You want to journal, but you’re not sure where to start. Maybe writing out your thoughts just isn’t your thing. Not every journal has to be a blank paged book that you write in for hours sharing your innermost thoughts. Some journals take minutes to update. Others use no words at all. Journaling isn’t so much about how you do it as it is that you do it with frequency and consistency.
Depending on the outcome you desire from journaling, you can design a journal practice that accommodates your needs. You can keep track of a goal, work through difficult times, express yourself creatively, engage in self-care or simply catalogue your dreams. Whatever your need, there is a way to journal it.
Let’s look at some traditional journal ideas
- Blank notebooks
- Electronic notebooks
- A writer’s pad
- Fill-in-the-blank prompting journals
- Gratitude journals
Traditional journals are great for people who love to write and spend time laying out their thoughts and ideas with minimal prompting or influence from the outside. For those more comfortable at the keyboard, an electronic journal may be ideal.
Here are some unconventional journal ideas
- Bullet journals
- Video journals
- Bible Art journals
- Art journals
- Vision boards or boxes
- Mind maps
- Food journals
These unique journal styles usually appeal to men and women who prefer alternatives to longhand or traditional journaling. Busy people who don’t have spare time may find bullet journaling an effective way to stay on track with their creativity without sacrificing too much energy. Artists may love expressing their thoughts, ideas, and dreams in a doodle journal or through a series of painted pieces in a collection. Sometimes the mere activity of making the art opens the mind to new thoughts while it is distracted by the art activity.
For those who prefer no-nonsense and practical methods of journaling, a mind map may be just the ticket. Mind mapping takes ideas and thoughts and creates compartmentalized areas for each thought. Then the ideas that match that thought are neatly assigned to the thought. This is a very unique way to organize anything from starting a new business to writing a book.
The take-away about journaling is the fact that there are as many ways to express ourselves as there are ideas in our heads. You may love to write longhand about how grateful you are each night before you go to be but you also have an electronic notepad on your smart phone that you use to jot down bullet points on business ideas that pop into your head at work or your to-do list. Having more than one journal is as common as journaling itself.
All the best,
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I’m an Imperfect Christian, Musician’s Wife, Mom, Nana, Friend and Encourager. I work on this site for my own growth and benefit, probably more so than I do for others, but I pray that what I’m learning and sharing will help others in their personal development and journaling adventures.