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20 Types of Journals to Keep

Do you journal or keep a diary or datebook or planner? Are you a stationery-a-holic?

Got a selection of beautifully covered or bound notebooks and journals lying empty in your drawers or on shelves waiting to be used but you’re scared to use them in case you spoil them?

It’s time to get them out and put them to use – they are of no use to you sitting in a drawer waiting for the never coming use. They are crying out to be filled out and used. What is more gorgeous that a beautifully covered or bound notebook or journal that is well thumbed, well loved and near to bursting with wee bits of your life over flowing from the pages?

I adore the Travellers Notebook system; 3 or 4 (or sometime 6) notebooks held inside one cover by elastic bands (dreadful description but very practical method of utilising and storing various notebooks in one). I have one TN for my daily planner, which is a very loosely formed bullet journal but not and where I plan my days, weeks, months ahead, keep my goals (long and short term) and also has a notebook for taking any notes or reminders or anything that pops into my head when I am out and about. My 2nd TN is for my journal, my gratitude journal, menstrual tracker and personal/spiritual journey. The 3rd and final TN has my gardening planner, recipe book, and other things. I also have many other notebooks and hardback journals to accommodate my many other needs. It is a very rare day that I am not to be found with a pencil in my hand and a journal in the other! As I mentioned in another post recently, writing and journaling is a huge part of my self care practice.

Ok, so you’ve got the notebook but now what? What are you going to put in it? Here are 20 ideas for you to get you on your merry way:

Dear Diary

A private outpouring of thoughts, emotions, situations experienced during the course of the day.

Morning Pages

The term Morning Pages was created by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. It involves writing down a constant stream of consciousness for 3 pages of A4. It may be nonsense that comes out, or lines of repeated “I can’t think of anything to write” or points of sheer brilliance, but it serves as a brain dump of all the thoughts occupying your head space when you first wake. The morning pages are not for anyone else to read, they require no editing or grammar correction and may be discarded or destroyed after writing.

Common Place Book

A permanent record of the every day to keep for future generations. Important dates such as family births, deaths, marriages, starting school/ graduations etc, funny memories, major events, whether local or global with dates and times, favourite family recipes or traditions for birthdays or holidays, even the price of bread and milk on this date! Sort of like a written log time capsule.

Recipes

A handy way to reduce all the recipe books cluttering your shelves; tear out, photocopy or write out your favourite recipes and keep them in a specific notebook or binder, thus creating a recipe journal specific to you and your tastes. Also record any recipes you have created yourself or have been past down the family line.

Work book notes

If you have any books you are working through, such as self help or spiritual books or any manual/guide books with exercises for you to complete. Keep all your exercise answers in this note book.

Menstrual Tracker

Tracking your menstrual cycle each month from the day you bleed (day 1) until the start of the next cycle. Tracking the full month either as a written record per day or using a mandala to note small points of information and coloured pens to identify the phases of each cycle. Note things such as mood, amount of sleep, heaviness of flow, ovulation, cervical fluid, hormonal fluctuations, eating patterns, amount of water drunk per day, needs, wants, emotions, energy levels, underlying health conditions – any patterns appearing at certain times during the cycle, where your cycle is in relation to the lunar cycle, quality of meditation during the cycle, which astrological sign do you tend to bleed or ovulate in. There is scope for so much to track and explore each and every month and discover more about how your body ebbs and flows in relation to life.

Quotes & Notes

Hearing or seeing quotes that resonate with you either from TV or in a book or magazine or overheard in the supermarket queue. Write them down for future inspiration.

Bullet Journal

Your daily, weekly, monthly calendar in one. Where you can plan and organise every area of your life in minute detail and track your progress. This can be a simple as you like or a complex a process, also as plain and straight forward or as decorative too, depending on your preference.

Gratitude

Can be as simple as writing down at the end of the day 1 thing you are grateful for or starting your day with 10 things you are grateful for. It is helpful when having a bad day to look back over previous entries and lift your own spirits. Gratitude journals are a powerful tool for manifestations, and they teach you to be thankful and live in gratitude.

Ideas

A notebook to stick any random thoughts that pop into your head through the course of the day – be it for a creative project, something you need to pick up form the shop for your tea tonight, a recipe you’d like to try, a movie that was recommended that you would like to watch or a book to read, a new coffee shop that is opening up, a song you just heard by a band you’ve never heard of. ANYTHING you are likely to forget if you don’t write it down.

Moon Workings

If you follow the lunar cycle and work with the energies then a Moon Journal is key for recording your practice; new moon intentions, full moon releasing, any tarot spreads or meditation messages, record everything then check back and review it at the next phase – again you will establish patterns and is a great tool for following your own progress and journey as well as keeping you accountable.

Grimoire

Home for all your magical notes of all your learnings, whether you keep lists of correspondances, dates for Sabbats, crystal information, incantations, how to cast circles, create sigils, the phases of the moon, different deities- who they are and what they represent and more. It becomes your own reference book for your path.

A Book of Shadows/Book of Mirrors is similar to Grimoire but is for recording your actual magical working and spiritual practice – writing up what you did, how it worked or didn’t as the case may be, can also use for moon work and tarot readings if prefer not to use a separate book.

Tarot

Keeping a record of all readings, from daily pull of one card, to spreads for moon phases, Sabbats, birthdays, life crossroads queries etc. Keeping a record of readings allows for check back on accuracy and improving skill as well as identifying patterns (particularly if pulling a card each day).

Meditation

Recording any messages or images you receive during meditation – can be extremely useful to look back on and to review or if needing to remember what came up. Especially useful if get any surprises during meditation.

