Discovering Enjoyable Journaling Techniques
Let’s talk about some enjoyable journaling techniques. Many people don’t continue or even start to journal because they are worried about doing it right. Or, if they do try to journal once or twice, maybe they don’t enjoy the practice or the process of writing. Maybe, they just haven’t found the specific journaling technique that they do enjoy – the journaling technique or techniques that do provide benefits to them.
Sometimes, people start journaling and then they don’t get enough benefits soon enough so that they prioritize consistent journaling as a habit. That’s why you hear of people saying, “well, I tried journaling, and then I didn’t stick with it,” or ”I bought a new journal and I was so excited to use it – then I wrote in it a few times and the rest of the pages are blank.”
I don’t want this to happen to you! I want you to find an enjoyable journaling technique that works for you, personally. Get the benefits of journaling as quickly as possible.
Benefits of Journaling
There are so many benefits to journaling. If you just Google ”what are the benefits of journaling?” You’ll find so many: improved cognition, better memory, more peace.
There are physical benefits, mental benefits, social benefits. There are just so many benefits to journaling.
Specifically, one of the benefits is that as you journal consistently, which by the way doesn’t have to mean every single day, you can start to see your own transition and growth.
Above and beyond all of the other benefits that are measured by social scientists and researchers, just the fact that you could do an activity on your own time, with whatever resource you want to use (either your phone or a notebook or a beautiful curated journal, or some art supplies or whatever you decide to use), you could start to see your own evolution.
You could start to see how you are navigating all the different directions that your life is taking and how that navigation is helping you to evolve and become the next version of yourself.
There’s no one right way to journal. You might have an idea or an image or an expectation of how to journal correctly or how to journal “the right way.” The great news is, there is no one right way. There is no one perfect journal or one perfect style of journaling for any one individual person. You can experiment with different techniques. You can start journaling today or this week, in one way. Then you can switch it up after trying it for a while and you can notice: “this technique works better for me” or “I prefer this more than that.”
Then, you just pivot and keep going.
Keep Trying New Enjoyable Journaling Techniques
That’s the key. Just keep going.
Yes, you can change your journaling technique.
Yes, you can change your journaling modality, but don’t stop.
As you continue to journal and start to see the benefits and start to feel more comfortable in your journaling practice, you will also start to notice what you prefer and what works better for you.
Expect your journaling practice and preferences to change, especially as your life changes.
For example, if you start journaling at a certain time of day and then your schedule changes, it’s likely that your journaling time could change too.
If you start journaling in a specific modality, let’s say in a beautiful notebook that is special to you and that has exactly the right weight and shade of paper with a special pen and then you fill up that book, you might end up using a different kind of notebook next. You might switch to something less formal or more readily available.
On the other hand, if you start with a simple notebook from the grocery store, and you fill that up, now you might realize “wow! I’m going to upgrade. I’m going to pick out a beautiful, special notebook for myself because I really enjoy this and it makes me feel good.”
When you have less time in your schedule, in your life, you might find that your journaling sessions become shorter. You might go from journaling sessions that feel very expansive with a lot of time to sit and think and you might shorten that down to 20 minutes with a timer so that you really pack it in during that time. Or, you could even shorten it down to one line a day.
Any way you decide to journal, it’s still journaling and is still beneficial.
Flexibility in Journaling Practice
When you need to process lots of emotions and lots of memories, you might find yourself journaling for longer periods of time.
Depending on what’s going on with you, you might even journal more than once a day for a little stretch of time. Just because you journal more than once a day, two days or three days in a row,doesn’t mean you now have that as your new journaling practice that you must continue. It’s all customizable.
I noticed this in my own journaling routine last year. I saw that in the Summer, when I mentally felt distracted and easily distractable, my journal entries weren’t as long.
This past winter though, I started a specific introspective challenge that included so many new-to-me journaling prompts and topics to reflect on, my journaling entries became long, in depth and complex over those weeks.
You get to start and stop different elements of your journaling practice as they suit you.
10 Enjoyable Journaling Techniques
To help give you ideas, I have 10 Different enjoyable journaling techniques to share with you.
I’m just offering them to you so that you can think about and consider them and maybe you will incorporate a few of them or experiment with one of them.
Or maybe you’ll hear me talk about these journaling techniques and know immediately “that’s not for me. She’s offering that and that’s not for me!”
Which is fine.
Diverse Journaling Techniques
Here are 10 different enjoyable journaling techniques for you to experiment with.
- Journal in a noisy place: Take yourself to a coffee shop or a mall or some other place where there’s people and activity and noises happening and see what it’s like to journal there. As you’re sitting with your journal, and have all the noise and commotion happening around you, you’re really centering your mind on what you’re writing on the page. It’s almost like a reverse meditation.
- Conversely, #2 is to journal in a quiet place. Find a library, a space in your home, or a study room where no one else is and there’s no other noises happening. There’s nothing else except for just the sound of your thoughts.
