Find the Type of Journaling That Is Right for You. Journaling isn’t a new concept or one that requires a lot of explanation. Journaling is basically a way to record your experiences, thoughts, ideas, or reflections. It’s a clerical collection of your own feelings. Not everyone loves journaling or finds help in its process. However, the issue might not be that journaling isn’t your thing — maybe you haven’t found the type of journaling that is right for you. Some people might not even realize that there is more than one type of journaling. If you’re searching for a way to get all the benefits from journaling in a way that works for you, you might consider looking into a way to journal that fits your needs.
Some people really need a jumping-off point when it comes to starting a journal. Prompts are hugely helpful even for the most seasoned journaler in many cases. If you’re looking to journal but aren’t crazy about filling in a bunch of blank pages, think about getting a guided journal. There are guided journals for basically everyone about everything. The key is just finding the right one for you.
Social media is sort of an online journal in itself. It houses photos, thoughts, and memories. However, there are ways to journal without writing in a book. Moving your journal to an online platform is great for people who find the actual act of writing with a pen on paper taxing.
Use a blog, Google doc, or a number of other tools made for online journaling. You can even utilize a social media platform you already use and keep an account private, posts hidden, or an account made specifically for your journaling that you can choose to share or not. Many people have WordPress or Blogspot blogs made just to be an online diary. Social media can have positive or negative affects on your well-being depending on your use with it, but be sure to keep your online journal a positive experience and not one that can affect you negatively — journaling should be cathartic, not harmful.
Bullet journaling is rapidly becoming a popular new way to journal in an organized way that blends journaling with doodling and keeping track of various aspects of life. Long, inspiring paragraphs on reflections and emotions is really not the only way to journal.
Some people prefer lists and bullets and written updates as opposed to long entries and for those people, bullet journals are perfect. For a lot of people, this is just a planner or notes that you create the layout for. It can fit whatever goal you’re looking for from daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly sections. Some are themed on errands, some on every day scheduling, some for wedding planning, some for eating healthy, some for reading, homework, gardening, etc. This might be a little more involved than some people prefer, but if you love journaling, lists, scrapbooking, doodling, and staying organized, it might be perfect for you. There’s a ton of inspiration on Pinterest that’ll make you want to go buy a bullet journal today.
Free writing is sort of the traditional journaling that we all know and love. It’s just a pen on paper (or fingers on a keyboard) and free flowing thoughts. Some people really prefer the traditional free write journal and don’t require any additional parameters on it. There are a million different options for journal type, paper type, and preferred pen preferences. Some people keep a journal in their bag to write down a quick note when inspiration strikes, others prefer a writing desk with low light and a cup of tea to get the thoughts flowing.
Free write is completely open from constraints and parameters and allows you to write whatever you’re thinking in that moment in any way you please. The problem with free write is how unmotivated, uninspired, and uneasy some feel without direction. For that reason, it’s not for everyone.
Whether you choose a guided journal, online platform, bullet journal, or free-write journaling, you can turn each of them into a journal with a theme. For instance, if you have issues with sleep, you can get a journal where you record your sleep patterns and get to the bottom of what is causing your sleep deprivation.
Another example would be to keep a stress journal. About 40 percent of workers report that their jobs are extremely stressful. Your journal can be about recording your stress and finding ways to cope. For some, journaling itself is a great way to reduce stress. Other themed journals have to do with grief, gratitude, exercise, dreams, travel, your marriage, or your children. Sometimes just including a theme with your journal can get the creative juices flowing or act as a prompt in a way that a simple free write journal cannot. Each journal can be a reflection, or a way to record or cope with a specific issue like sleep, stress, or health.
Journaling is therapeutic for many people. It’s nice to have an outlet for your thoughts and feelings whether it’s on a specific subject or not. For the people who aren’t a big fan of journaling, the issue may just be that you haven’t found the right way to journal yet. Whichever type of journaling you choose, be sure to be OK with not setting too many expectations. Many find journaling to be too much like homework and avoid it because they can’t keep up with it every day, or every month. In reality, it should be something you do when you want to, and not because it feels like an assignment. Chances are that when you find the type of journaling that’s right for you, you’ll know.
Guest Post by Chelsy Ranard
Follow her on Twitter: @Chelsy5