Despite doing everything on a computer these days, I’ve rediscovered a place for a journal.
The one I’m using is just a conventional lined notebook I picked up on an impulse. At times I was feeling constrained sitting at the computer (or more accurately with the computer sitting on my lap) and I thought this might help. It did.
I use it primarily for jotting down ideas. Not so much ideas for stories, but if I’m trying to generate new goals to work on, or come up with possible solutions for plot problems, being able to scribble them down in the journal seems to be a lot more effective than typing them into the MacBook. Which is odd, since reading my work in hard copy normally provokes the opposite reaction: it’s fixed, it’s finished, any edits I make have to be final edits. But somehow it works.
(As you can see, it’s kind of scramble-ramble in style. And includes menu planning).
Another use is to jot down plans, schedules or project details for my off-hours (what do I need to/want to accomplish next weekend, say). In my down time I prefer to be on my computer as little as possible; the journal makes it doable.
I doubt it’ll go beyond that, but I’m very glad I tried it.