Journaling goes far beyond simply recording what you ate or how many miles you ran on any given day. There are so many different types of journaling to try! Here we narrow it down to a few top choices for beginning journalers.
It started as a sort of catch-all organizational tool. Bullet journals accommodate everything from grocery lists to personal goals. For example, they use an organizational index, “logs,” or topical lists organized within a timeframe (daily, monthly, long term, etc.). For quick reference, bullet journals go beyond the limited formatting of bullet points in an electronic document. Instead, they use a personal, individualized key of symbols that provide a rapid visual clue to the category of a listed item. Bullet journals (or “BuJos,” as their creator, Ryder Carroll, nicknamed them) have become trendy and highly creative. Lists and calendars are full of the journal writer’s illustrations and symbols while keeping information organized visually for quick reference.
The attitude of gratitude has beneficial mental health effects. These effects include releasing feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in the brain. According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Publishing arm, expressing gratitude boosts mood, builds relationships, and increases the ability to manage adversity—something we all need, especially during stressful times like enduring a prolonged pandemic. So, keeping a daily journal of thankfulness focuses the mind on the good things in your life and gives you reasons to be happy.
Journaling provides an outlet for artistic expression. Sketching, doodling, writing poetry or short stories, or creatively recording emotions and observations can reduce stress and increase self-esteem. Further, meeting a daily goal of writing a minimum number of words or composing the lyrics to a song gives creative types a sense of accomplishment and momentum. This momentum can possibly be moving forward toward producing a larger creative work. Expressing yourself in writing helps you organize your thoughts. It can also give you insight into why you may be feeling the way you do.
Dream, food, project, and garden journaling are other popular ways to get started journaling. Take some time to think about why you are interested in journaling and what you want to accomplish by keeping a journal. That will guide you to the best type of journaling to try.