Journaling 101: Everything You Need to Know About Starting And Keeping A Journal

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woman journaling in coffee shop


If you have been thinking about starting a journal, you’ve landed in the right place! Many people believe journaling takes a specific set of skills. The truth is, despite what some people think, becoming a journal keeper is extremely simple. Some would argue that journaling is a fun and relaxing activity. 


Journaling is not just an activity that teen girls (from the 90’s) engage in. Gone are the days when tweens use diaries to capture feelings about their crushes and their juicy secrets.


Now, the practice of journaling is popular among entrepreneurs, inventors, fitness fanatics, and other professionals. Journaling is what you do when you want to grow more efficient, more effective, more successful.


Here’s the catch…


There are so many types of journaling styles that it can be a task figuring which style to adopt. You could try different styles to see which fits your personality and needs most. That could be fun too. Keep reading to learn how to start journaling.


How to Start A Journal


1 Choose a journal that speaks to you. This is the first fun step in the process. If you become a regular journal keeper, you will repeat this step each time you fill another journal. You can shop journals from the comfort of your own home by clicking here.


2 Choose a topic. Depending on the type of journal you decided to start, the topic may be specific (i.e. fitness tracking) or broad (i.e. brain dump

3 Start writing. This is the simplest step. You’ve done all the work leading up to this point. Now, it’s time to execute. The writing part can be therapeutic. If you write to release your thoughts and feelings, writing can help you to feel more centered, work through issues, etc.


journalThe Benefits of Journaling


1 Helps to achieve your goals

When you write your goals down, it makes them real. In fact, putting them on paper transforms them from goal to plan. Journaling throughout your journey of achievement helps you to stay focused, easily look back on how far you’ve come, and provides insight on next steps.


2 Increases IQ

People who journal regularly are more mindful and give thought to much. By doing this, their intelligence level increases and their cognition improves. Thoughts stick better instead of fleeting as you move onto the next thing. 


3 Promotes Mindfulness

As mentioned in #2, journaling causes a person to think intentionally and to spend more time being mindful of things s/he wouldn’t have otherwise. Learn about scripture journaling here.


4 Boosts Memory

Writing things down helps to reinforce your memory. More people remember something they thought, wrote down, and read again. Repetition caters to memory. If you want to remember better, start writing things down.


5 Sparks Creativity

Journaling works that creative muscle in your brain. Once you start writing, you may get creative with word choice, storytelling, etc. There are no real rules. You can be as imaginative as you dare, when writing. 


6 Improves Self Discipline

Once you get into the swing of things, journaling can easily turn into a habit. Writing regularly helps to train your brain. The habit of writing down your thoughts, plans, etc. promotes self-discipline and helps you to keep yourself in line. 


7 Reduces Stress

Journaling is one of the top recommended practices by therapists, because it has been proven to reduce stress levels. Most of the time, a person just needs a release to lower pressure. Release can come through talking, engaging in physical activity, and through journaling. Journaling allows you to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto the paper in front of you. It is much easier to sort through things when you can literally see them, rather than trying to organize them all in your head.


Extraordinary People Who Kept Journals


albert einsteinAlbert Einstein

Albert Einstein created over 80,000 scientific and popular writings, drafts, lecture notes and notebooks were also the famous physicist’s travel diaries. Recorded between 1921 and 1933, they offer personal and amusing insights into Einstein’s experiences traveling to places like Japan, Israel and the United States.



Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson regularly made notes of things like the migration of birds, the growth of plants and flowers, and observations on geography and climate. He carried a small notebook made up of ivory leaves on which to record his observations of the weather. He would write down his measurements in pencil and in the evening transfer the data to seven large notebooks, each devoted to a different subject. 


Marco Polo 

Marco Polo traveled extensively and kept notes on what he found along the way. It has been said that he was a lifelong learner who kept journals regularly. Marco Polo also wrote memoirs when he was taken captive by the Genoese during a battle in 1298.


A few others include…


Mark Twain

Thomas Edison

Leonardo da Vinci

Ludwig van Beethoven 

Charles Darwin 

Winston Churchill 


Ready to start that journal now? Click here to get your journal!


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Founder & CEO at , Write Mind

Author of The Mask and Creator of The Write Mind Studio

Andriea Denise is an author, educator, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of The Write Mind Studio, and passionate about helping people to become the best versions of themselves and to live the lives they actively create.

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