As a core routine, journaling is without a doubt one incredible way to deepen your awareness and knowledge-base of the natural world. In time, this awareness translates into an increased ability to track patterns and make connections. This increased "sight" is what makes an elder, an elder and allows the mentor to guide others without having to force understanding. Plus... It's just fun.
PLEASE hear me when I say, "There is no wrong way to journal." There are however, ways that are more effective than others, depending on what your endgame is. Below you'll find several examples of journals I completed while engaged in naturalist studies with the Wilderness Awareness School's Kamana Naturalist Training Program, and a Tracking Apprenticeship that I completed with Dan Gardoqui and White Pine Programs in Maine.
Today, my current form of journaling looks quite different. However, the way I see and look for information, gather awarenesses and form my questions, are all directly influenced by years of journaling in the way that I present here.
Whether you choose to begin journaling about plants, flowers, trees, insects, mammals, birds, amphibians, whatever, learning the basic yet effective format that I demonstrate in the journals below, are a great way to get started.
So, have a look. Notice the different categories that I repeatedly use. Formulate your questions, or simply get started with an area study that your most interested in. Start with what lights you up (play) and move that play into focused learning.