You may have noticed that one notebook is missing from my list of ten notebooks I’m currently using: a journal (my bullet journal only functions as a planner). I’ve been struggling to keep one recently, and thus I’ve been thinking a lot about different ways to approach journaling and make it more feasible for myself.

Today I’ll share the seven different shapes a journal can take that I have gathered over the past few months. They all take various amounts of time, effort and creativity— I’d say there’s a good chance at least one of them will suit your needs

If you’re not looking for a whole new kind of journal but only want some tips for writing in your current one, my post on Three Unwritten Journaling Rules To Ditch may help.


1. Micro Journaling

In this video Ariel Bissett explains her idea for micro journaling. She explains that she has always found it hard to keep a journal, but that she still enjoys having a little overview of what she did at a certain time in her life. Her solution: she’s bought a small notebook of monthly calendars in which she makes brief notes of what she’s been up to.

qanda2. A One-Line-A-Day journal.

If you want to write something short but Ariel’s micro journaling idea seems a bit too restrictive to you, a one-line-a-day journal might be the answer. If you’re struggling to find something to write about, you might like the Q&A a day version. I completed one a few years ago (I am SO proud) and it is a lot of fun to look back on because it asks questions that I would never have thought of answering myself.

3. Taking a Photo Every Day

My aunt has an app where she takes a picture every day and is shown the picture for that day last year in return, sort of like the ‘on this day’ feature from Facebook, only private. It just takes a few seconds and makes a very nice keepsake. I have also seen several apps out there that combine your pictures into a short video at the end of the year.

(I’m not recommending anything specific to you because I don’t have any experience with this, but a quick appstore search yields more than ten relevant results so I’m sure you’ll find something good).

4. A Picture Diary

Is a digital diary not your thing? You can draw a picture in a notebook every day, or (for the less skilled among us) cut out a picture from a magazine for each day and paste it in. Perhaps you want to add a few words on what it means to you, or maybe you won’t. Your choice.


5. Art Journaling

One level up from the picture journal is the art journal. Honestly, I don’t think I would be able to keep something so creative and time intensive up for a long time, but perhaps you could? Either way, the results look amazing. I’m a big fan of the ‘Journal with me’ videos by Katherine’s Reads on Youtube, so I’m referring you to her for advice on starting an art journal/ smash book.

6. Writing For The Flames

Who says that you have to journal for posterity? When I’m really angry or upset it often helps to write down all of the insults I would like throw at someone’s head, but I’d rather not soil my diary with them. I’ll write it on a piece of paper and rip it up. This helps me let go of my anger and also saves me from igniting again when I read it over later.

7. A Journal That Is Topic Specific

book journal

I mentioned my reading journal in my notebooks post already, but the more I use it the more I notice how much fun it is to track one specific thing in my life. It can be a real comfort not to have to go into the stress of my day-to-day life in a journal but instead focus on something that makes me very happy. (In my case reading books, obvs.) I also add small personal anecdotes on how I got the book or where I read it to my reviews, thus making the journal extra personal. My idea for a reading journal came from Simone And Her Books.

That brings us to the end of my list. What does your journal look like? Do any of these methods appeal to you? Let’s have a chat in the comments!


2 thoughts on “7 Alternative Journaling Formats To Try

  1. Oooh I love these ideas! I don’t really journal, but I do keep track of books I’ve read and I really like the idea of adding a blurb on how I got it or why I chose it! I mostly use my bullet journal as a planner too, and that includes a calendar which I can use to look back and see all the big things I did. I also post a ton of pictures on FB which is kind of like a picture journal 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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