Throughout the last few months I have been sharing my journaling theories whenever I do a presentation for a small group or in networking, or even when I just talk with people one on one about if they are a journaler and if they do journal regularly or sometimes or whatever their own personal situation is.
What type of journaler are you?
I have some theories about types of journaling. So my question for you today is: What type of journaler are you?
I’ll tell you what the 3 types are and then I’ll match those types with some of the journals and notebooks that I have available.
Behind the Scenes
This week marks the six month anniversary of the launch of the journal and notebook shop. That’s a six month span of creating and designing and promoting journals and notebooks and workbooks and diaries and it has just been so fun and so interesting and I have learned so much.
If you are curious, or interested, if you want to hear the behind the scenes, and some of the details and the data and the numbers or if you want to hear anything about what I’ve learned in the first six months, or what I’ve done, or created or earned or any of that, let me know and I will create a post, just with the behind the scenes about the journal and notebook shop
If I get at least five different questions about the behind the scenes, then I can put together the post, answering those five questions and sharing some more details. Share your shop nosy question that I can answer them. You can comment below, message me on social media. Or just tell me in person, if we know each other in real life.
Organizing People into Types
I want to share with you my theories of the three types of Journalers. I also want to tell you something new that I’m doing in support of all the types of journalers.
Before I even start by breaking down what I believe are the three types of Journalers, I will just share with you that I have been all three of these in recent years, and I was fine and content in all three of them. I don’t think I had any resistance when I was in any one of these types or categories, so I’m not sharing this as a hierarchy I’m not suggesting you should move from one level to the next and the goal is to get to the highest level.
I don’t think that’s the case, I do like to categorize and organize things, and I also like the idea of recognizing that not everyone is the same. I know not everyone needs or wants the same things.
Different people have different preferences and needs.
Organizing people into 1 of 3 types has helped me in thinking about the kinds of journals that I create. I’ll be curious where you think you fit in.
As I’ve given this presentation to different groups, I have had people tell me mid presentation. Oh, actually, now that you described it, I don’t think I’m that type I think I’m this type.
So, I’m curious if you will hear yourself in one or more of my descriptions and if you’ll be interested in changing the type of journaler you are.
3 Types of Journalers
I think we have journal lovers journal-curious and non Journalers. So, right away without giving you any additional descriptions or information about those three types, do you self identify as a journal lover, a journal-curious, or a non journaler? Who are you right now?
It might also be interesting to note why you consider yourself either a journal lover journal-curious, or a non journaler.
And then the third question you could ask yourself is, do you like that label for yourself? Do you like being a journal lover, or are you okay with being journal curious, or are you completely content as a non journaler?
First, let’s talk about journal lovers. I consider a journal lover someone who has a dedicated regular journaling practice. Notice I did not say that it’s daily. In my opinion, in my life, as a journal lover, I am currently journaling daily, and I think it’s the best way for me right now.
Here’s why: I recognize so many benefits as a journal lover. My journaling practice lets me see patterns in my life, in my circumstances,in my thinking.
Pattern of the Weather
Just this morning I was doing some reflection and comparing this year (202) to last year (2020) and the change in my mood and demeanor and in my life situation.
As I was writing and thinking I was noticing some different patterns and I started to wonder if my mood and my demeanor is tied more closely to the seasons and weather and the temperatures than maybe I’ve given credit to or maybe that I’ve seriously considered in the past.
This pattern might be new. My mood and my demeanor might not have always been this closely tied to the temperature or the weather as it seems to be right now. Because of my daily journaling practice, I’m now recognizing some common themes and starting to consider that it might be a pattern.
Writing Without Judgement
Another benefit that I get because I journal daily is that I have created the expectation for myself, and the space for myself, to write my thoughts down without judgment (most of the time).
Sometimes, I definitely judge my thoughts, but most of the time it’s just about writing down what I’m thinking and feeling and noticing and wondering about.
Writing without judgement helps me create distance from what I am thinking. It just gives me a little bit of objectivity, either in the moment, as I notice what I am writing, or even with the distance of time if I flip back to what I wrote last week, two weeks ago, a month ago or a year ago.
I can certainly feel that time distance and that causes me to be so much more objective about what I wrote.
Personal Self Care and Gratitude Ritual
I also see my journaling practice as a daily personal self care ritual. Self care has been a really hot topic throughout 2020 and now I’m still hearing it so much in 2021. Maybe it’s just the circles that I’m currently traveling in, but I hear a lot of discussion and questions about self care rituals and routines and how we take care of ourselves.
It’s not all just Bubble Baths and Spa Days (I never thought it was) but maybe thinking of self-care in visible material ways is what our brain immediately goes to when we say self care. You can have self care just through a daily or frequent journaling practice.
