How to Start a Journal by Helen Colebrook

Who would have thought that some paper and a pen or two could lead to being a better organised, more efficient, more creative, happier you? Well, for many people, that's exactly what they've achieved. It's just taken a little time and thought, and some inexpensive purchases. Sounds like magic, but it's not. It's journaling.

Who better to show how to get started on the journey to being your better self than Helen Colebrook, the Queen of Journaling and the talent behind @journalwithpurpose? With well over 70,000 followers on Instagram, a range of informative classes on Skillshare and a book out to boot, Helen is a journaler extraordinaire and an enormously good egg. Over to you, Helen…

The number of people keeping a journal has been on the rise for some time now, but never more so than in recent weeks. One of the most common questions that people ask, is “How do I start?” Whilst there are absolutely no rules when it comes to keeping a journal, we thought it might be useful to look further into the world of journaling and outline some of the wonderful options you could consider.

In this blog post, we are going to look at the different types of journals you could keep, plus how to develop a journaling routine and explore topics that you might want to write about.

Daily Memory Keeping

What Sort of Journals are There?

Daily Memory Keeping

In this type of journal, you simply jot down a few lines at the end of each day, recording anything of note that happened, along with how you are feeling, if you fancy it. This type of journal can also be a great place to get creative, and you can also stick in things like tickets and photos.

Free Flow Journal

This can be a really therapeutic form of journaling, where you let all of your thoughts flow out onto paper. The aim is to pay attention to your thoughts and write them down, without letting yourself filter them in any way, or trying to “correct” them. It’s a great way to get to know yourself better by unburdening yourself of your thoughts and becoming more aware of some of the things floating around in your mind. It can also be a great decision-making tool as you work through any problems. Perhaps start with 15 minutes of uninterrupted writing and see where it takes you.

Journaling

Planning and Organising

Bullet Journaling has been around for a fair few years now and is a great tool for organising all of your tasks, setting goals, monitoring your progress and even tracking healthy habits. You can keep a minimalist-style bullet journal, or go all out with creative decoration. If you are interested in starting a bullet journal, then it would be a great idea to take a look at the official Bullet Journal website.


Daily Memory Keeping

Art Journal

If getting messy is your thing, then an art journal might be the right one for you. Rather than lots of words, you get to express yourself through colour, images and texture. You will need a few basic supplies, but by creating collage pages from magazines and newspapers you could probably get started right away.


Daily Memory Keeping

Creative Journal

Creative journals are often used to write about a particular topic, quote or moment. Whilst writing remains a key element, there is lots of space to use washi tape, different coloured inks, dried flowers, tickets, receipts and even wax seals if you wish.

Developing a Routine

Like all new habits, getting used to documenting in your journal can take a little time. Before beginning, it’s worth thinking about when you are most likely to get some quiet time to yourself and making a commitment to put aside a little of that time to spend with your journal.

In an ideal world, you would probably spend a little time writing in your journal first thing each morning, by setting your intentions for the day. You would then take a few moments to reflect each evening, by writing down the things that happened and how you are feeling. However, the important thing is that you pick the time of day which is most suitable for you.

What to Write About?

If you’re worried that your life isn’t interesting enough to write about, then it’s time to think again! There are a huge number of topics that you could write about and your perspective on the world is completely unique to you. Here are some possible topics to get you started:

  • What are your biggest hopes and dreams for the future?
  • Are there any parts of your life that you would like to improve? How could you do that?
  • What things are you most grateful for in life?
  • What are your favourite quotes, lyrics or poems? How do they make you feel?
  • Who has had the most impact on your life and why?
  • What activities make you feel most alive? How can you bring more of that into your life?

I really hope that you feel inspired to start your own journal. There are so many benefits associated with it, which you can read more about here.

Not only do you get the pleasure and relaxation that comes from keeping a journal, they will also make fascinating reading in the years to come.

Here are some other Journal Blogs which you might find useful:

24 April 2020


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