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Which type of journal is best?

December 15, 2022 18 min read

Which type of journal is best?

Do you consider journaling to be a pastime?

Though many might say "no," you should act as though it is.

There are now an infinite variety of journals from which to choose, so take your time in making your selection. Or, if you're a hobbyist journaler (you're out there, we just know it), test out a couple and see which ones work best for you.

Ancient China is credited as the birthplace of the journal when Ma Dubo () chronicled his journey to Mount Tai for the purpose of making a ritualistic offering to the emperor. The daily truths of people from different ages and parts of the world are revealed in their journals, giving us insight into how writing can be historically significant.

But why, specifically, might journaling benefit you?

Moreover, which form of journaling is best out of the many possibilities?

A Journalist's Crucial Role in Society

How to Keep a Journal: 20 Varieties As said by Nataly Goldberg:


"Writing in a journal or as a kind of meditation achieves the same goals. Intimacy with your own thinking is what really matters."

To answer the second point we raised earlier: yes, you should keep a personal journal, and any kind would do as long as you use it for introspective purposes.

Journaling has been shown to improve mental health in numerous studies, proving what we've always suspected from reading inspirational author quotes: writing regularly is good for us.

man smiling and filling the journal

What are the 3 types of journaling?


Journaling has been shown to help people with a wide range of mental health issues (including ADD/ADHD, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and so on) by allowing them to keep track of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences and, perhaps, by allowing them to establish some kind of daily routine.

Journaling, says psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker, can boost the immune system by reducing stress. Specifically, Pennebaker claims that it lessens the negative effects of stress on our T-lymphocyte cells (a fancy name for white blood cells, or immune system cells). Furthermore, research reveals that when we write, our left brain (our rational headquarters) is engaged while our right brain (our creative center) is freed up to do its thing and feel.

You might be wondering: "If it's all about health, then why don't I just eat my beans and salad, exercise, and not waste my time keeping a journal?"

Here is a brief rundown of the scientific justifications that exist:
Improved mental health: keeping a journal can shed light on your inner workings and relieve some of the daily tension and confusion you experience.
Clarification of thought and feeling: in our hectic life, it's helpful to take a few moments to write things down and reconnect with one's inner self.
Reducing stress: keeping a journal has been shown to improve health by reducing anxiety and increasing feelings of control and organization.
When you're trying to solve a problem, do you find it more effective to do it mentally or on paper? Keeping a diary or notebook can help you work through a variety of issues.
You should also be aware that many therapists of various theoretical persuasions use journaling with their patients as part of a form of psychotherapy called Journal Therapy. Given what we've just discussed, further explanation is unnecessary.

Moving on, we will examine the many journal formats available and the advantages of maintaining each.

1. The Journal in a Blank Book

A blank notebook journal is ideal if you've got the muse to write. It's like carrying a personal sanctuary around in your pocket, where you can go whenever you like to talk about anything you like. Keep your more serious writing projects (like a novel) on the internet or in another book; your blank diary is meant for one thing and one thing only: journaling!

A quote from Oscar Wilde that sums up the situation nicely:

"In no circumstance do I leave home without my trusty diary. On the train, one should always have a riveting read at the ready."

Why you should keep a journal in a blank notebook:
It's a blank slate for all of your journaling musings;
You have more room to express yourself in this journal than in any other;
What kind of person would benefit the most from this?
Those who have been unsuccessful in locating a publication that shares their aesthetic preferences;
Individuals who would rather not conform to predetermined rules;
Creative individuals, including writers, may benefit greatly from keeping a journal of some sort;

2. A Record of Our Nightmares

While dreaming, our minds analyze the events of the day, or even longer periods of time, in a highly symbolic, highly personal way. It's always wise to think about our dreams, as they serve as a kind of cinematic reflection of how we see the world. If you're currently in therapy, this can have double significance.

As a result of their length and complexity, dreams are frequently forgotten (though seconds to minutes short in real-time). The dream's logical consistency, emotional tone, etc. all have a role in how long we remember it.

