When we think of journaling, we usually think of someone sitting down and writing in a diary and hiding it away under lock and key…
But there are so many different styles of creative journaling techniques you can use, which can be wonderful for those who want to journal but don’t want to write.
What Is Journaling?
Journaling is the process of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a journal or notebook. It can be a way to document your life, track your goals and progress, work through tough emotions, or simply express yourself creatively.
There are no rules when it comes to journaling – you can write as little or as much as you like, and there’s no need to worry about spelling or grammar. The important thing is that journaling is a form of self-care that can be hugely beneficial for your mental health.
There are many reasons why people choose to journal, but some of the most common benefits of journaling include:
– Reducing stress and anxiety
– Working through difficult emotions
– Boosting self-confidence and self-esteem
– Tracking your progress and goal setting
– Improving your memory and cognitive skills
– Enhancing creativity and problem-solving ability
21 Types of Journaling Techniques
There are so many different types of journaling, you’re bound to find a way that allows your thoughts to flow easily instead of sitting and staring at a blank page.
You don’t need to just keep one journal either, you can have different types of journals for different areas of your life, and allow you to explore a different journaling style.
The best way to find one that suits you is to experiment until you find a style that works for you. You may have one journaling technique in mind but find a different journaling type that is actually more suited to the specific goal you have in mind with your journaling practice.
Here are 21 different ways you can journal:
1 – Stream of Consciousness Journaling
What Is Stream Of Consciousness Journaling?
Stream-of-consciousness journaling is when you write down whatever is on your mind, without editing or censoring yourself.
The aim is to get all of your thoughts and feelings out of your head, and onto the paper.
This type of journaling can be particularly helpful if you’re struggling to make sense of your thoughts, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to unload.
It can also be a great way to boost creativity by giving yourself permission to write whatever comes into your head.
How To Stream Of Consciousness Journal
There are no rules when it comes to stream-of-consciousness journaling – just start writing and see where your thoughts take you.
If you find it difficult to get started, try setting a timer for 5-10 minutes and just write non-stop until the timer goes off.
2 – Gratitude Journaling
What Is Gratitude Journaling?
Gratitude journaling is the practice of writing down things you’re grateful for in your life. It can be a way to focus on the positive things in your life, rather than dwelling on the negative.
Studies have shown that gratitude journaling can have a number of benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing self-esteem.
How To Do Gratitude Journaling
To do gratitude journaling, simply start a list of things you’re grateful for each day.
You could write down three things you’re grateful for each day, or you could write a longer list once a week. It’s up to you!
Some people like to include gratitude journaling as part of their morning routine, so they start the day on a positive note. Others prefer to do it at night before they go to bed, so they can reflect on all the good things that happened during the day.
3 – Bullet Journaling
What Is Bullet Journaling?
Bullet journaling is a type of journaling that uses a specific system of symbols and abbreviations to help you organize your thoughts.
It can be used for anything from tracking your daily tasks and to-do lists, to recording your thoughts and feelings, or brainstorming new ideas, or keeping track of your physical health.
The bullet journal method is incredibly popular because it is completely customizable, so you can make it work for you in any way you want.
How To Bullet Journal
If you’re interested in trying out bullet journaling, there are lots of resources available online to help you get started.
One of the best things about bullet journaling is that you can use it in any way you want, so there are no hard and fast rules. However, here are a few tips to get you started:
– Choose a notebook that you love. This will make it more likely that you’ll actually use it!
– Decide what system you want to use for your symbols and abbreviations. There are lots of different possibilities, so take some time to find one that works for you.
– Experiment with different layouts and see what works best for you. You can change it up as often as you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
4 – Dream Journaling
What Is Dream Journaling?
Dream journaling is the practice of writing down your dreams immediately after you wake up.
It can be a great way to remember your dreams, and it can also help you to understand them better.
How To Dream Journal
There are a few things you can do to make dream journaling easier and more effective.
First, keep your dream journal by your bed so you can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up.
Second, try to write down as much detail as possible, including any colors, emotions, or objects you remember from your dream.
And finally, don’t worry if you can’t remember all of your dreams – just write down what you can recall.
5 – Art Journaling
What Is Art Journaling?
Art journaling is a type of journaling that combines words and images to express your thoughts and feelings.
It can be a great way to express yourself creatively, and it doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s all about having fun and letting your creativity flow.
How To Art Journal
If you’re interested in trying art journaling, there are lots of resources available online to help you get started.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
– Choose a way to store/structure your art. Will it be a visual art diary, a notebook, or a canvas?
– Experiment with different mediums and see what you enjoy working with. Some possibilities include paint, pencils, markers, and a collage.
– Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself to be “artistic.” The whole point of art journaling is to have fun and express yourself, so there are no rules or expectations. Just let your creativity flow!
