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How to use a Journal

Updated on December 15, 2018
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I've always wanted to be a writer in some fashion and now I am... be it blogging, hubs or writing a couple of story or poems for fun

Journaling, A How to

Life's a Journey

Journaling can be fun relaxing and can be a best friend when they are available. You can write your daily life in them, big events, use one for just your poetry or drawing, or some other hobby you are into (Themed) There's Gardening Journal, Reading Journals, baby & pet care journals. Some only write others draw or do both. Then there's some who put trinkets like photos, movie and concert tickets etc. You can write quotes, lyrics of songs you like, doodle anything you want. There's a journaling ideas section, as well as a few to find your preferred journal type. Locking journals, Leather bound, there's an assorted list as well and the pocket journal.

This lens it to help you get started, show you various ideas as well as prompts for general journal topics.

Currently I started a new journal more of a summary as I have back & hip pain so I include a scale of how much pain I'm in, what I eat, the weather, What I've done more or less in the day as well as entertainment and thensome, I also try to include any dreams I had at night as well.

I've split the lens into 3 parts. There is now a 2nd and 3rd page- theme journals and ideas you can click on them to see if they are finished yet.

National Dear Diary Day September 22

I was trying to find a journaling day but so far I have not, so I will go with using this as such

How to keep a journal and some ideas

What kind of journal will your's be?Theme Journals & Travel kit ideas

The videos included here will help you (I hope) with all forms of journaling; from the usual way of just writing down your thoughts, ideas poems etc, to Art, Visual and Smash book styles. Any any other sorts I cannot think of at the moment.

If you need more help I have a link to my Blog's version of this (some is the same but mostly different) I do plan to remove some of the videos from here and put them on there so it's a little more balanced as the page was not originally made on this site (but on squidoo) so I am trying to cut down on load time for you. You can also hoover on the menu there for Journaling References as well as Theme journals.

I also have a Pintrest board for Bullet Journaling as well as Journaling Smashbooks as well You can find it under @kymoDragon

7 Steps on writing a journal

How to write a journal

All the reasons and inspiration to keep a journal!

I LOVE this organizer made of file folders

Basic Supplies - *a MUST

Use your imagination The below is just the basic supplies

  1. What to write it in

    *journal, binder, computer file (encrypted on a flash drive)

  2. pen mechanical pencil, colored pens typewriter or keyboard
  3. glue or tape (or both) Mounting squares (found in Scrapbooking section of craft stores)
  4. rubber stamps (best if using as a Bullet journal)
  5. pictures, ticket stubs, & other souvenirs
  6. Ruler (even if its a mini)
  7. Go Green...

    REpurpose items!

    did you use all the paper out of a small spiral notebook?

    You can get binder rings from Staples, office max etc BIG offiice supply store & just put a few of them through the holes

    where the spiral band was & you can add paper and such to it as you need. If not then there's the option of the more expensive spiral binding punch, and having to that whole thing out & back in each time you want to add to it.

Don't put too many clippings in a regular journal or it ruins the binding & stays like this.

Don't put too many clippings in a regular journal or it ruins the binding & stays like this.
Don't put too many clippings in a regular journal or it ruins the binding & stays like this.

Just starting? try a binder

Avery Mini Durable View Protect and Store Binder with 1 Inch EZ-Turn Ring, 5.5 x 8.5-Inches, Green (23030)
Avery Mini Durable View Protect and Store Binder with 1 Inch EZ-Turn Ring, 5.5 x 8.5-Inches, Green (23030)
Just starting to journal and haven't gotten one yet? Why not just use a binder? One of the smaller size ones like this? You can add pages as you need more, and you can either use it as a bullet journal, smashbook, or regular journal or even all in one! Use dividers to organize the journal by topic, month year, Travel, archive oThere's even a spot to include pens etc. It's easier to customize and you can be artsy with the pages? make collages etc and your spine won't get ruined. (you just might have to reinforce your page holes a little depending on how often you look through it. You could also get 2 binders, one for your current year and another to archive which I really wish I had done when I started (instead of individual journals each year!) this way you have one to carry along and an archive version! This way all your past entries are in one spot! and at home if you do travel, they will not be lost!

Using a Binder as a Journal

I have a Mead Five star 9 1/2 x 6" binder that would be great for a journal (I wanted to include one here, but I couldn't find a listing) The great thing with binders for journals is, you can add more paper when you are almost out, there's folders etc you can include to put letters, cards, photos and so on you want to keep. Heck if you want to lock it... you can always try a hole punch (or just poking a hole w/ a reamer) & put a small lock on it!

Binder Journals are great as you can pretty much include anything you want on the page clippings etc, and should have enough of room that it does not wreck the binding of the spine, like with the others.

