Journaling has become very popular over the years and has been considered a form of escape for many people. This form of writing can often be misconstrued as writing in a diary, but the truth is that journaling can be used as a way to keep track of your goals and keep track of important tasks. So, it is important that if you have a desire to keep a journal, it you should keep it organized!
Keeping an organized journal can be done in a variety of ways, one of the most popular formats is making a bullet journal. However not everyone has time for a bullet journal, so there are simpler ways to stay organized.
Although it may seem like a lot of work, journaling can actually be quite fun! Whether you are detailed oriented or someone who just needs a place to write their thoughts the four tips provided in this article will help you stay organized. Use this article as a guide to help you keep track of your journaling while also staying organized.
Keep A Bullet Journal
Bullet journals have grown to become much more popular over the years, and although it requires a lot of work, it is one of the best ways to stay organized. So, what is it? You may have seen many influencers on YouTube create “plan with me” videos and incorporate a bullet journal in the video.
This form of journaling consists of a planner, diary, and creative pages. Bullet journals are usually created at the beginning of the year when people are mapping out their goals and are consistently filled in throughout the year. If you do decide to do this form of journaling, you will basically have three journals in one. Here's everything you need to know about this form of journaling.
You'll Need to Put in Work
Bullet journals take a lot of time to build solely because they have to be customized to fit your needs. If you are someone who requires a lot of planning and live a very busy lifestyle then your bullet journal will be much more elaborate. However, if you just need a place to write out minor tasks, but also need a place to write your thoughts then your journal will not require too much planning.
Creating a bullet journal will allow you to truly showcase your creative skills, however if you are more minimalist then do not worry that's okay too. This is the part where you get to have the most fun because you'll be able to design your journal yourself. There are great tutorials on YouTube on how to design your journal, you'll see many different versions, but the most important thing is to design something that will fit your needs and to have fun!
What You'll Need
Although bullet journaling is used to fit your needs, there are several things that are uniform no matter what you plan on doing with your journal. The mandatory entries that you will be adding to your journal are going to contribute to the organizational upkeep of your journal, so it is important that you add these sections. Here are a few things you'll need to have an excellent journal.
- You'll need a regular notebook or journal. Although you can purchase a bullet journal online, that will not be necessary, all you need is a notebook or journal. It is advised that you either purchase a notebook without lines in the pages, or you can use a notebook with dotted pages. This is especially important if you intend to decorate your journal.
- Add an index section. The index section is basically your table of contents for your journal. This section will allow you to easily locate whatever piece of information you are looking for if you ever need to go back to it. Keeping this section up to date will ensure that your journal is properly organized.
- Include a future log. This section is very similar to any daily planner; however, it is more customizable. The future log consists of four pages, and on each page, you will list three months. Each month you will list any monthly goals, birthdays, travel plans, and other important dates. This should only include important events.
- The monthly log. This portion of your journal will consist of 24 pages, and it will consist of a full calendar for each month spread through both pages. In these pages, you will begin to fill out your months by adding tasks, deadlines, vacations, and additional events. Consider this as your monthly tracker. You can also use this section to track any habits that you are trying to incorporate into your routine, whether it's fitness-related or a financial goal that you are attempting to meet.
- Make space for daily tasks. In this portion of your bullet journal, you will write out your daily tasks. The formatting will depend entirely on you, many people have been able to spread an entire week in just two pages, this varies on how many tasks you need to achieve in one day.
These are just a few things that are a must-have in a bullet journal. Although they are mandatory, you still have room to show your creative side, and make your journal in a way that properly fits what you are trying to accomplish.
Before you sit down and start decorating your journal there are a few more things you'll need before you begin. If you go online and search for photos of bullet journals, you'll notice that many of them include elaborate decorations, so it is best to be properly prepared so that you can come out with a great result. Here is a list of a few things you'll need to properly decorate your bullet journal.
- Decorative stickers (great if you are not comfortable drawing)
- Colored pens
- Calligraphy pens
There are many tutorials on YouTube where you can learn how to make a bullet journal. Youtuber Natalies Outlet made a great tutorial for beginners, the video has over 2.5 million views.
Thoughts on Bullet Journaling
As mentioned before this form of journaling is great for someone who lives a very busy lifestyle but also wants to take the time to journal from time to time. Being able to have everything in one book in an organized fashion is perfect for some on the go. However, it can be quite intimidating for the person that feels as though they are not artsy enough or cannot just simply not have the time to sit down and decorate a notebook. So, if you are looking to start the process of bullet journaling then check out some samples on Pinterest and YouTube.