6 – Brain Dump Journaling
What Is Brain Dump Journaling?
Brain dump journaling is a type of journaling where you write down everything that’s on your mind, without filtering or editing, and regardless of how random or unimportant it may seem.
This can be a great way to declutter your mind and make space for more positive thoughts.
It can also be a great way to get all of your thoughts and feelings out, without having to worry about them being “perfect.”
How To Brain Dump Journal
Brain dump journaling is such a fun way to get all the thoughts out of your head and onto a page.
This is also a journaling practice where using a timer can really help.
First of all, grab your notebook and set your timer for a certain amount of time (you might like to start with 5 minutes at first).
Next, start writing whatever thoughts come into your mind – even if your first thoughts are ‘I don’t know what to write about’.
Write out everything – things that are bothering you, things you need to do, groceries you need to buy, how your body feels… anything!
If you feel like you’ve written everything, take a deep breath and write another word or two – I promise, there’s always more.
After you’re done, you can use your journal entry to organize things you need to do, project ideas, or anything practical you need to do with the information – but also be sure to take some big deep breaths and enjoy the mental freedom of having all of those racing thoughts out of your mind and on a page.
7 – Daily Reflection Journaling
What Is Daily Reflection Journaling?
Daily reflection journaling is the practice of taking some time at the end of each day to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
It can be a great way to process your day, and it can also help you to identify patterns in your thoughts and behavior.
How To Daily Reflect Journal
There are a few things you can do to make daily reflection more effective.
First, choose a time that works for you – some people like to do it first thing in the morning, while others prefer to do it before bed.
Second, set aside at least 10-15 minutes for your reflection. This will give you enough time to really think about your day, without feeling rushed.
And finally, make sure to write down both the positive and negative aspects of your day. This will help you to see the whole picture, and it can also help you to find ways to improve your day-to-day life.
8 – Emotional Release Journaling
What Is Emotional Release Journaling?
Emotional release journaling is a type of journaling that allows you to express your emotions in a safe and healthy way.
It can be a great way to deal with difficult emotions, and it can also help you to process your experiences and come to terms with them.
How To Emotional Release Journal
If you’re interested in trying emotional release journaling, there are a few things you can do to make it more effective.
First, choose a time when you won’t be interrupted, so you can really focus on your emotions.
Second, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and just write non-stop until the timer goes off.
And finally, don’t worry about your writing being perfect – just let it all out, without filter or judgment.
9 – Journal Prompt Journaling (Writing Prompts)
What Is Journal Prompt Journaling?
Journal prompt journaling is a type of journaling where you use prompts to help you get started, or write your journal entry as a response to a prompt.
Prompts can be anything from a word or phrase, to a question, to a visual prompt (like a photo or piece of artwork).
Journal prompts can be great for days when you’re feeling stuck, or when you don’t know what to write about.
They can also help you to focus on a specific area of your life, and focus in on that area for a set period of time (for example, using a series of 30 journal prompts related to one topic and using those every day for 30 days).
How To Use Journal Prompts
If you’re interested in trying journal prompts, there are a few things you can do to make them more effective.
First, choose a prompt that really speaks to you, and that feels like it will help you achieve your journaling goals.
Alternatively, start at the top of the prompts list and work your way down – this can be more challenging but that may prove to be more beneficial for your journaling practice.
Second, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and just write non-stop until the timer goes off.
As always, don’t worry about your writing being perfect, and don’t go back and edit. This is all part of the process.
10 – Journaling Through Letter Writing
What Is Journaling Through Letter Writing?
Journaling through letter writing is a type of journaling where you write letters to yourself, or to someone else.
It can be a great way to process your thoughts and feelings, and it can also help you to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a safe and healthy way.
How To Write Letters For Journaling
If you’re interested in trying journaling through letter writing, there are a few things you can do to make it more effective.
First, choose a time when you won’t be interrupted, so you can really focus on your emotions.
Set a timer if you’d like, or keep writing until you’ve written all you need to.
And finally, as always don’t overthink your writing – you don’t need to send these letters (if you don’t want to), they are just for you.
11 – Travel Journaling
What Is Travel Journaling?
Travel journaling is a type of journaling where you write about your travel experiences.
It can be a great way to process your thoughts and feelings, and it can also help you to remember your experiences in a more vivid way.
You can journal about the places you’ve been, your process in getting there, how it feels to be there, what revelations you’ve had, the experiences you’ve had, the people you’ve met, and more.
How To Write A Travel Journal
Travel journaling is a unique process that can be as detailed or as simple as you’d like.
You can include anything from sketches and photos to ticket stubs and maps, or you can keep it completely word-based and write from the heart.
Be sure to make note of your location and date on every entry – it seems like something you’d remember, but it’s always good to get into the habit of starting every entry with this information.
12 – 5 Minute Journaling
What Is 5 Minute Journaling?
