Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Journaling Tips

Jennifer suggested I do a post on writing letters, but since I've written about letters before (this post a while ago), I thought I'd post about keeping a journal instead.



I love the idea of keeping thoughts, lists, memories, reflections, and inspiration in a journal, but my journal writing has always been sporadic. I'd write for a couple days only to forget to write again for months. However, I've finally managed to write consistently for the past year. Here are some tips for those of you who are interested in keeping a journal, too.
First, here's what your journal doesn't have to be. 
  • Boring
  • Perfect
  • Time consuming
 If you're worried about any of these problems, you shouldn't be. Your journal just needs to work for you. It may or may not look like mine or anyone else's.

Things to Consider Before Starting
  • What materials do you want to use? Are you a paper and pen/pencil writer? Or do you prefer a computer format? I personally like to use an unlined sketchbook and Sharpie Pens. My writing is a complete mess on the page, but no one sees it except for me. If you're artistic (unlike me), you can choose from a variety of mediums.
  •  When do you want to journal? First thing in the morning? Right before bed? During lunch? Making time to journal a part of your routine means you're more likely to remember to do it.
  • What do you want to include in your journal? Simply writing "I did this. Then, I did this." can be boring. While I do like to write about my day, I've also been using a set of prompts to keep things interesting. I look forward to writing about something new each day. Another idea is to choose a closing for each entry - like listing three good things about your day. It's your journal, so you can put anything - travel lists, quotes, even countdowns - in there.
Keeping a journal is a great way to get your thoughts out of your head, to relax, and to think.

If you need some more ideas check out our journal prompts.

If you've never kept a journal before,
start simple. Then, experiment.

If you keep a journal, 
are there any tips you'd like to share in the comments?

13 comments:

  1. I love journals! I have so many - a gratitude journal, a "quotes I love" journal, an everything journal, lol. Of course I have to tote them around with me everywhere - I can't ever travel light. :) Love these tips, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Ha, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one!

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  2. I love keeping a journal and a "diary". I have alot for many different reasons. I love the idea of journaling about prompts.

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  3. What a great post, and you are right, journaling doesn't have to take up all your time and it doesn't have to be perfect. I use watercolor, sketches, lists, and all kinds of things in my journal. Love this post xx

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  4. Awesome post! I write my journal as letters to my daughter for when she's grown. It's amazing how much perspective that gives me, and she has a blog chuck a buck full on every topic under the sun to look forward to in her twenties (she's a preteen)

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  5. I have wanted to start journaling and this was the spark I needed! Thanks!

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  6. To get into the habit, write one thing every day. Just one thought, one line. Gradually you'll write more, but it helps to develop the habit. I also keep a journal for my daughter - full of all the funny toddler things she says and does.

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    1. That's BRILLIANT. Seriously. I never, ever thought of doing it that way. I am not "new" to journaling, but I fell out of the habit a while ago, and I have a "special" (there's a different word for it, but I can't remember it for the life of me) birthday coming up, and I though that that would be just as good a time to start journaling again than any other time, so...

      Anyway, thank you for that. :)

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  7. I have notebooks, but I don't consider it journaling because it is so random. A favorite scripture painted on a notebook page, a shopping list, a thought or idea. I can't imagine carrying more than one book around. Recently I've started pulling out pages like shopping lists, the books get thin lol. I'm not quite happy with what I am doing, so I will try you ideas and I also liked Mindy's idea of writing one thing a day to get in the habit and I love, love, love your idea of writing three positive things from my day. Thanks and Happy Journaling.

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    Replies
    1. Have you heard of bullet journaling? The system is a lot like your little books, but a bit more organized. Google it (or type it into Pinterest) and see what you think.

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  8. nice article, , i love much. i always get boring during writing journal due to its length. i always confused what and how to .

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  9. My life is so boring I have no right to journal. Each day is exactly like the day before.

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  10. Thank you for the great article. I have been journaling ever since I can remember. Oh, I have stopped and started throughout my live, but always manage to go back to journaling. I have many different kinds of journals. For example: A ROUND ABOUT journal, (for my best friend and I, we send it back and forth across the country, i have it a month, she has it a month. We put advice, recipes, a few of our favorites, movies we've watched, things we have done, and anything we think the other would like.)
    A HEY YOU, ITS ME Journal (A journal for my husband and I to communicate in. Sometimes it is just easier for one of us to write things down so the other understands what you meant. We write love notes, reminders, quotes, special sayings etc. works great!)
    DEAR ABBY Journal (Letters to my granddaughter. This includes funny things she has said to me, what I am thinking about her, when we spoke and whether it was by phone or by Skype. Wish lists, and anything else that comes up regarding her. Love this one!)
    A BOOK OF LISTS JOURNAL( Anything you want to have lists on. Such as... My Bucket List, places I want to visit, Things that make me happy, movies I have seen or want to see. You get the idea.
    DOODLING AND DRAWING
    DREAM JOURNAL
    BUDGET JOURNAL (anything to do with money... Actual budget, keep track of spending, what I want and need to save up for, how you are doing with putting money away, investments etc.) is
    HEALTH JOURNAL (Appts, dates, things to ask the Dr., exercises, food I ate, keeping track of anything you like regarding your health)
    Affirmations Journal ( ones you like and use all the time, new affirmations, etc.)
    I want to start an art journal, but keep putting that one off, since i feel like I am not an artist
    There are so many ways to journal. It is truely worth investing in! Give it a try

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