How To Start Journaling: 11 Different Types of Journaling

How To Start Journaling: 11 Different Types of Journaling

You've chosen a beautiful journal, and you're ready to write. Then uh-oh! Nothing's coming to mind! How are you going to fill those inviting pages?

There are so many different types of journaling! You can record your memories or the day's events, just like in an old-school diary. Or you can use your journal to work through difficult emotions you're experiencing. 

But the possibilities keep going! Here are 11 other types of journaling to help you jump-start your own process.

an open journal with writing and sketches on the pages

11 Types of Journaling

Dream Journaling

First up - your subconscious! Dream journaling lets you explore the hidden world of your nighttime imagination. All you have to do is keep a journal and pen near your bed. When you wake up, jot down what you remember from your dreams, even if it's only a few words. Over time you can gain insight into your subconscious. You might uncover interesting patterns. If nothing else, it's often entertaining to read back through your past dreams.

Travel Journaling

Are you a wild globe trotter or the daytripper type? Either way, a travel journal lets you plan your adventures and capture the memories. Start with brainstorm sessions about your next getaway. Move on to planning records like packing lists, itineraries, or budget-keeping. On your trip, keep a log of where you go, what you eat, and who you meet. Your travel journal will become richer and more valuable the more you use it.
6 spiral notebooks each with a different cover art

Prayer Journaling

Your journal can be a safe place for you to develop your spirituality. You can think of it as a conversation between yourself and the divine. Try recording your daily spiritual practices and your thoughts about them. Your writing will deepen your practice over time and may reveal broader insights. Journaling this way can serve as a comforting place to connect with your faith.

Goal Journaling

You've got big dreams. Are you ready to make them happen? Goal journaling is a compass guiding you towards getting what you want. Start by naming your dream. Then break it down into actionable steps. Give it a timeline. Record your thoughts as you start making progress. Make note of your successes and setbacks. Celebrate your big wins, and write down more dreams! Goal journaling is a powerful motivational tool! It helps keep you anchored and focused amidst the ebb and flow of life’s challenges.

Creative Journaling

Journaling isn't limited to day-to-day facts. You can use creative journaling to unleash your imagination. You don't have to be a capital-W writer for this. Anyone can have fun making up characters, inventing new worlds, or crafting clever bits of dialog. Or use colorful pens or markers to explore visual creativity. Play with shapes and colors without worrying about the outcome. Creative journaling can be a refreshing break from the more boring parts of your day.
an open journal with blank pages

Health Journaling

If you want to learn more about your health or meet health-related goals, journaling is a winning tool. You can track your dietary practices. You can plot your exercise habits. Try tracking your moods, your menstrual cycle, the weather, or anything else you suspect may affect your physical self. Your journal becomes your personal health guru. Over time you can identify patterns and use it to inform your choices.

Career Journaling

It's easy to get stuck in a career rut or live your professional life on autopilot. Career journaling helps you break free. Start with a weekly reflection on your job situation. Explore the relationship between your job and your values. Expand on any challenges you're having at work and brainstorm solutions. List your career goals, break them down, and assign timelines. Commit to regular career journaling and watch how much clarity it can bring. It'll start to guide your career decisions, leading to greater professional satisfaction.

Rapid Idea Journaling

This is a million-dollar idea for any creative people. You know those fleeting snippets of inspiration that you wish you could capture? It's time to actually capture them! It starts with keeping a journal with you at all times. Whenever you have an idea, write it down. A cool quote. A weird fact. A bit of dialog. A joke. A lightbulb moment. Anything interesting that crosses your mind, get into the habit of jotting it down. This journal becomes a playground for your thoughts. Now that you've caught them, these thoughts can later be explored and developed.
3 journals with different cover art

Gratitude Journaling

It's easy to get stuck focusing on all of life's annoyances. Gratitude journaling invites you to pause and acknowledge the blessings in your life. It's the simplest thing in the world: take 1 minute a day to write down three things you're grateful for. It can be big things like the smiles of your children. It can be tiny things like splash of cream in your morning coffee. It can be obvious things like the fact that you woke up today. By choosing to recognize what brings you joy, you foster a mindset that lets more joy flourish.

Nature Journaling

You don't have to be a scientist to enjoy a nature journal. You don't even have to travel to the "great outdoors". You can observe and appreciate nature even 5 feet from your front door. Step outside a take a look around. Jot down a few words about what you notice, or sketch it out. What do you see? Smell? Hear? What do you notice about the weather? The season? The light? Nature journaling lets you experience the joy of the intricacies of nature.

Relationship Journaling

It's common to experience our relationships on autopilot. How about adding some focus and intentionality to these important parts of your life? A relationship journal becomes a mirror that reflects your interpersonal dynamics. Explore, analyze, and appreciate your connections with others. Reflect on your familial ties, friendships, and romances. Relationship journaling lets you put your connections in the forefront of your mind.

Happy journaling!

And there you have it, 11 styles of journaling! Each one offers a unique pathway for exploration, reflection, or expression.
No matter what you choose to write, remember your journal is yours and yours alone. There's no wrong way to journal. Give yourself the freedom to be yourself on the page. Let your thoughts, ideas, and feelings flow, and see where it takes you!
five journals with different cover art