It had been quite some time since I utilized a journal with grid pages. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I used grid. I created this publication with Blurb which allowed me to create a huge journal, 400+ pages, and a variety of backgrounds. Lined, blank, grid, etc.
The journal is 6×9, my favorite size, and it is by no means perfect but there are many aspects I enjoy. The journal goes with me everywhere because I am constantly making notes to keep up with my life and my production demands. Blurb, AG23, Milnor, etc. There are a lot of details in the air at any given time. A huge book doesn’t do me any good because I just can’t carry it.
Also, the journal for me is about one thing. Writing. I have plenty of portfolios, I don’t need another as my “journal.” Yes, this book has images, and shapes, and graphics and maps, etc. but I did this simply as a test to see how it would look so that I could better inform people like…you. I think it looks good, and more importantly, it’s functional.
I use this book daily, and one of the best things about using this book is it slows me down. Entirely. There is no way to write in this book and do anything else. And the writing I do isn’t about what I did that day, far from it. This is a freeform space for pure thought. I write as it no one else in the world will ever see it. Truth, regardless of warts. We’ve all heard the cliché about people being fearful of being left alone with only their thoughts, and there is plenty of science behind this concept. I think this is why there are so many people struggling with various aspects of their life. I have an odd friend here in New Mexico who, when I first met him, asked: “Who are you and what do you believe?” I was startled at first but realized how refreshing this was.
I get so many questions about projects, photography, ideas, and how I stay inspired, (a bit odd) etc. The journal is the basis for most of these things. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter what supplies you use. It doesn’t matter how it looks to anyone else. You just start writing. Don’t be afraid.
A good post. I don’t know how many times I’ve started journals but always stop. Maybe because I’ve always tried to make it a running narrative of my life – what I did that day. Rambling about dreams, etc. happened but not enough. Maybe that was the problem. I’m going to give it another go.
Everything matters. Everything counts. However small. Remember, it’s about you not us.
I’m going to give one of these a try. A little tired of the functional but too easy and overpriced moleskines. Any thoughts on soft/hard cover? I prefer hard covers in general, but soft covers would probably be more small bag friendly.
Save the money, go soft.
Sage advice. Distracted yet again by The Shifter. Hmm, starting to think this SHIFTER thing applies to literal and figurative gears. Starting flipping through Lightroom thinking about which photos I might want to put in this thing. I agree with what you said, though – I’m not looking to make a photo book. It’s for writing, or using those carbon or graphite or whatever pencils I bought years ago. Gonna step away for a while and think about what I want to put in this thing.
I fill them with all kinds of things. Images, graphics, drawings, shapes, oversized type, etc. And then I work over all of it.
I grew up with grid paper, I used to draw, write, sketch storyboards, on those. A grid journal sounds great!
I have to say, it’s kinda growing on me.
I have to say, you’ve sent me down memory lane with these grid papers. I’d buy only grid paper when I was in university. Hence why your small form journal with grid pages is really appealing now.
I’m going to make more of these. I have three total and each is 400+ pages so I’m set for a while.
I like to do morning pages. Wake up, make coffee, sit down (usually on the floor) and write non-stop for three pages without a break. I never reread what I wrote but use the process as a dumping ground for what’s going on in my head. I tried doing it on my iPad for a while but it’s far better on paper.
There’s also the photo journal where I stick prints of photos that I’ve made and also a yearly diary that I use during the day for notes and thoughts etc. as well as a schedule.
Once you start it becomes addictive.
Two things. Addiction, yes, for sure and I think there are SO many ways of making this interesting. You have hit on a good one.
Just curious, how many pages in your Blurb notebook and how many photos?
I think about 400 pages and as for the images, I really don’t know. Fifty maybe. Lots of shapes and type things as well.
Damn Dan, our journals might be for us only, but yours always strike me as the gold standard for the rest of us. I’ve been keeping a journal of some description since age 6 but all it is all writing: squiggles, apocalyptic angst and all that.
What I did come here to say though, was HOLY CRAP BLURB MAKES journals. I’m sure you’ve written about this earlier, and I probably had the same reaction, but I forgot, so I’m going to enjoy the surprise again (and hope this isn’t early onset dementia)!
They aren’t the cheapest. They don’t use the fanciest materials. But, you can make them CUSTOM and for some reason, the paper takes my fountain pen perfectly…..Also, you could make a few using your images from Kstan, then take them back to the people you have photographed and get them to write their thoughts then scan them and make their work part of your story. Just a thought.
A stellar thought!
Been journaling regularly for about ten years now in several smaller notebooks.
Now I may switch to a smaller 6 x 9 size so I make it an every day carry.
I can’t imagine NOT taking this with me. Heck, I take it when I’m hiking and while I’m cycling. People try to use their phone but I’ve never seen a good journal phone, ever. And then again you are staring at your phone even more. Cant’ imagine anything less appealing.
I can’t imagine NOT taking this with me. Heck, I take it when I’m hiking and while I’m cycling. People try to use their phone but I’ve never seen a good phone journal, ever. And then again you are staring at your phone even more. Cant’ imagine anything less appealing.
Coincidence or intention?
I shot so much 35mm film, that I get thrown off by Square Format, 4:3, and all that other stuff. When I crop, I still aim for that format, sometimes even obsessively using a calculator to multiply/divide my pixels.
Creature of habit, I guess.
Ha, good point. I do love my square but rarely shoot it anymore, rarely use film. Logistical reasons mostly.
Just ordered my custom Blurb Notebook! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
The journals and notebooks are gold.