How to Start (& Enjoy!) Journalling

Journalling can be a great tool for anyone. And I know that most people think it sounds awesome to start a journal so they can get out there thoughts and then go back and read them later. But it is such a daunting task that people rarely ever follow through. I keep three separate journals of my own, and thought I would share my tips on how to begin and actually enjoy journalling.

These are my own journals that I have been using currently. The top is a q&a a day book, the middle is a standard lined notebook (my shit book), and the bottom is a blank sketchpad.

You do not need to write in a boring, lined notebook. The main key is to find the style of journal that works for you. I keep three separate journals for different purposes and each is in a different medium. Below, the first three types of journals represent the ones that I use. But I also have a few additional ideas that might work for you!

Q&A a Day– I bought my 5 year q&a journal from Barnes and Nobles. Each day has a different question, and you write your response for that day’s question every year for 5 years. I just started doing this journal this year, but I am excited to see how my life changes over the next few years. This type of journal is great for someone who doesn’t want a huge commitment, has a hard time figuring out what to write about, or someone who is just beginning journalling.

Shit Book-The middle journal I call my shit book or my ugly book or any other slightly vulgar term that I feel like calling it on that day. I have a hard time going and talking to someone when I am feeling triggered, anxious, or just really bad. I use this as an outlet to spill any negative thoughts about myself. After I finish spilling out everything, I feel much clearer just placing the thoughts on paper. Note: I do not recommend going back and reading previous entries because it can be triggering. This journal is great for someone in recovery or someone who is fighting mental illnesses.

Multimedia– The bottom journal was given to me while I was at the ERC in Denver. I still use it today, and it is a mixture of quotes, journal entries, letters from family/friends, photographs, inspirational lyrics, pictures, and therapy exercises. I love going back and reading/looking through this journal! While it is more work and more time than my other journals, I love the colors and the more personal feeling that this journal gives. I’d recommend this to anyone who has more time, enjoys art, or who is looking to gather inspiration.

Online/App Journals– These are especially helpful for someone who would prefer to type up their journal entries. I prefer old fashioned writing, but I know that a lot of people are switching to technology! These are also great if you think you might loose a physical journal or if you do not want to purchase a physical book. There are tons of journalling apps and websites. I haven’t tried any, but here are some links to some articles I found on the 5 Best Online Journals and Phone Journal Apps.

Photo A Day Journal– These are super fun for people who do not want to write anything down! These apps are super easy to use and take up just a few seconds of your day. I do not use these personally, but I know people who do and it looks like fun to go back and visually see what you were doing in the past. Here is a link to one of the apps that my friend uses: Collect Photo Journal App.

Book/Movie/Song Log– If you are a bookworm (like me!), a movie quiz, or a music lover, then this type of journal might be fun for you! Remember in grade school when you had to do book reviews? You can keep a separate journal or doc on your computer where you write about each book you read, movie you see or song you like. Going back in time and seeing what books you enjoyed and what inspired you can be really fun to go back and see. This is a great type of journal for someone who isn’t really keen on the whole “spill your emotions into journal” idea.

Quote of the Day/Week Book– I am a quote junkie. And I’ve always wanted to start a little journal where I choose a quote that speaks to where I am that day or week and then log it. Place it somewhere you will see throughout your day so that you can go back and feel inspired. This can be a great way to help live up to your values and to add a little inspiration throughout your day!20150611_103909

Those are just some of my ideas. But the list could go on forever. You could do a word of the day journal, an emotion of the day journal, a purely artistic journal, a music lyrics journal, an outfit of the day journal, honestly the choices are unlimited. Even things like making YouTube vlogs or Instagram pictures or writing a blog can count as journalling! I hope that this entry helps spark some journal ideas in your mind!

Question for you: Do you enjoy journalling? What types of journals have you created in the past?


8 thoughts on “How to Start (& Enjoy!) Journalling

  1. I always avoided journaling (even though I LOVE collecting notebooks and journals) because I was worried I wasn’t going to do it right or it wouldn’t turn out perfectly the way I wanted. I’m starting to get over that now, though, and this post really helped me to see all of the cool, different journaling options there are out there! I’ve been thinking about mAking an art journal with a bunch of collages of things I like. Thanks for the post!! Keep it up 🙂


    1. Thanks for the message and for reading Bella (:
      I know, especially with ed personalities is can be really hard to let go of that “perfectionist” mentality when it comes to journalling. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to journal!
      A collage journal sounds super cute (: Let me know if you decide to start working on one!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love these ideas! I agree that journaling is super helpful. I journal all the time. I also make “Alter Books” which are similar to your ERC journal. I use an old hard back book and customize each page with stickers, markers, colored paper, and any other craft I think of! It is similar to scrapbooking and it tells a story (:


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