Why Using One Zen-Journal Will Help You Avoid Split-Brain Syndrome

This is how I feel when maintaining more than one Zen-Journal.

Split Brain Syndrome (SBS) is both a medical condition and a computer jargon term loosely based on the medical definition.

In medicine, the corpus callosum is a fibrous connection between the left and right hemispheres of the human brain. When this nexus between the two hemispheres is cut, as is sometimes performed on patients with uncontrollable seizures, the patient is often rendered, at lest temporarily, of two minds with each hemisphere functioning independently.

In computer science, SBS indicates data or availability inconsistencies originating from the maintenance of two separate data sets with overlap in scope; A redundant system that causes errors.

Why am I writing about split brains?

One of my favorite bloggers wrote on her blog this week that she was using a Midori Traveler’s Notebook for journaling and my reaction surprised me. It made me cringe.

It’s the same reaction I have when I read about people having one notebook for their personal life and another for their career/work. When I read that blog post I felt disappointed inside, as if she were suddenly an addict who started using again. How could she? (My best guess is that she’s experimenting after years of solo journaling.)

Before I start getting unsubscribes and hate comments (kidding, you are free to disagree with me…I’m used to it…I used to be married), I don’t deny anyone the right to use whatever notebook they choose.  At the same time, it violates something deep within me when I see others using systems that would, without a doubt, create a split-brain syndrome in me if I were to use them.

I recognize, of course, that this is my aberrant pathology and I own it fully.

The primacy of a single, continuing Zen-Journal

Having one continuing notebook for my life’s body of work is the single-most palpable reason that I use Zen-Journal. Having anything other than a one-notebook system creates a second data set for me to curate.

However, I’d never split my data into additional notebooks. That isn’t a modification, it’s a second data set and, as we’ve learned from the definitions above, this can lead to errors. For me (and yes I realize there are many more people in the world than just me), multiple notebooks defeat the purpose of using the Zen-Journal system.

Two data sets, as described above, lead to errors and redundant psychological traps.

~  “Do I write about this in my personal Zen-Journal or in my Business Zen-Journal?
~  “Where do I record an appointment if it affects both business and my personal life?”
 ~ “If I have a great insight while writing in one notebook, will the other suffer because of its absence?”

Redundancy isn’t innovation, it’s duplication

One of the hallmarks of the mindful minimalist movement is to continually evaluate whether or not we are duplicating efforts, functionality, or action.  Maintaining more than one notebook, for me, would be trying to live with redundancy and having to defend it. It would be like living with SBS all the time. It’s how I rate my parents’ system of three wall calendars, all with conflicting information.

It’s #oldschool

Confession- I’m not immune

Even creating a dummy Zen-Journal for illustration purposes feels duplicitous for me. It’s like maintaining a storage unit with stuff you never use and never will.

After I’d completed a few layouts in the test journal, that duplicitous feeling arose and I couldn’t stand it. I had to ask myself if it also was a violation of the primacy of a single Zen-Journal.

I concluded that it was. The test journal is no more and the test layouts have been migrated into my only Zen-Journal.


Do you agree? Disagree?

Some of my readers use the Midori Traveler’s Notebook approach to Zen-Journal.  Some of them use a single notebook and others have separated their lives into separate notebooks.

If this is you, I’m interested to know how having multiple notebooks makes you feel.  I’d love it of you commented at end of this post.

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