Best Types of Journals [2023 Update!]

Best Types of Journals [2023 Update!]

Journaling can be intimidating.

But it doesn't have to be.

Journaling is a highly beneficial practice that can help you gain self-awareness, improve your health, decrease stress, achieve your goals or increase your financial literacy. Despite the many options on the market, it is easy to start, and all your need is a notebook and a pencil.

But then there's the most challenging part- which type of journal do I start?

With so many different types of journals available, choosing which one to start or how to start can feel overwhelming. That's why we've compiled a guide of some of the best types of journals to start today. From a simple dream journal to a more complex financial one, we've covered many varieties to help you get started.

Whether you've kept a journal before or are new to the idea, we've got you covered!

Best Types of Journals

Adventure Journal

Adventure journals are great for documenting your experiences and memories from your travels and adventures. Within this type of journal, you can document where you went, what you did, how you felt, and the good and bad of the trip.

While phone cameras can capture great photos and videos, they can leave out context and the small experiences between each snapped picture.

Adventure journaling can help put your thoughts and emotions to paper that will paint a complete picture of your trip. In addition, the photos you take can be added to enhance your journal entries and make them come to life. Some people even add their plane tickets, planning documents, and receipts to capture all aspects of their journey. 

Besides being a personal record of your adventures, an adventure journal is a great way to record and reflect on what you have experienced and address where you want to go in the future. It can help to fuel inspiration for your next trip or help to identify negative experiences to avoid.

Why you should keep an adventure journal:

  • Document the behind the scenes of your trips that photos don't quite capture. 
  • Build an understanding of what you love (and don't) love about trips. 
  • Have a journal full of priceless memories that can be reflected upon as you grow older.  

Blank Journal

A blank journal is an empty journal that has no pre-printed content. It provides endless possibilities and customization options to fit your individual needs.

Any notebook can serve as your blank journal. That's the great thing- it doesn't need to be complicated. A blank journal can be used for various purposes; therefore, it can be whatever you make it.

This type of journal can be helpful for individuals that want to write or draw about various topics and get their creativity out into the world. It can be used for organizing thoughts or designing the next big cartoon. A blank journal is what you make it, and it's custom to you.

If you would like to have different sections within the same blank journal, you can always add tab dividers or sticky notes to divide sections. Or mesh it all together.

Why you should keep a blank journal:

  • Simple to start and without limits. 
  • Unstructured structure that can cater to your personal needs. 
  • Can be used to capture more aspects of your life and keep it all in one place. 

Creative Journal 

The beauty of a creative journal is that it can be whatever you want it to be.

A creative journal can be used to express creativity and experiment with ideas. The medium can differ- you might draw, paint, write, or even scribble. The primary goal is to express yourself and work to identify your preferences and ways to express yourself.

It's a free-form, unstructured journal that can experiment with new ideas or use their imagination to understand the world around them.

A creative journal is a safe place for people to be themselves and express their creativity without fearing being judged by others.

Why you should keep a creative journal:

  • Unstructured creativity in a safe, private way. 
  • A self-expression tool that can be created with a variety of mediums: drawing, writing or even painting. 

Dream Journal 

Dreams can take many forms, from replicating our everyday experiences to producing vivid adventures in a made-up world. Dreams provide us with new experiences while we sleep and are often influenced by our daily experiences. In addition, our dreams are often influenced by our everyday experiences, memories, emotions, or most intimate desires.

Therefore, writing our dreams down in a dream journal can be fun and helpful to understand our subconscious better.

Before you go to bed, set a journal next to you on your bedside table or open a section within your notes on your phone to avoid turning on the light to write down your dreams.

Then, every morning, write down everything you remember about your dream- your emotions, the imagery, the smell, what you felt, and every other detail you can remember.

Starting a dream journal is extremely easy and is one of the best journals, to begin with. There's no specific recipe that you need to follow; just dream and write it down.

Why you should keep a dream journal: 

  • Easy to start.
  • It can help you remember your dreams and reflect on them in the future. 
  • If you're a writer, your dreams could hold the secret for your next best-selling novel. 
  • Dream journaling when you first wake up can help activate your mind and set a morning routine. 

Finance Journal 

Finances can be one of the most stressful aspects of a person's life, but it doesn't have to be.

