Journaling has the power to capture life’s fleeting moments and preserve them for a lifetime. In this edition of “How I Journal,” we delve into the journaling journey of Jesse Manscill, a full-time teacher from Eagle Mountain, Utah.
With over 15 years of journaling experience, Jesse has found solace, reflection, and a way to celebrate the growth and progress of his family through the pages of his journal. From daily entries to specialized journals capturing everything from emotions to culinary adventures, Jesse’s approach to journaling is as diverse as the moments he captures. Join us as we explore his insights, tips, and the profound impact journaling has had on his life.
Preserving Precious Moments: The Importance of Journaling
For Jesse, journaling holds immense significance as a means of documenting important moments. As a father of three, he cherishes every moment spent with his children and wants to capture the essence of their growth and progress.
He explains, “Journaling is important to me because it’s a way to preserve memories. I have three kids that are growing up way too fast. I want to remember every moment with them. Day One has helped me do that in more than just words. I have videos of them, audio recordings, and even scanned pictures they have drawn for me. These things are absolutely priceless to me. Journaling allows me to capture these precious moments with my kids while still being able to celebrate their growth and progress.”
“Journaling is important to me because it’s a way to preserve memories. I have three kids that are growing up way too fast. I want to remember every moment with them.”
A Multitude of Journals: Capturing Life’s Diversity
Jesse’s journaling practice extends beyond a single journal. He keeps over 10 different journals, each serving a specific purpose.
He explains how he separates his journals:
“While that might seem chaotic to some people, it’s actually quite organized and incredibly helpful for me to stay organized. I’d say that I have five main journals that I use most often. I have a daily journal that I write about the day-to-day stuff that happens. In that same daily journal I write about what I am grateful for and what I experienced on a given day.
“I also have a journal of “events.” These are birthdays, holidays, vacations, anniversaries and other experiences. A lot of these events reoccur annually which means I can tag them easily (ie, birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc). I have a family of 5 (three kids and a wife). Most of these entires involve them in one way or another.
“Another journal I keep is one that contains a lot of my emotions and deeper thoughts. Whenever I feel like I need to write in words things that I am feeling or thinking that aren’t tied to a particular event, but rather have grown out of introspection and pondering I’ll write here. It’s a little less frequent than my other journals, but no less important.
“Lastly, I have a gospel learning journal that I record what I am learning from studying the scriptures every day. I also have a monthly journal where I write down goals and hopes for the month (I’ve titled that journal, “the process”). I’d say those five journals are my most visited and well used.
“I also have some journals that could be termed “collection” journals. I have a pizza journal where I record the collection of pizzas I’ve both made (I am on a lifelong quest to make the perfect pizza) and I have tried (also trying to find the greatest pizza place out there). I also have a Root Beer Journal where I rate and briefly write about different root beers I have tried over the years (there are a lot of root beers to try out there! I am currently on 75 different entries!). Every once in a while I’ll get someone asking me about my thoughts on a particular root beer and it’s nice to just send them my written journal entry complete with pictures and out of 5 star rating.
“I have a journal to collect my favorite quotes and jokes. I have another journal for dreams (I rarely remember my dreams, so that one doesn’t have many entries). I have a journal for keeping and collecting tickets that I have scanned in (a lot of tickets are on your phone these days, so that journal is becoming a little more obsolete, but valuable in terms of memories).”
Journaling Habits: Finding the Perfect Time
Jesse has established a journaling routine that works best for him. “My favorite time to journal is in the evening. I usually sit down an hour to 30 minutes before bed and write. I find it’s the best way to recap my day and think about what I have accomplished and experienced. I use a template to help keep these daily entries uniform. On occasion I journal throughout the day as well, usually when I am experiencing an ongoing event (like a family reunion or if I am on a vacation).”
Building a Journaling Habit: Tips and Advice
For those looking to cultivate a journaling habit, Jesse offers valuable advice:
“I look forward to journaling every day because I am following my own rules. When you look forward to something, the habit is more likely to stick. I also like to think of the long game when it comes to journaling. How will choosing to journal now benefit me down the road? How will it help my future posterity? Thinking of these types of questions tends to motivate me to record memories and thoughts.
“There is no wrong way to journal. I think a lot of people think journaling has to be a big long entry every time, but it isn’t! It can be whatever you want it to be! It can be a picture and a few words. It can be bullet points. You can just answer the Day One prompt! Whatever it is for you, make it enjoyable and worthwhile.”
Lessons Learned: Unleashing the Power of Journaling
Through his journaling practice, Jesse has discovered that no day is truly eventless when we take the time to reflect. Initially thinking some days were mundane, he found that once he started writing, memories and meaningful events flooded back to him. He explains:
“One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that journaling unlocks more of me.”
“One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that journaling unlocks more of me. What I mean by that is that sometimes I feel like my day was boring and I have nothing to write about. But once I start writing I remember events during the day that I really enjoyed or have strong feelings about. I can then relive those moments and process them in a meaningful way and express them through words in my journal.
“I am always surprised by how much I can write about a seemingly “boring” day. No day is eventless if we give ourselves time to reflect on it. We experience so many various thoughts, emotions, and interactions in a given day and when we take time to slow down and consider the day through journaling we can learn some pretty amazing things about ourselves and about life.”
Templates, Shortcuts, and Writing Prompts: Streamlining the Journaling Process
In his journaling journey, Jesse has found several features of the Day One app that enhance his overall experience. The “On This Day” feature holds a special place in his heart.
“Like a lot of people I LOVE the “On This Day” feature. Being able to see the past and how it is so different, and sometimes the same, from my current day is so rewarding. I’ll often send entries to family members and say something like, “This happened a year ago today! What a great memory! Do you remember this day?” Usually they had no idea that such significant events happened a year ago. They are usually really grateful I reminded them and it’s fun to relive the moment again together.”
The journal templates feature offered by Day One is another favorite of Jesse’s. Templates provide a framework for his recurring entries and ensure uniformity across his various journals. For his daily journal, monthly goals, and specialized collection journals like “Root Beer” and “Pizza,” templates help him quickly capture his thoughts and experiences in a consistent format. With just a few taps, he can populate his entries with the necessary prompts and structure, making the writing process more efficient and enjoyable.
He also leverages the power of shortcuts to streamline his journaling experience. By creating a dedicated screen on his phone, he has quick access to almost every aspect of his journaling practice. From shortcuts to different journals, the “On This Day” widget, daily prompts, and even the day’s statistics, Jesse’s shortcuts enable him to effortlessly engage with his journal on a day-to-day basis.
Additionally, Jesse makes use of the daily writing prompts provided by Day One. These prompts act as thought-provoking cues, stimulating his writing and guiding his reflections. “These prompts are a great way to get the writing juices going!”
“What if you woke up and the only memories you had were the ones you wrote down in your journal? You are more than a blank page. Get writing.”
Jesse Manscill’s journaling journey is a testament to the profound impact journaling can have on our lives. Through his dedication and diverse approach, he has created a rich tapestry of memories, thoughts, and experiences that will be cherished for generations to come. From capturing the simple joys of everyday life to embarking on culinary quests and exploring his spiritual growth, Jesse exemplifies the versatility and power of journaling.
Start Journaling Today with Day One
The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily journaling reminders, daily writing prompts, and journal streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.