Best Ideas for Journaling

If you’ve been to buy handmade personal journals online, it’s probably a good idea to have some notion of what you want to do with the journal afterwards. Will you use it as a real journal, or do you plan just to write shopping lists in there?

Get the most out of your journal by finding a good and constructive use for it. Here are some of the best ideas to get you started.

Types of Journaling

A woman writing in her journal

Food and Drink Journaling

If you don’t feel up to writing about your emotions and feelings each day, then you could use the journal as a record of your daily intake of food and drink. It might seem overly practical if you’ve invested in a beautiful handmade journal, but food journaling carries with it a noble purpose. It’s a great tool for those who are trying to change their lives and lose weight, or at least improve their relationship with food.

A food and drink journal becomes a stark and undeniable record that shows an individual just how much they consume in a day. Sometimes, it’s seeing those pages get so full that finally prompts them to make changes and develop a healthier relationship with food and drink.

Daily Affirmations

Some people really struggle with their self-esteem and confidence. Writing out daily affirmations in a journal can be a great way to bring nebulous thoughts into a more real and tangible form on paper. Writing positive messages and affirmations to oneself each day becomes an important act of self-love and confidence-building. After all, it’s impossible for others to love us if we can’t first love ourselves.

Venting Journal

Writing in a journal can be an excellent way for you to vent your angry feelings silently and without saying or doing regrettable things like writing angry emails, text messages, or social media comments. Channeling those negative feelings into your journal where they can sit allows you to reflect and calm in  a safe environment with no risk of embarrassment or something even worse.

When we have an avenue which to vent our frustrations in this way, we can better process and get over them. What’s more, we can do it without damaging important relationships in our lives.

Creative Writing Journal

If you have an interest in creative writing, or you have ideas for short stories or a larger novel, then a writing journal is really a must. In your writing journal, you can brainstorm ideas for your stories, write character backstories, test out different word combinations, and much more. You can even sketch in your journal as part of the creative process.

Such a journal can prove an indispensable tool for aspiring writers who don’t really know where to begin when it comes to writing a larger story. The journal allows them the luxury of compartmentalising their work; breaking it down into smaller pieces, drafting ideas and getting down little nuggets of gold as and when they think of them without having to insert them into a narrative straight away.

Daily, Weekly or Monthly Goals

A journal is a terrific place in which to list your daily goals, as well as wider goals for the week, month or year and how you are progressing with them. A very constructive habit is waking up early each morning and writing a single do-able aim into the journal. If you can come up with a daily aim in your journal, and then get it done each day, you will boost your own diligence and productivity, leveraging those smaller achievements into larger ones.

You can use other space in the journal to reflect on how hard it was to achieve that daily aim, and what it means to you. Reading back through your journal it’s amazing and inspiring to see how many things you managed to get done.

Tips on Keeping a Journal

A woman sitting on her bed and writing in a notebook

Although keeping a journal is appealing, many struggle to keep it up to date. You may find yourself writing and filling it in daily for a week and then forgetting about it. This is a common issue for many people, but it can be fixed easily if you journal on your own terms. Here are some tips on keeping a journal that will make the task easy and something you look forward to every single day. 

Keep a Journal That Is Easiest for You

When you think of a journal, you may think of an aesthetic book filled with pages upon pages of writing. However, keeping a consistent paper journal might be difficult or impossible if you do not enjoy penning your thoughts. Instead of going down the traditional route, do what is easiest for you, such as opting for an online or digital journal. The trick is to be self-aware and try different methods until you find one that fits your lifestyle the best. 

Write Whenever You Have Time

In the online journaling space, there has been a lot of talk about morning pages and journaling at night once you are free from all your obligations. However, not everyone operates the same way. While some may enjoy some downtime after they are done working, others may want to sleep as soon as possible. Ideally, you should journal whenever you have time. Writing in the morning allows you to plan your day and reflect on challenges, while writing at night can be a stress reliever where you dump all your thoughts on a page. 

Start Small and Keep Your Expectations Realistic

If you think you will start writing pages upon pages the day you start, you may be setting yourself up for failure. It is essential that you always keep your expectations realistic. It would be best if you slowly made journaling part of your life. Try to write for five minutes and then increase it to ten when you feel ready. Remember why you are journaling, as it will help you reap the benefits of journaling that do not include aesthetics. 


Journaling is an excellent hobby that can be used in various ways. If you plan on keeping a journal, determine what you aim to achieve from it and try to make it a hobby. That way, you will gain all the benefits without burning yourself out trying to fill all the pages.