Hey Everyone! This week I wanted to take the time to discuss the value that I have found in using a Hobby Journal. Earlier this week I also put out a Poll on Twitter to ask the question "Do you use a Hobby Journal" I will dive into the results, but while there was a lot of votes for no it seemed those who did use a Journal were passionate enough to discuss how they use this handy tool. Hopefully, by the end of the post, you will run out and start a Hobby Journal of your own!
When I first picked up a Hobby Journal it was with the intent to be a painting journal. A place to record paint mixes, army color schemes, and even order I apply different layers to my models. For a while, that was its one and only purpose. After a few months, I started using it to write down ideas for my blog. In fact, the ideas and concepts that lead to the creation of my blog are in the journal! Later it became a notebook for conversion ideas, custom scenarios, army schemes, and community building ideas. While it has begun serving other duties it still serves as a painting journal.
More recently my Journal became a place to record games played. So far I have only used it for Larger events and not simple friendly games, but I might change that in the future as I playtest armies for events such as Nova, and Adepticon. I try to keep it simple otherwise I would get so absorbed into tracking the game I would forget to play. I jot down the opponents name, their army, any formation they might have in their list, and I put highlights from the game. A failed charge or a 12" charge could be huge to the outcome of the game and those are the moments I write down during play. After the game, I will record if I won or lost and by how much as well as any comments that might be more important in hindsight.
I ran a Twitter poll this past week regarding the subject on whether or not people used Hobby Journals. Near the end of the poll it was 40% yes and 60% no. It was a much closer split then I immediately expected. Looking through the comment threads it seems most people are using them solely as a place to record paint recipes and paint schemes.
While I have combined my Journal to be multi-purpose I think a lot more people will split their journals to be more dedicated and focused if they are choosing to have journals for different aspects of their hobby. For example, Ben Johnson keeps two separate hobby journals as he expressed on twitter. One is for painting and the other is games played. You could easily have as many journals as you feel you need.
There are plenty of options as to what journal to buy? You could get a large book that will last for years to come or you could get something slimmer that might only contain your thoughts for a short span of time or perhaps a single project. I have gone with the humble pocket journal for ease of carrying. Going with a pocket size has allowed me to carry it with me everywhere. Going out with friends, working at the office, or sitting at my hobby desk I always have it with me in case a hobby related idea strikes me. It is great to always have a piece of your hobby with you and I feel you cannot go wrong with a pocket Journal.
I hope you consider picking up a journal of your own soon as this tool will be a great way to look back on past hobby and help plan out your hobby future. Feel free to follow me on Twitter as always and until next week. Happy Hobbying!