Keeping It Simple
This 5-Year Journal Is Like an Analog Version of Facebook Memories
Benefits include having a nice daily activity to unwind with and not being hackable by Russians.
There’s no denying the thrill of a Facebook Memory popping up in your feed. Unless you have a scary-sharp memory, you likely have no idea what you were up to exactly one, two, or five years ago, so these little reminders are a great way to reminisce about past shenanigans or see how far you’ve come.
That’s the good. The not-so-good? Which memories you see are dependent on how often you posted in past years, how much interaction your posts received, and proprietary Facebook algorithms that may or may not be selling your data to the Russians. If you’ve been on Facebook for a decade (gulp: raise your hand if you’ve been on Facebook for a decade), you could get a memory from ten years ago one day, one year ago the next, none the following, and three years ago for the rest of the week. You have no control—besides manually scrolling back through years of cat memes.
For those who want a little more agency, a five-year-journal is the way to go. Each page represents a single date and is divided into five entries, one for each consecutive year in a five-year period. If you’re reasonably diligent about updating it, you can see exactly what you were doing on any given date for the past five years..
There are dozens of five-year diaries out there , but the Levenger Five-Year Journal ($49 on Amazon Prime) is objectively the sexiest. It boasts a clean, gender-neutral cover, archival-quality 100gsm paper that lets most pens glide like a dream, and a ribbon bookmark. Where other journals’ narrow profiles and tight bindings make it difficult to stretch your entry across the whole page, the Levenger boasts a roomy six-by-nine-inch page and flexible (but sturdy) binding that lays nearly flat, allowing you to cover every centimeter with your daily musings. That extra page size gives you five lines per day—just enough to jot down big events and moods, but not enough to let you get chatty. This is, after a log, not a bottomless receptacle for your angst and insecurities.
The Levenger Five-Year Journal isn’t for everyone. There are also some three-year versions, for those who want a bit less commitment. And if you hate hand-writing, can’t handle commitment, or prefer your notebooks covered in inspirational quotes and unicorns, you’ll want to give it a pass. But if pouring a mug of tea, picking out a great pen, and going over your day in pen and ink sounds like an ideal way to wind down in the evening, you’ll find a lot more satisfaction in these luxurious blank pages than you ever will from Facebook memories.
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