Storykeeping provides many tools for capturing stories, but the most essential tools are incredibly basic: pen, paper, and Focused Freeform Jotting or “FFJ”. Pen and paper you know. FFJ, maybe not so much. The best way to explain FFJ is to take each word in turn:


  • Start with a focusing question or topic. We provide them when you take our programs, and include them in the posts on this website.
  • Give yourself a time limit, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. We’ll designate that for you on all Discover Activities on the website.


  • Don’t write in complete sentences; words and phrases will suffice. Don’t correct your spelling, grammar, or include punctuation.
  • The rule of thumb is first thought, best thought.
  • No censoring. Write as freely as possible. You’ll have a chance to make edits afterwards.


  • Jotting best describes what you are doing – it’s quick, and should have the rhythm and feel of taking notes. You are taking notes on whatever is in your mind.
  • Jot continuously. No stopping, keep your pen moving.

Why Use Focused Freeform Jotting?

  • It makes beginning easier.
  • It enables you to observe yourself.
  • You use a different part of your brain than you do when you type on your computer. You’ll gain access to information and make connections that won’t come from your thinking mind.

This takes practice. The more you practice, the more it will work for you. Try using FFJ in all of the Discover Activities on this website.