A finance journal can track and manage their financial goals, budget, debts, and spending habits. You can be as high level or low level as you want. In addition, you can record your financial transactions in detail, such as your bills or reoccurring expenses, or track your savings goals.

The purpose of this type of journal is to provide you peace of mind regarding your finances and gain more control over your spending activities by understanding it more.

Some people need to write down and see what they are spending to understand how to curb those habits and form better ones. A financial journal can help you with that.

Why you should keep a finance journal: 

  • Improved financial awareness.
  • Better budgeting and money management. 
  • Less stress with your finances due to an improved financial discipline. 

Fitness Journal 

Have you envisioned your ideal body or fitness goals but need to know how to achieve them?

A fitness journal can help you track your fitness goals, progress, exercise routines, and overall health in one place. This type of journal can be used diary style, where you log your exercise routines daily or as a long-term goal tracker.

Moreover, a fitness journal is a great place to write down exercise ideas you see online and track your reps and the length of time spent working out to see progress over time. Working out has numerous health benefits, and by writing down what you plan to do and when you plan to do it, you may be more willing to stick to your routine, promoting a healthier lifestyle.

In addition to workouts, you can track your wellness habits to build a more comprehensive view of your progress. Include indicators like sleep patterns, stress, mood, and average resting heart rate provided by an activity monitor to see trends better.

We recommend using a fitness journal to help individuals stay accountable to their fitness goals and see their progress over time.

Why you should keep a fitness journal: 

  • Understand your workout patterns and overall wellness. 
  • Helps you stay accountable to your fitness goals. 

Food Journal 

A food journal is a type of journal that people use to track and record their food and nutritional goals.

In a food journal, you can write down what you eat and drink daily, calories, macronutrients, nutritional information, etc. You may also capture the times you eat and notes about the impact eating that meal had on you. For example, did you feel full after eating the meal or sluggish?

Although many start food journals to achieve weight loss goals, there are other reasons you might use a food journal.

Some individuals might have food aversions or health conditions that require them to understand the food's impacts on their bodies.

A food journal is valuable for understanding our bodies and developing healthier eating habits. By developing healthier eating habits, people may live a healthier lifestyle and improve their quality of life.

Why you should keep a food journal:

  • Help achieve your weight or dietary goals. 
  • Gain an understanding of how different types of food impact your body. 
  • Document recipes and your favorite foods to enjoy later. 

Gratitude Journal

It's impossible to remember all the great moments that impact us daily and make us feel thankful that we're alive.

A gratitude journal can be used to record all of the little things someone is grateful for in their lives. These little moments, however insignificant they seem, can be a beacon of hope during darker times.

For example, one day, you might write that you were so grateful that you and your mom have a relationship where you can talk on the phone for hours. One day, that core memory will be so significant and memorable that you'll be so happy that you captured it forever.

Gratitude journals can help us remember and recognize times of joy, great relationships, achievements, and other blessings that can often go overlooked. It makes us slow down in this crazy fast world and reflect on what makes us unique and why we are lucky to be alive.

By writing in a gratitude journal, you may experience numerous benefits, such as increased positive emotions, lower stress, and a record of encouragement in times of adversity.

Why you should keep a gratitude journal: 

  • Have beautiful sentiments to look back on when times get hard. 
  • Find joy and privileges in little moments throughout your life. 

Idea Journal

Sometimes ideas strike when you least expect them to.

An idea journal is a great way to capture and develop your ideas. In addition, it can be an excellent tool for refining your ideas and building on the concept to make it into something more tangible.

An idea journal isn't just useful for business or professional development ideas. They can be used for creative projects or brainstorming solutions to everyday problems like laundry.

The primary goal of an idea journal is to provide a location for you to build on your ideas without distraction. It can also help you identify subconscious goals that you aren't fully aware of yet.

This type of journal is an excellent tool for someone looking to have a place to build upon their ideas and capture them as soon as they appear.

Why you should keep an idea journal: 

  • Explore ideas in a structured way that allows for creativity. 
  • Ability to write down any and all ideas throughout you day for future refinement.  

Plant Journal 

If you're a nature or plant person, this journal is for you!

A plant journal is an excellent tool for documenting observations, experiences, and other plant details. It can be used by those looking to start a garden, improve their landscaping, or love to learn about new plants.

