Journaling isn’t a one-way street. It’s not one size fits all. There’s a different type of journal out there for everyone. Whether you simply want to document your goals or maybe you’re conquering the seven seas and you want to keep a tab of your findings, journaling takes many different forms, but what’s best for you? Here are a few suggestions to help you decide.
Dear Diary… (Daily Journal)
When most people think of journaling this is what usually comes to mind. A daily journal is simple, you choose a time (usually at night) to write about your day, the lessons you’ve learned, what you could have handled better, maybe rant a little, etc. Essentially it’s just a recap, but a therapeutic one.
Daily journaling helps you reflect on events that have occurred during the day and almost force you to take more accountability for your actions. Although at times it might turn into one massive rant, that negative energy is contained within the pages of your journal as opposed to being spread into other people’s lives. So feel free to pour your heart out in it.
I’ve Got A Busy Day (Planner/Bullet Point Journal)
Staying organised is a lot easier when you know exactly what it is you have to do and the best way to stay on top of that is by keeping a planner or a To-Do list.
At the start/end of each day, plan out what you have to do for that day or the following day. You might even decide you want to plan out the week. Either way, you’ll save yourself the risk of forgetting major tasks and you’ll reap the benefits of the productivity when you’re out partying knowing you’ve done all that needs to be done.
This journal can be made up of bullet points of small tasks i.e. Call mum, wash dishes, book doctors appointment. Or it could be made up of major tasks like finish coursework, take my driving tests, and so on. Regardless, having a planner/to-do list is a highly effective way to stay on top of your tasks.
I’d Like To Thank My… (Gratitude Journal)
For those who constantly feel like the world is holding a grudge against you or like nothing seems to go your way, keeping a gratitude journal could be a great way to realign your focus to the positives in your life.
In life, we tend to take the little things for granted because we are so focused on what we don’t have while constantly being bombarded by what other people are receiving on social media, in other words, ‘the Life Highlight Reel’. Your gratitude journal is a good way to stay grounded and grateful. And the more gratitude you show for the little things, you’ll realise bigger things will start to come your way.
Question: If you gave two kids £5 each, one said ‘Thank You’ and the other didn’t, the next time you have the opportunity to give JUST one of them money, which one would you give? (Probably the one that said ‘Thank You’). So be grateful for what you have and eventually more will come to you. And if you struggle to show gratitude maybe this is the journal for you.
I Swear I Remember (Dream Journal)
We’ve all had that moment in life where we have a vivid dream (or dreams) and just as you’re about to tell someone what happened, you slowly feel every detail of the dream trickling away from your memory. If you have dreams regularly, you might want to keep a dream journal.
Have one beside your bed (with a pen) for easy access as soon as you wake up. Write your dream(s) in as much detail as possible. Where you were, how many people you were with, what was said, what happened, the weather and so on. AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE.
Dream journals are great to keep because not only could your dreams be linked to other dreams you may have had or things that have happened in real life, your dreams could also be trying to send you a message. You never know. So if you’re a consistent dreamer (and even if you’re not), dream journals are an interesting one to have.
I’m Going To Be Rich! (Idea Journal)
Once upon a time, you had that million-pound idea that was going to make you filthy rich then….you forgot it. A sad story that most of us have probably experienced. To avoid this happening in the future, maybe consider keeping an idea journal. Somewhere to write down every idea that comes to your mind, no matter the size or nature.
Idea journals should be filled with all sorts of ideas. Even if you don’t feel like it’s something you see yourself doing, write it down anyway, you never know what could happen. It’s better to have an idea and not need it, than needing an idea and not having it. Who knows, one day you may get invited to an important business meeting and one of your ideas would be a perfect solution to a problem the business was facing.
Some people only fill their idea journals when they feel like they’ve been inspired by something. Others sit down and activate their creative juices to try and come up with as many ideas as they can every morning. It’s really up to you to choose what works best for you.
My Name is… and I Am A Recovering… (Personal Development Journal)
A personal development journal is somewhat similar to your daily journal, however, there’s less focus on the b*tching and more on the value. Lessons you’ve learned, things that worked for you, reminding yourself of your values and reinforcing them, etc.
In your personal development journal you should aim to reflect as much as you can on events that have occurred, answering questions like what did I learn? How could I have approached the situation differently for a better result? What did I do well that I can maintain in the future?
Keeping a record of these events and what you could take from them will build you as an individual and make life a lot easier when you’re faced with a similar challenge in the future. When you look back at your journal you’ll start to notice the positive changes, old habits that have now been replaced with good ones, and from that, you begin to feel proud of yourself and how you’ve developed.
Where to? (Travel Journal)
Some of you are fortunate enough to travel around the world. Whether it be once a year, three times a year, or at the end of every quarter, you should consider keeping a travel journal.
Document the experience. Write down any new foreign words you learned or used, the food you tried, did you learn about any of the city’s history? If so write that down too. Or if you’re not in a writing mood then make a video journal/vlog. Vlogs don’t have to be posted online you can keep them for yourself and your family. Don’t worry about the people who say ‘If you don’t post it, it didn’t happen’. The chances are they are jealous because nothing’s happening for them, so live your life and make your memories.
On the contrary, even if you’re not fortunate enough to fly out of the country, you can still document trips to places that are accessible to you. Take a trip to Central London, London has a bunch of hidden spots that you probably never knew about. Explore. Journal your findings. Similarly to the gratitude journal, what’s the point in exploring other countries when you don’t know what’s going on in your back garden
Amen. (Prayer Journal)
When it comes to prayer a lot of us only go to God when we need something. Then once we get what it is we ask for we go ghost on the Holy Ghost, and possibly eventually forget that he answered our prayers.
The essence of keeping a prayer journal is to communicate your prayers to God in a different way, through writing. It’s also a great way to remind yourself of what God has done for you in the past as you look back at previous prayers and tick them off as ‘answered’.
Prayer journals are also an effective way to build your relationship with God. As you write down your requests, you’re probably going to be less likely to be distracted by what around you because the majority of your focus is put towards the detail of what you’re asking God for.
Still Not Satisfied? (Others)
If you still don’t feel like there’s any type of journal out there for you, you can make up your own. Be creative with it, at the end of the day they are for your own benefit.
Thank you for reading, I hope this has given you an idea of what sort of journal you might want to start for yourself. If you felt like you gained something valuable from this post why not share it with a friend of two? And feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions!