“ I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”
I have found a feeling of vulnerability since becoming a parent. Not only aware of the fragility of my children’s lives but the fragility of my life and the speed that the years fly by.
If I was to die tomorrow I’d like the children to know who I am. Not to be told your dad was like this or that he thought this about that subject and so on. Or worse, for them to be told you are like your dad. I want them to know exactly who I am ideally from sharing a long fulfilled life together.
If that isn’t an option I’d like them to know who I was and what I thought from my own words, which lead me to writing a journal.
I struggled to write a journal I would aim to write it daily. It isn’t something I am able to carry with me on a daily basis. So it’s something I would write at the end of the day.
I started well sitting down before bed and writing thoughts and synopsis of the day, slowly it became bi-daily and then weekly and eventually a chore. Trying to remember a weeks worth of thoughts ideas and events became something of homework I didn’t want to do.
I began writing down notes on my phone as thoughts came to me or funny moments that I wanted to share along with a brief daily synopsis to then transfer into my journal. This became even more of a chore and felt like it was taking up too much time copying one to the other. I looked at several apps as I always have my phone on me. It had to be free ( Tight git ) It had to be accessible to others if I die. It had to be backed up some where without a data or word cap on it. I tried several but non were as customisable as I wanted. I was still new to journaling and struggling with getting my thoughts across and brief if time was short.
Ideally you should, I feel find the time to sit in a quiet corner and really focus on the day and what you want to put down in your journal. However this isn’t always possible. So I looked for a hack a quick and easy way to journal.
Which lead me to bullet journaling.
There are hundreds of YouTube videos of beautiful and amazing bullet journals and ideas. Which as clever and creative as they were, again became time-consuming. I really like the idea of bullet journaling and the several categories and symbols you can create. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to bullet journaling. But once again it would involve carrying a journal around with me or making notes and adding them to my journal. Again searched for apps but found none of them were as customisable as I wanted.
Whilst searching for ideas I was reminded of Evernote a place to store documents on-line and control who can see the notes and documents you post. It’s also fully customisable as I want it to be.
In Evernote you create notebooks with these notebooks you can create stacks.
As seen here
You can see that I have created several stacks.
With stacks Evernote always puts them in chronological order.
So ensure you number them in the order you wish to have them appear.
Each stack is basically a list of notebooks. Within these notebooks you can add unlimited amounts of notes. Again they show in chronological order. I always put the date as the title so they show in order of latest entry.
Within each stack I have notebooks with my customised categories.
This is my everyday journal. Not always a written journal sometimes it can be a photo or photos that I have taken of that day.
This is a list of philosophy and poetry that have struck a chord with me. It is always growing and I will often go back and re-read it.
Books to read.
This is a list of books I have read and yet to read.
This is an unusual list.
It’s a list of material things that I would buy if I could. They are not huge items. It’s things like a watch, trainers, camera etc. Things I could afford but it would mean pulling money from one area to another. It’s things I can do without to make sure it’s spent on the girls. It’s more of a backwards reminder for me, to remind me what I am happy to go without.
Places to see with the girls.
This is a list of places and things that I’d like to see and do with the girls. Something’s are ticked off and if they are a description of where, when and what we did with photos is attached to that note.
One very good feature with Evernote is the ability to search via keywords. So if you have a particular day or trip away for example you can easily search it out.
If I struggle for something to write that day I always refer to my journal ideas and questions.
Feeling proud today.
Internals rather than externals.
Thought for the day.
Mood of the day.
Failed/ struggled with today.
Something nice for someone today. “Altruism”
Brief description of the day.
Hopes, adventures and future plans
I also decided to become organised and adult a little.
I have a finance stack.
Within this is a list of monthly bills. Outgoing’s, dates and the amounts etc..
I also have a notebook where I can scan receipts and store them for safe keeping. Warranties etc.. fortunately, touch wood, we haven’t had to buy or replace any large items or white goods.
But it’s handy to have if we need to.
I should add a caveat here that this isn’t sponsored or paid and endorsed by Evernote. It’s something I use and found extremely useful.
Do you use a journal?
If you have any tips or ideas to use as a busy parent please share in the comments.