Keeping a journal is an excellent method to keep your dream from fading away. A dream journal near the bed can help you remember more of your nocturnal adventures. Additionally, you may find that your dream recall improves after a period of time during which you have been recording them.

writing in a journal

A dream diary could be a wonderful place to start if you're feeling overwhelmed by the options for journaling.

the advantages of keeping a dream journal
Who Can Benefit Most from This? Better Dream Recall and Analysis
Those in therapy who may benefit from discussing dreams;
People that are serious about self-reflection and would like to incorporate dream interpretation into their reflective approach

3. Journal of Creativity

Don't go anywhere! Please read on; this isn't a special section for artists.

The truth is, everyone may benefit from keeping an art diary to record their thoughts and random sketches, regardless of whether they consider themselves an artist.

You may be wondering, "But how do I keep an art diary if I am not an artist?"

The good news is that you don't have to be an artist to unleash your imagination. Using a pencil, crayon, or anything else with a sheet of paper is a safe way to try out new ideas. There's an ancient Russian proverb that goes something like this: paper takes it all, including 'poor' art!

Taking notes about your experiences at art exhibits like museums, galleries, concerts, and plays is also a lot of fun. Add some visual flair by clipping a photo or ticket to a page. Exciting, huh?

It's also important to note that people with psychotic illnesses can gain a lot from expressing their creativity and keeping an art journal. This is because doing so gives them a sense of liberation, allows them to gain new perspectives, and enables them to express their thoughts and feelings through drawing (when words fail them).

This is one of our favorite types of journals among those presented here.

What's Good About Art Journals
Keeping artistic ideas and energies locked up, remembering significant cultural moments,
For Which People Is This Ideal?
People who suffer from anxiety or depression; people who want to place an emphasis on their mental health; people who want to remember artistic events they attended; artists; people who want to express their creative potential; people who want to express their feelings and emotions without words; people who want to preserve memories of artistic events they attended.

4. A Food Diary

You enjoy to cook, but you never seem to keep any of your recipes in one place.

You want to make paella since it was so delicious when you visited Spain last summer and your Couchsurfing host cooked it for you?

One need not limit themselves to simply gathering recipes when keeping a food journal. The paella you ate and the selfie you snapped with your Spanish host would make great examples.

You can also take your food journal with you to the store to gather all the specific components you need to make a new recipe.

On the other hand, if you're attempting to improve your diet, keeping a food diary can help you plan meals, monitor your water intake, and see how much improvement you've made.

Rewards of Keeping a Food Journal
Organizing one's meals; Saving time and money by storing and sharing recipes and images of delicious food;
Is There a Particular Type of Person It Serves Best?
Anyone looking to improve their diet;
People that are interested in improving their diet and planning ahead for it;
Those who have a passion for cooking and like amassing cookbooks and anecdotes about

5. A Journal of Thanks

Here's a simple step you may do to adopt a more optimistic outlook on life.

Oprah Winfrey is just one of many famous people who keeps a daily appreciation journal. Journaling and taking notes are two of Tim Ferris' go-to stress relievers, focus boosters, and inspiration generators, as he himself has stated. The Five Minute Journal, a curated gratitude journal made for everyone who wants to be happier, is the one he uses.

If you prefer not to keep lengthy journals, this notebook will be perfect for you because it is organized and filled with exercises that will help you improve yourself. Taking a quick five minutes out of your day to reflect on the blessings in your life can have a profound effect.

The fundamental purpose of keeping a gratitude diary is to foster an attitude of thankfulness and happiness, so remember to focus on the bright side.

Children can participate in gratitude journaling, making it a rewarding family activity. For children, there are specially designed notebooks like The Five Minute Journal For Kids that encourage them to keep track of the positive things that happen to them every day and use those experiences to help them grow into happy, satisfied adults.

Learn all the ins and outs of thankfulness journaling by reading this comprehensive tutorial we've put together on our site.

The Positive Effects of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

benefits mental health by encouraging a focus on the bright side of things (even during challenging times)
Lessens tension and worry by encouraging focus on the positive;
Increases your capacity for empathy, which in turn improves your relationships;
Is There a Particular Type of Person It Serves Best?
Those with an interest in improving their well-being, increasing their happiness, and adopting a more optimistic perspective;
Ideal for those who would like to keep a journal but don't have the time to devote to it regularly.

