When you think of keeping a journal, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is the traditional “Dear Diary” format–basically a letter that recaps your day. But there are so many ways to keep a journal. You can write full sentences or fragments of ideas. You can draw illustrations or collage your favorite photos. Your journal can be time-bound or ongoing.
Here are 6 interesting ways to journal:
01. Book of Lists
One of the easiest ways to journal is to make a series of lists. It allows you to keep track of goals, but also is an interesting way to get to know yourself. You can make lists like:
Things I need to buy for my apartment
Top 10 Favorite Movies of All Time
The Soundtrack of Summer 2020
Books I want to Read this Year
Places I’ve traveled to
People I’ve dated and the things I learned
02. Scrapbook / Art Journal
For visual-focused creatives (and enthusiasts) the easiest way to journal is to use photos and drawing to tell your story. The Scrapbook method is a fun way to keep track of your memories. You can document the day-to-day with photos you’ve taken. Or you can print and compile your favorite bits of inspiration for later consumption.
The simple act of collage helps you clear your mind and come up with new connections between disparate ideas. For people who enjoy drawing, you can draw a highlight from your day or illustrate the things you bought during a shopping trip.
03. Bullet Journal
Bullet Journaling is a way to rapidly log your tasks, events, and notes. Find focus and be productive while keeping track of your day-to-day. Founded by Ryder Carroll, this is a wildly popular way to organize your personal information.
04. Gratitude Journal
Increase your positivity and focus on the good in your life by starting a gratitude journal. In the morning and the night, you focus on something small or big to be thankful for. With daily practice, you will begin to see the love, joy, and grace that you experience every single day.
05. Wellness Tracker
One of the most common goals is to live a healthier lifestyle. One of the easiest ways to build healthier habits is to track your progress. In your wellness tracker, you can plan your meals, document your workouts, and reflect on your fitness journey. It’s a useful tool to set goals but also helps you see how your willpower can ebb and flow over the course of the month.
06. Today in 3 Sentences
This is my go-to method of journaling during the week. The goal is to think about everything that happened in your day and distill it into three sentences.
It can be dry, like: Woke up late. Work was hectic. Incredible dinner with friends.
But it can also be a small opportunity to be poetic. For example: A weary boy sings the blues. He’s wearing blue jeans. And his favorite blue shirt. (This example was written as a reminder of a live show that I saw one night in New Orleans. Anyone else reading it might not understand, but for me, it conjures a memory.)