Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers my journaling style.
First off let me say how surprised to read your last journaler's post. It's a guy! I meet so few guys that journal, or admit to it anyway, that I was in total shock.
I started serious journaling when my son was in sixth grade. He English teacher told the class that they all has to keep a journal and write in it each and every day. He was quite bummed about this "chore" and so I promised him I'd keep one too. We went down to the local dollar store and bought the two smallest ones we could find. They were sort of girlie so we covered them in manly contact paper.
He kept to his promise and I to mine. At the end of the year we sat down and shared portions of our journals with each other, especially the days when we did things together. It was interesting to hear his perspective on these days. He said he was a little sad to see the journal year end. Then we decided to try another year. He and I have kept one every year since. Although we have moved up to the bigger journals without the tiny locks.
When he graduated I pulled some stores and quotes from my journal and created a scrapbook with pictures. It was the hit of the grad party. Everyone wanted to read the stores.
I now have about 20 journals. I do wish I had started earlier. So now I encourage everyone to start now. You'll be glad you did.
I have a few requirements for my journals:
They must have at least 365 pages (I write a page a day)
They must be sewn bound (my journals get a beating)
I only use waterproof ink (usually a fountain pen)
It must be at least 5 x 7 (most are 6 x 8)
I usually write at the end of the day and try to focus on the positive. I sometimes whine but try to keep that to a minimum. Who wants to read a whiner? I certainly don't, even if it is me.
In the last three years I've been adding sketches to my journals. I usually sketch something simple, my lunch, a chair, whatever happens to be at hand and then at the end of the day do my journaling around it. I often add watercolor washes. My journals become quite interesting when I travel.
Although I also keep an electronic journal (usually about 750 words a day), I find the paper journal most relaxing and enjoyable to look over later. I have attempted to keep an index of my paper journal in an electronic spreadsheet. My idea was to be able to locate the entries by keyword. But I haven't kept it consistently.
I also keep a work journal that relates to software design. These are more diagrams and pictures. But I never mix secular work journals and personal journals. That's just my style and it seems to work for me.
Anyway my personal journal, and now my illustrated journal, has become such a part of my everyday life I can't imagine doing without it. Sometimes is clears my head, at other times it's just relaxing, at still later times it brings great satisfaction to look back and see the progress I've made.
Also, in the last three years I've been adding sketches to my journals. Here are a few examples from the last three years: