Keeping an I Ching journal
Keeping track of your I Ching consultations with a journal provides you with an effective means to gain more understanding of them.
Writing is a good way of getting your thoughts straight about the situation that you're consulting the I Ching about. It can help you to explore the thoughts and feelings you have, and the things you want. Not only can this make you more clear on what you want to ask the I Ching, this in itself also makes it easier to deal with the situation, and with your feelings about it.
When you read back your journal entries at a later time, you'll have a more detached view about the situations, as you're not actually in them anymore. This can help you a lot to understand things better. It might remind you, for instance, how you got where you are now, and why. This can change your perspective in a useful way, and help you make decisions.
If you do I Ching readings for other people on a regular basis, a journal will help you remember what was going on with them, so that you can provide a better service.
Writing down the hexagrams and changing lines
When you write down your consultations, you'll need some kind of system to indicate the hexagrams and lines (if you don't use journaling software to do this for you). You could, for instance, write:
2 lines 2,3 to 46 or, more succinct
2.2.3 > 46,
to indicate hexagram 2, with changing lines 2 and 3, changing to hexagram 46.
2 unchanging or, for instance
to indicate hexagram 2 with no changing lines.
Or you can just draw the hexagram lines. You can use the webpage where you can enter hexagram lines on this website, to get the I Ching text of the consultation back.
Using I Ching software
While it works fine to write down your consultations with pen and paper, or in a text file on your computer, there are some advantage to using the I Ching software (for Windows PC's) that you can buy on this website, for that.
The software keeps everything neatly organized, and provides several easy ways of searching your previous consultations. You don't need to write down the hexagrams and lines, or the time and date, as the software does that for you. This means that there won't be accidental mistakes with that. Also, the I Ching text is always there, with the journal entries.
You can consult the I Ching in the same ways as on this website (virtual coins, real coins, and entering hexagrams), but you don't need an internet connection for that. That makes it ideal for use on a laptop that you carry around.
See more pictures of how this software looks.
Buy the I Ching with Journal Software + PDF.