My Journal [2020]

Hi friends! I’m back with another very requested blog post, and that’s all about journaling! I’ve put up two journal related posts in the past (#1), (#2), but I just wanted to touch up on some new points (and even some old ones that I get asked about a lot) since getting a new journal this year!

Feel free to also scroll through the journaling category of my blog to see my journaling history πŸ™‚

Now let’s just jump straight into the post!

What journal do you use?

My journal is from! I found this company at an art event late 2019, and when I picked up their journals I knew immediately that I had to have it! Plus, they had the option of embossing your name on the journal, which makes it so much more special!

This one’s the A5 Beige Lined Notebook with glossy gold foil initials! I love it SO much. I’m not actually too particular with notebooks, so as long as they’re A5, ruled, and is in great quality, I’m sold! is a Jakarta based stationery store, but I believe they ship their products worldwide! πŸ™‚

What do you write about?

I get this question almost daily, and the answer to that is personal entries! What I mean by entries is an update/reflection about anything personal. For example, I like to write a reflection whenever I have overwhelming days (i.e. feelings of frustration, love, sadness, happiness) to assess my thoughts. Being a blogger, I also write lots of ideas and blog post drafts in my journal πŸ™‚

How many journals do you own?

I’m interpreting this question in two different ways πŸ™‚

1. I own lots of different journals and notebooks, but I only actively use two, one of which is a planner. The one journal I use is my main personal one, and I make content + write personal entries in there. I don’t really find the need to have separate journals for different things since it’s actually easier for me to access everything in one place. The planner I use is actually a Moleskine pocket notebook! It’s small and handy, which makes it great for me to slip into my school bag!

2. I own 4 journals altogether (include my current one)! I’ve been journaling ever since 2016 and have kept all three of them with me. I did decide in 2019 to leave one of my journals to a special someone, but I will probably have it back one day πŸ™‚ I cannot imagine throwing out any of my journals, even if they hold some of the most haunting memories. Journals are special that way. It’s tangible growth, which is personally something that’s really special and significant to me.

Do you journal everyday? If so, how do you find the time?

I do not journal everyday πŸ™‚ It’s a misconception that people often get because my feed is just filled with journal pages! I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but lots of those pages you see on my Instagram posts are actually recycled. It’s one thing to LOVE how written pages look, but another to completely fill up two pages every day for the sake of a pretty picture. I do create lots of content through my journals, which subconsciously makes me journal more often than not (though not everyday).

Bottomline, I only journal when I feel like it. There is just no point in journaling when you’re literally forcing yourself to do it. It’s a choice of habit, not a forced one. It’ll only benefit you if you let yourself willingly pick up the lifestyle.

When it comes to making time for journaling, prioritise!!!! Something people are unaware of is that journaling does NOT have to take a huge chunk of your time. It takes me about 15 minutes on average to complete a personal entry. The only struggle with journaling is the stronger need to do something else instead of it (i.e. watching netflix, youtube, etc). If it’s really hard for you to schedule some time for journaling, I suggest doing it first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed (depending on your schedule) πŸ™‚ I personally like to journal in the morning because I find that I’m more reflective the moment I wake up and have my coffee/tea.

If you’re finding it difficult to write in general, try to stir up a prompt that revolves around your live. Think about your goals. What do you wish to achieve? What are you most looking forward to in the future? Do you have any plans moving forward? Maybe even write down some of the things that inspire you. Anything that comes to mind, just write it! It feels amazing to be able to pour out your thoughts. Writing in a diary just hits differently!

What are on those post-it notes in your journal?

I use post-it notes whenever I’m drafting out a new blog post! This could be a book review, a how-to/guide, or some other book-related/lifestyle themed post. When it comes to book reviews, I usually have post-it notes ready from the books that I’ve annotated, so I just take them out of the book and stick them into my journal. They are the perfect references to writing a book review because whatever I wrote on those post-it notes are honest thoughts that are as fresh as they can be, which act as amazing guides when I’m writing my book reviews.

When i’m drafting out a blog post that is NOT a book review though, I like to write out the important points (basically the main ideas that I CANNOT forget to include) on those post-it notes πŸ™‚

What pens do you use?

I use ballpoint pens! The funny thing about my pens is that most of them were found/given for free from events and huge corporations like hotels. Any pen I can get, wherever they come from, I keep them! I don’t use a specific brand, but I can tell you that I only use ballpoint pens when I write in my journal and planner. I’m not sure why I prefer it over gel pens. Perhaps it’s because they don’t smear? Nonetheless, I suggest keeping an eye out for free pens and keeping them if you can! Most people just toss them away, but some of them have the thickest most darkest black ink that looks so GOOD on journal pages! xD

Do you write your blog posts by hand before publishing them online?

Indeed I do πŸ™‚ I know it may seem like a huge pain in the neck (and not to mention a waste of time), but I just love to write out my fresh ideas on paper prior to typing them out. Not only does it distract me less from the internet and keeps me way more focused when planning for a blog post, I love the way my pages look when they’re filled with words and scribbles. There’s just something so prominent about written pages. I hope I’m not the only one? xD

When and why did you start journaling?

