So you’ve decided to try journaling but you’re not sure what journaling method to try. Well you’re in the right place.
Simply read through all the options below and you’ll probably find several ideas that you may enjoy. Don’t worry if you have a hard time settling on just one type of journaling.
Try a few.
What I have found is that once you start writing you will generally start gravitating toward a specific journaling method. You’ll find what works for you, and what you enjoy.
You may even incorporate several methods together. This is my personal preference to journaling. So don’t get too hung up on picking the perfect method at the start.
Let’s get started!
Letters To Your Children Journal
This is a real great way to make something special for your kids. Writing letters to them in a journal throughout their lives that they can read when they’re older can really expand your relationship with them.
You can write about the ups and downs of motherhood, record special moments in their lives, or express to them how much you love them.
This is a great way to bring your family together with a project that can be enjoyed for years to come.
There are so many things you can add to your family journal. Read Creating a Family Journal to get some really great ideas on things you can try.
This is a great way to stay connected with your significant other. You can record the important and special moments and events you share as a couple.
Some people use a couples journal as a daily connection where one person will write in the morning and the other in the evening. Asking questions and writing out your feelings. Reading and being able to respond to what your partner writes.
For more great ideas check out THE STORY OF US: 10 IDEAS FOR KEEPING A COUPLES JOURNAL!
A pregnancy journal is a great way to record both the small and large pregnancy milestones you go through. Keep track of your feelings, weight gain, diet, and doctor’s visits.
You can record all the firsts. Like first kick or how you felt the first time hearing a heartbeat. First ultrasound experience or even the not so fun stuff like first stretch mark.
You can write about all the changes your body is going through and all the cravings you’re having. You can create your own journal or buy one of the many great pregnancy journals you can find online.
A Thought A Day Journal
This is a 5 year journal you can buy that limits you to 5 lines of writing per day. So just enough room for a thought a day!
This journaling method is great for those who aren’t wanting to write long journal entries. If you’re time and energy is limited but you still want to start journaling, then I highly recommend trying this journal.
How this journal is set up, you have all 5 years of entries for any specific date on the same page. This is cool because you can review each previous year’s entries easily each day.
One Sentence Journal
Although the concept of the one sentence journal has been around for a long time, Gretchen Rubin made this journaling method popular by writing about it in her book The Happiness Project.
It became so popular that you can now buy one of her One Sentence Journals online.
It’s very quick and very simple. You write one sentence each day to create a picture of your day, how you’re feeling, or remember an event.
The 5 Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day
This is a great journal with a lot of prompts and daily quotes. It helps you focus on the positive things in your life.
You start and end your day writing what you’re grateful for, set a daily affirmation, and several daily intentions. It helps you reflect on what was great about your day, and also how you can improve.
You can see more about this product at Intelligent Change.
*They also sell a 5 Minute Journal for kids.
**If you prefer apps they also have a 5 Minute Journal app you can find in the app store for $4.99.
Morning Pages Journal
The concept of morning pages comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
The basic concept behind morning pages is that it helps you get back onto the path of creativity and away from the fear that holds you back. Your writing must be completely uncensored and completely honest to be effective.
This is stream of consciousness writing. (Writing whatever is in your head). It’s recommended that you write without stopping for 3 pages each day. Here’s a really great video by Little Coffee Fox.
A diary is where you keep a record of daily events and experiences. Most of us grew up writing in a diary at one time or another.
A diary can be as basic as just keeping a record of daily events, or you can make your diary more personal. You can share your thoughts and feelings to whatever extent you choose.
Some people write to their diary, much like writing someone a letter. They sometimes start each letter with Dear Diary. Others give their diary a name and then write to that name.
Lessons Learned Journal
This is a great journaling method to keep track of all your learned life lessons and aha moments. It’s also a great way to keep yourself accountable to learning something new each day.
This type of journaling is great for anyone wanting to incorporate personal development into their lives.
It’s also a great way to force yourself to see even the tough stuff you’re going through as a lesson you can learn something from.
Meditation journaling can take your meditation practice to the next level. Take a few minutes after meditating to write down the details of your experience.
Write down everything that’s working well, and anything that may be causing you to become distracted. This will help give you the big picture of your practice to show you areas to work on.
Using your meditation as a jump off point for your writing is equally helpful. Meditation is a great practice to open and focus the mind for great writing.
Well this journal method is exactly what it sounds like. A place to dump everything. Dump out everything in your head and do a mind dump.
Check out Mind Dump For Clarity to learn the step by step process of doing a mind dump. Benefits of keeping a Dump Journal:
- Decluttered mind
- Clearer thinking
- Better concentration and focus
- Increased memory
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased productivity
Personal Development Journal
This journaling method is a way to keep track of your personal development journey. You can record the thoughts, insights, ideas, and dreams you have about yourself and your life In this type of journal.
Goals, affirmations, gratitude, lessons learned, and mind dump journaling are some of the other methods of journaling you can incorporate into this type of journal.
Great for setting your goals, keeping track of your progress, and writing about the setbacks you may be having. Writing down your goals is the first step to achieving them.
