I like Jeff Perry’s blog, a lot and I realized why as I was catching up on some older posts and I came across this one about memory and note taking.

When I filled my first Field Notes journal I took out a brand new one of the same color and compared them side-by-side. The used one could barely stay closed because the papers had been manhandled so much that they would push on the covers. I also noticed that the old one was significantly dirtier. It was as if someone decided to throw a journal into a muddy puddle and then dried it with a hair-dryer. For some reason when I made these observations I made it my goal to make every notebook I finish look like a shell of its former self.

I have recently returned to taking down notes by hand (due to a bad short term memory also a need to keep the daily juggle inherent in 21st century life) and I have been really enjoying the practice. I had thought about Bullet Journaling though that ended up being beyond what I needed to so I ended up combing a Bullet Journal-like approach with a Common Place book that I manage thru tagging in the margins. I don’t have the habit down though ideally I want to write everyday. The entries are some to do’s or notes on what I am reading or listening to in that particular moment.

Journaling is a highly personal endeavor. For me, a journal is as much about the process; you’re writing down notes for a future self though in many ways the act is more importantly than the creating a working diary/entry catalog. There is something about the act of writing down the notes that forces your mind to connect with the words better than typing out your text via a smartphone or laptop (which I have done via journaling apps on both platforms). I find it sharpens the mind and helps me focus on the day ahead.