How to start a CovidJournal

Nope, no introduction this is going straight into the list.

  1. Find a journal. You can use any of the old ones you’ve been stockpiling in a drawer, or just use a simple spiral notebook. Staple some copy paper together if you have to. I bet there is paper and a bic pen in your house. The key here is that it’s a physical stack of paper for you to write on.
  2. At the end of each day, put the date and a few lines of what you did. No goals or tasks you plan to do just what you did exactly. Pretend someone asked you what all you did today and you had to write it down for them. Don’t make this into a planner or ideas notebook. You are recording what really happens to you.
  3. Repeat step 2.

That’s it. That’s the list. Take a notebook or spiral and put what you did each day in there. Yes, just like a diary but we do eventually expect someone else to read it one day. If you want to put deep existential thoughts into it go for it. If you want to just put what you ate each day, or that you played videogames and took a nap, great, at least you wrote it down. Just make sure to write down what games they were and on what system so that in 100 years someone using your experience as reference doesn’t put the wrong console in their work.

Why can’t you just set up a free WordPress site or put this stuff in your phone notes? You know exactly why. Where are the notes you put on your phone from two years ago? Where is your LiveJournal from 2003? Those are gone, aren’t they?

The purpose of your CovidJournal is to record what actually is happening to you during this global event, not for you but for other people to read later. That doesn’t mean you can’t put whatever embarrassing personal stuff you want in there. By the time your great great great grand-kids read it you won’t be alive to be embarrassed about it. This is your chance to log a little history.


Work on your handwriting. If you want to get real fancy you can learn some proper cursive. Have you seen historical handwritten letters? Can you read it? Exactly.

Theory of Spencerian Penmanship.

Handwriting Subreddit.

Pick a time of day to write down your few sentences. You can do it the next morning before you start working from home. I try to do mine before bed when I still remember everything that happened, or if it’s something major I go and jot it down real fast before I forget. You’re more apt to keep it up if you schedule it.

Like I said earlier, pretend your friend asked how your day went, and write down literally everything even if it’s more than they care to hear. Or just go for it and write it out as a letter to someone in the future with explanations of things you think they won’t understand.


You don’t need fancy equipment to start a CovidJournal. A BiC pen and spiral notebook are more than enough. This is the point in the post where you’d expect to see affiliate links to pens and notebooks but given most places are shutting down shipping left and right, whatever you order probably won’t make it until after things cool down. Use what you have!

Should you wish to brave the rabbit hole that is modern fountain pen use feel free to jump into this, but you have been warned. Fountain Pen SubReddit

My Journal and Pen

(I use a Leuchtturm1917 notebook and a Pilot Falcon filled with Diamine Magical Forest shimmer ink which is as overkill and as extra as you can possibly be outside of hand cutting a feather and making your own paper and iron gall ink. It may come to that.)

Feel free to decorate the outside or inside of your journal with stickers or sketches of things if you want. It doesn’t all have to be a wall of text. I know it’s the cool thing to share everything you do on instagram or twitter and by all means if you want to write stuff for folks to see feel free to do so but don’t skip days because it’s not “instagrammable” or “on brand”, we’re past that yall.

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