The 5 minute journal is a type of journaling where you set a timer for 5 minutes, and write non-stop until the timer goes off.
It can be a great way to process your thoughts and feelings, and it can also help you to get into the habit of writing regularly, without the commitment of needing to write a whole entry, a whole page, or a set amount of words.
How To Do 5 Minute Journaling
If you’re interested in trying 5 minute journaling, there are a few things you can do to make it more effective.
First, set aside time each day for your journaling practice. Be sure to make it the same time each day to help establish the habit.
Second, use the same journal/notebook. This will help you to see your growth over time, and it will also make it feel more like a ritual.
And finally, don’t worry about what you’re going to write before you start – just let the words flow.
13 – One Line A Day Journaling
What Is One Line A Day Journaling?
One line a day journaling is a type of journaling where you write one line per day, about anything that comes to mind.
While it might not seem like there’s a whole lot of point to writing just one line a day, the practice itself is actually a lot of fun, and it can be really interesting to see what you come up with.
Plus, over time you’ll have a whole year’s worth of thoughts and musings to look back on.
How To Do One Line A Day Journaling
To start your one line a day journal, you’ll need a notebook that you can use to keep your journal entries in.
It’s better to have a separate notebook, rather than adding them to your daily planner. This allows you to focus on your one line journal entry, and not be distracted by everything else in your planner.
Also, be sure to date each entry. You can start with the current day, or you can start from the start of a month or start of the year – just remember, the best time to start is now!.
14 – Photography Journaling
What Is Photography Journaling?
If you’re a visual person, photography journaling might be for you.
Photography journaling is a type of visual journaling where you use photos to capture your thoughts and feelings, or to document your days.
It can be a fun and creative way to journal, and it’s also a great way to document your life.
How To Do Photography Journaling
To get started with photography journaling, you’ll need a camera (or phone) and a place to store your photos.
You can use a specific journaling app like Day One, or you can use a general photo storage app like Google Photos.
Then, start taking photos of things that interest you, or that capture your mood.
You can also take photos of things that you want to remember, or document your daily life with photos.
15 -Morning Pages Journaling
What Are Morning Pages?
Morning pages are a type of journaling that you do first thing in the morning, before you start your day.
The idea is to write 3 pages, longhand, about anything that comes to mind.
You can write about your dreams, your plans for the day, your thoughts and feelings, or anything else that’s on your mind.
Morning pages are a great way to get all of your thoughts and feelings out, so that you can start your day with a clean slate.
The benefits of morning pages can be profound, from feeling lighter, to enhacing creativity, and some people even claim the pracitce of writing morning pages has been life-changing.
How To Do Morning Pages
To do morning pages, you’ll need a notebook and a pen. Your notebook should be 11in x 8.5in or A4 in size, not a small notebook.
The reason for this is because the practice of morning pages is to write 3 full pages – a small notebook means you’d be writing less and wouldn’t see the same benefits.
Set aside time each morning to write your morning pages, and make sure you schedule the time in. This might mean you need to get up a little earlier or change up your morning schedule.
It will be worth it!
16 – List Journaling
What Is List Journaling?
List journaling is a type of journaling where you make lists of things.
This can be a great way to get your thoughts and feelings out, without having to worry about grammar or sentence structure.
Plus, it’s a fun way to journal, and it can be really satisfying to make lists and keep a collection of lists of things (you’ll be amazed at how many lists you can create).
How To Do List Journaling
When it comes to list journaling, it’s best to create lists that are related to a particular topic.
For example, you could create a list of places you’d like to go, people you want to see, happy memories you have, favorite smells, movies you loved, songs that remind you of your teenage years, quotes you love, things you’ve achieved, things you want to ahcieve…
There are so many types of lists you can create and journaling this way can be fun and challenging.
17 – Reflection Journaling
What Is Reflection Journaling?
Reflection journaling where you record into your daily journal your reflections for the day that has been.
This can be a very focused type of journaling practice where you only write about the day that has happened, if you’d like the challenge.
You can also try to write from different perspectives about your day, for example, from the view of your best friend or from the view of someone who witnessed your day happen (like an outsider looking in).
How To Do Reflection Journaling?
To do reflection journaling, simply set aside some time at the end of your day to write about it.
You can either free-write about your day or you can answer some questions about it.
Questions you could ask about your day (and reflect on) could be:
– What did I do today?
– How did I feel today?
– What were the high points of my day?
– What were the low points of my day?
– What did I learn today?
– What were my successes today?
– What were my challenges today?
– Who did I spend time with today?
– What made me laugh today?
– What made me sad today?
You might even choose to have the same questions you answer each day in your journal.
18 – Future Self Journaling
What Is Future Self Journaling?
Future self journaling is a type of journaling where you focus on the future version of yourself, rather than the present version.
