I’ve always loved to journal, from the green folder I started scribbling in when I was 10 right up to last night when I sat on the couch in front of Gilmore Girls writing my way out of a tired week and a prickly mood. You know when people ask what one item you would grab if your house was burning down? My answer is ALWAYS my filled journals. They’re irreplaceable and I regard them as one of the most valuable things I own.
I searched my apartment looking for all of the filled journals I could find and came up with 26, including my current journals (although only six of those 26 were main journals). Just for fun, I decided to put them on the scale. They weighed 12.40 pounds!
My journal routine has taken some time to nail down. For several years, I would write what I did each day in one journal, and then I would use another journal to take notes on sermons and write out prayers and things like that. But over the past few years, I’ve fine-tuned the different journals I use and what I use them for. Currently, I write in the following journals on a regular basis:
- One Line A Day journal
- Gratitude journal
- Bullet journal
(Yes, I’m aware I have a lot of journals–I always have trouble picking and choosing which ones I’m going to pack for a trip and which ones I’m just going to catch up on when I get home. I used to take brand-new blank journals to Colombia because I was scared of taking a filled journal and then losing my luggage or something.)
I typically end up writing in at least one of my journals every day. I treat journaling the same way I treat reading: I don’t force myself to journal, it just naturally happens. I thought it would be fun to do a quick breakdown of my current journals, what I use them for, and what I like about each one. Let’s get into it!
One Line A Day journal
I’ve been using a One Line A Day journal (Amazon) since February 2019, and I absolutely love it! I normally catch up on this journal every 2-3 days and write a few quick lines about what I did each day. It creates a Timehop-like situation that’s a fun throwback (well, sometimes–other times it just brings up bad memories, lol). It also comes in handy as a fast and easy way to find exactly what I was doing on a certain date if I ever need or want to know.
I’ve been writing in a gratitude journal for about six months. My only stipulation for myself here is that I have to write a minimum of one thing I’m grateful for each day (specific things–tangible ways I saw God’s goodness in my life that day). Some days I write multiple things, but I add at least one each day. The notebook I use for this is a notebook my dad got from his work.
Hanne made me a bullet journal at the beginning of 2020, which I absolutely loved! (The journal itself came from Michael’s.) She made me monthly spreads for each month in 2020, including things like monthly goals, books I read that month, and a log of my medical appointments. Now, I primarily use my bullet journal to keep track of letters I’ve mailed and received. However, I’ll sometimes also use it to make fun lists–mostly lists related to books, like books I want to reread or books I own and need to read (ha. That one is pretty long).
I saved the best for last: my journal journal! I use my beautiful leather-bound journals to write about whatever’s happening in my life that I need to process. Often, I’ll brain dump into my phone notes during the week, and then on the weekend I’ll sit down and transcribe things into my journal. I normally end up writing in this journal once a week–sometimes more often.
I used to treat my leather-bound journals the same as my One Line A Day journal; I’d essentially transcribe my daily to-do lists into my journal. But ever since I started just writing here and there about what was on my mind (which I think was sometime in 2019) instead of worrying about getting down every detail of every day, journaling has been so much better.
I’m almost done with my current journal, and as I was looking through my empty notebooks and journals, I realized I don’t have one to use next (I do have blank journals, but no leather-bound ones like I use for my journal journals–I’m very picky about what type of notebook I use for each type of journal, lol). So, I think a trip to Barnes and Noble is in order… which makes me extremely excited because the journal section at Barnes and Noble is my favorite place in the world!
It’s taken me a few years to sort out all my journals and their various purposes. But I really like the journals I’ve settled on! Outside of my journals, I have lots of other notebooks I use to record various writing things, work things, chronic illness things, etc–these are just my personal journals. (I’m definitely not lacking in journals and notebooks, lol.) Journaling has always been a natural part of my life and looking back on my old journals is so much fun!
Do you journal? What types of journals do you use? Let me know all about your journaling routine in the comments!