I started back in 2016, which was around the time that I moved to study in Australia! πŸ™‚ I remember how chaotic my thoughts were then, and journaling became an outlet for me to remove myself from reality. Reading actually enhanced my love for journaling, because I feel so much more inspired and light whenever I read, which allowed me to pour out positive thoughts into my journal, and not just negative ones πŸ™‚ Ever since then, journaling has become a huge part of my life.

How do you feel about putting your entries out to the public?

I’m quite alright with it! Whatever I share online, I’m open to people reading them. I have much more personal entries that I do not share online, so there’s that! πŸ™‚ Besides, I think it’s good to show just the tiniest bit of my more vulnerable side online, because people can relate to my struggles and flaws and realise that they’re not alone πŸ™‚

General advice on starting the habit of journaling

As mentioned earlier, make time for it and prioritise! I cannot stress this enough. If you can spare 20 minutes for an episode on Netflix or a vlog, you can use that time to journal instead. Journaling keeps your thoughts in check, so it’s important to set some time for it if you would like to see some results πŸ™‚

DO NOT force yourself to sit down and journal. Making time for it is one thing, but dragging yourself to complete an entry is not going to do any good for you. Keep an open mind when you first start journaling. You may not get to it the first time, and that’s okay! Let your mind reach out for it!

Try to start with a notebook that you already have on hand. Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of journaling, go and get yourself a journal/diary that you can get attached to! Make sure it’s not too chunky and big. You’d want to get one that’s convenient, so you can bring it with you everywhere you go!

If you’re finding it really hard to start, try to immerse yourself in an environment that makes you feel reflective (i.e. where you’re most in your element). This can be at a library, a cafe, your bed, the park, anywhere really!

Remember to take your time and experiment with the habit of journaling. The practice comes differently for everyone, so be patient. The habit will come to you naturally!

That should conclude this post. I hope you all found it somewhat helpful! I’m not sure if I’ll be making another journal related post in the future as I do not want to sound repetitive, but if you have any questions, please let me know and I will try to answer them as best as I can!

Stay safe and take care! ❀

xx Cath


  1. Tsarah August

    My favorite journals and notebooks come from two places: Buddybooks and Typo.

    You know the Buddybooks one because we’ve shared the exact same notebook except the name embossed on the cover. Typo sells cute notebooks, and they like to do B1G1 or discounts.

    I think I am going to try buying something from Papermark!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tsarah August

        Typo notebooks have some sort of an open envelope where you can slip some stuffs like post-its or flags or separate notes that you deem important. I will give you a photo.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon

    Great post! I used to journal in cheap notebooks, really good journals felt to intimidating at first but now I splurge and buy myself really good paperblank journal and my journal goes everywhere with me. In order to find time to journal and to read I get to work an hour early everyday, grab a coffee and find a quite corner to read and journal. Loved this post you have given fantastic advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cups and Thoughts

      thank you sharon! i love that your journal is now a huge part of your life! and that sounds like an amazing way to start your work morning too! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emmie

    How much I journal really fluctuates, partly because I go through phases where I want to do pretty artsy stuff and phases where I just write. Reading this has made my fingers itch for it, though, thank you! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Macey @ Brine and Books

    I honestly feel like seeing your feed filled with pictures where your journal is often front and center is what inspired me to be more serious about my journalling. I’ve been keeping a diary/journal since I was 7 years old (albeit very inconsistenly for those first 6 or 7 years :’)), and as much as I love doing it, I found myself writing entries with the dates too far apart. So, I’ve made it a habit to take my journal with me almost everywhere, and then, when I get the urge to write, for a personal entry, a reflection, or something a bit more creative, I’ve got it with me!! It’s helped me stick to my 2020 goal of writing more in general. Having a pretty journal & a nice pen does the world of good to inspire creativity :’) Absolutely loved this!! Thanks for sharing xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts

      journaling seems like a huge part of your life and i LOVE IT! it really helps to bring your journal around with you doesn’t it?! you never know when your creativity will spark or when you’ll feel reflective at any time of the day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. juli

    As always, this was an amazing post! I love putting my thoughts onto paper, it helps me get clarity and makes me less anxious, but lately I’ve been finding it so hard to journal. With everything going on in the world, my anxiety has gotten worse but I can’t bring myself to sit down and write it out. Any suggestions to help me get back into the journaling groove?
    Thanks again for sharing πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts

      thank you so much juli! my advice if you can’t bring yourself to journal is to find another outlet that calms your thoughts. i actually like to record myself once in a while when i can’t bring myself to physically do anything else. it’s nice to be able to speak out your thoughts (and even bury it if you don’t wish to go back to those memories) to yourself without have to write any of it down. you still make the habit of grounding your thoughts that way, which i really like πŸ™‚ hopefully you’ll feel lighter after recording yourself (i either get really emotional or lighthearted afterwards), THEN i can bring myself back to journal πŸ™‚ hope this helps! take care love ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Juice

    I have been journaling since high school and it has helped me so much with my mental health 🌻 I love your page and followed you on instagram


  7. fionaferd

    I found your blog while researching for journaling tips and I like what I read! It’s really empowering. For me, I do writing for therapy, but I’ve been lacking in spirit. I’m planning to make journaling a habit in 2021 too!


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