Awesome Journaling Tip

Let’s be honest, if you can’t find what you want in your journal, it loses much of its worth and purpose. Why record your thoughts on the birth of your first grandchild when the only way to find it is by reading the entire journal? Sure, you can usually go to a specific date and read what you wrote. But what if you don’t remember what date it was on or what if you want to find all of the entries about a specific topic?

A few eJournals such as Momento have a built in tag function. You can assign specific tags to an entry and it will then group all entries with that tag moving forward. The good news is that you don’t need a journal with a tag function. The more important feature is the ability to search it.

Photo Credit - Jeffrey Beall

Photo Credit – Jeffrey Beall

When I first realized how powerful search can be with journals and diaries, I started doing it the first way that came to mind. This simply meant that if I wanted a topic to be searchable in the future I would just add keywords throughout the entry. In practice, however, this can be kind of awkward. Nothing makes a journal readable like finding an INSPIRING STORY, DEEP THOUGHT or FIRST TIME  in the middle of a paragraph (note the sarcasm and realize the all caps is only added for emphasis).

This brought me to a more refined method of tagging for search ability and I hope that the reader will employ this tactic and see how wonderful it can be. Rather than trying to specifically add keywords throughout the text of the entry, I have found that it is easier to include them at the end of the entry. This way they will still show up in searches but they won’t get in the way of what you are trying to read. Check out this example.

November 22, 2011

Today was incredible. It looks like that promotion I have been hoping for is going to happen! This is especially good news since I am trying to increase my salary these last few years before I retire so that my retirement income will be higher. It is actually funny how it I heard the news. It isn’t uncommon to run into people you know in a town as small as this, but I was still shocked when I literally bumped into my manager at the grocery store! We were both bending down picking up potatoes when he looked up at me and said “So, I talked to Roger and he wants you to have that position you were talking to me about.” I don’t know if it was the stunned look on my face or the realization of the scene that finally made him crack up, after which I joined in and we had a good laugh.

The other big news of the day was that the boy Lucy has been dating finally asked her to marry him! Even though she is our second oldest daughter, she will be the first child to be married. I can hear the wedding bells already!

I saw a saying in a magazine that really made me reflect on this point in my life: “As my summers run out, I realize that the good I do at this stage of my life will come not from what I do, but rather the impact I make on those who look up to me.”

Tags: funny story, engagement, proposal, quote

So, what do you think? Is this way more tacky than just trying to include them in the text of the entry? Please share your thoughts!