How to journal

How to journal: 5 different ways to keep a journal

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Let’s start with this basics: there is not one way to keep a journal! Hopefully, that’s good news to folks who have read about why you should keep a journal. In this post, we are going to talk about how to journal. I will present five different ways to do it. Let’s get started!

1. Diary. A diary is a recap of the day’s events. This is a great way to keep track of your accomplishments and the highlights of your life. It’s what my grandpa still does, and it’s amazing! In fact, my parents visited my grandpa recently, and they looked through his old diaries together. You know what? They found the date when I said “grandpa” for the first time (and the story behind it). Pretty cool, right?

2. Bullet Journal. A bullet journal is simply a tracker of events, plans, goals, and things to do – all done in bullet-point (sentence-free) format. It’s a great way to get into journalling, because it gives you permission to not write long prose about your thoughts. Simply write things you need to do, should be doing, or want to do. Then, reflect about how important those items are to you. Learn more from the founder of bullet journalling.

3. Gratitude Journal. This helps you keep track of (and express daily) what you are most grateful for. Get creative! For example, you can make your journal into a colorful display. Take, I a small piece of paper and write with colorful markers the three things you are most grateful for that day. Then, drop the papers into a glass vase. Voila! It’s a wonderful, colorful reminder of all the things that make you grateful. To learn more check out my attempt at a gratitude vase.

4. Artistic Journal. You might not want to use words to record their thoughts but still want a private way to express your creativity. An artistic journal might be for you. Call it a sketchbook, a collection of doodles, or a portfolio. However you’d like to do it, you can use this type of journal to express your creative or artistic side.

5. Morning Pages. Introduced by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, this type of journalling allows you to express yourself fluidly. Write three pages of whatever comes to mind first in the morning. This type of journalling is my key to creative productivity, and also helps me get my mind in a good place before I begin my day. Try it, and I think you may find the same clarity and benefit.

The good news about journals (no matter what the type) is that they can be done through many types of media. You can keep a digital journal, a small planner, or a traditional book-like journal.

How do you journal? Let me know in the comments!

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