It all started when I read a post on The Art of Manliness, a blog that has featured some incredibly good posts. This particular post was part of a series called “30 Days to a Better Man,” which featured several articles suggesting men do things like define their core values, shine their shoes, write a letter to their father, and get a testicular exam. Out of these 30 articles, I happened to read the one on starting a journal. I was impressed with the argument they made on why keeping a journal is an important part of a man’s life, and the explanation of an all-purpose journal that served as a to-do list, journal, sketch pad, idea pad, etc. As I read the article, I realized that the author was right, and I could gain a lot by starting a journal. At that point the seed was planted.
The seed was watered later that week, when all of us who were working for Union College Security were issued Rite in the Rain 4×6 notebooks to jot down suspicious license plates, vehicle descriptions, person descriptions, etc. I began to carry it on duty, and soon found I was taking notes on all kinds of things with it. Soon, I was carrying it with me everywhere, both on and off duty, and journaling all kinds of things in it, and found that I often referred back to it, quickly finding any information simply by referencing the date, which I wrote at the top of each page that began a new day.
Honestly, starting a journal was one of the best small decisions I have ever made. I’ve already finished my first notebook, filling both sides of all pages, and am currently on my second one. I chose to stick with the 4×6 Rite in the Rain, because it is waterproof, large enough to fit more than a few words on a line, and small enough to fit in the back pocket of a pair of pants, which allows me to carry it with me anywhere I go. If bigger or smaller notebooks would be more practical for you, Rite in the Rain also sells a number of other sizes of notebooks, all of which are waterproof, allowing you to write in any conditions without ever having to worry about ruining your notebook.
If you don’t currently journal, I suggest you take the plunge. Get a Rite in the Rain notebook (or some other brand if you are SURE it will never get wet), and a pencil, a space pen, or a official US Government pen (find them at the post office), and try it. I promise you, it’s worth it.