Any type of journal that you keep can be beneficial. It doesn’t matter if it’s just to document your life or to work through problems - you can use a journal to do it all. From tracking your projects to documenting vacation to overcoming anxiety, a journal will work for you if you pick the right type and make journaling a ritual.
1. Find the Right Medium for You
For some people, that’s pen and paper. Many experts claim that’s the best way because of its simplicity. However, you have to do what works for you, and what works for you is what you will do daily. If you make it too hard, you won’t do it.
2. Turn Journaling Daily into a Habit
To be most effective, journaling has to go on for a long time. It’s a long-term strategy to improve your life and not something that is going to have any effect overnight. For this reason, ritualize your journaling so that it becomes a daily habit.
3. Set Up a Comfy Journaling Spot
Find a good space you can journal in each day, one which is relaxing and without stress. Some people like to keep their journal by their bedside so that each night when they get into bed, they can quickly write in their journals.
4. Choose the Right Style of Journal for Your Needs
The type of journal you want to keep depends on how you plan to use it. You may want to track a project, in which case you’ll need a project journal. If you want to simply document your life, you’d want a classic journal.
5. Use Your Journal to Work Through Life and Reach Goals
Don’t just write in the journal; actively seek to improve something in your life - whether it’s the thoughts which drive your feelings or improving your actions so that you experience more success.
6. Consider Using More Than Writing to Document Your Life
You don’t need to just use text. You can use images, pictures, tickets, and other memories inside your journal too. Sometimes a few pictures and mementos mean more than anything you can write to help you remember.
7. Read and Reflect Occasionally
Take at least a few minutes to re-read parts of your journal. Once you’ve kept it for a year, it’s fun to go back and read the same day from last year to find out what’s different now and what’s the same and why.
8. Keep Your Journal Secure
You don’t want to worry about anyone getting into your private business when you’re not around, so keep it hidden. If it’s on your computer, keep it password protected.
If you know why you want to journal, it’ll be easier to figure out which type of journal you need to keep to make your journaling more effective. Sometimes you just want to document your life, while other times you want to work through something difficult. It really depends on your goals and the point of the journal.