Did you know that there are different journaling techniques?
Many people are passionate about journal writing. Some do it for fun, while others see it as a problem-solving practice and technique. We all know about the power of journaling. Just keeping a journal and setting some time aside to write about your life is a great experience.
It not only helps you keep track of things and your routine activities, but it also helps you deal with tough situations, dig up new ideas and think about the past, present and the future.
Many of us want to start journaling and often think about it. But, we’re busy people. Just taking some time out each day to sit down and write about our own lives seems like a daunting task. There’s so much on our plate already. How can we write each day?
Journaling doesn’t have to be so tough. Do you know what journaling really is?
What is Journaling?
Most people think of journaling as writing pages and pages about their feelings. They believe that it also involves adding a poetic touch to it. However, while some people do that, there is more to journaling than that.
Journaling is just the phenomenon of taking some time out for yourself. It is about finding a time and place where there are no distractions to sit down and contemplate about your life.
Journaling can be anything, from writing down your day-to-day activities to venting about some feelings that you can’t let go off. It can be about how someone inspired you today or the new life goals you’ve set for yourself.
Now that you know what journaling really is and what the benefits of journaling are, get yourself started. We have gathered some journaling techniques that can come in handy if you want to start journaling or improve your journaling experience.
Try these techniques and let us know how they worked out for you.
1. Free Writing
Free writing is the most common and effective technique people use for journaling. All you have to do is set a timer for five, ten, fifteen minutes, or more and just start writing. You don’t have to think about anything. Just start writing about whatever comes to your mind.
It doesn’t matter if you write complete garbage. Just keep writing until your time is up. This technique helps you improve your creative process and you may even find some amazing ideas in your writing that you can improve upon later.
2. Morning Pages
Morning pages is very similar to free writing. Grab your journal the first thing in the morning and start writing. Again, you don’t have to think and write about anything in particular. It is just like free writing. Write whatever you can think of without any time limit.
This technique especially helps if you know that you won’t have time to practice your journaling the entire day.
If you think free writing isn’t taking you anywhere, then you can try working with lists. Just make a list of things that make you sad or happy. Or make a list of where you want to go or what you want to eat. Make a list about anything— the subject doesn’t really matter.
4. Art Journaling
Don’t want to write anything? Why not draw something instead. Doodle, draw, paint, whatever you want and feel like doing. Don’t worry about the quality of your drawings. It’s for you and not for anyone else. This will improve your creativity and help you relax.
5. The Unsent Letter
Is your heart flooded with emotions, but you can’t or don’t want to discuss what you are feeling?
This is what a journal is for!
You can write about your emotions and feelings without having to tell anyone about it. The unsent letter is a journaling technique where you just compose a letter to someone that you will never send.
This can help you process your feelings and emotions. With a certain person in mind, you will also be able to write coherently. This is one of the best techniques that not only improve your writing but also help you manage stress.
If you want to improve your journaling and overall writing, then dialoging can be very helpful. It can be between anybody, but you are the one speaking for each side. Just write in two distinct voices and you are good to go.
7. Dream Journaling
Dream journal! We have all heard about it. It is about finding inspiration in your dreams. Keep a journal on your bedside and write about your dreams as soon as you wake up. You don’t have to write it all, just the key points and the things you remember.
It will improve your journaling and will also give you a way to look into your dreams and see what thoughts are running through your subconscious mind.
8. A Heartsong Journal
A heartsong journal is where you write down everything that is really close to your heart. It can be anything, from songs to poetries, quotes, mantras, prayers, etc. Anything that you think speaks to you in any way can go into your heartsong journal.
Writing these things can help you relax and be happy. They can boost your confidence and give you the inspiration that you may need right now.
9. Sketch Your Emotions
This is just like art journaling. Think about any emotions you may be feeling right now and give them a face. It may also be a line, shape or simply a color. Don’t think too much and just let it out. When you are done, you will feel much lighter. This technique is also commonly used in art therapy.
10. Reflection Technique
You don’t have to write in the journal just when you are at home or feeling low. Buy a travel-size journal and keep it in your pocket when you go on a vacation. Write when you are feeling the most introspective.
You can write about anything. Your feelings, your dreams, your personality and emotions. It is by you and for you. While you add new entries, you can also read the previous ones. As you do, you will be taken back to the time you wrote it.
11. Gratitude Technique
As the name suggests, this technique is all about writing what you feel thankful for each day. There are no hard and fast rules here. Just date the entry and write a sentence or two about something that made you happy and grateful today. Don’t think too much.
