Journaling for personal time-traveling

Just stumbled upon this nice article by Jen A. Miller of the New York Times about keeping a “Coronavirus Diary” in which she talks about some of the benefits of keeping a journal not only during trying times like these but in general.

But the main point of this exercise shouldn’t necessarily be about what other people will think about our thoughts right now. “That doesn’t matter because we’re writing for ourselves to find out how we feel about things,” he said. He doesn’t even like to call them diaries — he [Herbert Braun, University of Virginia] prefers the term “jottings” instead.

I, personally, keep a journal for a couple of reasons involving not only myself but also the people around me:

  • I love looking back at pictures from all those trips I made years ago. Just recently I skimmed through my album of a trip to San Francisco I did many years ago and relived some of the best moments of that in my head. But pictures are only part of the story as they usually won’t convey what I was feeling in that situation. A journal can help with that.
  • My dad always tells stories about how life was when he grew up. I really wish he’d had a journal so that I don’t have to write them down eventually 😅
  • A journal allows me not only to take notes but also doodle around and therefore make those memories even more … memorable!
  • I really like the idea of having notes, tasks, and events in a single place so that I immediately have the connection what happened when and in what context. This allows me, for instance, to keep track of when we went shopping for groceries the last time and therefore plan ahead.

If you’re keeping a journal, what are your reasons for doing it?