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How to use a Journal

Updated on September 10, 2016
Zodiacimmortal profile image

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

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.

Life's a Journey


take notes along the way

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 here's the full boat! (I will be deleting some of the videos here as the page was not made for this site. So They will be moved to the more elaborate page.(

I also have a Pintrest board for Journaling You can find it under @kymoDragon

Basic Supplies - *a MUST

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.

-- ruler (can be a mini)

Use your imagination The below is just the basic supplies

  1. What to write it in

    *journal, binder, computer file(s), even

    *Pen /pencil Typewriter or keyboard

  2. colored pens pencils markers etc
  3. glue or tape (or both) Mounting squares (found in Scrapbooking section of craft stores)
  4. rubber stamps
  5. pictures, ticket stubs, & other souvenirs
  6. Go Green...

    REpurpose items for instance

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

    You can get binder rings from Staples,office max etc BIG officie 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.

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

Author's choice - My favorite kind of journal

have been hording journals of various sorts. Spiral Notebooks, Composition books with a cover design (not the usual marble look) The thin ones you can find in a dollar store, those sent by friends & well you can just checkout my video(s) of my used as well as blank journals to see. (frankly I might still have more to show off!)

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

Nocturnelle Midi 5x7 Hardcover Lined Paper Writing Journal by Paper Blanks
Nocturnelle Midi 5x7 Hardcover Lined Paper Writing Journal by Paper Blanks

I like something that looks antique, hopefully that will last me a few years, and maybe even be able to add paper to it as well. Along with the 'antique' looking I like hinges to keep it closes (especially if I am able to lock it.)


How tos (ideas) & show & tell

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

journaling Supplies suggestions

I think a great Idea is using a stamp for the date be it in the calendar format or any of the others, as well as time and weather if you talk of your day or a certain part of it.

I now there are Smashbook stickers for dates I think they are by K and company

My Poetry Journal

My Poetry Journal
My Poetry Journal

MY Journals - Theme & Blanks Plus the and now a Smash book

Theme Journals of Zodiacimmortal

my apologies I was not able to find my tripod to do one of the videos

My Theme journals

My blank Journals collection

Small Chestnut Pocket Journal with Handmade Paper
Small Chestnut Pocket Journal with Handmade Paper

I love these kind of journals as they look antique and are easy to open. They are also more masculine looking for the guys that want to draw etc.

also usually has enough room you can include clippings and souvenirs (receipts, menus, Business cards etc) from Travel


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

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) Ihave a binder that has handles & some pockets in it in a denim style. (was supposedto be for pencils disks etc)

2. Hole punch for binders & single punches easier to stash papaer 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!)

You can also include an assorted type of pages and colored pages like this:

So if you are going to do a journal that's going to look part scrapbook. I'd say a Binder is the best to use. Oh I also included 2 Smash Books. One is a kit the other is the 'mini folio' that comes with the pen/glue stick in case you might be interested in those for your journaling.

You can also check these out...I know they are sold at Staples They are

Arc customizeable notebooks

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, you can use dividers to organize the journal by topic, (Daily, Travel Journal etc) or by month or year. There'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.

I really wish I had done this when I started! have 2.. one to carry along and an archive version! This way all your past entries are in one spot! and if you do travel, will not be lost!


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)

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

Designing your own

Live & Learn: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books (AARP®)
Live & Learn: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books (AARP®)

Can't quite find the style you'd like in the stores or online, and a binder isn't your thing? Well If you are good with crafts and tools. This is the way to go for you (that plus you can turn it into a business!)

There's nothing better or more impressive than someone who made their own journal.Just please don't hurt current books (unless its a school text book, especially those EVIL hardcover Regents class Algebra, Calculus etc books!)


Make your own Journal

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.

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 sentemental items inside (esp. if its a travel journal)

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)

Handcrafted Leather Journal/Sketchbook 8x10 with Handmade Paper & Center Stone
Handcrafted Leather Journal/Sketchbook 8x10 with Handmade Paper & Center Stone

This makes me think of a dragon. Just imaging if you are writing a story,especially a fantasy one, why not use this one as your draft or even once you are done, a handwritten copy of it? it would look quite handsome on display

POST Journal with Lock, Saffiano Silver, 4.25 x 6-Inch
POST Journal with Lock, Saffiano Silver, 4.25 x 6-Inch

Whether you have nosy family members or want to tote your 'diary/journal' around, This is a great Idea especially for those of you who want to keep a record of the never ending passwords we have. I have done the same with one I was able to lock. I include my Passwords in there. I write down the sites in pen, then the password IN PENCIL so I can erase it when I change it.


Not into a big bulky journal that you need a bag to lug around it in? Try a pocket notebook, these are great for allot of things sometimes they have a set of a blank and a lined one or just get a blank without lines. In the book store did you just pass a book of interest? Make a to read list and jot down title, author & ISBN number.

Write that Poem, draw that idea etc. right when you think of it you won't need a scrap piece of paper that will more likely be tossed when you get home or just lost on the street

Moleskine Cahier Journal (Set of 3), Pocket, Ruled, Black, Soft Cover (3.5 x 5.5): Set of 3 Ruled Journals
Moleskine Cahier Journal (Set of 3), Pocket, Ruled, Black, Soft Cover (3.5 x 5.5): Set of 3 Ruled Journals

Why are these great for a journal? They are very portable throw it in your back pocket, shirt pocket purse anything. 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


More Journaling Diary Smashbook vids

Smash Book? Junk Journal? How about a Theme Journal, pt 1 11:07 love the journaling/envlope flaps

I LOVE the Life Organizer (well inside of it.. but would love one formyself in Purple & green too

ideas Journal

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