Wednesday, October 24, 2018

More on the written journal, tools to use, and other goodies Day 4

Please Note:  Patricia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I will refer to some products in this post and many of these products contain links to companies that I may or may not receive a commission on.  You are not obligated to make a purchase of these products, and these products are only a suggestion.

Welcome back to day 4 of Journaling.   If this is your first time viewing this post or you are starting to journal, may I suggest you read the first three in the series before reading this post?
-          Day 1 is an introduction to journaling and how you may go about journaling.
-          Day 2 talks about where and when to journal.
-          Day 3 talks about the different types of journaling
Today’s topic is about the tools of the trade for a written journal.  I may touch briefly on digital journaling since so many people use their phones, laptops, and tablets in 2018.

Getting started with the right tools

Since I was 12, I always loved stationery products.  Maybe this is one of the reasons why I started a scrapbook company that later turned that into a stationery design company.  I still do scrapbooking, but times have changed and with the digital age, I am afraid that not too many people like the traditional method of scrapbooking as much as they did in the 1990s to early 2000s.  Maybe this is the reason why the store and company I used to work for from 2005 to 2010 closed the brick and mortar stores in 2014, and the online website shut down in 2017.  So, a switch was needed.  This does not mean that I still do not make books.
What does this have to do with journaling?  Part of scrapbooking a page is to journal, even If it means one little sentence about the event, and who is in the picture.  So, for you scrapbookers, who are reading this right now, you can easily transform your albums into a journal, add pictures as needed, and write a complete story around that picture or several pictures.  Not too many or it will be more like a scrapbook album than a journal.  Who am I to judge and besides that, you are in control of your journal.
Start with a good base….
You need to find yourself a good base to start journaling.  It could be pieces of paper, but where to put that piece of paper when you stop writing.  For a business journal, I use the Linen Notes Spiral Journal Book by Recollections, which is Michael’s brand.  In this journal, I can write down key notes of things I did, purchases I made, and payments made. The pages have a worn look to them, and it feels like I am writing in an old ledger.   The other feature (which many people do not notice) about the journal is the paper is thick, about a 110lb paper, but slightly less than that. (thicker than 80lb).  If I feel like writing with a marker, which I very rarely do, it does not bleed through.
You can use a planner.  I use them for notes of things I did on the date.  Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I use the Erin Condren Life Planner and have been since 2015.  I like this planner for things such as writing down dates to documenting what I did that day.  I use two of them.  One Life Planner is for personal and business (Although I will be getting a separate one for my business next year, increasing to three), the other is to write down when I do projects, blog posts, and videos, who these projects are for, and when is the due date.  I know that what I use may not to your taste, but there are several other companies that you may find better to your liking.
Notebooks/composition notebook
Some people write in a spiral notebook or a composition notebook.  The difference between the one I refer to and a plain, ordinary notebook is the price.  The one that I write in is $9.99 (Clearance price is $2.99) and has two hardcovers with the word “Notes” on it.  One to 5 subject notebooks and composition notebooks can go for as cheaply as $1 at Dollar Tree.  You can also get Journal notebooks at Dollar Tree as well.
That’s it for the paper, let’s move on to your writing instruments.
For pens, I use the PaperMate InkJoy Gel Pens.  They are a fine point.  I have also used any type of pen with a medium point, in a pinch.  I keep my pens in pencil holders from Dollar Tree. They are just as good as the $5 plus holders you can find at Staples and other places. 
What I like about the InkJoy Gel pens is they glide through any type of paper, so I use them in both the business journal, as well as the Erin Condren Journals.  In addition to the InkJoys that use in my Erin Condren, I do use her Fine Tip Wet Erase Set for the Whiteboards on the inside of covers for quick notes and reminders.
Pencils and color pencils
I do not recommend unless you are drawing something in your entry.  You want to use a pen for something that is more permanent, and you can go back years later to read.  Pencils smear a lot, which is why teachers recommend that children use pencils in their school work.  If you do use one in your journal, make sure you use a mechanical pencil.
As for color pencils, use them only for drawing or typography.
Other products…
I have a saying, which I kind of adopted from Chef Carla Hall of The Chew fame, and that saying is, “let your freak fly throughout the cosmos”.  What does that mean?  You can decorate however with whatever your heart desires.  The only thing that I ask you not to do is go overboard because if your intent is not to make your writing journal into a creative journal, you have a problem when you decide to write something in it.  You will not have any room to write.  So, for my crafters out there, you can use your medium gels and other “artsy” products, just tone it down a little.  I will discuss art journals at another time in my other blog, P. Lynne Designs.
In the meantime, you can use:
-          Stickers
-          Paint
-          Sayings and write what this saying means to you (hint, hint)
-          Little Buttons
-          Stamp on it
-          Die cut shape and talk about it. Oops, write about it
-          Use gel Mediums, but not too much.  Again, this is a writing journal, not a creative, art journal.
And so much more.  Use different color pens that you do no write with.  One final thought on pens, make sure they do not bleed through the next page, you want to be able to read what you wrote.  Test several pens out.
Entering the digital age….
I know that there is a generation out there who shun the old ways of writing.  If you are of that generation or not, this section is for you.
(raises hand), I keep a digital journal and have been for several years.  This is how I actually got started.  The only thing I advise you to do is to get a good program for either your computer (I use Ms. Word).  The disadvantage is you cannot decorate your pages if you decide to get creative.  This is one of the reasons why I started documenting in an actual journal for my business.  I do have parts of my journal in digital form, but not all of it.  If I am drawing something for a new line, I cannot turn to it (or maybe I can), but it is starting to feel natural to me to pick up a pencil and start drawing my ideas.   I will see with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Anyway, I will discuss digital journaling at another time.
(fluffs pillow)—It is time for me to turn in, and I hope that you do explore the many types of tools you can use in your journaling.  Remember my motto: Let your freak fly throughout the cosmos, meaning you can use anything in your journaling.  Just remember that you have to be able to function in that journal and read it years down the road.
For day 5: We are going to put it together and I will give you my final thoughts on the subject of starting and writing in a journal.  This is where the fun begins.  If you have started keeping one, congrats, if not, you get to go shopping after this last post.  If after you read the final post on the subject of journaling, and you find that this is not something you are interested in right this moment, or not at all, that’s OK too. At least you know what it is and how to get started.   I will also give you some hard truths on what I have found out, and that is not every entry you make is going to be sunshine and lollipops. 
I may have a little announcement at the end of this final post as well.
In the meantime, If you have any questions about this post or any of the previous posts, comment below or shoot me an email at  

God Bless

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