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Types of Journaling

What is Journaling?

There are as many types of journals as types of journaling and just as many ways to do it. There are only right ways so you can’t do it wrong. Journaling is very personal.

Some write, paint, doodle, draw, make collages, scrapbook, write dear diary-style, bullet point their thoughts or a mix of all the above! And it’s all correct.

Journaling is simply a way to express your thoughts, dreams, goals, inspirations, and desires.

The Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is very personal and can be very freeing. Writing out thoughts and feelings is a great way to release them and help find clarity. Writing also helps promote focus and memory as the writer not only recalls events but then writes them down where they can be accessed at a later date.

Creative journaling simply means the creator, or person using the journal utilizes the journal in a way that best fits them. So, do it your way!

There are two types of journal books physical and digital (although they can be printed).

Digital Journals

  • Digital Journals – purchased through this site, Etsy, Amazon, or other. These journals are created and uploaded for the customer to purchase and print.
    • Pros: Can print extra pages or leave unwanted pages out
      • Usually cheaper
      • Often more creative with more options
      • Can be printed on whatever paper you desire and put in the printer
      • Can be put in any cover desired
    • Cons: Not hardbound

Preprinted Bound Journals

  • Preprinted Bound Journals at a local or online bookstore/outlet journals
    • Pros: Usually beautifully crafted and leather-bound exterior is available
      • Internal paper is often thicker and bleed proof
    • Cons: Printer paper isn’t usually bleed proof
      • Unable to add and remove pages
      • Can’t print more of what you like

Types of Journaling

Day to Day Journal

  • If you love to write this one is an easy one to get started on! Simply write in it whatever you’re thinking or feeling whenever you think it or feel it. Pour into it your thoughts, ideas, happiness, dreams, goals, situations, desires, favorite things in life, favorite people, how you feel, what you want, etc
    • PROS – Write anything and everything! 
    • CONS – Can be intimidating to some if they feel they have to write in it daily.
      • NOTE: Writing in it daily isn’t a requirement. It’s simply meant to hold anything you want from day to day

Pocket Journal

  • Similar to a day to day journal as anything can be written in it. However, it’s usually smaller and kept in your pocket or purse for quick access. When inspired by a thought, something someone said or you heard, or inspiration strikes, the handy little journal is there to write it all in.
    • PROS – Write anything and everything in it. Easy, quick, portable.
    • CONS – Like the day to day journal, this type of open to everything journaling might not work for everyone as it is uncategorized and previous thoughts and inspirations may be difficult to find again later.

Dream Journal

  • Upon waking from a dream simply write it in this journal.
  • Keeping the journal and several pens near where you sleep is most helpful for this type of journaling as it allows the writer to simply pick up their book and write in it.
    • PROS – Some people get messages or inspiration through their dreams. It’s a quick and easy way to capture those before they are lost in the hustle of getting up and starting the day.
    • CONS: Limited to just dreams. Multiple journals don’t work for every journaler.

Gratitude Journal

  • A great way to begin your day is to write in a gratitude journal all that you are grateful for.
  • Setting a timer for this task may be helpful as it’s easy to get carried away and lose track of time as you journal about what you love and enjoy.
    • PROS: Gratitude is an amazing way to keep focused on what you want and what you enjoy.
    • CONS: I can’t think of any.

Food Journal

  • Food journaling is very popular and easy to do with many options to pick from.
      • Favorite places to eat with favorite menu choices and descriptions
      • Favorite recipes with recipes included
      • Everything eaten during the day for calorie, intake, or other count
      • Everything eaten during the day to help determine allergies or other issues
    • PROS – Makes it easy to keep track of food, recipes, ingredients, favorite places to eat (or avoid) etc
    • CONS – May feel limited to entries about a specific aspect of food. Actually, this journal could be used in any way you choose.  

Medical Journal

  • Medical journaling can be very helpful when you find yourself in a medically related journey. It’s a great place to write details from appointments, experiences, notes, side effects, supplies needed, questions to ask at the next appointment, progress, etc. A calendar tucked into a medical journal for specific notes or milestones is a good idea.
    • PROS: Excellent way to keep track of medical/health-related issues. A great way to vent, share, track progress, note issues, and side effects and make notes either before, during, or after appointments.
    • CONS: You actually need to write in it.

Pregnancy Journal

  • A fun way to document the journey from ovulation calendar, through the ups and downs, details of the pregnancy and appointments, ultrasounds, etc and on through the birth, adoption, fostering, or another wonderful outcome.
  • Like all of the journals already listed, it’s a great way to get feelings down on paper and may help find clarity and/or release after putting thoughts to paper.
      • PROS: Easy way to put everything down in writing and look back through later. Great way to track details, notes, thoughts, aspirations, and options.
      • CONS: Can feel limiting to only pregnancy-specific content, but really, it’s open to any desires, hopes, and inspiration as well.