Art/sketch

If you prefer to doodle than scribble, keeping an art journal or sketch book to hand is a great way to get creative. Create a smash journal which is full of bits and pieces you have written, drawn, painted, bus tickets or cinema tickets collected when going about your day – everything and anything can go in a smash book – the only limitation is your imagination.

Reading

If you are anything like me and rarely read a book without a pencil in your hand to highlight or scribble notes in the side, then use a notebook to jot down anything that strikes a cord within you from that in which you are reading – this is applicable to fiction and non-fiction alike.

Keep a list of the books you want to read and the books you have read. Record whether you liked or disliked particular books and why.

Bucket lists

Personal bucket lists for the year, for the summer for a milestone birthday deadline. Keep a list of things you want to do and try, places you want to go and start ticking them off and adding more. Create for yourself or a family bucket list or both!

Trackers

Ooh, you can track anything!!! and everything!!! Go monthly, weekly, daily, annually – it’s entirely up to you. Ideas for trackers could be for fitness, health, wealth, reading, diet, social media use, menstruation, household chores, working towards a goal target, monitoring a health condition, a trial and error experiment, anything!!!

Dreams

Keep by your bed and wrote as soon as you wake up – especially if a dream wakes you up in the middle of the night. Often reams don’t make sense at the time and are largely forgotten within the first few minutes of waking, so jot down as much detail as you can . Again look for patterns to see if you can identify any messages from your subconscious.

Gardening

Plans for how you would like your garden to look, what you would like to grow, what kind of soil you have, what grows well, what doesn’t. Timescales for planting and harvesting if growing food, tasks to do by month /season for the garden. Inventory list at the end of autumn of what is needing for winter or for spring. Record the weather by week and how the plants respond – this is great once been using this form of journaling for a year or two or more so can check back over previous years and avoid costly mistakes. Keep seed packets and tape into journal thereby keeping all necessary info together.

Menu Planning

Keeping a menu planner (as well as the recipe book) ensures you are able to plan meals and food shopping ahead of time based on what you and your household enjoys, what is in the cupboards fridge/freezer currently and keeps on track with when last had certain foods so not having the same thing every week or just having pizza again because can’t think what to make for the tea.

Home Education Journey

A lot of people have suddenly found themselves home educating or home schooling (yes, they are different!) their kids due to Covid19 social distancing measures. Keeping a scrap book or a note book of what the children have been doing during their time out of school – not just the work the teachers have sent home or are doing over the internet but the life skills – fill with notes, photos and drawings of the fun things – lego builds, stories and books read or written, cakes baked, meals created, milestones achieved (learned how to work the washing machine and do own laundry for instance), games created, videos recorded and edited, watching and discussing current affairs from the news, and so much more, including notes and observations; when does your child seem more focussed and willing to learn, is it morning or afternoon? Are they hands on learners, visual learners, learn by rote, more willing after a walk around the block? Do you have more than one child and are their learning styles different? Can the older children help their younger siblings – playing at schools is a great way to facilitate learning alongside building forts, playing at shops, using real coins and building lego without the instruction manual, chilling out, relaxing, playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo with your child teaching YOU how to play (yes I have lived that last one in the past few days), record what learning you have done with or from you child – education is very much a 2-way street and lifelong.

I’m sure there are many more uses for notebooks and journals that are lying in wait for your pen. What are you going to use yours for?

With blessings

P.s. Turns out I can’t count… there are actually 22 different journals listed above…

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Journal Prompts

Do you keep a journal?

I have for years, since I was about 12 and received my first leather 5 year diary with a little clasp at the front. Some years I have been very detailed in my entries and others, well, to describe my written entries as “sparse” would be generous. Certainly in the past 5 years, daily journaling has been not only my ritual in self care but also my medicine.

Journaling is a very therapeutic exercise for me personally, where I find it easier to offload onto paper than out loud to another person. Once my thoughts are out, I can let them go. Once they are on the page I can begin to work through them like a puzzle to solve or an idea to develop and grow. It is an incredibly freeing and private way to collect myself.

But sometimes a block can come up and the ideas dry up or something happens that causes a phase of second guessing myself or challenges a previous view. In these times I have found journal prompts to be helpful for jump starting my thoughts and getting me thinking and creating again.

So, I am sharing some journal prompts that I have used recently and some that may help or assist you as we navigate these uncertain times, to ease any anxiety or think about the future.

Journal Prompts

  • How am I feeling, right now?
  • Where in my body am I feeling and holding my emotions?
  • What is one thing I can do today to ease any anxiety or tension?
  • What am I grateful for right now?
  • What 10 things am I grateful for today?
  • Where is the silver lining in my situation?
  • If I could live my ideal day tomorrow, what would that look like?
  • What are my non negotiable values?
  • Why are my values, my values – where did I learn and accept them as such?
  • How have I changed in the past 2 weeks?
  • What have I learned in the past month?
  • If I could change one thing in my life what would it be?
  • What single task could I tackle today that would effect that change (from above prompt)?
  • What habit would I most like to start and why?
  • Who or what am I most inspired by?
  • One thing I will never regret is … because …
  • What do I to forgive myself for?
  • What am I excited about?
  • What am I looking forward to most once this period of Social Distancing is over?
  • What am I learning about myself in this period of Social Distancing?
  • If I could imagine a different world, what would it look like?
  • What one thing could I do it make or be the change I would like to see in the new world?

Let me know if you have found these useful or if you want to share your own prompts in the comments below.