Make a Template for Your Journal

Sometimes the hardest part of journaling is staring at a blank page and not knowing what to write about.

Create a template that you follow every day. Maybe that’s writing three things you’re grateful for every day, or asking yourself a question each day, like “What can I do to make tomorrow better than today?” If it’s helpful, you can create printable journaling “worksheets” that lay out the activities you’ve promised yourself to do.

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Find Fun Prompts for Your Journal

Find a bunch of interesting prompts that you’re excited to write about, and then spend each day journaling on a different one.

Search for “journaling prompts” and start collecting your favorites. Compile them all in a Word document or on the first page of your journal and work your way down the list.

Don’t Use Full Sentences

Feel free to have your journal as disjointed as you want.

Leo Babatua of ZenHabits says he only writes his journal in bullet points; just three to six per day. By making it this easy, he says it’s much more attainable for him to keep it up.

Journaling Before You Get Out of Bed

Try grabbing your notebook as soon as your alarm goes off and writing for a few minutes before your feet even hit the ground.

This way you know it will get done, and the activity first thing in the morning may help wake your brain up.

While many people recommend journaling in a physical notebook to give your brain a break from screens, if you’re having a hard time keeping up that practice, you can try using an app that you can whip out when you have an extra moment in the day.

Journaling on a Calendar

Instead of getting a notebook to journal in, get a (large) desk calendar or date book, and then just challenge yourself to write a sentence or two every day, on that day.

This small amount of writing a day feels attainable. By writing it on a calendar, it’s very obvious when you’ve missed a day.

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I've tried traditional paper-based journals, a password protected file on my computer and even journaling apps. I've kept journals about my personal life, professional life and even my business. So what should you do?

Both digital and paper-based journals are useful. With digital journals, you can search old entries and never worry about losing anything. With paper-based journals, you're less likely to be distracted from your practice by notifications or social media. I recommend trying both for a week or so and then using what works for you.

Labeling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events, both natural outcomes of journaling, have a known positive effect on people, and are often incorporated into traditional talk therapy.

Keeping a journal helps to organize an event in our mind, and make sense of trauma. 

Your first notebook will be your learning notebook. Like any productivity method, it will take time to find a bullet journaling flow and structure that works for you. 

Any creative endeavor involves letting go of perfection. Bullet journaling is no different. Make a mess.

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