6. To Keep a Reading Diary.


Do you like to read? Do you really prefer staying home on the weekends to read a book instead of socializing? Who knows, maybe you're a member of a book club as well. If you checked yes to both of those questions, we have one question for you: how do you survive without a reading journal?

Writing on what you've read in a journal might help you think critically about what you're taking in. You can use it to keep track of quotes that stood out to you or to jot down your views on the chapters that spoke to you.

You should always bring a reading diary to your book club meetings. When we read, a lot of things happen in our heads at once, and to be honest, we don't remember a lot of them. For this reason, it's a good idea to write down your thoughts in a diary and keep them handy for when you wish to share them with the group.

Goodreads is an online alternative to traditional journal keeping, allowing you to share your thoughts on books, organize your reading list, and peruse the reviews of others. If a diary is something you're interested in, though, here's a video with some tips and a sample entry:

Benefits of Keeping a Journal
collecting and organizing all the quotes you find meaningful and useful;
Maintaining a record of your reading for future reference;
Whenever a book club meeting rolls around, you're always prepared;
Who Should Read It Bookworms;
A group of people who share a love of books and quotations.

7. A Journal of Travel

We think it's impossible to envisage a journey without bringing along a camera. Where exactly do all of these pictures get stored? Facebook? Instagram? Somewhere up there in the cloud?

Remember how, before the invention of the portable camera in the 19th century, individuals had to rely on writing travel memoirs to record their adventures? Do you not find it attractive to explore a new location and record your thoughts on paper? Camping with your sweetheart in the woods and documenting the experience in a travelogue.

Keeping a travel journal is more than just a list of places you went and things you ate. The impression a place leaves on you depends more on how it made you feel, the emotions it evoked, and how it stimulated your five senses. Travelogues are improved by the addition of images and sketches the author has made along the way. You don't need to be a creative type to be moved by an experience you had on your vacation. Tickets, packing lists, essential phone numbers and addresses, must-have items, and even brief dictionaries of foreign words and phrases learnt while traveling abroad can all be useful.

writing in a cute journal
What You Can Learn From Keeping a Travel Journal
You may have fun and be creative while documenting your trip; you can cross off more items on your to-do list (phone numbers, addresses, packing lists, grocery lists, etc.) because everything you need to remember is in one spot;
Who Should Use It? Those who prefer not to rely on their phone's battery life for such details can benefit from writing everything down.
Everyone! Give your trips a particular touch, even if you don't go far or very often.

8. Botanical Journal

If you're a gardening enthusiast with a yard or a balcony garden, this kind of journal can enhance your experience and improve your green thumb.

In fact, it couldn't be easier. Use any old notebook to record your plant information.

There are no hard and fast guidelines for doing this. You can do anything comes to mind: draw out your garden layout, compile a herbarium, track your watering routine, snap photos, document your gardening successes and failures, and so on.

You may track the development of your plants from season to season by adding your own daily, weekly, or monthly observations.

Benefits of Keeping a Garden Journal
Useful for gardeners who want to keep tabs on their plots as the seasons change, as well as those who want to monitor the development of individual plants.
Those who are interested in cultivating their own food supplies.

9. Keep a project notebook.

if you want to chronicle all the great things you've accomplished and look back on them with pride.
If you want to be productive with a work-related project, keeping a project journal can help you break it down into manageable chunks, define clear objectives and deadlines, and document your progress as well as any challenges you encountered along the way.

If you're the crafty, do-it-yourself kind, you may use your project book to document all the neat things you've accomplished, like mending the sink, sewing a blouse, recycling old wooden dishes, and so on.

Although there are no hard and fast guidelines, here are some suggestions:

Include images;
Give details on the resources utilized and the total cost.
Explain how it works;
Describe some of the challenges you faced and the steps you took to overcome them;
Do it yourself project ideas should be written down.
the advantages of keeping a journal
Keeping tabs on what needs to be done at the office or around the house;
Excellent for thinking things through in advance and laying out project-related tasks;
That Which One Is The Best For people whose day-to-day work consists of projects, as well as those whose hobbies involve projects.
If you're serious about building and maintaining a strong and healthy physique, a fitness notebook is an essential companion to your diet journal.