- Journal with other people. If you follow me and know me, you know that I am a big supporter of the idea of journaling alone, together. I run journaling groups where we all come together and we set the timer and we journal together, alone. When the timer goes off, we close our books and then we talk – sometimes about journaling, sometimes about whatever we want. You can journal with other people either in person or on a zoom call. (Check my upcoming journaling events at bexb.org/letsmeet)
- You can journal in list form. Did you know that you don’t have to write your journaling entries in a paragraph or sentence format? You can decide on a topic and make a list of answers to that topic. 5 things that I deserve credit for, or 10 things I’m looking forward to this next month. I have a podcast episode explaining how to do at https://bexb.org/listof10/
- Number 5 is Junk Journaling. Google this one. Look for images. This is amazing. People become so creative and resourceful. You can pull all sorts of different tactical, tangible elements together and create your own piece of art (basically). Your journal creation can represent what you’re thinking and feeling and processing. Notice what calls to you and inspires you.
- Number 6 is Bullet Journaling. This is a journaling technique created by Ryder Carroll. He invented this journaling technique as a way to organize his thinking. People have taken his invention and just created everything from the most simple (which was his initial creation) to the most artistic and expressive. If you’re curious, please look up “what is bullet journaling?” You can find a description of it and decide if that style of journaling would work for you.
- Art Journaling is the next technique I’m offering you. This style lets you use a notebook and a pen, and you can bring your paints, you can bring glitter, you can bring washi tape, pictures and stickers, markers and all sorts of things and just decorate and embellish your journal in the most artistic way.
- Number 8 is Dream journaling. This technique is one that I do really often whenever I dream and I remember my dream. When you wake up in the morning or even in the middle of the night, depending on when you wake up after a dream, write down all the elements of the dream and then if you want, you can even interpret the dream. I have a podcast episode explaining how to do this at https://bexb.org/dreams/
- Number 9 is Prompted journaling. This is the one that I recommend for new Journalers or returning Journalers. It’s so much easier and you get so many more benefits from using prompts. If you have the issue of not knowing what to write about or not enjoying your journaling sessions, or not feeling invigorated or inspired by what you write, choosing some thoughtful and empowering journaling prompts can help your journaling come to the next level. You can use the prompts that I provide – I’ll you 52 journal prompts if you sign up for my weekly gentle journaling check in at https://bexb.org/weekly/
Or, you can do a search for journaling prompts. Or, you can get a deck of prompts in the form of cards. For example Tosha Silver has a beautiful deck called Divine Abundance. It’s a deck of oracle cards and I love using those as journal prompts and looking at the artwork and reading the description.
10. The 10th way that I like to recommend for people to journal is using a template or a worksheet. I have a number of these for you. In this journaling technique, you are using the same set of questions on every set of pages. Every time you think about using this style of journaling, take yourself through the worksheet and answer all the same questions for this new situation or this new period of your life.
I also use templates. For example, in my monthly interview every month, I ask myself the same set of questions. Then from month to month I can see what has changed, what’s new, what’s different, what’s the same. I really enjoy and look forward to this practice every month.
This post contains affiliate links. I may 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.
Check out the Monthly Interview: https://amzn.to/3Bjti3z
My most popular Template Notebook: Feel your Feels: https://amzn.to/41GRV81
Hopefully among those 10 enjoyable techniques for journaling, you found one (or more) that catches your interest.
Do you have some new ideas? Or some motivation for some different ways to journal.
Remember to let your journaling practice evolve and grow with you.
What sounds enjoyable to you?
Your Next Step
A specific thing you can do is to put a few of these journal techniques to the test. See what you enjoy! Try 2 or 3 of the 10 techniques I shared. Learn what might work for you as you navigate where you currently are in life or as you transition from the type of journaler you currently are now to a new kind of journaler.
The featured notebook for this week is called “Journal for People who Hate Writing. It incorporates the vibe of many of the techniques I shared.
There are a mix of journal page types including: Q&A Sections, Completing Pictures (or drawing prompts), Mind Maps, Fill-in-the-Blank Exercises and Invitations for Doodling.
See a “tour of this journal on Youtube:
This notebook gives you six weeks’ worth of daily self-reflection exercises.
It takes away the burden of brainstorming topics or prompts. This notebook makes journaling more accessible and engaging for people who hate writing!
Journal with Me
Want to journal with me? If you’re listening to this the week I posted it, join me for a journaling meetup in person. It’s next Saturday January 13th in Gilbert or on Zoom on Thursday January 18th. You can get all the details at bexb.org/letsmeet
In Non Journaling News
Finally, Want to get creative with paint and canvas instead of pen and paper? Join me for a Paint Party! We’re meeting in Chandler on Wednesday Evening to paint our own Intentional Woman Paintings.
You can see all the details at bexb.org/letsmeet