Humans have been journaling for centuries, writing down great works of prose, chronicling historical events, recalling intimate personal details and retelling serendipitous occurrences. But there really is no secret to great journaling, as all you need to do is put pen to paper.
Journaling has long been used as a method for managing feelings like stress and anxiety and keeping track of progress on personal goals . It also keeps your mind sharp by boosting your memory and comprehension , according to an article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists .
Sounds pretty good, right? But where do you start?
We talked with journaling influencers to get their advice for creating a functional and sustainable journaling practice. Check out their top tips for beginners, plus tools and products you can use to personalize your journal at home. How to bullet journal
The No. 1 rule of journaling is that there are no rules. It’s about creating an experience that is curated to you, your goals and your life.
“It does not have to be what you know your favorite Instagrammer does; it does not have to be what your best friend or mom does,” says Elizabeth Ghekiere , founder of the Elizabeth Journals blog . “It is what you do with [it] and that’s literally all it has to be.”
The possibilities for your journal are endless. It can be a daily planner, a goal tracker or a place to collect your thoughts and work through problems. Really all you need to get started is a plain ol’ journal or notebook. Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook This journal comes in 18 different colors and has perforated, numbered pages for easy tracking. Moleskine Classic Notebook If you like having lines to write on, this Moleskine notebook is a great choice and comes with inner storage folders for little notes and reminders. Lemome Hardcover Classic Notebook With Pen Holder ($15.69, originally $22.99; amazon.com )
Lemome Hardcover Classic Notebook With Pen Holder If grids are your thing, this hardcover notebook can easily lay flat and comes with a pen loop holder so you’ll never waste time looking for something to write with. Rhodia Goalbook Journal This dotted goal journal comes with numbered pages, an index and two separate calendar sections to keep all your important dates in one place. Don’t give yourself rules
Sticking to a journaling schedule is good, but don’t fret if you miss a day here or there.
“Don’t give yourself these rules that you have to write every single day, or you’re gonna just be disappointed and not do it,” says Marlena Larson , a licensed psychologist and founder of A Pen and a Purpose blog .
Pick a time of day when you know you have a few minutes to sit down and focus on your journal. It might be first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed.
You can also set a reminder on your phone to keep you on track or store your journal […]