Did something make you happy just now? Take out your journal and write it down there.
12. Bullet Points
Journaling seems difficult because people believe it has to be well thought out and perfect. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your journal is your safe place, where there is no judging or marking. It is only for you. You don’t even have to write in full sentences when you are making a journal entry.
If you don’t feel like writing long stories, you can simply write in bullet points. In fact, writing in bullet points is easy and more reasonable than trying to create the perfect and even a poetic piece of writing.
13. Make a Template
Many of us just sit and stare at the blank page for many minutes before we actually start writing. We simply don’t know what to write about. If you also face the same trouble, then it is best that you create a template that you can follow each day when making a new journal entry.
The template can be anything. For example, writing about three things you are grateful for or a happy thought each day. Now that you have a template, it will be easy for you to start writing each day as you don’t have to think about what you are going to write.
14. Journaling Prompts
If you still find it difficult to think about anything to write, then you can search for some “journaling prompts” on the Internet and keep a collection of your favorite ones. When you run out of ideas, you can simply look at these prompts, pick one and just start writing.
Another great way is to write them down on little chits and put them in a jar. You can take one paper out of the jar each day and write on whatever prompt you get.
15. Snapshot Journaling
Snapshot journaling is a journaling technique where you simply record events as they take place. Think about the things that happened in the last 24 hours and jot them down in your journal. It helps improve your observations as well as your writing techniques.
16. Xerox Journaling
As the name suggests, Xerox journaling is all about copying something in your journal. It can have a meditative effect and settles your mind for some time by taking away your stress. In addition to that, it also helps you improve your writing and allows you to look at things with a new perspective.
17. The Thank-Learn-Connect Method
The TLC method has three components to it, thank, learn and connect. Think about the things you are thankful for and write them down. Similarly, think about any new things that you learned and note it down in your journal. Also, think about the people you connected with and write about them.
The TLC method can really help you to write, especially when you are running out of ideas to write in your journal.
18. One Line a Day
One line a day journaling is just about writing one sentence in your journal daily. It can be about anything. Increase the number of words each day, but don’t force yourself to write. Just do it naturally, and you will see how you’ve grown and changed over time.
19. Goal Journaling
You can write down your goals in your journal. It can be anything from daily to-do lists to weekly or monthly goals. They can also be yearly goals or the ones we call life goals. You can jot them down in your journal and take some time out often to revisit them. It will not only improve your journaling, but it will also give you something to work hard on each day.
20. Daily Journal
Write about the things that happened to you over the day. This is what we call the daily diary. When you are done for the day, sit back and relax and write about your day. Include all activities— the people you met, the things you ate, the way you felt, and everything else you can think of.
It is like writing your life story, with every minute detail in it.
21. Daily Tracker
Daily tracker is all about writing what is important to you and measuring how you are progressing. It is all about your goals and aspirations and what you are doing on a daily basis to achieve it. This also gives you an idea about how close you are to achieving your goals and what more needs to be done.
22. Life History Log
Life history log technique is about keeping a log of your life history in your journal. Just write about all the things that you can think of from your past. Start from your childhood and make your way up to the present. This is not only a great journaling technique, but it will also give you something to cherish in old age.
23. Feeling Finder
What are your feelings about a certain person, situation or thing? Take up your journal and pour your heart out. It will add more dimension to your feelings and emotions and will also improve your journaling.
24. Captured Moments
There must be some peak moments in your life. The moments that made you feel ecstatic. Write about them in your journal. Re-experience the past and live these moments again. When you save these moments in your journal, you will save them in your memory for life.
25. Time Capsule
The time capsule technique is all about capturing the past, present, and future. Think about your past and write about all you can think of. What is happening to you in the present? What are the things that are worth mentioning? Write them down. Similarly, what are your hopes for the future? Do you have any specific goals? Jot them all down in your journal.
26. Perspectives Journaling
Why see something from just one perspective? Perspective journaling helps you make new and improved inner connections. Use your journal to write about different perspectives of the same thing.
You can work with as many perspectives as you want. Think about all the perspectives that one can think of when it comes to something. It can be about a person, place, situation or even a thing. Jot these perspectives down and clear your thoughts.
27. Intuitive Resonating
Intuitive resonating is all about giving a voice to your unconscious brain. Does your mind often wander while you are trying to concentrate on something? Why not write these unconscious thoughts in your journal? Who knows they may turn into something big one day?
These were some simple yet effective journaling techniques that can improve your journaling. Try these out and let us know what worked the best for you.