Once you've decided to give journaling a try, the next step is deciding what type of journal will work best for your needs. This isn't just about choosing physical types- it's more about how you'll use your journals. While there are no right or wrong choices here, having a plan can help when it comes time to select supplies.
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Some people choose to use one journal for various purposes, while others prefer to keep things organised by using separate books. It's entirely up to you! No matter which type of journal you decide on, you'll be able to reap the benefits of this practice.
Let's look at a few types of journals you might like to try.
The first type of journal is called a daily journal. This is the most traditional and popular type of journal, with many people using it primarily every day to record their thoughts, feelings, plans or ideas. They might also use a regular daily diary for their happy moments and anxious moments and work through specific thought patterns to get more clarity. If you're not sure what you'll end up writing about on average, this one's definitely for you!
You can use a daily journal to:
- Organise your thoughts
- Process feelings
- Plan out your week
- Work through specific issues
- Express gratitude
- Organise your days
- Explore future goals
- Dream and imagine
- Outline your next project
- Experiment with different writing styles
- Reflect on the past week
- Brainstorm new ideas
- Record daily accomplishments
- Explore new interests
- Or do all of these things!
A gratitude journal is one where you only write small notes of thanks. You can do this with any type of journal, including part of your daily journal- or get a specifically designated "gratitude" journal to fill with notes on what you're grateful for every day.
Gratitude journals are also a great way to start your day with a positive mindset. By writing down one thing you are grateful for every morning, you can inspire positivity in your days.
Gratitude journals are also excellent for people suffering from depression. Writing things like "I am grateful for my health" can serve as a powerful reminder that your life has good things.
Some people also write out goals in a gratitude journal. This can work to your advantage by reminding you how thankful you are once you've reached your goals.
A travel journal is a blank notebook you can use to document your travels. Alternatively, there are themed notebooks so that you know what kind of information to write about in each section. It might have various prompts and pages dedicated to writing about certain aspects of your trip, like where you're going, the basic itinerary, packing lists, etc.
It could also be a scrapbook with ticket stubs, hotel reservation confirmations, photographs, postcards, or other souvenirs from your trip. You can paste or glue these into your journal for safekeeping. A journal is a perfect place to capture your thoughts and feelings about the journey as it unfolds. You can look back on your trip years from now and read about it from your perspective.
You can use an art journal as an artistic way to express yourself. You want to pick a sketchbook or book specifically designed for art journaling because this will have paper that handles different mediums like coloured pencils, paints, watercolours and more.
The best way to find a good art journal is to look for reviews or try a few out. You want one that is thick with a nice texture and, most importantly, one with paper that doesn't bleed too much. You can take any type of art supplies you like and start to express yourself through drawings, writing, sketching, collages and anything else you can think of. An art journal is a great way to get your thoughts out.
You can also look to your art journal as a type of therapy. By taking time to express yourself through art, you are allowing yourself to relax and get your mind off everything happening in your life. By keeping a log of what you draw, you can look back and see patterns. This will allow you to realise what you might be stressed about or what you might be spending too much time thinking about
The last thing you can do with your journal is to use it to write scripts. This is when you are writing as if what happened in your dreams has already come true. The scripting technique, which resembles affirmations (where writing focuses on thinking about the desired idea or goal and then representing them in present tense), starts with 'I am. For example, instead of saying 'I want to earn six figures this year', one would start by stating: I am so thankful that I have earned six figures this year.'
You might even have multiple types of journals - I do. I recommend first thinking through what you want to get out of journaling. Then you can decide which journal will be the best one for you.