What to do when your paper journal disappears

There is a recognition in the analog journaling community that the physical nature of the journal can be a single point of failure when it comes to the information you keep. For some, the chances of losing their journal are slim, for others, much more likely. Personally I have found my challenge comes not only from not having a specific journal with me at a given time but also the frequency at which I prefer to change notebooks (yes, I am a stationery geek.)
Recently I asked the Bullet Journal for Professionals group on Facebook what people would do if they no longer had their analog journal through either loss, destruction or theft. There were a range of responses demonstrating the critical nature of these journals for daily productivity:

“1. cry
2. cry some more
3. sit down with a piece of paper and write down every to do that i can think of that wasn’t completed”

“Curl up into a ball in the corner and sob uncontrollably.”

“Go to the pub!”

What is most interesting is even with these responses of distress, almost everyone had a plan for backing up their journals digitally, by either re-entering information into digital systems or, the most popular way, through digital images of the pages for storage and retrieval.

If you decide you are going to live the analog life when it comes to journaling, I highly recommend you find a method of archiving and backing up your paper that works for you.  Whether it’s digital images, scanning, or just copying things down somewhere else, having a Plan B for your information is the only way you can truly have confidence in your system.

When it comes to a technical method of backing things up I use two different tools: my phone and my printer. I can never be sure when I will have time to capture the contents of a notebook so by using my phone to capture scans to Google Drive (my storage system of choice) I can feel more confident things are there should the worst case happen.  My printer comes into play because when I purchased my printer I specifically bought one that allows scanning directly to Google Drive (see the plan coming together?) With the printer on hand, I can scan page after page of journal and other documents to my library with no risk coming from the loss of the physical materials.

There are many different ways to back up your analog journal.  It isn’t nearly as important how you do it as it is that you do it at all.  Don’t be the person crying in corner of the pub because the dog ate your journal. Be prepared.