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Woman journaling with coffee and dried flowers on the table; Daily journaling style

How to Determine Your Personal Journaling Style

What kind of journaling is right for you? Everyone benefits from a journal in their own unique way. That's because a journal is your chance to channel your thoughts, your emotions, and your process. Some journal their emotions, some write down their dreams, and others organize their thoughts. You can start with a blank page, a prompt, or an organized set of inspirational places to start.

But how do you know which journaling style will benefit you the most? This is a personal journey and one everyone has to embark upon on their own. You won't know what you want most from journaling until you pick up the pen and get started.

10 Journaling Styles to Try


Daily Journaling

Daily journaling is when you write down the things you do and think each day. It's a neat way to keep a record of your life and might even become a valuable part of history in the far distant future. Daily journals are what we use to know what life was like hundreds of years ago. Or what your future self will use to know what you got up to this year.

Daily journaling also gives you a chance to write out your thoughts and feelings on what you did each day and the things that happen to you.

Dream Journaling

Dream journaling is a wonderful way to embrace your subconscious and begin exploring where your sleeping mind goes. To dream journal, keep the journal by your bed and write down what you remember as soon as you wake up in the morning. Roll the dream around in your mind. Look at it from different angles. Remember the colors, the feeling, the characters, and that elusive dream context.

Over time, you may start to notice patterns, see deeper meanings, or even take control through lucid dreaming.

Free-Writing

Free-writing is also called stream-of-consciousness writing. Many people find the easiest way to journal is to just let your mind flow out through the pen. Write what you feel, what you think, and neat ideas you have along the way. Free writing often starts as a daily journal that becomes more expressive and personal than a simple list of events.

Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling takes free-writing to a more organized place, sharing your thoughts one bullet-point at a time. This reduces the demand to think in full sentences and instead lets you fire rapid concepts at the page. Many people who engage in bullet journaling have a graphic or artistic style in addition to bullet point ideas.

Artistic Journaling

Artistic journaling focuses on your art and creativity. You might draw a picture, or jot down a cool rhyme to use in song lyrics. You can write your artistic goals, work on projects, or just share you inspiration day by day.

Journal Planning

Some people plan in their journals - especially on the open-ended pages. Not everyone has an easy time organizing their thoughts - except on paper. If you like to graph your thoughts and write out your ideas for solutions, then you might be a journal planner instead of a narrative writer. This is a great way to organize your thoughts and help turn chaotic thinking into ordered plans.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is when you use your journal to come up with dozens of ideas around a central theme. Want ideas to improve yourself this year? Use a brainstorming method to explore all the ways you might make yourself "Better" and then pick the best ideas from the cluster to implement.

Gratitude Journaling

For many people, writing down what you are grateful for helps to keep your entire life in perspective. Gratitude journaling is a wonderful way to begin or end a day with a peaceful reminder of everything that is good in your life.

Hobby Journaling

Hobby journaling is when you take notes on a hobby you want to or have already started to try. You might take notes on your new birdhouse building hobby, the language you are learning, or document your travel adventures.

Health Journaling

Finally, you might be inclined to journal about your health. Many people use journaling as motivation to eat healthier and keep track of their workout achievements. If this feels good to you, it might be your journaling style.

How Do You Know Which Type of Journaling is For You?

How can you know which journaling style you'll like best? Try them all and see if it "fits" for you. It's easy to start with a daily journal - just note what happens day by day. If that's too boring, try free-writing. If you're goal-oriented, try a planning or hobby journal. Or try a little dream journaling if you'd like to understand your dreams. The wonderful thing about journaling is that the blank pages are there for you to fill with whatever makes you feel motivated and fulfilled.

Not sure where to start? The Aspyn Planner & Notebook is a wonderful collection of prompts, planners, and journal pages to help you explore every type of journaling and find what's best for you.

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