Hi everyone! I am back with a much anticipated, long-awaited journaling post! This post will be an update on my previous posts A Guide to Journaling for Beginners and All About JOURNALING, seeing as my journaling habits have changed quite a bit since both blog posts were published 🙂
In today’s post, I will be addressing five questions that I get asked often on social media! I’m sure I will miss out on something, but I will try my best to cover everything I can 🙂
What journal do I use?
My journal is from Buddybooks, which is a local online notebook specialist store based in Indonesia. The design on my hardcover journal is “TEXTURE 03” in A5 (14 x 21 cm) with lined pages + a mini planner section.
It has a built in bookmark, a built-in rubber binding that allows you to close and open the journal, and paper pouch at the other end of the inside cover, which is perfect for storing paper trinkets! The journal also consists of 2 square grid pages, a 24-page calendar (with each month taking two whole pages), 2 whole pages of a “weekly schedule” section (that includes the days of the week), 2 whole pages of a “bucket list” section, and 162 lined pages. Total pages in the journal: 192
What do I write in my journal?
This is a question I get asked almost everyday! A lot of my posts consist of my opened journal, which contain different things in different pictures! Here is a list of things I include in my journal:
A N E C D O T E S
This could be in any form of daily prompts such as random encounters (this sounds like a silly one, but you never know what/who you might come across doing day to day things!), rants, a spiel on something overwhelming that has happened lately (which could be a number of things from getting a really high mark on your exam, a plot twist that has been haunting you, reading an amazing book, meeting a new friend, getting a new puppy, the list goes on!). Anything life-related that you can think of fits in this category!
Q U O T E S
I love to write out my favorite quotes from books, saved Instagram posts with beautiful captions, and general inspiration from speakers and videos I watch and listen to.
B L O G P O S T D R A F TS
A huge chunk of the pages in my journal is filled with blog post drafts that are written before they go up on my blog. These can include book reviews (+ the planning process that goes into writing them), “How-To” guides, and almost every other post that you see on my blog!
I D E A S F O R C O N T E N T
This is one I’ve been doing quite recently (more on why later) and it basically resembles a word vomit. Literally anything that comes up in my head at any moment, I *try* to write in my journal. In a nutshell, anything that serves as (or could become) potential content for my blog and/or Instagram can be found within these pages! It’s a little hard to explain it any further, so I’ll just put up some examples here!
L Y R I C S
This used to be a ~huge~ one, but I’ve only done this a couple of times ever since starting my 2019 journal. Basically when I have a song that’s stuck in my head (and genuinely has beautiful lyrics), I jot it down in my journal!
Why do I keep a journal and write about all these things?
It’s so easy to get lost in technology these days. I run the google maps app on my phone for directions and somehow end up on Youtube scrolling through my subscriptions. I go on Instagram for H O U R S, scrolling through my feed and getting lost in the mindlessness. It literally takes just one Insta story to catch my guard off. Ironically, it’s too inefficient and problematic to rely on my phone in most occasions – so this is where I turn to the old school method of putting everything down on pen and paper! Of course, in saying this, you don’t turn to your journal for every single thing. I don’t think it’s very efficient to always have to rely on your journal either. Think of it as an alternative to organise your life and habits better!
People journal for different reasons. Personally, I find that it helps keep things organised, is therapeutic, and is definitely good for my health. I write lengthy anecdotes (which probably shouldn’t even be called anecdotes anymore..) to clear my mind, and having this space to write with no filter is, as it turns out, so helpful and beneficial for my mental health. My mind is always in utter chaos, so making time to sort those nasty thoughts out is so, so important for me. Writing down my negative thoughts on paper (where they are physical and real) makes me face my problems head-on and clears this haze that so often fogs my mind. It’s like taking a run, except your hands are the one doing the work!