When you spend time daily on your goals it keeps them on your mind. You won’t be so inclined to forget about them.
When setting and achieving your goals, you learn a lot about yourself. A journal is a great place to write down those lessons. A place where you can see the progress you’re making.
An affirmation a day keeps the doctor away. Not sure where I heard that, but I believe it can be true. Setting an affirmation for yourself each morning will set you up for success throughout your day.
Affirmations help you have a positive mental attitude. Not just about yourself, but also towards others.
Affirmations boost self esteem and self awareness. They lower your stress levels and help you react in a more positive manner when faced with opposition.
Food / Workout / Health Journal
A food journal can help you keep track of the food you eat. You can keep track of calories, and new foods you’d like to try. It’s also great for doing elimination diets to keep track of each food and any reactions you might notice.
In a workout journal you can keep track of all the different exercises you’re doing, including weight, reps, and time. Write about what’s working and what isn’t. What you enjoy and what you absolutely hate.
Health journals are a great place to keep track of all your health information in one place. This is especially important if you are suffering with any health issues. Write down how you feel each day, what problems you might be experiencing, or questions you want to ask your doctor.
Some people prefer to keep track of all three of these subjects in one journal. This is how I prefer to do it. I divide each page of my journal into thirds and use the top section for food related items, middle for exercise, and the bottom section for all other health related issues.
This is a journaling alternative for the artistic or visually inclined. It combines writing with a more visual expression of drawings, paintings, doodling, collages, and scrapbooking.
Here’s a great example of what you can do with your art journal by Berber van Gorp
Do you ever wish you could design your own planner? Where you can choose the exact layout and have a place to write and track whatever you want? Than bullet journaling is for you!
There are no limits to the possibilities with this journaling method. Your bullet journal can be as basic or outlandish as your heart desires. Check out this video from Natalies Outlet
A travel journal is not just for those traveling to exotic locations, or world travelers. This is for anyone wanting to capture memories of any place or location.
- Going to the circus or fair.
- Outdoor family outings like camping, swimming, fishing, or hiking.
- Shopping trips to the city.
- Weekend trips or vacations.
These are all special occasions spent with those we love. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have something to remind us of all the great times spent together?
I really love my gardening journal. I can go back to previous years to see what I planted, see what went well and read about what didn’t.
It’s great for keeping track of what you grow from year to year, the different layouts you try, your seed names, and planting times.
I also take pictures each year throughout the growing season to put in my journal.
Some people like to write poetry. Some people just like to read it. Either way, you can keep all your favorite poems in one place with your poetry journal.
A friend of mine writes a poem in her journal each evening that describes her day. It’s a brilliant idea if you are a fan of poetry.
This is a great idea for all the book lovers out there. You can keep track of all the great books you read.
Some things to include in your journal:
- Dates read
- What you thought of the book
- Quotes or ideas you want to remember
- List of books you’d like to read
This is a great journaling method to keep track of your projects. You can organize tasks, plan daily goals, keep materials lists, progress notes, and brainstorm ideas.
A project journal will keep you organized and on schedule. It can help you see what’s working and what’s not. It can be used for any project, From work related projects, to home and personal projects.
Never forget an idea again! Keep a small notebook handy to jot down ideas you have throughout your day.
The more you write down your ideas, the more ideas seem to come to you. This is great for writers, artists, or anyone who thinks creatively.
How many times have you woken from a really interesting or vivid dream, and then fell back to sleep? You then wake up later not being able to remember what the dream was about.
You can keep a notebook on your nightstand to write in as soon as you wake up from your dream. Make sure to write down as much detail as possible.
For more information on journaling your dreams, check out this article From Huffpost
This is a great way to start a prayer habit. You can write down your prayers, praise, and thanks. You can write down how you’ve seen God working in your life, and keep track of who you are, or need to, pray for.
If you’re not sure what to write, or where to start, simply just start writing. Use your journal as an opportunity to speak to God. Write about all your hopes and fears. Write scriptures you really like.
This is a personal journal between you and God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Try different things until you find what works for you.
Gratitude journaling has gotten quite popular. It helps focus your mind on the things you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have. To see and appreciate those things.
For those interested in the benefits of gratitude journaling, check out this article from Forbes.
The basic concept is to list things you’re grateful for each day. I would recommend taking this a step further and write down WHY you’re grateful for these things.
Automatic Writing Journal
Automatic writing or psychography is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words purportedly arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source.Wikipedia
Many believe they are able to channel their higher self or spirit guide through the process of this journaling method.. Normally you start by writing a question at the top of your paper. Then you ask your spirit guide, higher self, particular angel, saint, or even God to answer the question.
You then just start writing.
Creative Writing Journal
This is a great journaling method for those who enjoy writing short stories. You can use creative writing prompts or make up your own. For more ideas on creative writing in your journal check out the video below by Tilda May.
Free Writing Journal
This writing technique is great for coming up with ideas, being more creative, battling writer’s block, helps with focus, and helps you develop your writing skills.
Basically, you just write about whatever comes to mind. You write without stopping until you reach either the time or word count you preset for yourself.