I’m one of those people who, despite my love for writing, didn’t journal much throughout my life. I enjoyed imaginative writing better, and didn’t care enough to slow down so I could write about myself. After all, I was the only one who would ever read it, and I believed I would remember all the important things that happened in my life.
As time stretched on and I struggled with short term memory loss from Lyme’s disease I started journaling as a way to process my experiences. Long, detailed entries were not possible every day, so I developed a few different types of journals to keep that were simple, quick to write, but helped to capture the memories I wanted.
Today I’m sharing four types of easy journals to keep if you don’t have much time, or want to keep a journal and need an easy way to form a habit.
My mother bought tiny notebooks for my siblings and I one Christmas and called them thankfulness journals. I wrote in it that night, and this form of journaling has become a part of my nightly routine. I also put prayer requests in on occasion, and sometimes branch out a bit into a few other thoughts about the day. This helps me to keep my life in perspective, acknowledging the challenges in hardships in life, but recognizing what I do have. It’s a very powerful habit that helps put my thoughts on God’s goodness and helps to keep my mind from wandering before bed.
This is a journal I started a few months ago and wish I did sooner. In my accomplishment journal I simply list what I did that day (short term accomplishments), and list one thing that I am proud or thankful for (this is usually a long term accomplishment—finishing a project, growth in some area, or even the fact that I’ve kept moving forward).
The accomplishment journal was born when I could hardly do anything because my health was so poor. I realized I wasn’t looking at what I accomplished despite the roadblocks. Writing down what I did helped me to realize how much I did despite all the complications, and I was able to rejoice in the work well done. I think this is a great journal for anyone—not to inflate your ego, but encourage yourself towards perseverance. This would be great for moms (or other busy individuals), those who are dealing with illness, or even those who are starting a new project or pursuing a goal. When I’m feeling frustrated I can read my entries and find encouragement in how far I’ve come.
Day in a Sentence
I haven’t kept up as regularly with this type of journal, but I’m hoping to pick it up again as my brain comes back. Rather than feeling like you must describe an entire day in detail, this makes you focus on the highlights or most important parts of the day.
I decided to take this concept and make it a bit more interesting. I describe my day or a part of my day without directly describing the it. This is a simple way to practice creative writing. It also made me consider what were the most important details. Was it the people? Was it some event? Describing the day without a direct, straightforward narration adds a fresh and interesting perspective, if you want something more creative.
Either the easiest or more difficult journal to keep, depending on your perspective. Describe your day in one word. The challenge comes in how you want to describe it. Do you describe the events? A person? The mood? The weather? This is another journal format that helps you practice thinking creatively in a very simple way—and you can spend as much time on it as you like.
Another twist on the journal, which I am interested to try, is to write in the journal multiple times a day. Write when you get up, once in the middle of the day, and right before you go to bed. It is a chance to capture your perspective of the day and how it changes. An expectation or mood in the morning might be very opposite of what’s on your mind by noon.
Do you have a special type of journal you keep? Share your style in the comments and give others some ideas!
Thank you for reading,