Journaling in the 21st Century

Why is it that even as we move further and further away from paper, we still look at things as “paper bound”. Take the journal. What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of a journal? A leather-bound book and fountain pen? A sketchbook and pencil? Today’s journal is more likely to be a smart phone or an online platform like Facebook. And, since the medium has changed, so does the message.

Although most of my journaling still consists of written thoughts and observations, I find myself including more photographs, sketches and even links to interesting things online.

Day One appMy journal app (Day One) will also capture the location and weather conditions at the time of each entry and the latest update gives me the ability to embed video from YouTube and Vimeo. I don’t know that those videos will survive future decades, but I’ll include them anyway. Even if the video itself doesn’t survive the ages, my mention of it will. And, suppose it does survive. If I don’t include it, who will know?

So my journal is a strange hybrid beast that is part scrapbook, part sketchbook and part traditional journal. It’s purpose is to describe the world around me. Most of what I know about my parents’ and grandparents’ generations comes from photographs, letters and verbal stories. My generation will leave behind tons of photographs but not so many letters. I’m hoping that my journaling can help fill in that gap.

What’s your journaling style?

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