Journaling is a wonderful way to keep track of your thoughts and memories. Turns out you can use a journal for a lot of other reasons too. I was surprised at just how many. I chose eight of them to share with you here, but there really is no limit to the way you can use a journal.
A gratitude journal is commonly suggested in self-help and mental health circles. Focusing on gratitude is recommended for anxiety and depression, as a part of a mindfulness practice, and for anyone looking for more peace and happiness. There are a few ways you can approach this, but a popular way is to sit down each evening, and write what you are thankful for that day. For more info and ideas try 5 Steps For Creating A Gratitude Journal and The Ultimate Guide To Keeping A Gratitude Journal.
Tracking dreams is another common use. You keep a dream journal next to your bed, and write your dreams as soon as you wake up. Keeping a record of your dreams can help you find a pattern, and perhaps help you understand why you are having those dreams. Check out Why You Should Keep A Dream Diary and 7 Tips For Keeping A Dream Journal to learn more.
Are you a big reader? Keeping a reading journal allows you to do more than keep track of the books you’ve read. You can list out books you want to read, reflect on your thoughts and feelings about them, lessons learned, and more. MyInnerCreative has a list of 35 Creative Book and Reading Trackers For Your Bullet Journal that is a great source for inspiration. You can also print out The MMD Printable Reading Journal for some easy customization.
You don’t have to be a big traveler to keep a travel journal. Whether you keep an ongoing account for all of your adventures, or just keep one for a single very special trip, this kind can help you keep your traveling memories all in one place. Travel Journal Ideas: How To Hold On To Your Memories has fantastic tips and suggestions to get you started.
Group or Family Journal
This one is kept as a group. Perhaps each person writes something everyday, or maybe you take turns. 55 Shared Journaling Ideas has a good explanation and lots of ideas, and I love the approach at How Our Family Journal Started. A Communication Journal For Home and Classroom shows how a group journal can be a wonderful parenting tool. Creating A Family Journal has some lovely ideas too.
Use It For Planning
As I’m sure is obvious, this method has a broad use. Like any planner, you can use a planning journal for daily use, weekly, monthly or yearly. You can also plan specific events. For examples, check out bullet journals. They have great layouts for daily, weekly, and monthly.
You can also plan out your garden, keeping track of what works (or doesn’t), or the seasonal changes you see in your garden/neighborhood. Why A Garden Journal Is Your Most Valuable Tool goes into wonderful detail. How To Start Your Own Family Adventure Journal shows one take on a nature journal.
Keeping track of any kind of projects (home improvement, crafts, redecorating, hobbies, etc.) is a great use for a planning journal. Having one place to keep track of your ideas, plans, receipts, successes, and mistakes is really handy. In addition, if you need to look back for any reason, you will have everything right there to see. This YouTube video lays out one way to do it and is a nice example.
Specific Time Period
Instead of having an ongoing journal, you can use one for a very special event/time. Some possibilities I could think of were: wedding, birthdays, senior year, college, and pregnancy. Any event, or time period, that you find important enough to record is perfect for this use.
This is my favorite and the kind I keep. A bullet journal can be any and all of these types all wrapped into one with an index to help you find what you are looking for. Bullet Journal is the original site, but lots of people have their own take on it all over the web. The Bullet Journal, Minus The Hype, Is Actually A Really Good Planner and How To Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide have lots of info. Pinterest has oodles of creative ideas to inspire you to create one anyway you could possibly want.
Basically, if there is anything you want to remember or track there is a way to journal it. The only limitations are that of your creativity or searching skills. Feel free to link below if you have written about your own journaling and would like to share. 🙂 I’d love to hear how you use one.
Want to keep a journal on the computer or your phone? Check out my post 7 Electronic Alternatives To A Paper Journal.