Journal your life if you hate writing

How To Journal If You Hate Writing

Taking time to journal your life is a powerful personal development tool that is gaining popularity. Not only is keeping a journal fun to do, but it is beneficial to mental and physical wellbeing. Many coaches and therapists use journaling to help clients. But when you think of journaling, it is normal to immediately think of writing. I’m here to tell you that it is possible to journal your life without writing much!

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. You can read my full disclaimer here.

Often, people love the idea of keeping a journal, but they never start. Why? Because they want guidance or “rules” for journaling. People want rules because the idea of writing without a structure can feel unnerving. I understand this because when I got my first journal, I did start to look up things like “the best way to keep a journal”. But journaling your life can include anything you want. In fact, I would argue that no two of my own journals follow the same pattern or set of “rules”. The pages of my journals develop according to life at the time.

Because of this, I thought it would be cool to give you a list of all the ways you can journal your life. Including the kinds of things to do to reflect your thoughts and experiences in general. Most of the guidance you read will focus on journaling in terms of writing stuff down. But I’m about to blow your mind with all the other cool things you can include. To give you a heads up, I’ve just stuck a leaflet from a Doctor Who DVD boxset in my journal! Whoop, geekery! I know you’re jealous, for sure.

how DO you journal if you hate writing?


If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are compelling because they are visual. They help you to see patterns and connections. If you are trying to make decisions, you can illustrate the outcomes to help you make the best choice. Adding in colour not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections. 

Use Prompts

Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome. They can inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s essential that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. When you journal your life, make sure that the act of journaling relates to your needs at that moment in time.

There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness and other lifestyle journals available. Many of these will include prompts that don’t require lots of writing.

Speak It

You could choose to journal your life by using dictation software such as Dragon Dictate. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start journaling by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend. The software will ‘write’ what you say, and you can save the document so that you can review it later.

Journal your life if you hate writing


Cuttings are fantastic if you choose to journal your life. If you read the paper or magazines, you might come across articles or pictures that inspire you. Let Pritt-stick be your friend! I read a lot of personal development magazines, and I’m forever cutting them up to stick in my journals. Often I use magazine cuttings to illustrate my writings. It makes it more fun if you ever read it back.

Create a Collage

Take those cuttings even further! Cut out words, phrases, or paragraphs relating to your situation or emotions at that time. Add in pictures that you find that could show how you are feeling or want to feel.


Who doesn’t love a good quote? If you come across a great quote that makes you smile or inspires you, stick it in your journal. This way you’re more likely to remember it, and you can refer to it at a later date.


Tell yourself how freaking awesome you are. The more you do this, the more real it becomes. Writing down, or sticking in, positive affirmations pushes them deeper into your brain. Deep enough for you to start believing it.

Now doing…

Jot down what you’re reading, watching, or listening to at the moment. You might find it refreshing to see what you were doing when certain things were going on in your life. For example, I first started journaling on a flight from Singapore. And I know I was listening to Coldplay and I’d just read ‘P.S. I Love You’ because I’d ran out of reading material on the trip.


As I say, adding images to what you write adds more depth to a journal. These can be pictures you’ve taken, images you’ve cut out, photos you’ve printed out from the internet. Or even pictures you’ve drawn yourself.


Sometimes your words may not come freely, and you might find yourself staring at a blank page. If you start to doodle randomly, the creative part of your brain will begin to wake up. The words will begin to pour out. You might also be a doodler by nature, or maybe your doodles are pretty anyway. A journal full of doodles can be as useful as a journal full of words.


Following on from doodles, I know many people who keep art journals. Remember, people have different talents and express themselves in many different ways. If you have an affinity with art, you might like to use art to journal your life in the way others might do with words.

Be flexible when journaling your life

Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. It may be that once a week is enough.

You may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.

Disclosure: If you purchase anything from links in this post or any other, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. You can read my full disclaimer here.

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