I have always loved the idea of journaling and I have tried to journal many different times in many different ways. To me, a writer, the blank page begs to be filled and that got daunting pretty quick if I felt like I didn’t have enough to fill a page. A while ago I found a way of journaling that works for me and I’ve been journaling for a year and a half now – woot! I love looking at my journals and I look forward to journaling now too.
Here are a few things that help me out:
I break up the page with boxes. The borders can be simple or fancy, but I try to keep boxes close together and fit shapes together. I still want most of the page filled up with writing.
I add color with pens or colored pencils.
I emphasize words by changing the size of the letters or by underlining, adding color, or lines to draw attention. I also use arrows to show direction from one box to another if I need to continue a thought in another box.
I try writing in different styles (I’ve gotten better at this the more I’ve done it and I’ve even learned new ideas as I’ve gone too!)
I add doodles – sometimes they fit what is on the page, sometimes they are there just because I felt like it, sometimes I leave them off because I have a lot to say or don’t feel like doodling a picture.
Here’s a page before I write on it or add color. I have gotten more creative with my box borders – but I save these fancier ones for when I have a little more time. I also add a doodle in a corner frequently, because I like to doodle here and there (I pull my ideas off Pinterest when it comes to doodles). Maybe you aren’t a doodler. Maybe color isn’t your thing – that’s okay. Maybe you love fancy borders or just want to keep it simple. Maybe you like lots of boxes or just a couple large boxes. That’s what make this so fun, it’s all up to what you like. If you are a wannabe doodler like me, I will say that your doodles get better with practice!
As you can see from the page above, rather than trying to write everyday, I often write highlights from the week – this take the pressure off feeling like have to write a page of amazing when there is very little that happened that day. If I have a really awesome exciting day, then I can fill the page. Sometimes I have a big story to tell, so I type it up and tape in an insert with Washi tape (because it is fun & colorful). Sometimes, since I like to do larger doodles once in a while, I’ll tape in a doodle insert.
Sometimes I do fold-out inserts by taping to the edge of the page rather than the inside (but I don’t do these as often)
What do I journal about? Well, from the above you have some idea – I journal a lot of different things.
I journal about daily life in my highlights.
I journal church or other notes.
I journal my scripture study.
Some people like to have separate journals for these, I like to have it thrown all into one place.
I also like to journal lists, because someday maybe someone will read these to learn more about me (like a great-great-grandchild who’s heard stories of crazy grandma J, heh). Here are 3 examples of list ranging from simple words scattered about, to several doodles, to one large doodle incorporating the list. Or you could just make a simple list on your page – I like to get doodle-y with it, but someone else might not.
Well there you have it! A new discovery that has brought me 18 months of joy and hopefully a lot more to come.
Do you journal? I would love to hear about what works/ doesn’t work for you! Post your ideas in the comments!
A final doodle for you that I did in April to remember our Elizabeth who we affectionately called Lizard (or Lizard breath).