My journaling practice also supports my gratitude practice because it gives me an intentional way to be grateful daily. There are so many benefits from having a dedicated gratitude practice. That actually might deserve its own episode.
Brainstorms and Ideas
I also love journaling because I use my journal pages as a place to collect my brainstorms and my ideas. It’s where I can write my “not -fully formed” concepts that are just kind of circling around in my brain that I do want to capture. I love to write down my brainstorms and ask myself further questions.
The thing that I love the most is being able to come back to those brainstorms and see what I was thinking and get reminded of a fun little tangent idea that I had or or some really good detail that I didn’t want to forget. Having written it down helps me remember.
When Am I Creative?
The best part of my day, mentally, creatively and cognitively, is the morning. I definitely feel more like myself and more in alignment in the morning. I’m just so happy that I’m able to use the best part of my day doing the thing that I think I do the best, which is journaling and self reflection.
I definitely think journaling is one of my top talents. Isn’t it so interesting to note that my top talent doesn’t have to do anything for anyone else?
It can be something that really is just for me.
But now, to argue with myself, I could also say that even though my top talent only has to do something for me, I could make the opposite argument because I’m sharing it with you, talking about journaling may inspire or motivate you or give you a fresh perspective that might cause you to want to journal. Even though I think my journaling practice is completely self-serving for me, just by sharing it with you, it might help you get some of the benefits if you decide to give it a try, or double down on your own journaling practice.
Benefits of Journaling
This is actually how I decided to finally make regular journaling a priority for myself. Just in an anecdotal way, I’ve heard so many of my favorite teachers and mentors and people who I respect and follow talk about journaling.
The two main things that I hear mentors and teachers talk about are journaling and meditation. I have not personally cracked the code for myself yet on meditation but it keeps on popping up for me from different sources so I think that might be the next practice that I invest in for myself.
I hear people talking about meditation and journaling and both of these have also been studied and researched and peer reviewed, and written about, and shared. We know that journaling reduces stress and anxiety.
It’s a tool that can help you strengthen your memory. It improves your emotional function. It can also improve your immune system. We know that many things in life can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your systems and functioning like exercise and meditation, Having a healthy diet of whole foods and drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, all of this can help. And I just think: “well, if I get to choose which of those remedies I’ll use, I choose journaling.”
If journaling is going to give me those benefits. I’ll take it. I will definitely spend my time journaling and design my day around my journaling practice so that I can get those benefits.
Hopefully now, I have given you some of my own anecdotal reasons, as well as the peer reviewed, research-based scientific benefits of journaling. Maybe, if you’re not already a regular journal, maybe you are a little bit more interested in it or a little more curious than you were 10 minutes ago.
My Daily Journal
In full disclosure about my own routine, I do still use an Office Max graph paper notebook for my daily journal. I don’t currently use one of my own creations for my morning journaling (yet). That might change in the future. In early 2020 I bought a whole stack of the notebooks that I like to use because they’re all uniform. They’re all the same size and color and my journaling is down to a well-organized routine right now so that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t switched my morning journaling practice over to one of my own journals. I do use my own creations for other types of journaling and note taking.
All this to say, I do not expect you to use one of mine. Obviously you can use whatever journal you have. If you don’t have one and you want to check out one of the journals in my journal shop, there are a few that I would recommend for a frequent regular journaling practice.
I have a few different gratitude journals that prompt you with three little bullet points. Then you just write three things each day that you’re grateful for and it gives you additional space for you to write out long form if you choose.
Some people have shared with me that they don’t need the long form additional space for their gratitude practices, Some other people have shared that sometimes they use it sometimes they don’t. There’s no right or wrong and there’s no pressure either way.
I also have a number of prompted journals you can check out. Frequently people tell me that the reason why they don’t write is because they don’t know what to write. So, if you find yourself in that situation, you could get one of the prompted journals. There are many different versions and themes of these, for example, my mother’s name is Rose and there is a rose-themed prompted journal that gives you all sorts of common expressions and poetry lines and phrases, all about roses. That might be a fun way to journal regularly with a little bit of a rose theme. I also have prompted journals that deal with being a highly sensitive person.
There is a journal that gives prompts based on the phases of the moon.
So if you want to journal, along with the different moon phases throughout the lunar cycle, you could choose a prompt that goes along with whatever moon phase we are currently in.
Of course, I also have different kinds of blank journals. There are dot graph journals in case you are interested in doing any bullet journaling. Have you seen this type of journaling? People use the dot graph pages to create customized layouts and agendas and boxes and all kinds of creative designs.