The truth is that journaling is subjective and just because bullet journaling is one of the most preferred formats of journaling it does not necessarily mean that it is the only way. There are many methods that you can use to keep an organized journal. Although bullet journaling is very elaborate and sounds like a fun project to do, there are still ways to stay organized that are much simpler and do not require too much labor.
Sectioning Is Key
Although journaling is all about getting your thoughts out on a piece of paper it is still important to stay organized. When you decide to begin your journey in journaling you need to figure what it is that you truly want to write about. Having one notebook with a bunch of entries will result in disorganization.
If your idea is to just simply have a journal where you put your thoughts on paper, then a small notebook will be sufficient. However, if you are looking to do various types of entries then it is best to buy a larger journal and properly section it. A great idea is to section your journal so that you can put all your thoughts into one book, but still stay organized. This can easily be done with any three or five subject notebooks. Here are a few ways you can section your notebook.
- To Do List. Use this section to write down your daily tasks. You can either list them or use one of the methods similar to the ones in the bullet journal section of this article. It does not need to be pretty or artsy you just need space to write out your tasks.
- Your daily thoughts. You can use this section to write out your thoughts daily or as they come along. Depending on how much you want to write you will need to consider the sizing of your journal.
- Get creative! Use this final section to get creative, you can either make drawings, write poems, or write songs. Feel free to add whatever you need in this section and do not be afraid to get creative.
Just like that you are able to use a three subject notebook and convert it into an effective journal. Although these notebooks are not appealing to the eye, they are great if you are just beginning your journey in journaling and are not looking to make any customizations to your notebook. If you are just looking to get your thoughts on paper, then this is the perfect journal for you!
Let's Add Some Color!
Adding color to a journal is perfect for organization. Similar to color coordinating your closet the same concept can also be used for journaling. In order to properly color coordinate your journal you will need to purchase an array of colorful pens, markers, and highlighters. You can either color coordinate each section so that you can pinpoint which section is which, and you can highlight any important tasks or notes. Check out the guide below.
- Use color pens/pencils. As mentioned, before you can use the pens to properly color coordinate your journal. You can use one color per section, or one color per entry. The array of colors in your journal will make it easier for you to locate information in your notebook.
- Highlight important items. Just like anything else that is important in your life highlighting is just as important in a planner or journal. Try using a highlighter to bring attention to any important tasks that you may have or upcoming events.
- Post It Notes. You can add colorful post-it notes to your journal as well to help stay organized. A great tip is to assign a color to each category. One of the best posts it notes products that increase organization are the small flags, this will allow you easily locate information in your notebook.
Color will make it very easy for you to go back and review whatever you have written in your journal. If you are feeling a bit more festive you can even add stickers to your journal, which will stand out even more. There are also stickers on sale that are made specifically for planners and journals so they will cater to your needs and allow you to stay organized when journaling.
The goal here is to be strategic when color coding, you want to make sure that you are not using color pens freely, and instead, use them with the purpose of staying organized.
For some people picking up a blank notebook and filling it out can be quite the task. Luckily for those people there are journals that come with templates, so the writer does not need to put too much thought into what they need to write that day. Not only is it easy for the writer but it is also perfect for organization because the templates are already in the journal. Here are a few great notebooks that you can purchase online.
- The Five-Minute Journal: This journal is perfect for someone who is not sure what to write about, but also wants to stay organized. The Five-Minute Journal consists of daily entries across two pages and provides questions for you to answer while providing adequate space. This is the perfect journal for the person that does not have enough time in their day to write in a journal and write elaborate entries.
- The Morning Sidekick Journal: A journal of this sort is perfect for someone who wants to track their daily habits but not sure how. This journal provides you with questions that you need to answer to ensure that you are properly challenging yourself. Not only will you keep track of your habits, but you will also be able to challenge yourself.
- One Line A Day: Thinking of taking a trip down memory lane? Then this is the perfect journal for you. The One Line a Day journal allows you to write one sentence a day for the next five years. Your entries can range anywhere from an inspirational quote to an event that took place that day.
Thoughts on Pre-Made Journals
These kinds of journals are perfect for those that do not have the time or inspiration to fully plan ahead their entries. The pre-filled pages are perfect to help you stay organized while also being able to get your thoughts out on paper. The journals listed above can easily be found on Amazon for an affordable price.
Journal vs Daily Planner
Keeping a journal and a planner are two separate things although they can easily be combined, which you'll learn about later in this article. A planner is usually used to keep track of your life, while also making note of important appointments and events. A journal on the other hand is used to write down your thoughts and keep track of any goals you may have.
Although the two are very different it is important that you take that same organization from your planner and implement that into your journal.
What Are the Benefits of Journaling?
