60 Ways to Use and Enjoy Journals in Your Creative Day-to-Day Life

Over $200 million a year is spent on planning and journaling supplies. There’s plenty of products for every journaling desire, no doubt about it. With studies showing proof of improved mental wellness through regular expressive writing and the self-care movement encouraging time for gratitude and reflection, journaling is becoming trendy again.

And it’s no wonder people are turning to journaling. Journaling regularly introduces a number of health and mental wellness benefits including:

  • Improved memory
  • Boosted mood
  • Heightened immunity
  • Reduced stress

But if you’re not one to journal normally and you need help getting started, it helps to have an idea of what all you can do when it comes to journaling.

10 Ways Writers and Authors Can Use Journals

Woman writing a book
Woman writing a book
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

If you write for a living then you’re no stranger to putting words on a page. The difference with a journal is the writing is just for you. Perhaps you need to journal to keep your thoughts straight or maybe you want to journal to get into the minds of your characters even further. No matter your reason to begin journaling, here are ten ideas picked just for you:

  • Submission tracker
  • Idea dump or inspiration catcher
  • Task lists to keep up with all your projects
  • Goal tracker for writing-related milestones
  • Word count tracker
  • Collection of keywords and themes for each day
  • Novel progress tracker
  • Character name and setting collection
  • Research journal to keep up with all the details you know you’ll forget
  • Series or story guidelines

10 Ways Students Can Use Journals

Students in classroom
Students in classroom
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Staying organized is the name of the game when it comes to academic success. You can be the smartest person in the room but if your ducks don’t even know what a row is, you’re as good as failing. Here are some uses for journals to help you get your ducks from freshman to graduate without losing your mind:

  • Traditional agenda or planner
  • Reflection and gratitude log
  • Collection of advice from professors and peers
  • Journal of questions to find answers to
  • Goals journal for school-related milestones
  • Internship reflection
  • Accomplishments and physical portfolio collection
  • Bullet journal for task tracking
  • Photojournal to capture memories
  • Traditional journal for stress relief

10 Ways Artists Can Use Journals

Man painting pottery outside
Photo by Eddy Klaus on Unsplash

No matter their medium, artists can take to journals for a number of art-related needs. From recordkeeping to idea capturing to practicing your craft, check out these ten ways you can use journals as an artist:

  • Character sketchbook
  • Sketchbook for random doodles
  • Dream journal remix (sketch scenes from your dreams)
  • Experimental sketches for all your new styles
  • Idea catcher for all the creations you don’t have time for just yet
  • Tracker for long-term project details
  • Research journals
  • Inspiration journal to capture peers and pros who you aspire to be like
  • Goals journal specifically for creative projects
  • Visual diary (just how it sounds but with pictures in place of words)

10 Ways Bookworms Can Use Journals

Person reading book in a hammock
Person reading book in a hammock
Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Unsplash

Bookworms and journals go together like pencil and paper. Creativity can often be found while consuming the work of other creative individuals.

Complement your reading habits with a handy journal for tracking and brainstorming purposes. Journals used while reading can enhance the reading experience, increase how much you remember from your non-fiction reads, and collect notable moments to discuss with bookish friends.

  • Vocabulary journals for all the words you discover while reading
  • Collection of books to read and book reviews from those completed
  • Author sites and newsletters you can’t get enough of
  • Quotes collection for inspiration now and later
  • Notes from your non-fiction reads
  • Reading challenge tracker
  • Locations from books you want to visit
  • Names from books you don’t want to forget
  • Phrases and descriptions that stun you
  • Book covers you want to use as inspiration for your future books

10 Ways Health Enthusiasts Can Use Journals

Treadmill and workout equipment
Treadmill and workout equipment
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

If you’re counting calories, counting steps, or otherwise counting on living a healthy lifestyle, these journaling suggestions are meant for you. Budding and professional creative folk alike tend to live more sedentary lifestyles. Getting in some extra activity can do wonders for your body and wellbeing. Try them out or make a mish-mash of each for the ultimate health journal:

  • Fitness tracker
  • Diet or calorie log
  • Meal planner
  • Fitness bucket list (to encourage exciting new types of exercise)
  • Vitamin and supplement tracker
  • Run planner and tracker
  • Workout reflection
  • Health goals tracker
  • Daily self-care tracker (exercise your mental wellbeing too)
  • Daily affirmations (once again, protect your self-care time)

10 Miscellaneous Ways to Use a Journal

Journals and pencils on countertop
Journals and pencils on countertop
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

If none of the previously mentioned journaling ideas sparks your interest, give one of the following a try:

  • Inspirational quotes collection
  • Question a day responses
  • Self-care tracker
  • Gratitude journal
  • Dream tracker and reflection journal
  • Time capsule
  • Travel journal
  • Letters to your future or past self
  • Book of affirmations
  • Collection of mind maps

If you don’t want to settle on just one of these ideas, test them all. A journal is meant to relieve stress and aid in reflection. There are no rules. Have fun, try new styles, and find a journaling type that suits your needs.

Orlando-Based Creative | Copywriter, Content Writer, Author

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