Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It can help you sort through feelings, process events that have happened in the past, or even free up some mental space so you can focus on whatever needs your attention most. Many types of journaling exist for different types of writing styles and journal styles; this blog post will discuss 13 of them!
You’ll be able to find the right type of journaling for you with this guide! Whether it’s something simple like bullet journalling or more complex like art-based journals, there’s something here for everyone. The best part about these different kinds of journaling is how they all work together – one might be better at helping you organize while another might be better at getting creative ideas flowing again. Whatever kind of writer or artist you are, there’s a style here waiting just for you!
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You might also enjoy: 67 Daily Journal Prompts to Grow as an Individual
How Do I Find My Journaling Style?
The strength of a journal will depend on your style. Ask yourself a few questions to help you find out which of the journaling styles is the right one for you.
What medium do I enjoy? Paper and pen, or computer? How often would I like to journal? How much time can I commit each day/week to reflect deeply on my feelings and thoughts?
Some keep journals on scraps of paper, and others use journals made with special pens. Some people write answers to questions posed by themselves or someone else, and other people might create lists about their day to read later on when they need the distraction (or would like some perspective).
Journaling is a very personal thing, and the way you journal can change from day to day depending on what you’re looking for.
No matter your style, be sure to find the one that will make you feel like documenting your thoughts will be enjoyable.
Benefits of Journaling for Your Mental Health
- Keeping a journal can help with mental health.
- Journaling helps you process your emotions and learn more about yourself.
- Journaling is a way of recording anything that happens in our lives, from the mundane to the exciting.
- Writing in a journal daily can cause people to become healthier because it allows for “every day” worries and stresses to be let out (the type of things we wouldn’t tell others).
- Journaling can help get thoughts or events off someone’s chest, so they are not building up inside – such as stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness.
What Are the Different Types of Journaling?
As the name suggests, this is the most basic journaling, just writing down how you feel. This can help in several ways–it can be therapeutic and release tension and anxiety, or it can provide an outlet for processing difficult emotions.
It’s important to keep in mind that this type of journaling will be very negative by default because it will only consist of what isn’t going well on a given day and doesn’t gloss over emotional pain and distress.
Morning pages are when you write three pages in the morning about anything that comes into your head.
Also called free-form journaling, the intent is for you to write whatever comes out, without any order to it and with no time limit restrictions on how much you take or how often you subject yourself to exploring your thoughts in this way.
Structure journaling is where you have a specific goal or topic, so for each session, you jot down a few notes before moving onto the next one to explore another idea.
Journal prompts can be helpful with this type of journaling as journal prompts can use them to inspire creativity and encourage new ways of thinking about old problems.
A journal prompt is sometimes written as an affirmation or question to help promote reflective thought related to a specific life issue or topic.
Diary is mainly a journal in which one records events of personal interest or significance. This can include daily accounts for certain periods of time, such as following one’s mental, emotional, and physical states.
It can also account for encounters with individuals who are significant to the individual, such as lovers, family members, or friends.
Bullet journaling is a system of organizing and tracking events, ideas, projects, tasks, or whatever else your heart desires that allows you to customize it as you see fit.
Bullet journals are great for people who want to become more organized, creative, and productive. You can use your bullet journal for anything from managing mental health or weight loss to tracking household budgets. The best part is that bullet journals can be adjusted based on your needs.
For your own bullet journal, you can choose an organizational layout depending on the type of project you’re working on and go!
Some layouts used for bullet journaling include :
- Daily Layout – Separate sections for your calendar, tasks, notes, and events that take place today
- Monthly Layout- Sections for each day with space to record important dates or events
- Yearly Calendar- One page per year with space to record monthly checklist items and important dates
Using a gratitude journal for Gratitude journaling is a simple but powerful activity you can do to help stop focusing on yourself and start counting your blessings.
At the beginning or end of each day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for in your gratitude journal. It doesn’t matter what they are; be clear about exactly what made you feel grateful. This can range from things like finding money in your pocket after flipping over a parking meter to having a conversation with someone who understands what’s going on in your life right now.
It can do wonders if done with consistency.
Dream Journaling is when you take a few minutes to write down your latest dream. The purpose of the dream journal is to give more information about the kinds of dreams you are having, get some insight into your thinking, and help yourself figure out what this might all mean.
Travel journaling is the act of keeping a log of your journey as you travel. A travel journal often includes important dates, physical and emotional memories, and descriptions of nature or different places through which you have traveled.
Mind Mapping Journal
Mind mapping is accomplished by starting with a central idea, and then, as you continue to branch out, you connect these ideas with real-time observations. This specific type of journaling aims to organize thought patterns, keep track of thoughts and prompts for later use, and help build critical thinking skills.
A mind map is used to visualize where all the pieces go in your head.
Art journaling is where you use art supplies to create drawings and paintings. The purpose is to give yourself a release from the emotional burden of your day while also helping you explore personal themes, feelings, or memories through images.
Prayer Journal or Bible Journal
A Prayer Journal or a bible journal is a place where you can record your personal prayers. This can be done in any way that works for you–you could write, draw pictures, and more.
Prayer Journals can be important tools used for spiritual growth and transformation. They can also provide the space to record a prayer or some observations on the scriptures or lessons learned in a personal study.
Project journals are a way to keep track of your progress on a project throughout its lifecycle. They can be handy for collaborative work.
Project journals help with knowing what the next steps are and how far along in those steps the current task is progressing.
A food journal is a way of tracking what and how much you’ve eaten, when, and why.
Food journals can help you track your food intake or find out which foods your body responds to best on different days (maybe some days you’re better with grains than animal protein or vice versa) so that over time, your diet feels personalized rather than having the same thing every day.
It also helps prevent mindless eating because it forces you to think about what you’re putting in your mouth and whether or not it’s something worth consuming if desired.
Scrapbooking can be a type of journaling. Scrapbooking journaling is the process of documenting your timeline, memories, milestones, and projects.
It usually takes place in an album or scrapbook. Scrapbooks are often used for personal histories, life journals, photo albums, or travel logs. Typically they incorporate participatory techniques such as cut-outs from photographs/clippings from magazines and drawing/painting.
Weight Loss Journal
What Are Different Types of Journals?
There are two types of journals: physical journals and digital journals.
Physical journals can either be bound or stapled. Physical journaling has lasting benefits over digital journaling, but both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Digital journal entries can also be stored, accessed, and shared easily from wherever. No need to carry your physical journal around with you everywhere you go. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can access apps specifically for journaling.
What Is a Journal-Style Entry?
A journal-style entry is a form of diary writing where all or most entries are written with the date at the top, and each day is treated as an individual entry.
What Is Creative Journaling?
Creative journaling is a process that combines writing and art activities. It’s a great way to help express oneself creatively, practice creativity with the written word, and keep an emotional record of one’s daily experiences. The idea is to combine what you learn about yourself or from your observations in writing with some form of artwork on paper or canvas that reflects those thoughts. Creative journaling can mirror how we think, feel, act or want to expand ourselves spiritually.
Final Thoughts on the Different Types of Journaling
Journaling can be so powerful for anyone who wants to do some self-reflection.
We’ve given you a range of different styles of journaling, and now it’s up to you to choose which one is best for your own needs. There are many ways that writers can organize, get creative ideas flowing again, or have some fun with their writing, so we encourage everyone who wants to write more often – no matter what style they prefer! What type of journaling do you think will work the best for your needs? Let us know in the comments below!