I strongly suggest keeping a climbing log. You can doodle in it. You can write down your projects in it. You can draw topos in it. You can record training sessions in it. You can write thoughts on technique in it. You can put anything you want to in your climbing log! Keep one, though.
“What?” you say. “I don’t have time/money/space/(fill in excuse) to keep a climbing log. Forget that.” Well, if you don’t keep a climbing log, that’s exactly what you’ll do – you’ll forget. You’ll forget progress, ideas, techniques, knowledge gained through experience, places you’ve climbed and/or visited, people you’ve met, and much, much more. A climbing log offers you the best chance of being able to look back and see progress, too, of all things, which I think we’re all striving for on some level. There’s something about writing it down. Scientific studies have shown that writing things down actually helps them to be more permanently integrated into your memory, so that the learning sticks better. So take notes in your climbing log!
“But I use an app to track my progress.” That’s fine. So do I. Keep a climbing log, too. It’s important to your development, both as a climber and as a person. This climbing log is going to be a record of your moods and mental states. You’re going to be able to look back at this climbing log and say, “Wow, I was really crushing it that day!” or “Whoa, I wonder what happened that day?” That’s something an app can’t do for you. Sometimes old-school is more beneficial, and this is one of those times.
First, pick out the “perfect” journal to use as a climbing log. Here’s a photo of mine.I write down training and climbing tips, advice, and tricks that I learn from both experience and my mentors and climbing buddies. I write down ideas and projects that I have in mind for climbing and other things, too. I write down what’s going on with my climbing buddies, for example, if something happens to one of them (good or bad). I draw topos, create artwork, write down thoughts about my motivations, and sometimes just rant! This climbing log is for anything you want it to be for!!! You don’t have to show it to anybody if you don’t want to! It’s your very own, and it’ll become your constant companion. You won’t leave home without it. So go pick one out or look online for something you like that will work for you, and create a climbing log!!! You’re going to want to look back on some of this stuff, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you see when you do!!!