Sort your workouts according to their focus:

Training methods include: long and slow distance runs, tempo runs, strength and stretching workouts, and so on.
You may keep tabs on anything from the number of times you perform an exercise to the total amount of weight you lift to the total duration of your training sessions.

Results from Keeping a Fitness Journal

Documenting your training successes after each session;
Can serve as a powerful incentive (especially on the tough days, when you won't want to break your streak of good behavior in your fitness notebook);
It's ideal for those who are serious about their physical health and fitness;
People who have trouble staying consistent with their workouts; People who are just starting out and could use some pointers and inspiration; People who have a specific fitness goal in mind (such as losing weight, running a certain distance, lifting a certain amount of weight, etc.) and want to work toward that goal.
Eleventh, a Portable Recorder
You may keep your thoughts organized and handy in a pocket journal. You can rely on it whenever you want.

Imagine that you're on the subway and all of a sudden you have a flood of ideas for your project. During a conference, you overhear some extremely relevant information that you'd like to investigate more. One of your coworkers just told a hilarious joke that you want to remember. In that case, get out your pocket journal and jot down the pertinent details as soon as they occur to you.

Due to its compact size, a pocket journal is better suited for brief sessions of writing and taking notes than for more extended writing.

Advantages of Keeping a Pocket Journal
Take notebooks and paper with you everywhere;
To Which Party Do You Give the Award? Those who feel they have a tendency to forget things (perhaps because they have a flood of ideas throughout the day);
People who have a lot on their plates and need to jot things down quickly
Artists of all stripes, such as lyricists, stand-up comics, poets, etc.

When compared to a thanksgiving notebook, this one is more on the negative side. We've established that a thankfulness diary is the place to record the positive experiences and appreciations in your life. In contrast, your private rubbish diary is where you can write about your negative emotions and experiences. As a form of therapeutic release, it can help you deal with stressful situations by releasing pent-up emotions and tension.

filling a journal
A Personal Junk Journal and Its Advantages
For those going through a hard patch or under stress, this is a great way to release pent-up frustrations and resentments.
Thirteenth-Month Pregnancy Record
For the expecting mother and her spouse, pregnancy is an extraordinary experience. Most individuals will look back on their pregnancies with fondness, so why not document the experience?

Even if you don't want to keep a journal for emotional support, there are many practical benefits to keeping one during pregnancy. The fluctuation of your mood is one symptom of the hormonal upheaval. Putting your symptoms and emotions down on paper can help you deal with them.

In addition, your gynecologist may request that you maintain a daily journal of your symptoms, and you may find that you suffer from "pregnancy brain" at this period (having a hard time remembering things due to hormonal disbalance). Thus, keeping a pregnancy journal might serve as a useful tool for remembering important details.

As you prepare to become a mother, you may experience a number of changes in your own self-perception, which can be documented in your diary along with your baby-related fantasies, as well as your plans for the baby's nursery and shower. When the time comes, you can also keep track of the baby's movements, lack thereof, hiccups, turns, Braxton-Hicks, and contractions.

Your birth story is a wonderful way to round out the trip.

A Pregnancy Journal's Values
Monitoring your internal states, including hunger pangs, weight gain or loss, changes in your body, baby's movements, etc.
Keeping a log of your fondest childhood recollections to show your kid someday;
Who Should Use It Expectant mothers and their partners.

Poems in a Magazine

Rather than becoming lost among the myriad poets and their works, why not create your own poetry and rhymes to share with others who share your enthusiasm for the form? Why not establish your personal poetry diary and use it to write down poems that struck you deeply?

Such notes are especially helpful if you belong to a book group that also studies poetry.

There is no reason why a poetry diary can't be paired with another kind of journal.

To add, if you're a poet with a heart, it's helpful to have all of your poetry in one spot where you can discover them quickly and easily.

Poetry Journals: What You Can Expect to Gain
The orderly recording of all the great poetry that have moved you;
Putting your feelings and ideas down on paper so you can revisit them;
Having a collection of your own poetry;
That Which One Is The Best Book lovers, poets, and members of poetry groups.

Cooperative Journal

Keeping a journal does not have to be a solitary pursuit. As you may have guessed, keeping a journal of any kind can help you focus more intently on the topic at hand, which can improve your knowledge and understanding of the subject and pave the way for greater success in the area where you're focusing your journaling efforts.

