10 Different Types Of Journaling & Which Writing Type is Right for You

There are many different types of journaling, and finding the right one for you will take time. Find out which type suits you best here.

Did you know that journaling provides several mental health benefits, like relieving anxiety and stress levels? That’s why it is one of the top strategies therapists recommend for patients who experience depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Journaling provides an outlet for people to re-route their negative thoughts and turn them into positive action. It can also help you stay more organized when work or school starts to pile up.

If you aren’t sure if journaling is right for you, you might want to look into the different types of journaling out there. Keep reading our informative guide to the top ten ways to keep a journal. 

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1. Bullet Journal

One of the most popular journaling methods is the bullet journal. Thanks to social media, this kind of journaling skyrocketed to one of the top creative outlets shared on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

You have probably seen one of these pictures at some point. They are usually on a dotted or blank page and look like a planner with cute doodles. A bullet journal serves as a self-made planner, but you can add much more to it if you want.

To start, you lay out your week with days and bullet points for your tasks. Many people take the time to use fine-tipped artist pens to ink pictures and borders around the page.

Others like to use stickers or found objects like magazine clippings to give their bullet journal a pop of style. The beauty of this type of journaling is it is completely your design. No bullet journal looks the same because they are physical expressions of our minds and creativity. 

As a friendly reminder, do not stress yourself out over making it super elaborate. In the age of social media, it is easy to get lost in the void of perfection.

We want to make everything look post-worthy and won’t settle for less than that. If you can achieve that without agitation, then go for it! However, some people try to bullet journal to relieve stress but stress themselves out because they don’t think it is perfect.

That is defeating the purpose! If your journal doesn’t quite look like everyone else’s, that is okay.

Don’t be shy. You can always join a community and share your journal. The beauty of your notebook is that it is uniquely you. 

Related Read: 10+ Best Journaling Tips and Advice to Get You Started or Unstuck

2. Calendar Journaling

Calendar, or planner, journaling is less about your thoughts and more about keeping track of your day-to-day activities. In one of these journals, you can do what you did in the bullet version.

Write down every day of the week, and list your tasks underneath. What makes this different than a planner is that you make it instead of a manufacturer.

That gives you free rein to write and add whatever information you need. We have all bought planners from the store only to be frustrated when there isn’t enough space for our schedule or notes. Calendar journaling lets you do whatever you want with the space provided because you designate what goes where. 

Many people turn to calendar journaling when they feel their life is out of control. Some cannot process long lists of tasks in their mind and have to see them written out on the page, or else it doesn’t get done.

Calendar journals can also help organize larger thoughts other than house chores and grocery items. If you have plans for short and long-term goals, jot it down as a bullet-pointed list. Physically seeing your ideas has a way of making them come to fruition and forcing us to act on the promises we make to ourselves. 

3. Meditation Journaling

Meditating is an act that some people implement to initiate mindfulness and reduce stress. Some have found that combining journaling and meditation allows them to self-actualize.

It is almost as if you are studying yourself and discovering brand new things about the way you think. If you meditate often, you might want to give this journaling method a go.

Note that it works best once you enter a meditative state. That rages from person to person, so only you will know if you have achieved that point or not.

Once you have, open your journal and write down whatever you think about at the moment. Journaling is a key to unlocking the varying layers of your mind and soul. The wisdom and thoughtfulness that come out of these moments may be extraordinary. 

Related Read: How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 15 Strategies to Follow

4. Video Journaling

Maybe writing your thoughts down isn’t for you. After all, not all of us are good at expressing our thoughts on paper or have legible handwriting. If that is the case, then maybe you want to try out video journaling, a method that might be one of the best therapeutic devices you ever use. 

After all, we all feel better when we vent to someone, right? Well, video journaling combines that vent session with a journaling outlet. 

All you have to do is turn on your webcam or phone camera and position it where you can see yourself. Hit record, and start talking about whatever you may need to express or get off your chest.

Once you finish, you can save the video in a file on your computer. You may choose to keep it private or post it to social media. That last one may seem like a strange concept at first. The internet is full of video journal entries that have gone viral.

Of course, it is critical to keep in mind that going viral nowadays is nearly impossible. If you feel your video’s topic has something meaningful to say that others can connect with, then go ahead and post it. Only if you want to, of course! 

5. Creative Journaling

Studies show that people who write for about 20 minutes two to five times per week have a lower risk of developing heart disease. That’s where creative journaling comes in.

It is exactly how it sounds, writing creatively. That can mean several different things to people. Some people use these journals to write poetry, while others write short stories or flash fiction.

Of course, you can write all of that on a word processor on your computer. But some people feel their creativity flourishes without the annoyance of a system adding in red, yellow, and blue lines to tell them what they should fix.

By handwriting pieces, you can forget about editing and let your creativity flow naturally. Plus, if your written works are good enough, you can also enter them into writing contests or use them to apply for scholarships!

Related Read: 10+ Inspiring Journaling Prompts and Ideas to Get the Gears Turning

6. Travel Journaling

If you are someone who enjoys traveling, a travel journal may be for you. These are wonderful for documenting your trips. You can add in things like:

  • Plane/train/bus tickets
  • Concert tickets
  • Playbills
  • Coffee sleeves 
  • Flowers
  • Food wrappings 
  • Stickers
  • Brochures
  • Pictures

You can also use the journal to write down a list of things to pack or your travel itinerary. No matter how you use it, a travel journal is a wonderful way to document your trip, so you never forget it. 

7. Gratitude Journaling

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), writing down everything you are thankful for can make someone feel more content in their life. Open it up every morning or night and write down a list of all the things for which you are grateful.

We tend to get lost in the chaos of our daily lives. Because of this, we lose sight of what matters. A gratitude journal can remind you of how blessed a life you have. 

Related Read: How to Build Resilience (and Sustain It!) in 5 Easy Steps

8. Food Journaling

People who use food journals are the ones who live for food and going out to new restaurants. If you like exploring and trying new things, you can document it in your notebook.

These are effective because they will combine the therapy of writing with something useful. You won’t forget which restaurant you adore and that you don’t like. These are also great to take on trips since we all eat more when traveling. 

9. Garden Journaling

Do you keep a garden? If so, then garden journaling would help you keep track of your plants and their care.

You can write down everything from their growth progress to their watering schedule. Not to mention that you can fill it with cute doodles of plants or cover it in stickers!

10. Field Journaling

This one is for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Whether you hike or go for walks on nature trails, field journaling allows you to document the nature around you. You can sit down and sketch birds or plants while noting what types of bird calls you can hear. 

For More Types of Journaling and Other Life Tips

As you can tell, there is more than one way to journal. The hobby has expanded well beyond scribbling in a lock and key diary. Now, people keep video journals and create bullet planners.

You don’t even have to journal about your thoughts and feelings, either. You can carry a notebook to talk about your favorite things like plants, animals, or whatever you may fancy!

We hope this article helps you decide what types of journaling best suit you. If you enjoyed this article, and want to join a community of like-minded people who share your interests, then be sure to sign up and join Goodwall today!

Related Read: 25 Small Acts You Can Do to Have a Great Impact

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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