A journal is often conflated with a diary. For as much as we love the traditional uses of a diary (Dear Diary, Today was….busy) we’re here to remind you of all the other brilliant ways you can use your blank book. A journal doesn’t have to be something you keep under your pillow, or feel burdened by when you’ve neglected to write in it for the past month. Here are five different ways that your journal can be more than a journal.
Start a Bullet Journal
The benefits of a bullet journal are what we liken to placing a miniature Marie Kondo in your mind. Bullet journals help organize, track, and optimize your work week. In addition to keeping things sectioned off in ways that make your to-do list’s manageable, a journal can also be a place where you can get creative, using colored pencils, markers, stencils, washi tape, and more. Eager to get started? Here is an easy tutorial to show you how.
If you’re ever feeling a general sense of unease, sometimes dropping everything to sketch out what’s in your mind can release pent-up energy. In times of restlessness, words can feel challenging to articulate, so knowing there is space to organize your messy thoughts (pictorially!) can alleviate that feeling of discomfort. Treat yourself to a few colored pens, and the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, sketch out the first patterns, or shapes that come to mind. Want some more inspiration? Check out Betsy Beier’s fun art tutorials for somewhere to start.
Another way to use your journal? Start a travel journal! Pre-order Betsy’s new Wanderlust Journals for an easy (and interactive) way to get started.
Go Offline at Work
Okay, you can’t escape your email box forever…but having a journal where you physically write out your ideas, thoughts, and goals can be a motivating way to stay on task. Taking the time to write out in pen or pencil your aspirations for that next work project can help keep the inspirational gears churning rather than mindlessly typing them out on screen. Ever hear of mind-mapping? Try using this technique the next time you need some fresh ideas.
Create a Gratitude List
So maybe this tip won’t help you with productivity, but it will help with perspective. Keeping a journal that’s sole purpose is to outline who and what you’re grateful for can help reinforce ideas of positivity. Maintaining perspective, especially during times of high stress, is important in developing coping strategies during busy times. Feeling overwhelmed by a work project? Take five minutes during lunch to write out a list of all you have to be grateful for that day. The points in your gratitude journal can be as small as your barista making a heart in your latte to as big as having a boss who is always supportive of your ideas. Anything goes in your gratitude list, and it’s a gentle reminder that there is more good in the world than we give credit to.
Write a Novel....
Having a dedicated journal for your writing projects helps keep your thoughts organized. Treat this as a blank slate, no one is looking at it but you so let your creativity run wild. A journal with numbered pages and a place to create a table of contents will help you find past entries and organize them into drafts. Having a space that is structured enough to build on is a brilliant first step in writing that project you’ve been too scared to start.
Don’t have a journal? We’ve got you covered! Launching soon are our NEW and improved, vegan leather flexi-bound dot grid journals. In stunning new colors, these journals make the perfect gift…or gratitude journal for yourself. Order yours today.
What else do you use your journal for? Tag us on social media @westmarginpress to show us all your own doodles! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog! Like cookbook author and chef, Alicia Wolf’s oh-so-yummy gluten-free Queso Dip!
You can preorder her new book, The Dizzy Cook now!