Some people use dot graph journals to create daily planners or to-do lists or checkboxes
There are just so many things you could do if you feel like being creative. You could look up some examples of what people create on dot graph paper and then get one of my journals that has that kind of interior. I also have a few journals that are graph paper, since that’s the way I like to journal, as a daily journal lover.
Let’s move on to the second type of journaler.
I’m calling this category journal-curious. I would call a this type of journaler someone who recognizes the benefits of journaling. They’ve heard of the benefits from other people or experienced them first-hand during a different time of their life. They’ve read about the benefits. They see the impact that journaling has on journal lovers and they believe it and they are curious about those benefits and changes in their lives for themselves.
But for some reason, they just haven’t really made the shift from non journaler to journal lover.
There are a few common reasons I hear about why people don’t journal. Maybe they think they don’t have time to journal frequently. Maybe they don’t know what to write about. It’s possible that they’ve tried to journal before and they just never made it into a habit. Maybe they are someone who likes to be more spontaneous and not feel confined by a routine. Sometimes people think they shouldn’t prioritize the time for themselves over other things they need to do in their lives.
A lot of people that I’ve told or talked to who have said that they don’t want to journal, even though they believe in the benefits of journaling, because they’re very concerned that someone will read their journal and use what they wrote against them.
Most of the people that have told me that concern, then go on to tell me that it has happened to them, where they have had someone who found their journal, read it, and it just felt like such a breach of privacy and it just felt like such a betrayal that they decided in a protective measure not to ever journal again.
That actually did happen to me. I shared a little bit of that story on the episode last year where I talked about my journaling journey. I’ll post that in this episode’s show notes so that if you want the link to that episode to go back and listen you can.
These are just some of the reasons why people have shared with me that even though they agree with and believe in the benefits of journaling, that they don’t currently journal.
Move From Journal-curious to a Journal Lover
I have come up with a theory of a few different ways that you can transition from journal-curious to a journal lover.
One of my theories (and it’s been confirmed by a few people that I’ve spoken with) is that regular journaling is about making it a priority.
This was definitely how I transitioned from journal-curious to a journal lover.
I liked the idea of journaling daily. I saw that other people did it and got great results from it, but I had the privacy concern, and I didn’t necessarily have the right time in my daily structure in order to journal every day.
And then, I decided it was just too good not to do it, and I just wanted those results that I saw in other people for myself. Specifically, it was from Aileen Xu of Lavendaire. I have a post about her as well so you can go back and listen to hear how much she motivated me and inspired me to become a journal lover.
I finally decided I would make writing every day a priority and I built my schedule around my journaling practice so that I would have time for it.
For some people, not everyone, but I really just think that fully deciding and investing the time and the commitment is possibly a prerequisite or a requirement to getting this benefit.
Just decide: I will make time for it every day just like I make time to brush my teeth and take a shower and prepare food for myself and exercise. Whatever it is that you do every day and you would feel strange or uncomfortable not doing it. Decide the same thing about journaling.
This is, you know you can invest the change of schedule and routine and allowance of time in order to journal every day.
Maybe the decision and prioritization is not your issue though. Maybe you have given yourself time every day, and you sit down and then you just stare at the blank page.
So maybe what would be more helpful for you is having some daily journaling prompts or maybe some accountability. So I have some suggestions and some experiments that I’m now doing to help with some ideas of what to journal about as well as some outward accountability.
Journaling and Friendship Group
One thing that I’ve done is I’ve created a journaling and friendship group. So this is available both on Meetup and it. And on Facebook, and the idea of the group is that sometimes it really is easier to do an activity when we have a scheduled time and we know other people are doing it at the same time. And there’s an expectation we basically are telling our brains. This is when I’m doing it. And because it is a scheduled time we’re not going to get out of it or use that time for something else. And so that was the reason that I decided to have some public journaling, In a journaling and friendship group.
It’s been really interesting and lovely in the few sessions I have done so far to see the reactions of my journal curious friends once we both put our pens down and come up out of our journaling session.
We check in with each other and say “How was that?” I’ve heard people say, “I feel lighter.”
I’ve heard people say “that was such a long time. I didn’t even realize how long 20 minutes of journaling is.” I’ve had people say that they’ve made breakthroughs in just those 20 minutes of writing together. This is something that I’m experimenting with here for the rest of 2021.
I have created a Journaling and Friendship group on Facebook where I’m going to be posting daily prompts.
In case you need the idea of something to journal about, and instead of having an accountability factor of needing to check in and report if you did it or not. This group uses optional accountability where you can just use the emojis on the Facebook post to just mark if you used it or not. So, other people might check to see if someone else has liked the daily post. It’s kind of public but very low commitment accountability.
