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Ways to Fill a Journal

You have so many. What do you do with them?

*Photo by Inkwell Press

Most of us have done it (myself included)—walked into a store, saw a super cute notebook, and splurged. Then, after the journey home, dumped it on the pile of empty notebooks accumulating on the desk, or shoved it onto a forgotten bookshelf.

So what is it that makes writing in a notebook so intimidating? 

For me, the answer is simple: those pristine, blank pages look so perfect, and I'm always worried that I'll put the wrong things on those pages. But, there is no wrong way to journal, and there are so many different ways of journaling. Below are a few of my personal favorite ways to fill up a journal.

1. List Tracker

Photo by Kerry May_Makes

I am totally obsessed with writing things out in lists! It really helps me keep my life organized. I put packing lists, wish lists, shopping lists, and even lists of things I want to try in the future in mine.

2. Brain Dump

Photo by Kalyn Brooke

I think way too much during the day, and even more so at night. A brain dump is the perfect place to jot down whatever is on your mind. By doing this, you should be able to fall asleep a little sooner. 

3. Gratitude Journal

Photo by Me and My Big Ideas

This is where you can write all the things, big and small, that you're grateful for. I've found that writing one thing that I'm grateful for per day really helps boost a positive attitude. And when it's all done, and when you're going through a bad day, you can look back and see all of the things in your life that you have to be grateful for.

4. Questions Journal

Photo by Buzzfeed

These questions in particular are ones that plague you, such as how you're going to make the next rent payment, how you're going to make a relationship work out, etc. Sometimes you just need to jot these questions down in order to reframe the problem. For me as a college student, I have payments that need to be taken care of right now while I'm in school, and making ends meet can be tough. But turning questions from "how can I?" into "here's the solution," at least for me, all starts by writing problems down to see them laid out in front of me.

5. Book of Letters

Photo by The Unsent Letters

This is a place to write letters that you won't ever send out to anyone. You can write angry letters to your best friend during a fight, a love letter to your crush, letters to a deceased loved one, etc. This can be a good way to get your feelings out without talking to anyone.

6. Bullet Journal

Photo by Sublime Reflection

If you love planners, this can be a great idea for using some of those dotted or graph journals (or even lined ones). I've tried to make three different bullet journals, but don't have the patience to keep up with it. However, after some practice, they can look pretty cute!

I recommend looking up "how to bullet journal for beginners" on YouTube if you want to know more!

7. Penmanship

Photo by Reddit

In high school, it was brought to my attention that my handwriting left something to be desired. On multiple occasions. But, after some practice, I am finally at the point where I don't hate my handwriting. I think it still needs some work, but I feel better about writing in front of my friends now. 

(The best sentence for this is "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." It has every letter in the alphabet in it!)

8. Quotes Journal

Photo by Amino

Have you ever read a quote online, or a line in a book that you wanted to remember for later? Well then, this may be the journal for you! Anytime I hear or read something I like, I like to jot it down. And if you run a blog or a YouTube channel, quotes can look nice at the beginnings.

9. "Let it Go" Journal

Photo by Bear Hugs

I personally get annoyed very easily by the smallest things, and have to remind myself constantly to get over those things. Maybe someone was rude to me, or was trying too hard to be funny. This method of journaling helps relieve anger and other such feelings, and encourages a positive outlook on life.

10. Dream Log

Photo by Tiny Ray of Sunshine

I had one of these a few years back. I had some recurring dreams, and wanted to write them down for later reference. This can help you if you want to learn how to lucid dream, or it can simply be something you find fun and relaxing.

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