’m drawing every day! Barry made me believe that I can draw and create a visual journal.

3. It’s okay to play. Recently, I was given a gift card for my birthday, and I ordered a small watercolor set, new pens, and color pencils. I can’t wait to experiment with my new birthday goodies! I almost didn’t order new art supplies because I thought I was being extravagant. I’m glad I didn’t listen to my inner critic because writing, drawing, and playing with watercolors helps me relax and do better work. Plus, research has shown that engaging in play makes us better workers, parents, partners, community members, and more. If you want to dig deeper into that topic, read Brené Brown’s books.

4. Finally, it’s essential to have a private space for self-reflection, and writing in a journal is a great place to reflect on your daily life.

In Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age Sherry Turkle said:

“… these days, using the web for self-reflection poses the very real question of how truthful to be. For we know that it is not a private space, not a journal or a diary locked away. It is a new thing: a public space that we may nevertheless experience as the most private place in the world.”

I love Turkle’s quote because it rings true for me. I’ve never seen my blog or newsletter as a journal. The words and photos I share online are truthful, but the content is edited and curated. My ideas are filtered through my journal first, then in conversation with Logan and close friends. Finally, they make their way into books, courses, and blog posts.

Sometimes I feel that I overthink what I post online, but that’s probably a good thing. The Internet and our inboxes aren’t private spaces, and I keep that in mind before I share stories or photos publicly.

With gratitude,

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