Journaling is one of those hobbies that most people use as an escape, and it often brings many benefits. It actually is highly recommended to journal if you are battling issues like anxiety or depression, or even if you have a hard time keeping yourself organized. Many people have even incorporated journaling into their daily routine. Here a few benefits of journaling.
- Keeping your thoughts on paper. We often find ourselves living very busy lives, and in a constant state of movement that we never really have a moment to think. This is when journaling comes to play, by putting all your thoughts on paper you are preventing yourself from having any pent-up emotions which is considered very unhealthy for your mental health. According to an article at the University of Rochester journaling a few times a week can result in a healthy lifestyle.
- Planning made easy. A journal is not only about putting your thoughts on paper, it can also be used to keep your life on track, especially if you are a busy person. This is great for someone like a content creator who's constantly having to meet deadlines or even a business owner who needs to keep things on track. By staying organized you will feel as though you are more productive and using your time effectively.
- You can keep your goals in a journal. Journaling is not all about writing out your thoughts. You can also use a journal to write out any goals you have, many people enjoying cracking open their new journal at the start of the year, and writing out their goals, and brainstorming how they plan to achieve those goals. There's something about seeing your goals written out on a piece of paper that encourages people to work hard towards those particular goals.
- Allows you to show your creative side. According to Cloud journaling can really help boost your creativity. Have fun while you're journaling! Take some time out to write poems, short stories, or even songs. Doing this will allow you to have a fun escape and will really allow you to show off your talents. Some of the most famous artists found their talents through journaling, and you never know you might be one of them too!
- Improve your writing. I am sure you remember your teacher telling you to write every day to improve your writing, journaling is no exception. This is by far one of the biggest and most rewarding benefits of writing in a journal. If you were to sit down and journal every day you will be able to bring you writing skills to a higher level. This is great for you if English is not your first language and you want to improve your vocabulary.
As you can see there are a number of great benefits to journaling. However, with these benefits comes the importance of being organized. By keeping an organized journal, you are allowing yourself to truly be able to express yourself effectively, and properly keep track of your thoughts. The importance of keeping an organized journal is just as important as the benefits of journaling. Now it’s time to get organized!
The Benefits of Keeping Organized
Staying organized has its benefits for a variety of reasons but when it comes to journaling being organized can also be beneficial. The benefits of keeping an organized journal will lead you to a path of mindfulness. Here are a few benefits of staying organized.
- You can revisit your thoughts. By staying organized you will give yourself the opportunity to take a look back at the goals you have written in past entries, notes that you have taken, or reflect on past emotions. This is great if you are someone that likes to look back at your past works.
- Put your creative skills together. If you find yourselves writing a lot of poems, songs, or even short stories then it is extremely important that you stay organized. If at some point you decide to publish your work or want to maybe convert that written content into a YouTube video, then it is important that you keep this writing organized so that you can easily find it.
- Staying organized will help you develop great habits. By keeping your journal organized you will give yourself the opportunity to fully keep track of your habits and goals. If you decide to set a goal for yourself, you will easily be able to keep track of your progress.
Although keeping an organized journal is not mandatory at all, it is great to know its benefits so that you can get the best use out of it. Organization will truly strengthen your journaling journey.
Tips for Journaling
Now that you have a full understanding of how to keep an organized journal it's time to actually start writing. Many people have a hard time actually planning out what they want to write about it, but the truth is that journaling is not a science. Here are a few ways to journal effectively.
- Write every day if possible. As mentioned, before you can create a journaling schedule, and journal three times a week. A great tip is to schedule your entries, if you want to write three times a week then consider writing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before going to bed. However, journaling every day may come along easier than you think! It's just a matter of staying consistent.
- Keep it short. If you do decide to journal every day, do not be afraid to keep your entries short. There is no need to put too much thought into your writing, just write about what comes to your mind.
- Set the mood. Journaling is used to put your thoughts on paper and allow yourself to think freely. Be sure to set a relaxing mood when you decide to write, if you are at your most relaxed state then you’re writing will be much more effective, and you will feel better once you are finished.
With these tips you will be able to journal effectively and will take advantage of all the positive effects that come along with it.
As you can see from this article there’s so much more to journaling than just writing about your feelings, the art of journaling is much broader than that. You do not need to be a professional writer or an organizational expert to have a proper journal. The important thing here is to understand your needs, and why it is exactly that you want to pick up a journal.
Whether you are a social butterfly, a creative mind, or someone that is looking to get their thoughts down on paper having an organized journal is extremely important. The tips provided in this article will allow you to truly enjoy the benefit of journaling and allow you to become the free-thinking person you wanted to become when you first began this journey. By staying organized you are sure to have a great writing experience. Happy writing!