This also applies to journaling together. If you and your friends keep a journal, you'll have far better interactions with each other. Some instances are as follows:

Keep a family diary to record milestones and milestone events; Keeping a journal with your significant other can do wonders for your relationship. It's a great place to keep track of thoughts and feelings, share stories, set and track goals, and display photos. Similarly, if you and your best friend both keep journals, that's even better. One day, this will be one of your favorite memories.
The project journal, the blank notebook journal, the reading journal, and so on are all suitable for use as group journals.

Journal of Productivity and Efficiency

Do you have a hard time getting things done or prioritizing your workload? It's common to get overly enthused about a new endeavor, only to be left feeling let down when our expectations don't measure up to the reality of the situation.

A productivity notebook can help you set priorities and overcome these obstacles.

For better time management, check out Intelligent Change's Productivity Journal, which is built on the Focused Time Technique. The notebook's minimalistic style and content are meant to help you channel your attention and energy into the most important activities at hand.

The Productivity Planner is used by many successful businesspeople. Our blog has further information about how to make the most of the Productivity Planner.

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The advantages of keeping a productivity journal are manifold: it aids in prioritizing your daily activities, directing your attention toward the most important ones, and maximizing your efficiency.
A fantastic tool for monitoring progress;
Who Should Use It Anyone who suffers from procrastination but would like to increase their output should read this.

A Pray-Rain Journal of the Life I Want to Have

This journal may seem out of the ordinary when compared to others you've seen. Pray-rain journaling is a fascinating experiment that may or may not pan out for you.

Do you ever simply let your mind wander and see what your life could be like if things were different? And how there are times when you're content with the status quo and other times when you wish for a change?

What you do in a pray-rain journal is write about your ideal life as if it were already your reality. It's possible to focus on a single objective, like finally being able to afford your own apartment, and then document your experiences living there in a fictional work. When you originally got it, what was the first accessory you bought for it? Just how is the apartment, exactly? The method you used to paint the walls. Where do you stand emotionally while you're wearing it?

Your target may be more general, such as increasing your productivity or discovering your ideal level of personal space. You then visualize how that operates in various contexts. The "new you" at work: how does it act? What exactly do you tell individuals? What do you do with your time?

Writing as if something is happening now, without any "ifs," is what matters most.

Pray-and-reckon journals can help you better comprehend your aims, as well as the results of your activities and how you feel afterward.
Who Should Use It People who have trouble deciding what they want out of life and who don't give much thought to the consequences of their actions.
Do we really need to define "Finance Journal"?

This form of notebook is probably the most dull, but it's also one of the most important!

Keeping a financial journal can help you avoid the terrifying scenario in which all of your money mysteriously disappears. The best way to stay on top of your money and plan for the future is to keep a finance journal, and everyone eventually needs to deal with this. Although many individuals in the modern world rely on applications for this, you may find it more convenient to use paper and pen when considering your numbers.

Rewards of Maintaining a Financial Diary
Who It's Best For People who have trouble keeping track of their money People who wish to exert more control over their financial situation

Journal of Creative Concepts

The question of whether or not you need a dedicated journal in which to record your thoughts may arise. If you're the creative sort that wants to keep track of all the wacky, smart, useful, amusing, or lucrative thoughts that pop into your mind, a dedicated journal might not be a bad idea.

However, jotting down your thoughts isn't your only option. You may also make lists, upload images, and sketch. Doing so frees your mental bandwidth, allowing you to generate more ideas and approach them with greater originality.

The Value of a Thought Journal
Organizing your thoughts, making it easier to see how your many ideas go together, and stimulating your imagination are all benefits of keeping a creative journal.
Those who need a place to put their thoughts and ideas can benefit from having a blank page to work on.

Letter Record

Keeping a notebook like this can be very healing. Letters aren't just for communicating with others; they may be a tool for introspection as well. Write a letter to your future or fifteen-year-old self in your letter journal. Get in touch with your loved ones by penning a letter to them. Whether or not you ever decide to show it to them is entirely up to you. Writing letters, both to oneself and to others, can be a powerful method for cultivating awareness and introspection, even if the letters are never really sent.

It sounds absurd, but if you try it, you might just have a lightbulb moment.





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