5 min read
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I tested and approved of. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that are no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks.
How can I start my own journal?
Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mindNatalie Goldberg ( author of Zen Living, Writing and Eating)
1. What is my goal through journaling ?
Having a purpose for your journal can lead you in the right direction and look back to see if you grew and met your goals.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Is my journal for mental health, productivity, or to express my feelings in a positive and healthy way?
- How do I express my thoughts? Do I enjoy writing them? drawing? or both?
- Do I like to keep souvenirs from places, people, or events?
Here’s a quick reference guide on journals for creative students:
Art, health & fitness, productivity and goal setting, and personal writing are essential towards a happy and healthy mind and body. As college students you and I need to take care of our mental health because college can be an especially stressful time.
Types of journals you can start today:
1. Art Journals
Do you like to express your emotions through images?
- art collage – a collage of photos, art, souvenirs, memorabilia, magazine and image clippings
- sketchbook – your own drawings, paintings, sketches of people, urban sketching, lifestyle
- nature – a collection of pressed flowers, art, drawings, dried foliage, poems, or any observations, feelings, thoughts, or studies inspired by nature.
- travel – a collection of photos, souvenirs, drawings, sketches, thoughts, ideas, and writing about where you’ve been.
2. Health & Fitness
- food log – keeping track of your intake and diet, water consumption, healthy recipes, dishes you’ve tried from different cultures, your own favorite recipes
- exercise tracker- track your workout routine, weight loss plans, goals for your sport (ballet, track, martial arts etc.)
- women’s health – period tracker, hormones, mood swings, feelings, fertility cycles etc.
- bullet journal – (a BuJo can be used for anything really) maximize your time while practicing intentionality and mindfulness. Click to view Ryder Carroll’s (founder of the BuJo method) 5 minute tutorial on his website here
- planner – great for students for tracking academic, social, and personal goals, events, and personal projects.
4. Personal Writing
- personal log & feelings- a record or observation of daily events that resonated with you, interesting thoughts, ideas, goals, events, what you felt, people you met etc.
- creative narrative- story writing, describing your own life or small moments in details, and short stories
- poem- writing songs, haikus, writing down a moment or something that inspired you through the art of poetry.
Your journal is a reflection of yourself.
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”FLANNERY O’ CONNOR
Don’t feel pressured to follow the bullet journal trend or confine yourself to a set of rules.
I personally have multiple journals that are a mix of all the above: a planner for tracking my college studies, deadlines, assignments, tests, projects as well as my social and personal life like parties, birthdays, and events. I also keep my goals, daily to-dos, and fitness plans. I have a pocket sketchbook for drawing quick sketches of people or scenes that inspire me while traveling. A bullet journal for dumping creative ideas, souvenirs, and pressed flowers and foliage. And a prayer journal for my daily life.
The most important thing about journaling is to relax and have fun!
2. Find Your Aesthetic
Finding your aesthetic may be more for creatives.
It may take some time but “find” what you like. In art, the more you practice, the more you start to develop your style.
Here are some of my favorite themes:
- vintage theme
- black and white
- Brown, black, white, and gold
- glam or girly
- or a mix of your choice
3. Find Supplies
To me, this is the fun part.
Finding a notebook or journal that you love will make you want to write more. Here are some materials I love:
Materials ideas + recommendations
I got a lot of these from my local craft store like Michaels
- bullet journal ($4.99 Camel Bullet Journal from the Paper Studio), Bienfang Mixed Media Pad sketchbook ($6.11), or any notebook will work just fine
- gel pens, ballpoint pens ($12 Muji .5 multicolored pens, Paper Mate Ink Joy .7 multi-colored pens for $11.99 6 ct from Michael’s)
- highlighters (any, Stabilo Boss Pastel highlighters 6 ct set $10.99 from Blick Art Materials, Sharpie Clear View Highlighters 4 ct Neon set $6.70 from Blick Art Materials)
- markers ($7 Crayola Fine Tip 50 count)
- calligraphy pens ($2-5 Itoya Doubleheader or Crayola markers)
- Graphics made with Canva
- stickers and washi tapes
- magazine clippings
- photos, movie tickets, train tickets, souvenirs, memorabilia
- old books and posters from the thrift store
- pressed flowers, art, drawings
- pastel sticky notes and tabs $3.99 – $32.41 from Blick Art Materials
Note: you don’t have to purchase a lot of materials to journal. Just be creative with already existing papers, photos, pens, and materials.
“When it comes to art, it’s important not to hide the madness.”Atticus
How does journaling help you?
Comment down below and check out other posts on mental health here: