I give up! A physical journal is much more powerful than a digital one!
Yes, I said that!
So let me start by saying this: In the last 4 years, I have been consistent and dogmatic with the use of my iPad to journal. As a matter of fact, I use the Bullet Journal method(BuJo) which I have done so consistently to the point that I have created a free downloadable bullet journal template which I share every year, made available here on my Medium.
You see, journaling is clearly one of the best ways to access and map your subconscious mind. Not only that, but through journaling, we are able to store information in ways that help us access the time, day, and mental space we were in that given time in space.
I started using an iPad to BuJo about 5 years ago mainly because I wanted the content of my thoughts written down to be as clear and open without the concern for prying eyes or the fear of losing the journal.
When the Apple Pencil launched, I thought it was a great idea to make the transition and document my thoughts on my iPad with my own writing. I didn’t have to worry about buying yet another pretty book that may get lost. I didn’t have to worry about mistakes- I could just erase them. I didn’t have to worry about extra journals. I could just click to add a different journal within whichever book app I was using. Over the years I used GoodNotes, I used NoteShelf. I tried to figure out which was best for journaling digitally and came to my own conclusions. Using the PaperTouch screen protector on my iPad, I explored the sense — the touch and feel of paper. It felt good to be able to translate paper to pixel. And yes, I did this for 5 years. And I enjoyed it!
One thing was missing! A BOOK! You see, we are so heavily programmed. I am heavily programmed! I love books. I have hundreds upon hundreds of books. I love to read physical books, I love to see those books in their individuality- their different colors, their thickness, their finish. I love to flip through the pages. I love to smell them. I love the cover art. I love the ripped pages, the coffee stains, and the underlined phrases, and sentences! Those are things that make books enjoyable! The ‘tactilism’ of it all!
The one habit I engage in more than any other is meditation and journaling. To think that I can’t enjoy the same engagement of my senses- with that one habit that means more to me than most other habits… Now, that doesn’t sit right with me.
I recently bought the amazing book by Hannah Hinchman, A Life In Hand. Reading through it I realized one other aspect of journaling I had been missing out on was the ability to sketchnote my thoughts and sketch(in pen and pencil drawing) my day in its rawest form and so…
I took the plunge!
I got a Leuchtturm1917! I chose a color I hated to defy my previous resolve. And I am ready to take my journaling offline.
To retort the words of Normal Ohler, “When I write by hand, I produce different sorts of sentences than when I’m on the computer. I’d say they tend to be better ones.”
So how about my concerns about privacy and loss?
You see, in the last year or so, I have had a totally different outtake on life, and of myself! I have slowly and surely realized the world of illusion in which we live and perform. There’s nothing private to me that’s not also private to the other. So privacy is an illusion. There’s no one I am trying to be private with. In fact, I don’t care if a total stranger reads about an embarrassing situation that happened in my life! Wouldn’t that even make for great dinner-time gossip? Ah, that goes to the second concern I had: what if my journal gets lost?
We never lose anything. All of this world is mine! At the same time, none of this world is mine either. I am not attached to anything! Well, maybe with the exception of my dog, Milo.
The whole of our experience in this world is pure play! Pure play! There’s no right way to do anything. There’s no wrong way to do anything. There just is!
So I am going to enjoy writing in a book. And when/if it is time for me to move to a digital medium or to some other type of medium, I will.
A part of the physical journal exploration that I am looking forward to is using paper cutouts and printed photos in my journal workflow. I got the HP Sprocket pocket printer to print photos on-actual-demand that I can stick in my day entries.