Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Meet a Journal Keeper - Chuck


About 9 months ago I started writing everything down. At the time I was going through a rough patch and saw this exercise as a way to get all the worries out of my head and into a system where I could begin to deal with them. Over time the problem was dealt with, but I continued to "log my days". While not really a "journal", my daylog goes with me everywhere and I try to write down important (or not so important) details so I have a history of my days and a better feel for when I did things.

Since my current set-up only accommodates about 8-10 weeks of logging, I put together a "how-to" for myself on the steps necessary to prepare a new journal each time I run out of space in an old one. I've attached a pdf of my steps (with pictures).

I keep a full fledged blog-journal complete with rambling entries and in-depth analysis of dreams and plans and problems. But I don't write in it everyday. I *do* write in the daylog everyday though. Even if it's a line or two. In preparation for this guest post I went back and I went back and looked through my main journal for mentions of my daylog and pulled these lines from random entries: (Keep in mind - these are entries in my FULL-FLEDGED JOURNAL, but it's amazing how much I refer to the daylog and use it to make notes that I reference in a journal entry later...)

- Memo notebook – Daylog and TODO list – kept with me as often as possible, write down everything

- Good news! We got food this time! Bad news – the service is just as bad as we remembered. I jotted down some details in my daylog and Carrie asked if I was writing down something about the horrible service. I handed her the book and told her “this isn’t a secret” She read the whole thing from April 11 till present. She commented on my writing style which was nice and I felt good that she knew I wasn’t keeping anything from her. It’s just my newest method to keep from going crazy.

- Crissy saw me jotting stuff down in my daylog and mentioned that I should make a note about seeing a pirate, so I did.

- I’ve got a hell of a lot of recapping to do. Luckily I’m keeping the daylog. I’ll just hit some highlights:

- Wednesday I started a food journal. I usually write down what I had for different meals in my daylog just for reference. But now I’m trying to writing down portions (at least servings) and I’m including snacks too.

- I’m living by my daylog.

- Another few days have crept by without me writing, but have no fear – I have the highlights in my daylog.

- I still have plenty to do and am making an effort to keep track of everything. If anything – I can say that my daylog book is getting far more use than this journal. I’m all about writing down things as they happen

- I’ve nearly perfected my daylog method. I’ll get closer with my TODO’s. I’ve put this blog together to my random babbling to myself. I’ll eventually find the system that works for me. I just gotta keep at it.

- I’ve been maintaining my daylog. In fact on on volume two! Over the past few months I’ve come to discover what I’m good at and what I’m not.

- I’ve been daylogging and journaling now for almost a year.

- I’m wondering what it’ll take to bring me back to writing here every day again. I’d hate to think I need a crisis in order to document things (then again – I *am* still keeping the daylog) and I sure as hell don’t want anything to get me all riled up (that’ll happen on it’s own soon enough, I’m afraid).

- I mean, there’s been plenty of things to write about. For whatever reason I’ve decided to just keep track in my daylog instead.

- It all started last year with the car problem. It’s continued to be a source of comfort for me to be able to write whether it be here or in my daylog. It might be the OCD, but I feel better having documented things each day.
What are you afraid of?
P. S - if you would like a PDF copy of Chuck's Day-Log hack, then please email me. It's much more readable.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Dolly! I didn't realize the pdf would be an issue with blogger. For anybody who wants a pdf copy - I've made it available here:

    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks Chuck for letting us have a short glimpse in your head! I'm not sure if I could be so open! Anyway, your thoughts are interesting and wonderful ... and very inspiring!

  3. Chuck,

    Thank you for sharing your journal/daylog :-) I agree with Nofretiri. It is inspiring.

    I don't know if there is a way to make PDF work on blogger - since basic blogging is just about what I do :P But thanks for making your link available.

  4. Thanks so much, Dolly, for hosting such a great idea of presenting folks who keep journals. I always love to read about how others keep a journal.

    I appreciate the way you use several different techniques to keep track of things and delve deeper into life issues, as well sharing your journal with family.

    It amazes me how organic and customized journaling can be for each person; everyone has their own personal approach. It just shows there isn't one way to journal; there's your way!

    I have picked this post on Chuck Hawley's Journal Keeping for #JournalChat Pick of the Day for Wednesday, 11/10/10, for all things journaling.

    It will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my blog Refresh with Dawn Herring.

    You're welcome to follow my @JournalChat account where I post links for all things journaling.

    Thanks again for such a terrific series and example of journaling customized!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    @JournalChat on Twitter

  5. Dawn,

    Thanks :-) That's great news, and Chuck's post will be appreciated by many more people! I follow @JournalChat of course, and glad you stopped by.

  6. Keeping a day-log sounds like a really good idea. I don't really do anything close to that now, but I think I will, because it sounds like it would be really helpful in remembering day to day details. Thanks for the information!

  7. Hi,

    I'm new to journaling and I'm still in doubt if I should do it on-line or on paper. My writing is terrible and I work all days with computers. :-)

    But after reading this post and see the use of that little nifty daylog, I could combine both things. Write stuff during the day in the daylog and then summerise everything online.

    Thanks for sharing this!