Prayer Journal

  • Have you ever thought about writing out your prayers? This type of journal is a great way to write love letters to God,
    • PROS: Easy way to put everything down in writing and look back through later.
    • CONS: Can feel limiting to only faith-based content, but really, it’s open to any desires, hopes, and inspiration too. 

Faith Journal

  • Great journal for new believers or those wanting to write about their faith journey. Include prayers, Bible verses, notes from sermons, or anything else that inspires you in your faith walk.
    • PROS: Easy way to put everything down in writing and look back through later.
    • CONS: Can feel limiting to only faith-based content, but really, it’s open to any desires, hopes, inspiration, questions, etc 

Bible or Devotional Journal

  • A great accompaniment to your daily reading and/or devotions. Write any inspiration, answers, questions, clarity, insight, joy, or how what you read made you feel. Could combine this with a prayer or faith journal. Using colored highlighters to highlight special passages, quotes, or inspirations makes it easier to find insights later.
      • PROS: Easy way to put everything down in writing and look back through later. Using colored highlighters will help to really spotlight things you want to find easily.
      • CONS: Can feel limiting to only faith-based content but could also include any and everything in your day. 

Reading Journal

  • Do you love to read? If so, this journal might be for you! It’s a great place to keep track of books you’ve read, what you thought about them, how they inspired you, or any other notes you want to recall about them.
    • PROS: Easy way to keep track of what you’ve read and your thoughts on the book. It’s also a great place to keep a list or library of what you already own.
    • CONS: Some can find it difficult to find enough to write about what they read in order to use a reading journal. Also, it may feel too limiting. 

Workout Journal

  • An easy way to track workouts (what you do or what you want to do), routines, goals, measurements, expectations, disappointments, and achievements.
    • PROS: Easy way to keep all your workout information together and could even include favorite recipes, routines, and goals.
    • CONS: Can feel limiting to just work out or gym-related writing. 

Garden Journal

  • An awesome way to keep track of what you love to grow, where it grows best, any issues or suggestions, and best practices.
    • PROS: An easy way to quickly access notes and reminders of what works best for you in your space and any inspirations you want to apply at a later date.
    • CONS: Easy to get overwhelmed in the details. Colored pens or high lighters may really help to keep this type of journal organized. 

Travel Journal

  • Where have you been? Where would you like to go? A travel journal is a great place to keep track of the answers to both of those questions. You can either write all about where you’ve been, the places you’ve seen and what you loved OR you can journal about where you want to go and why.
    • PROS: Wonderful way to keep track of where you’ve been and what you loved about it for later reference. Also, an easy way to plan a trip to somewhere you want to see as you’ve already collected all of the details for the itinerary.
    • CONS: Can feel limiting as it’s called a travel journal. However, there really aren’t any rules for journaling. You could include whatever you wanted. 

Art/Hobby/Project Journal

  • An ongoing journal of notes, goals, accomplishments, and desires around the topic you chose. It may include pictures, drawings, doodles, examples cut from magazines, etc.
      • PROS: Easy way to gather notes, suggestions, or thoughts to begin planning a project. A great way for hobbyists to know what they have and what they want to get.
      • CONS: Unlikely this type of journal will feel daunting as the person that would want one is probably very creative already so they would see this one as an opportunity to showcase their passion. 

Bullet Journal

  • Bullet journaling has really become popular. This type of journal is a little different from the others, but only because it’s meant to be a journal, calendar, and tracker of whatever you want to track. Although all of these things can, and often do, go into the previously mentioned journals, this type of journaling really utilizes it well.
  • Bullet journals are a way to organize and keep to-do lists. Each page has a page number to help create an index of the contents. It is still a journal and meant for you to write, share, and note in.   

      • PROS: Easy way to write, share, and keep track of thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. Often this type of journaling is created to easily access contents through the created index or color-coding system applied.
      • CONS: Can feel overwhelming to those that don’t like lists or being organized.

Photo Journal (Scrapbooking)

  • A creative way to tell the story with words, feelings, details, and photographs.  This is also called a scrapbook, photo album, or picture book and can be done both digitally and physically.
    • PROS: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s true! It becomes priceless when you add the words. Using photo journaling to tell your story allows you the freedom of expression while preserving your story.
    • CONS: Can feel overwhelming at first.

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