We also will have a way to come together and journal together and just meet for friendship too at least once or twice a month. Either on Zoom or in person.
I’ve done a few public journaling sessions so far and I really liked them. It seems like the people who joined really liked the experience, so I’m going to continue to experiment with this and see how it goes.
In fact, the next in person journaling session that we’re doing is going to be in downtown Chandler at 1030am on Saturday, October 9th 2021 at 10:30 .
Join us to journal together for a little bit of accountability and encouragement, and then we can also just talk. We don’t have to talk about journaling, although we certainly can. We can talk about whatever we want in the friendship portion of the journaling and friendship meetup.
Ease Into a Practice
If you are journal-curious, but you’re not really ready to journal, or start a daily journaling routine. I have some specific journals that might help you ease into a more regular journaling practice.
I also encourage the idea of journaling periodically, for example, weekly, monthly, annually, and I also love to talk about journaling sporadically based on different events or episodes.
If you are curious about journaling weekly, I would recommend that you get the list journal.
This is kind of a hybrid between list making and journaling because there are 52 prompts. You could choose to write one list a week – maybe every Sunday or maybe every Friday night at the end of your work week. Whichever time or day during the week that makes the best sense for you. You sit down, open the book and it offers you a topic to make a list about.
You make a list of 10 things. I love this journal and I love this concept so much because the first three or four can usually just spill right out of you so easily. But then when you get down to numbers 7,8 and 9, wow, you are really searching in your brain to come up with the full list of 10 things that have to do with that prompt.
It causes you to dig into your brain. After you’ve made your list of 10 things there is space for you to write about what came up for you or what you noticed or what new realization you have now that you’ve made that list of 10.
Ideas for Sporadic Journaling
I shared a lot of ideas about periodic and sporadic ways to journal in an episode from earlier this year, so if you are journal-curious and want to hear those suggestions, check out these posts:
I haven’t forgotten about my third type of people: the non journalers. Hopefully you’re still listening and I haven’t lost you with all this journaling talk – even if you don’t consider yourself someone who loves or who is curious about journaling.
Are you still a non journal? Or maybe even just in the past 20 minutes or so, Have you shifted into being a little bit more journal curious? Or still content with your non-journaling status?
Either way it’s fine. I have no expectation that anyone who is currently a non journaler needs to change your type. You can certainly stay a non journaler.
Just so you think this episode isn’t totally leaving you out, I wanted to let you know that I make other types of notebooks and workbooks that really don’t have anything to do with journaling.
Plus, if you don’t mind writing things down, but just don’t identify yourself as someone who journals, I have some ideas for you to consider.
You can still get some of the journaling benefits I mentioned earlier and you don’t have to refer to is as journaling. You can call it a Thought Download, a brain dump. You can tell yourself you’re writing a story (that might help with the privacy concern too if you change the names to protect the innocent). You don’t have to write in paragraphs and sentences. List making is very powerful and its so easy to read when you come back to it later.
Designed for Non Journalers
I have a few books that are specifically designed for non-journalers. Most obviously, there’s a notebook called the Journal for People Who Hate Writing. It gives you ideas for making lists, doodling, mind mapping, drawing pictures and all sorts of different things.
I also have a notebook that’s just for mind-mapping, making outlines and doodling.
There is also a whole selection of notebooks that don’t have anything to do with personal development or self reflection. You could get yourself a wine tasting or beer tasting notebook.
There are review notebooks for you to review so many parts of your life – like favorite books, movies and TV shows, a restaurant review book and book to keep track of what gifts you can give you your friends and family.
There are also books to track what you eat if you’re trying to eat more intentionally.
Thought Provoking Re-giftable Gifts
One last thing I’ll say to my non-journaling friends, since I’m not trying to change your mind, you probably have people in your life who do like to write, or take notes, or make lists. So all of my journals and notebooks make great, easy and thought provoking re-giftable gifts!
I’m serious! If you’ve received a notebook from me as a gift, I fully encourage you to re-gift it if it’s not your style. So I also suggest you to you mention the regifting option if you end up giving someone else a notebook or journal or workbook.
These travel well. They’re easy to wrap. They won’t spill or spoil. I’ve never heard of anyone being allergic. Basically, I’m pretty sure these make a perfect gift for everyone you know, from an acquaintance all the way up to your soul mate! See all the journals and notebooks.
Just to check in one last time: What type of journaler are you?
A Journal Lover?
Or a non-journaler?
Remember, if you want me to do a behind the scenes post about my first 6 months of designing and creating journals and notebooks, let me know what questions I should answer.
In addition to the royalties I earn with the sale of these products, as an Amazon Associate, I may also earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (which could happen if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase). This does NOT result in any additional cost to you.