Journal Hoarding is Real and I Totally Get It
1. Morning Pages
This is a method from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and the basic principle is that you write three pages each and every morning before you get started with your day to clear your head of worries and focus your mind. I personally use my gold Leuchtturm for my pages each day while listening to Focus at Will, which is a scientifically proven way to focus better on your work (try it free for two weeks!). Check out my post about it!
2. Dream Diary
Track your dreams and ponder their silliness or significance. Make sure to do it first thing in the morning before you forget!
An oldie but a goodie. For me nothing beats having a sketch book that I can look back on in a couple of years to have a little peak at what past me was thinking.
4. Daily Events
This is less of a journal to pour your thoughts and more of a ledger to jot down some happenings or insights of the day, no more than a couple of sentences. This allows one to look back and observe patterns over time. You can make it simple or pretty with my transparent daily stickers.
5. Time Tracker
If you are someone who finds that their time blows by, it might be worth the effort to track your time. You can break your time up into ten minute blocks and track your activities that way, or simply jot down the time you start each task. This will allow you to follow where all your minutes escape to.
6. Plan a Wedding or Party
Keep all your color swatches, budgeting, music playlists, guest lists, etc in one location and you will find that planning is much more convenient. This is especially useful for planning your wedding or baby registry! Look at how I planned my wedding in my journal here.
7. Dreams Journal
Unlike the dream diary that recounts the night’s visions, this is for your day dreams. Write out your goals and desires, and use this space to plan out the steps to your happy place.
Write down everything you eat and track the water you consume. You’d be surprised how quickly you forget your meals! What did you have for dinner last Thursday? It helps when you have a meal plan, so grab some meal plan and grocery list stickers to plot out your food!
9. Gardening Journal
This is more domestic than the nature journal. You can plot out where you want to plant your peonies and monitor the water, sunlight, temperature, and growth of your garden.
10. Memory Book
This is a journal where you write down sweet things for your sweetheart or your children to give to them whenever you deem fit. Slap a memories sticker on the cover, write down all the hilarious things your babies say and give it to them when they are grown up, and it will be a cherished gift.
11. Mutual Love Note
Use a single journal between you and your significant other and write love letters. That way the next time one picks it up, a love letter is waiting for them. It’s a sweet way to immortalize that spark. This one would be particularly appropriate for a gorgeous leather journal.
12. Handwriting Practice
The subject matter could be anything listed here or otherwise, but the intent of the notebook itself would be to improve your handwriting. It’s always neat having old samples of your handwriting and being able to see how much you have improved. I know I’ve been practicing a lot more with my new Pilot Metropolitan and Tombow Brush Pens in a neglected journal, and it feels nice to have a place for my scribbles.
13. Unsent Letters
This is an excellent therapeutic exercise where you write a letter to someone you are upset with, and you let out all your anger, pain, and sorrow. Then you never let it see the light of day and keep it tucked away, safe and sound. Just make sure no one finds it!
14. Quotes Journal
Keep all those inspirational and iconic speeches and quotes written down in one place.
15. Bullet Journal
You didn’t think I’d forget this did you? Check out my post here to get an in-depth explanation of this super awesome way to organize every aspect of your life.
16. Spiritual Journal
Whatever your spiritual journey, you can track and plan here. Write down prayers, meditations, Tarot card spreads, hymns, holiday plans – you name it.
Once a day, or when you are generally feeling down, come here to repeatedly write some positive affirmations to cheer you up. Alternatively, have some examples ready to go in your notebook and recite them out loud. You may also like to add some inspirational stickers to this journal to remind you of all the ways that you’re awesome.
18. Book/TV Show/Restaurant List
This would be the place you jot down all those things you have been meaning to try but always forget. When someone recommends a book, you write it down here. I recently listened to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert using Audible and I loved listening to the author read her own book. You can get two free audio books with a Free Month Trial of Audible and see for yourself. It’s helpful to have these lists all separated out, so here are a few stickers to help you organize your lists! Of course, you could always add my book Capture Your Creativity to your reading list…
This is a place to write down the things you are grateful for each day. Counting your blessings is good for the soul, and I can say I’ve been much more positive since I started my Gratitude Log. I have an example of how to set this up in my bullet journal here. Trust me, this little method will help you stop and appreciate all the things that you have to be thankful for.
20. Blog Log
Have a blog? Make plans and track your success in a notebook! It just makes sense. In fact, I have a whole post about how to use a pen and paper notebook to plan for your blog! Psst…. Are you interested in starting a blog? I can help you get started with a $50 discount!
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21. Health Log
This is useful particularly for people with certain illnesses or who are on medications. Write down things relevant to your condition, like food eaten, medications taken, blood pressure or blood sugar, etc. This could be extremely useful information for your doctor and you!
22. Habit Tracker
A habit tracker is another handy tool in my bullet journal that could be used independently in its own notebook. You pick certain things you want to track, like exercise or cooking at home, and you write down the frequency of these habits. Over time, you’ll see a pattern develop and you can better understand your habits and how to change them. Check out my post with 40 things you can track to get you started and grab some kickin’ habit tracker stickers to decorate your awesome log!
23. Recipe book
Store all your recipes in one attractive notebook. It’s very portable, and if you use an index, very easy to navigate. You can also write down alterations to recipes and opinions to experiment with cooking.
24. Exercise Journal
This is probably paired best with the food log, but you could have it separate if you want. It’s especially handy if you are trying a program, like the Couch to 5k plan.
25. Expenses Tracker
Write down how you spend every penny. After a month or two, you will have a better idea of how your spending patterns ebb and flow. Can you tell I have a thing with identifying patterns? If you’re interested in the idea of budgeting in a paper notebook, have I got a post for you.
26. Six Word Story
Every day come up with a six word story. This is a fun challenge from Page Flutter to get the creative juices flowing.
27. Bucket List
This is pretty self explanatory. Maybe tape in photos of the places you’d like to go. It really is a lot of fun to sit down and think of all the things you want to do in your life. Don’t be afraid to dream big! Check out my Summer Bucket List and Autumn Bucket List to see how I plan for fun seasonal activities!
28. Travel journal
Nothing sucks more than forgetting huge chunks of vacations from years ago. Use the notebook to log the food you ate, the people you met, the animals you saw, and the places you visited so you won’t ever forget that magical trip.
29. Project Journal
If you are a crafty, creative person, you likely have several projects going on. Use a notebook to track expenses, the next step, and thoughts on the final product so you can learn and improve your craft. I talk about how to use the bullet journal to be a more effective hobbyist here, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about!
There are surely dozens of other fun ways to gain some insight or plan for the future in your blank notebook, so don’t feel restricted to only these ideas. And don’t feel that you must keep a notebook committed to only a single purpose! Mix and match whatever you fancy to suit your needs and help you get the maximum enjoyment out of your paper friend. And if you are nervous about writing on that first intimidating page, check out how I tackle the first page fear by clicking here. So take your pen in your hand and write out whatever feels right to you. You got this!
P.s. If you are looking for some inspiration to help you take on the new year right, then check out my eBook Capture Your Creativity, which recently dropped in price! Each chapter has tools and exercises to help you push past your obstacles to productivity and creativity – especially procrastination (my biggest foe)! If you’re not quite sure whether this book is for you, then you can check out a free chapter here and see for yourself!
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