The Journal (2)

The first (and very important) task for using my system is to develop a kind of shorthand. Short symbols save you a lot of time later when noting down routines and magical ideas, as many terms, procedures and techniques in magic are the same again and again, so you don’t have to describe them anew each time. They also make it easier to find your way around the system if you remember that you have written down an idea and all ideas are marked with the light bulb symbol. That way you can find it faster.

For example, in card magic you can come up with short symbols for a Force, a Control, a Break, etc. Abbreviations are also used here (e.g. DE = deck of cards, AUD = audience, STA-RI = stage right, SPEC = spectator, etc.). Juan Tamariz has even developed his own shorthand just for card magic, and the Berlin magician Manfred Bacia already did this in the 70s.

Let your imagination run wild here! The more graphic the symbols are, the better, because people think in pictures. Don’t be put off if you can’t draw very well, because no one but you will see your logbook. But make sure that the symbols are easy to draw and that they follow some kind of logic so that you can see what is meant when you read them.

The very first two or three pages of the logbook are used to list short symbols. In bullet journaling jargon, it is called the key. If you want, you can also make a list of symbols on separate sheets of paper, laminate them and insert them loosely into the book. This way you have an overview of the symbols and can look them up until you know them by heart.

Here you have a chart with some of my symbols that I have used and that have proven to be very practical over the years.