I’m reading a great book right now called The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America by Molly McCarthy. In it she discusses the rise of dated planners in the US. She makes a very interesting point, one that I have experienced myself in keeping a journal: the advantages of using a dated diary or planner as a journal.
In her book, Molly gives examples of several people who started a journal in a blank book only to quickly abandon it. A blank page felt like too much pressure to some. Others didn’t know what to write on the page. But those same people, when offered a dated planner with only enough space per day for a few lines, subsequently became habitual diarists. The limited space took the pressure off. There were no expectations of great writing, and it only required a couple of minutes each day.
A few years ago I was lamenting having fallen off the journaling wagon, so I started using a day per page diary as my journal. The dated format encouraged me to write something each day so I wouldn’t leave any blank pages. Using the dated book jumpstarted my journaling habit and I faithfully wrote every day. Since then I have switched to blank notebooks, but my daily writing habit is still ingrained.
Have you ever tried using a dated planner as a journal?