Most journals fall into disuse because because it’s hard to make the time to write in them, and they usually fill up with depressing nonsense. Who has time to write in a journal when life is good?
I’ve been writing in a ten year journal for the past, well, ten years. I’ve almost completely filled one. A ten year journal gives you one page for each day of a year, with ten stavesrepresenting each of ten years. Every day you write about what happened in your life, but not much because there really isn’t much space. All you can really fit is a weather report about what happened, so you don’t get to wax philosophical or complain, etc. Short and sweet and off to the next day.
The very cool thing happens as you start on the later staves. Each time you write, you can look backward a year, two years, etc. You get a cross section of your life over the past decade. It also becomes a great “tie-breaker” whenÂ family and friends come to visit and you start arguing about who visited who when, what year you went on that trip, and thingsÂ like that. Most of all, it’s just aÂ very interesting chronologicalÂ record of your life and times.
You can buy ten year journals, but IÂ decided to make may own. I wrote a macro in Microsoft Word that spit out the file, then I printed it on regular bond paper. For the past ten years I’ve been suffering with a couple of crucial design mistakes that I have finally gotten to fix. I didn’t have any place for you to jotÂ birthdays and anniversaries on the pages,Â there was no place to put a “headline” for a particular stave.Â The worst one was that, while each stave had the year on it,Â it didn’t have the day ofÂ the week, so IÂ wound up writing them in by hand – often incorrectly.
All of these issues have been corrected in the new file.Â I wrote a Ruby script to dump out an XML file containing allÂ of the date information, then used an XSL-FO stylesheet I built with Stylevision to transform the XML document into a fully formattedÂ Ten Year Journal inÂ PDF file format.
I suggest printing it with aÂ duplex printer that can hit both sides, otherwise you have the tedious task of flipping each page by hand as it prints – but you won’t have to doÂ it again for ten years. Use a high quality printer setting (600dpi or more) or the gray lines may not render correctly. You can safely ignore the last page.Â It’s blank. I couldn’t be bothered to try to keep that from rendering – it was hardÂ enough getting the thing formattedÂ at it is. February 29th is an oddity as well. There are still 10 staves, but only 3 have the day of the week for the leap year. The other staves are sort of freebies you can scribble extra stuff in if you want. I considered making the “non-days” not print, but in my current ten year journal it was always kind of fun to have those extra lines to write in.
If you’re going to put it in aÂ threeÂ ring binder, I would suggest buying some prepunched paper.Â Myself, I have the Circa paper punch system (Levenger’s branding of the Rollabind product line). Circa notebooks lie flat like a spiral, taking up a lot less space than a three ring binder, but you can still take the pages out and add pages in if you want to. This is handy when you travel because you leave the notebook itself behind and just take the pages for the days of your trip. You can also punch and clip in ticket stubs, pictures, hotel receipts, and other mementos. You’ll need one inch rings to hold a completeÂ ten year journal.
Click here toÂ viewÂ the file
It’s free, so hopefully you’ll like it. Save a copy so you can print it later on.Â I would gladly accept feedback, but it’s not likely that I’ll change it again for the nextÂ ten years. Bookmark this page and come back in 2017 to get the new version.