Do you keep a prepper journal? I do, and it has helped me in many ways. It helps that I am a natural note taker. It comes easy to me. I virtually always have at least one small notebook on my person in which I keep records, reminders, observations, to-do lists, and the like. It helps me to process information, to ensure that I am doing what I need to be doing, staying on track, and to give me fodder for future projects.
Even within the scope of prepping, keeping a journal of sorts can greatly improve your efficiency and effectiveness in your preps. A prepper journal helps you to use your time, energy, and money in as wise a manner as possible. Let’s take a five reasons why:
#1 – Increased Productivity
People who write lists are more productive than those who do not (read more). My theory behind this is because it gives you something very tangible to look at throughout the day – an incessant reminder – of where you are currently, and what steps you need to take to get to where you want to be. It coincides with goal setting.
I know that personally, I get so caught up in my own little world that oftentimes I simply forget what needs to be done. At the end of the day, when I sit down and think through all that I’ve accomplished, it’s often frustrating to discover that there were several tasks that I could have very easily taken care of, but simply forgot about.
In a similar vein, a prepper journal can help you to visualize what tiny steps you need to take on a daily basis in order to reach the bigger, yearly goals that you may have set for yourself.
For example, if I know that I want to harvest $2000 worth of produce this year, rather than my typical grand, I can use my prepper journal to determine which days I need to plant, which days I need to set aside time for weeding, when I need to buy my sweet potato slips, and so on. You don’t just grow that much food all of a sudden, it’s something that you have to plan for. Just like you plan for retirement (a hefty sum of money) by making incremental steps and analyzing things along the way, your prepper journal can do the same in helping your family to be better prepared for disaster.
A prepper journal can help you to better manage your time, as well as remind you of what it is that needs to be prioritized.
#2 – Logbook of Goods
How many times have you been out to the store, bought something prepping related, only to get home and discover that you already have enough of the same product? A prepping journal can help with that as well. The result is a more efficient and effective use of your resources. If I’m not exactly sure how much 5.56 I have, only have $50 to spend, and can’t remember if I’m low on 12 gauge slugs or not, a quick look at the prepper journal can inform me of how many rounds I have of each caliber, and which I need to divert my resources to.
Aside from this, a prepper journal also helps you to discern your capability to survive, take in others, barter, and give. If I know that I have roughly 90 days’ worth of food stored up for my family of four, I’m able to make a much more informed decision when it comes to calculating how long my food supplies will last if I take in two additional people at my retreat. That’s a total game changer.
Why? It’s information!
Information is what allows you to make the best (and safest) decisions that you can. That information can help me to deduce the importance of trapping, hunting, fishing, bartering, gardening, ranching, and the like, and help me figure out what my production needs to be in order to survive! Having ready access to valuable information is exactly why having reliable SHTF communication strategies in place are so critical. Same idea with a journal.
#3 – Better Gauge Your Defensive Ability
I regularly conduct retreat security ranking tests on my retreat to improve my defensive capabilities (you can learn how to do this with Joe Nobody’s book Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart). A journal here helps you to really zero in on what you need to improve. For example, by being able to visibly see where I currently am with my retreat security ranking, I can look through the algorithm (on page 167, for those who are interested) and see that I can really help to improve my rating by adding another external fighting position to my retreat.
My prepper journal allows me to see just what progress I have made in my retreat security in the past, and allows me to focus resources towards those factors which will best improve my ability to survive in an TEOTWAWKI scenario.
#4 – A Place to Record Book Notes
I keep notes on the prepping books that I have read in the past for quick and easy future reference. Why? Because you will never remember all of what you’ve read. Writing down what you find significant in a uniform location helps you to have helpful information right at your fingertips when you need it most. For example, not too long ago I read Kevin Mitnick’s The Art of Invisibility. It is a fantastic book filled with a wealth of knowledge on how to essentially go “off the grid” in an anonymous sense in today’s technocentric world. There was no way that I was going to be able to remember all of the tips, apps, and tools that Mitnick suggests one use to protect their personal privacy.
My prepper journal has preserved that information for me. And it’s information that I no longer have source access to either. The book was a library book I received on interlibrary loan. Unless I buy the book (and continuously doing such can grow expensive), I’ve not much chance of accessing the material again without going through interlibrary loan again. My prepper journal has preserved that precious information for me and has helped me to avoid future hassle as well.
Thomas Jefferson – one of the most brilliant political minds that America has ever known (and if your city has a statue of him it doesn’t want anymore, I’d be glad to take it. I could have the coolest farm ever next year, if so. “There sits ol’ TJ, standing tall amidst a field of goobers.”) – was known for constantly carrying around a notebook where he would record his observations, notes, discoveries, and such. If a genius did it, surely that’s good precedence, right?
#5 – An Insurance Policy
Whether we’re talking about a TEOTWAWKI-type scenario, or even just a post-small scale disaster situation, there’s no denying that the environment is dangerous. Prepping guns and ammo is both fun and easy, something we do because we think that there could be very good probability that we are placed in a situation where we would need to use such a tool. Yet we often do not look at the whole range of possibilities. Gunfights are dangerous. What if something were to happen to us in such a situation?
A prepper journal can easily contain the written plans necessary for your family to know what to do to ensure their security and survival perchance you can no longer fill your role. A morbid thought, yes, but by having our family know where to turn for the information that they may need in a post-disaster scenario could potentially be lifesaving.
Final Thoughts and Getting Started
I hope that the above has at least got you thinking about the prospects of starting and maintaining your own prepper journal. Though it may be something of a novel concept, I do believe that it is something that you will find greatly beneficial!
You may already have a notebook to get you started, or you may prefer to do everything on your home computer (back it up with a bug out USB if you do). If neither case holds true, here are some journals I suggest:
- A simple, unlined notebook of 100 pages – cheap enough to buy one for different tasks or inventories
- Classic school composition notebook of 200 pages – also cheap enough to buy a few
Do you already keep a prepper journal? Are there different ways that it has helped your prepping journey from those listed above? Let us know in the comments below!
Excellent article, I have been doing a version of this for years. The one issue I always find when doing this is that i am never satisfied with the notes I make. The latest version is done on the Evernote platform with a digital backup in Word that is saved to a DropBox account. I also keep the pdf’s on a usb stick that is secure.
In a perfect world it would all be handwritten with digital copies for safe keeping but it will always be a work in progress. You are right in saying that it is just information….that information will be very useful if the SHTF.