You can also use future self journaling as a way to set goals and intentions for yourself, and it can also be a useful tool to help you work through a particularly hard time, or times of change and uncertainty.
This type of journaling can bring a sense of awareness to where you want your life to go, and give you subconscious direction on how to get there.
How To Do Future Self Journaling?
There are many different ways to practice future self journaling, and the first step is to simply decide how you want to do it.
You can write a letter to your future self, make a list of things you hope to have accomplished by a certain time in the future, write a journal entry as if you were already in the future, or simply write about your future dream life.
With this tupe of journaling, it’s a great idea to really ensure you are dating your journals so you can see just how far you’ve come.
You can write about anything you want, but some things you might want to include are: your hopes and dreams for the future, what you’ve accomplished so far, what you’re struggling with at the moment, words of wisdom for your future self, and anything else you think would be useful or interesting to look back on.
19 – Spiritual Journaling
What Is Spiritual Journaling?
Spiritual journaling is a type of journaling that focuses on your spiritual practice, beliefs, and experiences.
This can be a very personal and intimate type of journaling, and it can be a great way to connect with your spirituality on a deeper level.
Spiritual journaling can also be a useful tool for exploring your spiritual beliefs, and for working through any challenges you might be facing in your spiritual practice.
Spiritual journaling can also be referred to as a prayer journal or a bible journal, or any other kind of journal that encompases a spiritual aspect.
How To Do Spiritual Journaling?
As with all forms of journaling, this type of personal journal practice can be adapted to fit any way you’d like to journal.
You simply start with a notebook and set aside some dedicated time to write about anything spiritual that comes to mind.
You may wish to choose a bible passage as a prompt if that is in line with your spirituality, or pull an oracle card and use it as a prompt if that is more up your alley.
You can dip into your creative writing skills and explore the philosophies of spirituality and what they mean to you…
Choose an area of your spirituality you’re wanting to explore and start there. This can be very deep and very heavy journaling but it is also very rewarding.
20 – Shadow Work Journaling
What Is Shadow Work Journaling?
Shadow work journaling is a type of journaling that focuses on your shadow self – the aspects of yourself that you repress or suppress, and keep out of sight – or rather, in the shadows.
Your shadow self contains all of the parts of yourself that you don’t want to face, and it can be made up of both positive and negative aspects.
You might have repressed anger, sadness, or shame, or you might have buried your true desires or wishes so deep that you’re not even aware of them anymore.
Shadow work can be a difficult but ultimately rewarding process, and journaling can be a useful tool for exploring your shadow self.
How To Do Shadow Work Journaling?
There are many different ways to approach shadow work journaling, and the most important thing is to be gentle with yourself.
This can be a difficult process, and it’s important to go at your own pace and listen to your intuition.
A good way to start shadow work journaling is to simply become aware of your shadows.
Start by noticing the areas of your life where you feel resistance, or where you tend to procrastinate or get stuck.
These are usually areas where your shadow self is trying to come through, and they can be a good starting point for exploring your shadows further.
Another way to approach shadow work journaling is to explore the things you’re afraid of, or the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
These can also be areas where your shadows are trying to come through, and exploring them can help you to understand and accept them.
Finally, another way to approach shadow work journaling is to simply start writing about anything that comes to mind.
Allow yourself to write freely, without judgement, and see what comes up for you.
You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself, and this can be a very powerful and healing experience.
21 – Doodle Journaling
What Is Doodle Journaling?
Doodle journaling is a type of journaling that combines doodling with writing.
It can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing, and it’s also a great way to add some visual interest to your journal pages.
Doodling can also be a great way to help you tap into your subconscious mind, and it can be a helpful tool for exploring your creative side too.
How To Do Doodle Journaling?
There are many different ways to approach doodle journaling, and the most important thing is to just have fun with it.
There are no rules when it comes to doodling, so just let your creativity flow and see what comes up for you.
You might want to start by doodling a simple frame around your journal entry, or you might want to add some embellishments to your page.
You could also use doodling as a way to help you brainstorm ideas, or as a way to add some visual interest to your journal pages.
You could draw pictures of what’s going on in your life, or what you’re thinking and feeling, or you could even combine words and drawings to create your own unique journal pages.
The possibilities are endless, so just let your creativity flow and see what comes up for you.
There are no wrong ways to doodle journaling, so just have fun with it and see what works for you.
At the end of the day, the best type of journal is the one that you use on a regular basis and make part of your daily routine.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of journal you use, or what your journal style is, the most important thing is that you create time to dedicate to your journaling routine and enjoy the personal growth that can come from the practice.
If you haven’t already, why not try out a few of the different types of journaling mentioned in this article and see which ones work best for you? Remember, there are no rules when it comes to journaling – so get creative, have fun with it and let your journal be a reflection of you.