Journaling Day 15

Fifteen days of journaling later, it is time to check-in on how my 30-day journaling challenge has been going!

This month, my 30-day journaling challenge has called for me to write in my journal once a day and try out a variety of journaling styles. And despite my inconsistent and spontaneous WWOOFing lifestyle, I have managed to keep it up so far. (My loose and ambiguous guidelines probably had something to do with it!)

What journaling forms did I try out? How did I like each one?

Chronological Bullet Points

  • Pros:
    • Easy and straightforward
    • Detailed
  • Cons
    • Not particularly entertaining to reread
    • Can lack an emotional element

Short Narrative Paragraphs

  • Pros:
    • More opportunity for side commentary
    • Better balance of fact and feeling
    • Narrative-style makes it enjoyable to look back upon
  • Cons:
    • Can skim over details of the day’s events

Gratitude List

  • Pros:
    • Very detailed
    • Uplifting to reread
    • Takes me beyond the myopia of a single day
  • Cons:
    • None!

Highlight Reel Sentences

  • Pros:
    • Quick and easy
    • Calls out the day’s key moments
    • Focuses on what I want to one day remember
  • Cons:
    • Glosses over the struggles of the day

Feeling-Oriented Stream of Consciousness

  • Pros:
    • Emphasizes my mood
    • Sparks new ideas and connections
  • Cons:
    • Prioritizes how I feel over what I do

Drawing in the Notes App

  • Pros:
    • Reveals how full my day since I resorted to a last-minute sketch in my phone
    • Reminds me of the precise moment I drew the picture
    • Colorful
    • Convenient
  • Cons:
    • Lives outside my journal
    • Doesn’t remind me of everything I did that day

Handwriting in the Notes App

  • Pros:
    • Somewhat convenient
  • Cons:
    • Messy
    • Tricky to write with my finger
    • Lacks detail
    • Incoherent

Typing in the Notes App

  • Pros:
    • Wrote more because it was typed
    • Convenient
    • Very detailed
    • Can easily reference what I did that day at any point in time
  • Cons:
    • Again, it lives outside my journal
    • Exists digitally (i.e. forever)
How do I feel?

Looking back upon my first two weeks of journaling this month, I’m so grateful to have these moments documented in one way or another.

I’ve never analyzed my journaling before, but doing so has provided insight into what I appreciate from a journal entry. Mostly, it seems that I appreciate a descriptive title and a good balance between events and feelings.

In fact, each style I chose suited my particular needs for that day. Some days required convenience, some days called for emotional processing, and some days needed in-depth detail. This flexibility in my journaling form keeps things manageable and interesting.

What challenges have I faced?

Quite simply, the greatest challenge has been to remember to journal and to not procrastinate doing so.

Whenever I left journaling to the very end of the day, I dreaded the task—especially if I knew I would have to write in my journal while in bed. Journaling in the late afternoon or evening, when I have more energy and a kitchen table, is the way to go.

Also, since the farm is very much a group setting, I often journaled with other people around me. Although I wasn’t necessarily writing anything particularly private, I was conscientious of the fact that other people might see what I was writing.

In fact, I would find myself using my left arm to cover my already-written page. As a result, my mild paranoia about wandering eyes might have curtailed the length, depth, or openness of my entry for that day.

What am I looking forward to?

Based on my journaling so far, for the rest of the month, I want to focus on these few points:

  • Make sure every entry has a descriptive title
  • Set a back-up journaling alarm in case of forgetfulness
  • Try out journaling at different times of day (i.e. in the morning)
  • Add photos to my journal entries if I type them in the Notes app
  • Seek out privacy when journaling
  • Write about the future rather than the present or past
  • Continue exploring various journaling forms

I’m excited to apply these insights to my next two weeks of journaling!

New here? Welcome! I invite you to find out more about my 30-Day Challenges here.

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