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How To Create A Mini-Journal


By Lael Johnson, Writer's Eye Advisory Service

For really busy days, it's nice to be able to journal on something small. It makes it easier to keep up with daily activities, if you keep some 3x5 cards nearby and jot notes on them. I can remember not liking index cards in school, because they always reminded me of Dewey decimal system and finishing school reports on time. However, in college index cards became my ally in keeping track of my off-topic thoughts during college lectures. It made it so much easier, when I could jot something down, so I wouldn't forget it and still keep up with class. Now, I can make a mini---journal with these cards. Or I write some of my articles on cards, making sure to keep them in order. When I get home, I can put the article into it's computer file or in an envelope and tape it into my journal. I also keep track of business ideas when I'm showing my jewelry, so that I don't lose track of changes I need to make or credit myself for the great work I did. So read on for instructions on how to create your own mini-journal.

PURCHASE INDEX CARDS:
My favorite index cars are 3 x 5 ruled with neon colors. These colors are bright and bold, not like their paler counterparts. You may also create your own cards from collage materials, such as pictures, stationery or other material that you can write an entry on. Use your imagination. You can even use plain white unruled cards. It's up to you what materials you use. I only suggest that you keep the size consistent or your journal will look a bit asymmetrical.

TYPE OF ENTRY:
I would suggest picking one of the following exercises for your mini-journal: write list(s), reminder phrases or sentences, prayer(s), a short doodle, a poem, lyrics, an image(s), your accomplishments, your feelings, a five-minute dialogue, or other valuable information. You can also create your own journal exercises, by combining some from this list or creating totaling unique exercises. After you have read a variety of other's journal exercises, it becomes easier to imagine and create your own.

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CHOOSE A TOPIC(S):
Pick a topic that is short. You can always add more index cards as you expand your topic. You decorate one side of this first card like a collage, then start you entry on the other side. Remember to number your pages, they will stay in better order, until you are ready to put them all together.

WRITE YOUR ENTRY:
It's time to write your entry. I've given you several examples of exercises you can use. You can always use plain text to to write your entry too. You can write on any topic of interest to you. Here are a few ideas just to get your started: talk about your pet, home, vacation plans, an important phone call, your to-do list, laundry list, grocery list or how you felt after you saw a movie, a recipe, sports scores, goals and writing ideas. These are just a few of the topics you can pick. The most important step that you can take now is to write.

CHOOSE A PLACE FOR YOUR INDEX CARDS:
Wrap a rubber band around your cards or put them in an envelope. Make to label and date them so that you can find them later. You can always put them in the back of your paper journal or in a desk drawer. I will show you how to put all of the cards together later on.

PUTTING YOUR MINI-JOURNAL TOGETHER:
Put your index cards in the correct order. Make sure to punch two holes overlapping each other either in one or the other corners or in the middle of each card. (You can reinforce the corners with small bit of masking tape). Open up your keyring and slide the cards over it. Close the keyring and you have your mini-journal. (Note: you can use other index card sizes and cord, yarn, or string to bind your cards together, just make sure that the material you choose is strong and will last.)

Enjoy your new mini-journal!

© Lael Johnson, 2005-present
Lael Johnson, owner of Writer's Eye Advisory Service, offers creativity coaching services and writing resources at: writerseye.com.

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