In the dark ages before computers, people actually wrote on paper with pen and ink. Most journals were probably just diaries that nobody but their author ever read. The nice thing about such a journal is that paper survives power outages, hard drive crashes and sorts of other catastrophes that affect digital words. Sure, a notebook can be lost in a fire, but it takes a heck of a fire to actually burn a book up completely. Try it sometime; you'll be surprised at how long a book can be in a fire and still be readable. Only if it's closed tightly, though.
After meaning to do it for most of my 40 years, I've decided to finally try to keep a journal or diary and towards that end I have discovered Moleskine notebooks. I chose one of these rather than a cheaper made in China alternative, partially because I don't want to buy any more from China than I have to and partially because I don't expect to get any sort of quality out of any thing mass produced in China.
I did find a funny article talking about the proper pronunciation of the name. I think it really doesn't matter what you call it.
Why did I finally decide to get started on this after so long? I read an article in Tin House magazine about a fellow by the name of Lee Meriwether. As a young man he went to Europe on a shoestring budget and wrote about it in a book called A Tramp Trip: How to See Europe on Fifty Cents a Day. Besides the fact that Mr. Meriwether was such an interesting person throughout his entire life, his travel journal is simply interesting. It shows how interesting a simple daily report of events can be over a century later. Hopefully someone will be interested to read my journals someday.