I've been reading these excellent posts on journaling and thinking, "gosh, I'm off on such a tangent from everybody else." At the same time, I agree and sympathize with everybody's posts so far.
I'm a sporadic journaler. If a chronicler ever had to reconstruct the pieces of my life, they'd be having a jigsaw-puzzle job on their hands. And they'd be working with a lot of the backs of envelopes. If given a choice between a brand spankin' new journal with fancy ruling, a gorgeous cover, and fine-art binding or the back of an envelope in which yet another piece of junk mail arrived, well then...Capital One--you're my primary supplier of journaling material. There is some good in you, Sith Company of Evil Credit Offers.
Journaling seems like it should be limited to the written (as in with a pencil, and on paper) word...and the private (as in not for the world to see, silly internets), so when I think of journaling, I don't think of Live Journal, or blogging. Blogging, to me, is more like those family or personal newsletters that usually go out with holiday cards, only done more often. And even a private LJ or blog still has the energy of being out on the internet, and as such, part of that organism. All the truly secret stuff is off the hard lines.
Back when I was what they now call an "emo-kid" (and what used to be called either goth, sk8r, geek, freak, outcast, blip, etc), I did the typical teenager thing and wrote down all my wangsty emo-ness for the world (or my little brother) to find. A few years later, when I re-read it, I burned it because it was full of stupid. I did, however, rip out the pages where I'd been writing story. That, I kept, even though the story also reeked (reeks) of stupid. Full of the worst of the worst of cliche'd crap that even the worst ten-year-old fanfiction writer wouldn't do. I just thank the powers that be that I was an emo-idjit before the advent of the internet, where the world really could see all my dorky self-centeredness.
I later came to the conclusion that I wouldn't be using diaries or journals that chronicled the inside of my own head. Da Vinci I ain't, and there was no earthly reason to waste the paper. Now I use journals (and the backs of envelopes) to perform freewriting, where I map the unconscious part of my mind. Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" uses this method to unblock creativity. Sometimes I do these pages in longhand, other times I type 'em out because my fingers move faster than my hands.
Recently, I've been exploring the use of other things to "journal" - specifically, not-words. Pictures (as in collaging), textures, pieces of knick knacks, all seem to inspire some sort of sensory response from me that I've been attempting to map or log. It serves no purpose beyond giving me something to do with myself, but then again, neither does journaling.