Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Keeping A JRNL

  • "We helped Leslie move down to Grandma’s house in Provo today as she starts UVU on Monday. She’ll be living in grandma’s basement with Emily and Addie. Elisa went down on Thursday with Leslie and Emily and they’ve been there for a couple days getting most of the things set up. Rebecca and I came down today to finish helping out. At the end of the day we walked around the UVU Campus to help Leslie find her first day classes. I’m excited for her opportunity." – Journal Entry, 2016-08-20

    That’s the start of my most recent journal entry, a practice I’ve recently recommitted to. Leslie has been actively encouraging me to be better at recording my thoughts and activities. I’ve long held the Monday Morning Boost is a form of journal keeping, but Leslie has staunchly refused to accept my rationality.

    Over the years I have kept a few journals. I was pretty faithful during my army basic training and while serving as a missionary. While in Iraq my emails home served as a journal of sort. Journaling has otherwise been a sporadic effort, an effort I put forth only for special occasions, but then not every one of them.

    Essentially I have found keeping a journal too much work. Faulty thinking, I know, but it’s been my reality.

    Leslie loves writing in her journal, writing being the key word. She’s very creative and finds enjoyment in the physical act of using a pen to write on paper. I can be pretty lazy at times and keeping a journal has simply felt like too much work. Furthermore, my handwriting is atrocious, a fact my coworkers who have to read my handwritten forms will eagerly attest to!

    Over the last several months I’ve experimented with a few journaling methods and tools. I tried simply writing emails to myself. I used a journal entry tool on my electronic scriptures. I even resorted to handwriting in a printed journal. Finally I started looking at online tools and discovered there are many tools available. After researching, reading reviews, and trying out a couple, I selected JRNL.com

    JRNL.com is free online journal that’s easy to use on computers, tablets, and phones. The entry format makes it easy to organize thoughts with unlimited multiple journals and tags. You can use text, photos, and incorporate basic design formatting. The “All About Me” section prompts you to answer questions about your life and thoughts. You can also email journal entries, though it’s a tool I’ve yet to use. A recent upgrade includes connecting with social media account with Instragram currently the first available. On the technical end, JRNL.com is secure, completely private, and automatically backed up for permanent archival.

    My most favorite journaling tool has become speech to text. I mainly use the mobile version of JRNL.com via my phone. It’s easy to voice a journal entry with the voice recognition software built into most smartphones. I use this method frequently and the few words that translate incorrectly are easy to fix. On the plus side, striving to reduce errors has helped me practice my diction!

    Bookbuilder is the last key feature of JRNL.com I wish to share. Through this tool you can print your journals in a bound volume using text and full-color photos.

    JRNL.com is a tool that’s working effectively for me. Lifehack.org offers a review of five different online journaling tools. If you’re looking for inspiration to get started, The Muse.com offers “8 Ways to Stop Thinking About Journaling and Actually Start Journaling.” And from a website appropriately named Journaling Saves, discover “How To Journal In 10 Simple Steps.”

    I leave you with a later part of my most recent journal entry:

    "As Leslie left she gave us all a big hug then walked out the door. And life changed, just as it did each time one of the kids left home. My heart feels empty as years of love and experiences come rushing to the surface. While my feelings today seem more profound, tinged even with a sense of finality, they clearly resemble those feelings of four previous occasions. Thus I trust, as has happened before, the emptiness will soon be filled with the love and experiences this new journey in life will provide. Go forward with faith Leslie, enjoy every aspect of the journey, and be a good friend. Love you always! Daddy." – Journal Entry, 2016-08-20

    Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.

    p.s. Take 13 minutes today to start a journal with one simple entry. Here’s a prompt if you need.