Beyond the personal association of my anecdotes are the likes of my creativity! In other words, there’s more to just angst in my journal xD I love to jot down some quotes and lyrics that inspire me to create. These quotes can be from an Instagram caption (Thought Catalog is a good one. I have a TON of their pictures save because I LOVE going back to their captions), or books that I’ve read! If you can’t tell already, words are a thing of magic that fuels my inspiration ❤ This is also why I like to draft my blog posts and jot down any ideas I have on my journal prior to publishing them (rather than have a rough draft saved electronically), because I find that writing by hand initiates more creative drive! The only downside to this is that it takes so much more time. But I’m happy with that! My blog post actually has more thought when I write them down, and I definitely prefer quality over quantity by a mile!
With regards to the post-it notes you guys always see in my journal, they are there as guides and are helpful for planning out my posts and writing down key pointers of what my blog post would/should consist of! Sometimes when I do not have the time to write the whole draft out, I like to start by highlighting the important bits of the draft on these post-its (so I can have something to reference back to when I actually have the time to sit down and create content). It’s easy to lose track of my thoughts when I handwrite my drafts, which is why post-it notes are almost always on in my journal. They help organise my thoughts so well!
Any tips on getting into the habit of journaling?
Fit it into your routine any way you can – before bed, in the morning before heading out, during your commute… if you really want to start the habit of journaling, obviously you will need to sacrifice some of your time doing other things. For example, my nights are only reserved for anything I do for myself (nothing school/work related, just some me-time with a book, a movie, youtube, etc).
You cannot possibly do everything you want in one night. You need balance! Prioritise what you want to get done and when you want it done. It is also important to remember that you should only journal when you want to. You might want to make journaling a routine, but you can’t force yourself onto doing something if you don’t actually want to do it. If you’re lethargic after a long day of work/school, it’d be wise to stay in bed and do something less “physical” instead of whipping out your journal and furiously writing (unless this is something you do to feel less sluggish, then by all means journal! 🙂 ). Personally I need to have the physical energy to sit by a desk, get comfortable, and then start journaling. Unfortunately, that physical energy can sometimes be very demanding. I mean, there are days where this seems impossible to do! All of you wanting to pick up this routine will have those days. You will have l o t s of them. But it’s better this way so journaling won’t seem like a chore to you.
Bottomline, try to find something you enjoy writing about. This will give you that extra, much needed kick to journal more often! Squeezing some time in for journaling can be a little hard at first (especially when you don’t know what you want to write about in your journal), but experimenting helps! Inspiration is a good way to fuel that drive too. Pinterest have the most beautiful journal posts (so do Instagram and Tumblr!). I highly recommend scrolling through these apps and saving some that makes you feel creative and inspired ❤ It will really help!
Why should I journal?
It’s bittersweet, fun, and most importantly, you become your own inspiration! It’s a little narcissistic to say, but when you look back to those filled pages with your messy scrawls, you will remember the moment you wrote it. It takes you back, and the nostalgic factor will inspire you to write more.
I do not mean this lightly: Make your journal yours. Only then will you find the reason why you journal. Whatever ideas you have in mind for your journal, go for it. There are no rules to journaling, and the only thing that applies is that the journal should reflect you. Besides, you are only really journaling when you’re having fun with it.
Journaling also allows you to absorb the present moment and appreciate life more. Bringing your journal wherever you go, wanting to grab it out of your messenger bag while on the train, itching to write while sitting in a cafe drinking coffee than has been bathing in the light at golden hour… that’s when you truly understand that journaling makes you feel and think more. This may super glorified, but once you get into this habit, you will find the need to go out in the rain, walk/ride the bus to your favorite cafe, order a coffee/hot chocolate and spend time writing. The fact that I go out of my comfort zone to do all this alone says a lot! I find magic in journaling (especially in the right environment), which is so important because it puts you in the best mood to write your thoughts out and clear your mind.
I hope I did not miss anything out. If there is anything I did not quite cover very well, please let me know! Otherwise, I hope this guide is somewhat helpful to all of you wanting to start a journaling journey!