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Tools That Sing to You
Dorene Davis

I bought a pretty blank journal book for the new year. It is gorgeous, with lovely country designs on the cover, pretty patterns and a saying on each page. It was reasonably priced at fewer than ten dollars, but... I just can't get excited about it. The journal just doesn't sing to me.

I am currently using a binder with a zipper. I got it when the school supplies went on clearance this year. I use the binder because sometimes I write on my laptop, and I also like to print out posts from my journaling groups and put them in my journal. With the binder, I can put all different types of entries in, as well as pictures magazine clippings, programs, and other things that have caught my eye. I keep lined paper in it for when I want to handwrite something. I just punch holes in whatever I'm adding. I don't feel I can have that kind of freedom with my pretty book. I don't want to keep multiple journals, or have things out of order by date if I don't get my computer entries or posts printed out right away.

My binder fits me. It has Winnie the Pooh smelling a flower embroidered on it and is black and navy striped. The words "Flowers are such friendly things", run through the navy. I put a hole in the side and bought a small lock so I could lock the zipper to the side of the binder in case I felt my privacy might be invaded. It has pockets for papers and pens, and I got an adorable matching pencil case that has holes in it and clips right in the rings so I can keep my special journaling pens right there in my journal.

Another good point is that I can change the type and color of my paper to suit my mood. On an entry last week, I used lined paper and decorated the edges with my kids' mini-stampers. It was fun and better therapy than the entry turned out to be. The bad thing about my binder is that it is a little bulky, and not easy to take with me. But when I travel, I can get a spiral notebook and just put my work in the binder when I get back. When it's full, I'll buy a plain binder to file the papers away in, and start adding more.

A journal needs to be something that really catches your eye. If you don't like what you are writing in, you won't want to make daily entries. When you are walking through the store looking for a new journal, don't buy it unless it really calls to you. A wonderful journal will inspire you, even draw you to it. They sing, "Write In Me. I'm perfect for you. You really need to fill my pages with all those words dashing through your head." Don't settle for less.

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