10 ways to avoid keeping a boring journal

I view my blog as my journal. But let’s face it, I don’t have time to write a diary or journal alongside that. I don’t find enough time to read at the moment, so adding another piece of writing isn’t going to free up my time.

But journaling is growing in popularity again and no wonder given the beautiful notebooks and diaries that are now available from places like Paper Blanks, The Journal Shop or Amazon* (affiliate link).

My experience of writing diaries in the past, was as my teenage self, writing about unrequited love and what I did at school. Hardly the deep, emotional, passionate writing that many people diarise. For me blogging works and I love writing it. But if a blog is too much hard work for you – because they aren’t a walk in the park if you want to have other people read it – then why not try another type of journaling.

“Definition: Journal – a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary”

There’s so many different ways to journal, and so many formats both on and offline, it shows that a diary or journal doesn’t have to be a boring couple of lines written in a ‘week to view’ calendar style diary. Here’s some ideas for journaling ranging from the traditional to creative.


Types of journals (and who they suit)

1, Keep a diary

A diary can range from simply keeping a record of what you do each day through to your personal thoughts and more narrative about it. You can use a blank notebook, or more usually a dated diary of varying size and format. Diary journaling is great for everyone, from children to adults.

2, Bullet journal

There’s a big trend for bullet journals at the moment. If you’re a fan of lists then bullet journaling is probably for you. And it’s a chance to pretty up and decorate your journal as well. Great for creative as well as those who like to know what they’re doing when and how.

3, A story or poem a day

If you’re yearning to one day write a book, then why not try creative writing each day, turning your thoughts into prose. They say you have to write to become a writer, and it takes practice so building the habit will help towards your goal.

4, Photo journal

You might want to print out photos of your day and make scrapbooks or albums, or create an online photography journal. For online versions why not join in with Project 365/366 on Instagram, flickr or start a website for your photos.

5, A blog

If you want to make your thoughts public and have others read them, then a blog is a great way to journal. You can write as often or as little as you want, and you can even make it private if you just want to keep your online journal to yourself. Blogs are perfect if you want to get involved with an online community.


6, Journal of quotes

Instead of simply writing what you’ve done and your thoughts, why not note down quotes of the day alongside or instead of. These could be your daily mantras, quotes your children have said, or even quotes you’ve heard/seen from others. A year later you could look back and see your mood and activities for each day of the year.

7, Journal by numbers

You could have a theme to your journal. So choose a number and each time you write you have that many points. For example, 3 positives of each day, or 4 times you laughed, or even a top 5 or 10 list each day. If you’re an ordered person, or someone who likes a prompt, it may get you started writing each time.

8, Doodle journal

If you’re artistic why not draw your journal instead of write. You could draw a comic strip each day, or just doodle around the words. Not only will you be able to write freely, but it’s a great way of being creative and taking more time out of your day to relax.

9, Mind map it

Mind-mapping sounds more like a work diagram, but if you’re the type of person who is visual and who finds it hard to order your thoughts when writing them down, then a mind map could be for you. Simply start with your day in the middle, then add lines and captions out from it for each thought or activity.

10, Word cloud

Similar to mind-mapping, a word cloud is a great way to capture your thoughts through words. You don’t even have to be good at writing, just able to put your thoughts onto paper – either written or through a computer programme which you could then download or print out to add to a journal. By the end of a year, you’ll see the main words that are important to you keep cropping up, or things that may have worried you.

So, there’s my 10 alternative ways to avoid having a boring journal.

What type of journaling do you do if any? Are you planning on starting one?


Why not take a look at these similar posts.

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  1. I used to write a diary and then that became my blog. I don’t have time to do both and also don’t feel the need for both. I love doing a photo album of the girls each year, otherwise I just never print photos. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I know what you mean about photos. I’ve done 3 years worth, but haven’t got round to the last 2 years. It just takes too long for me to upload online photos and I’m always too last minutes with the offers I have.

  2. Great post. I’m a big fan of bullet journaling but I’m a bit haphazard with it, especially since blogging x

  3. I don’t keep a journal these days as I view my blog in that way, but I used to love a scrapbook to collect memories – photos, leaflets, sketches. I always used to love looking back, particularly over holiday ones – so many wonderful memories! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. I have clear memories of sitting with my grandmother while she wrote her daily diary. She would always start with a weather report in red pen before completing the rest in blue. I always thought it was hilarious! #SharingTheBlogLove

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