Another reason to consider using a binder for your journal, is

1. It's easier to travel with (es. the 6x9 ones) I have a binder that has handles & some pockets in it in a denim style actually I think there's a pocket for pens and pencils, and a spot for the old school square disks

2. Hole punch for binders & single punches easier to stash paper bits like ticket stubs etc in a flash

3. You can keep adding to it instead of constantly having to go find a new one. (You'd be surprised how much a binder will hold!)

4. Parents this is a great idea to put your child's work in throughout their school years. Drawings, Pictures best report cards. You can even include disks or a high gig thumb drive of pictures (with folders for each year) and videos.

If its going to be an art journal, travel, or scrapbook (or maybe all of the above) you can also include an assorted type of pages and colored pages like this:

Sample Journal Heading

I thought to include a sample of a heading that could be used if you do a daily journal (or you can use it for whatever form you have especially if you don't use it often)

Day, date year & Time



What you are listing to or watching


Entry Type: Like a travel journal, drawing, poem, daily, creative (poetry, story etc)

My blank Journals collection

How to journal: writing & memoir

Author's choice - My favorite kind of journal

I have to admit I have been sort of hording journals of various sorts and sizes. Spiral Notebooks, Composition books with a cover design (not the usual marble look or it's the marble but in a blood red color) The thin ones you can find in a dollar store,that are good for a short story or a long letter, some that were gifts from friends & well you can just checkout my video(s) of my used as well as blank journals to see. (frankly I might have to update my blank journals video, as I have some new ones to show off!)

I would be so happy to find a journal something like this

Paperblanks Nocturnelle Grande Lined Journal (240 Pages, 8.25 x 11.75 Inches)
Paperblanks Nocturnelle Grande Lined Journal (240 Pages, 8.25 x 11.75 Inches)
So if I were just starting to journal be it daily or just for certain events (like concerts etc.) I would love something that looks antique, preferably with those hinged closures that would hopefully last me a few years, (or maybe even be able to add paper to it as well. As I mentioned about 'antique' looking and the 'hinge closures' I've seen images of books that way and I think I can see them on this.

8 Tips to Help You Start

Marcin shares his daily journal

Life's a Journey


take notes along the way

Travel Kit

Some also keep a Journaling Kit for when they travel This can be kept (depending on the items aside from these) in a basic

sized pencil case (remember those Plastic/Vinyl ones? that size) a cosmetic case or even a document case.

Ideas to include for a travel kit:

-- idea is mini pens in a few different colors aside from the basic blue or black.

-- If you are traveling... make a trip to the craft store & pick up a few scrapbooking embellishments with the travel theme, as well as Picture mounts the ones that go on the corners.

-- Stickers or other scrapbook items to fit what theme(s) cities, states or countries you will cover.

--Colored pencils markers etc

Journal & travel kit all in one

Pocket Journals

Moleskine Cahier Journal, Soft Cover, Pocket (3.5" x 5.5") Ruled/Lined, Black, 64 Pages (Set of 3)
Moleskine Cahier Journal, Soft Cover, Pocket (3.5" x 5.5") Ruled/Lined, Black, 64 Pages (Set of 3)
Not into a big bulky journal that you need a bag to lug around it in? Try a pocket notebook, these are great for a lot of things sometimes they come as a set of a blank and a lined one or blank, lines and grid paper all in one book. I always say it's best to get the blank and then you can make the lines yourself to your liking if you write, leave blank page for drawing. The pocket journal is great when you are in the book store and just passed a book of interest, but don't have the money on hand for it? write down the isbn number with the title and author (or as most do now and days you can even take a photo with your phone for a visual as well) Write that Poem, Shopping list,jot down that story or character or even draw that idea etc. right when you think of it andyou won't need to scrabble around for a scrap piece of paper that will more likely be tossed when you get home or just lost on the street. Why are these great for a journal? They are very portable throw it in your back pocket, shirt pocket purse anything. I used pocket journals one year (but i do like to change things up and usually when you write daily they don't have enough of pages to last a year) but Include Poems, quotes, thoughts on any topic at any moment! A lot of times there's even a little pocket in the back for movie tickets & such I know Moleskin type usually does, but these soft covers I don't remember if there was one in the ones I had

What to do with a journal

There's allot of things you can do with a journal. Whether you just want to keep track of what you did each day, or just for important events. It can be a theme like for road trips & travel, Your baby growing up and things especially stories and songs you sang to them when they were infants to sleep.

topics to write in a General journal

-Bucket list - these are things you want to do or try before you die. It can be places to travel, Skydiving, food to try and more.

-Favorites page write & draw everything on this page that is a favorite. your favorite band & logo (or just the logo) naes you like (if any better than your own) movies and so on

-recipe you find

-quotes song lyrics you hear

-the pros & cons of...

