Latest Update: Added a post from Working On Me on how to restart when you’ve stopped journaling.
Thinking of starting a journal? It’s a popular activity now, particularly among women, to help make sense of life by keeping a written record of thoughts, hopes and dreams. Here are a few tips and links:
Benefits of Journalling
- The main benefit of keeping a journal is the same as GTD’s – it’s getting stuff out of your head and onto paper.
- When keeping a journal you are your own audience, so your writing can be as wild and free as you wish. You don’t even have to write. You can draw, or collage… you call the shots.
- It’s a record of your life and your thoughts.
- You decide who gets to see it.
- You can swear as much as you like.
How to Start
- Get a nice notebook, Moleskines are a favourite here, but there are loads of great notebooks out there to choose from. Depends on what size you want, whether it needs to be pocketable, or whether you’d like to be able to do other stuff in it too, like paint.
- Start on an occasion, like a birthday, or a wedding, or a birth – I started my first journal on New Year’s Day, 2005. Starting on a new year is a good chance to review the year gone by and write about your hopes and dreams for the future.
How to Restart
- If you’ve let your journal go unused for a while, Working On Me has a great tip for getting started again – not just ignoring the gap, but not trying to jump in and cover it all either.
- Use whatever feels most comfortable at the time – pen, pencil, felt tip, eyeliner…
- Have you written something you’d be mortified with embarrassment about if anyone else saw it? Paint over it! Get out the markers and scribble over it. Turn it into a piece of art.
- Two Quick Journalling Techniques and a Hack – a couple of interesting new tricks to try and advice on how to fit it into a DIY Planner.
- Creative Journalling – helping you to turn your journal into your personal creative playground.
- The embodiment project 2007 – designed to inspire participants to contribute to their journal every day of 2007.
- innowen, journalling expert at DIY Planner, has a page on her own site on crafting a Tarot Journal
- Emberlexi has uploaded pages from her journal onto Flickr – some lovely examples of the possibilities of creative journalling.
- innowen’s Book of Countings a really nice way of actually counting your blessings and reminding yourself of the times when you’re a blessing to others. Thanks, innowen!
- Doug is quite literally writing the book on paper-based productivity, and he’s posted a draft of the first chapter on D*I*Y Planner – an introduction to journalling.
- innowen’s posts on Sketch Journalling, and Journalling Prompts.
- A good page about illustrated journalling
- An article explaining how journalling can help your health
- A collection of articles on journalling
- Personal Journaling Magazine
- DIY Planner’s Journalling Section
- Ninth Wave Designs on using a Moleskine Diary
- Illustrated Journeys thread on MetaFilter – starting with Kathrin2305’s amazing journals, but with lots more links in the comments.
In my journal…
I’ve recently started journaling again – using an A4 landscape Snowdon Cartridge “Fat Pad”. So far the book contains dip pen sketches, watercolour patterns, writing and a bit of collage. It’s a big colourful mess of a book, but it’s so much fun! Photos may come when I have a page I feel like sharing…
What’s in your journal?
Got pictures of your journal you’d like to share? Post links to your photos here in the comments.