What is a Journal?
I have actively written in a journal for a few decades now and I have often thought about why I write. Why am I keeping this journal? Below is my list of many types of journaling. I don't limit my journal to just one use; for example, it can serve as a dream journal and a history. It can be a health diary and a workbook. Don't just journal for journaling's sake—there are many benefits to journaling and the ideas below can help you make your journal something that helps you or others.
What is a journal?
- A history, collection of memories (daily, deliberate writing of a memoir while life is happening)
- An archive/scrapbook (for tickets, programs, etc.)
- A book of wisdom with lessons to remember and learn from
- Something written for the next generation
- Tool to use for quotidian life: for grocery lists, quotes, quick notes, etc.
- Workbook to work through thoughts, issues, frameworks to improve one’s life
- Notebook to write thoughts/learnings from events (in church, work, school, life, talks)
- Ideation tool: new ventures, business ideas, ideas for projects, creative endeavors
- Calendar/date book
- Doodle book: drawing, for boredom, something to do while watching TV, random thoughts
- Book of lists: tallying, counting, recording (finances/budgets/spending, attendance, gifts that need thank you, etc.)
- Therapeutic: stream of consciousness: introspective writing out of feelings
- Health diary: track food/diet, exercise, etc.
- Shared journal: family journal, guest book for visitors to write messages, etc.
- Harriet the Spy journal: observations of others’ lives (friends, family members) and learning from their successes/failures
- Storytelling: fiction based on experiences, good bedtime stories to tell children
- Visionary: goals, hopes, dreams
- Gratitude/miracle journal: each day, three things I am thankful for or miracles that happened today
- Dream journal
- Letters to future self: reminders to review (e.g., when I'm a parent, I will...)
- Planning book: table setup or room setup diagrams, a list of who to invite to the wedding, wireframe of website, etc.
- Family history: collection of family memories, stories told by grandma, details you want preserved, sketch of four-generation family tree, etc.