-write a short story

-reviews on Books, Movies & TV etc.

-smash ticket stubs & other such type sentimental items inside (esp. if its a travel journal)

I have more journal recommendations available on my Blog's version of this page

How to Keep a Diary

How to decorate

Tips for Keeping a Journal

Scrapbook journal flip through

journaling Supplies suggestions

No matter how You Journal, I think a great Idea is using a stamp for the date (unless of course the book is already dated or has a template)

They make calendar format, days of the week, and a variety of others, as well as time and weather if you talk of your day or a certain part of it.

I know there are Smashbook stickers (I think they are by K and Company) and sometimes you can find washi tape with the Days, months and sometimes with numbers, and holiday themes.

I previously mentioned Colored Pencils, Pens and Markers. Honestly I don't like the look of the markers or pens as much as I do the pencils, but the pens are mostly for color coding or use instead of highlighting. That's another thing... a highlighter is a good idea as well as a mini for a travel kit.

There is a mechanical pencil I purchased on amazon I think it was 1mm so its a thicker lead and you can buy the tube of colored leads! (instead of having a box of pencils. (much more mobile)

You can find Stencils specifically for bullet journaling especially if also used as a planner.

they also make stickers that can be used in planners as well as any variety of journal.

I like to change things up depending on my mood, but I have also been trying to incorporate bullet journaling into my journals, well least more so in 2017 I started to do so. 2018 my journal will be both Bullet planner and journal. For Bullet journals most like the pages with the dots, I will use any journal I like. I did however start with a journal that has the grid pages, which I usually find in Barnes and Nobel.

You can find a Bullet Journal as well as a Journaling/smash-books board on my Pinterest

Word of Wisdom

SAYEEC Journal with Pen Set A5 360 Sheets Thick Journal Notebook Large Lined Paper Soft Faux Leather Hardcover Vintage Notebook for Writing Gift Man Anniversary/Birthday/Taking Notes (Dark Red)
SAYEEC Journal with Pen Set A5 360 Sheets Thick Journal Notebook Large Lined Paper Soft Faux Leather Hardcover Vintage Notebook for Writing Gift Man Anniversary/Birthday/Taking Notes (Dark Red)
Being I really had no 'guidance' as to the best way to journal, or type to use as You may have seen I have not only a variety of Blank journals, various theme ones. Like my Poetry, another for play lists and quick sketches of Fashion Jewelry I made as well as my large one which is a common place book. This book here, would be great as such, if not as a journal to use through your life (which I really wish I had done. Just have a journal for parts I want to remember etc. A common place book can also be handed down through the family and have quotes, receipes, family history and so on written in it.

How tos (ideas) & show & tell

the junk journals ideas you might want to skip 8 minutes ahead.

Keep it private

a Craft journal

How to Smash Book

Altered book Art Journal Flip

I should make for beading and sewing

My Poetry Journal

My Poetry Journal
My Poetry Journal

My Theme journals

Leather wrap journal

Small Chocolate Pocket Journal with Handmade Paper
Small Chocolate Pocket Journal with Handmade Paper
I love these kind of journals as they look antique, easy to open and great for travel as well. I also love them as a gift for your guy whether he writes or draws. And if does neither, maybe the 2 of you could use it to write your love notes to one another, or make a scrapbook of your relationship as it has enough room you can include clippings and souvenirs (receipts, menus, Business cards, movie and convert tic lets picture etc)

My smashbook (experiment)

It is not the extraordinary events that shape our lives

These times are few.

Rather, it is the ordinary, day-to-day occurences that form the pattern of our days and give our lives meaning. It is these events that will someday be read and cherished by those who come after us.

~ Col. Garry A. Littleton

FINE Journals - Pick a Journal....

But you don't have to choose one from here, I've included a few other sections for specific types like locked ones, then there's an assortment at the end. There's also the option to use a binder as a journal & one for small moleskin books.

for more fine journals page 2 * Page 3 Theme Journals

Make your own Journal

How to MAKE a journal

LOVE the Vampire Hunter Journal

How to make your own Book or Journal

16 Page Journal With Page Flips

More Ideas, Techniques & - Show & Tells for Inspiration

Junk Journal Finale, Paper Dolls, Organizing Ephemera Part 1 at 18.17 the person FINALLY goes through one of the journals instead of just yapping the whole time)

A kids summer scrap/junk journal book

Altered paper techniques

Altered paper techniques... like Degreaser on Glossy mag pages!

Kawaii Journal & Crafts!

Making a Smash page process

Smash book page Quick tutorial

Masculine album book

Making Vintage journals

Pocket Folder from File Folder tutorial


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