Within the journal, you can include information such as plant description, knowledge, care, colors, conditions, and any other information you'd like to have. A plant journal can help you remember what went right and wrong with your garden and help you improve your plant husbandry in the future.

In addition, pictures can be included to add depth to the journal and keep track of plant growth. This type of journal can be organized to fit your needs and provide the layout necessary to accomplish your goals.

Overall, it's an excellent tool for individuals passionate about plants who want to document their experiences or knowledge to expand upon in the future.

Why you should keep a plant journal: 

  • Keep track of plant growth, health and characteristics. 
  • Plan and organize your gardening goals to make them achievable. 
  • Learn from your experiences.  

Pocket Journal

Sometimes carrying a huge journal around while you're shopping isn't practical.

A pocket journal can solve that.

A pocket journal is a small notebook or journal that can serve as a small repository that is compact and convenient. These journals can easily fit in your purse or pocket and serve as a quick, easy way to write down ideas as you go about your day.

For example, you might be shopping in a department store when you overhear someone say something that you find profound and want to save for later. Some of the greatest quotes and pieces of advice come from everyday people. Rather than pulling out a giant book to write it down, a pocket journal is much easier to handle and, frankly, less strange in a public setting.

A pocket journal is an excellent tool for capturing save-worthy items while you're on the goal, as they are convenient and practical for everyday life.

Why you should keep a pocket journal: 

  • Easy to travel with and you can journal anywhere with it. 
  • Can capture fleeting thoughts and ideas throughout your day.
  • No pressure to write an essay. 

Productivity Journal

A productivity journal can help individuals track their daily habits and set goals, milestones, and other items to increase productivity. This type of journal is helpful for anyone that wants to achieve more or take control of their life.

Moreover, a productivity journal often has progress tracking pages for habits or goals to ensure you stay on task. There are also reflection pages to discover new insights and define what is working and what isn't. This type of journal can help you stay organized and remember your essential tasks to ensure you take the necessary steps to achieve your goals.

By taking actionable steps daily, people can increase their productivity, reduce stress and stay organized to conquer the day.

Why you should keep a productivity journal: 

  • Better time management and organization of tasks. 
  • Increased self-awareness and understanding of goals.
  • More inclined to achieve and take the necessary steps to achieve your goals. 

    Reading Journal

    Books can have a profound impact on our lives. However, it may become difficult for those who enjoy reading to keep track of all the lessons and intriguing ideas we come across after reading so many.

    A reading journal can solve that.

    A reading journal is a journal that is used to record one's thoughts, feelings, and insights learned from the books that they've read. It provides a single source of knowledge and quick reference to all your learnings in one place. They may also include references to the plot, favorite quotes, commentary on the book itself, and other miscellaneous details that a person might want to call out about the book they've just read.

    In addition, a reading journal can capture what someone might want to read next. By using a reading journal; you'll have a better idea of what you like to read and what you don't. Therefore, you'll be able to pinpoint better writing styles or genres you want to read, making reading a more enjoyable experience.

    Why you should keep a reading journal: 

    • You love reading and you read so many that it's hard to keep track. 
    • Great for breaking-down your favorite books into bite-sized pieces. 
    • Promotes critical thinking and reflection.
    • Useful for identifying trends within your reading habits.  

    Venting Journal 

    If you haven't already, you will eventually have a bad or several bad days.

    A venting journal can be your lifesaver when those days come. Venting is something that people naturally do. During a typical week, you will probably vent to your partner, dog, partner, or coworker at least once. But sometimes, you don't want to share with another person, but you still want to get those feelings out. That's why keeping a venting journal can be so beneficial.

    In a venting journal, people might write about anything they need to get off their chest, such as daily frustrations, anger, fear, bad experiences, and sadness. It can be helpful for people to write their emotions down into words because it forces them to reflect on what they are feeling and slow down their feelings. Doing this allows you to form more coherent thoughts, get to the root of the issue, and determine solutions if needed.

    Or, you'll feel better after metaphorically destroying someone or something with the words you wrote on paper.

    Either way, venting journals can be helpful for emotional regulation and stress management to provide a sense of control.

    Why you should keep a venting journal: 

    • Sometimes you just need to vent. 
    • Ability to get your emotions and feelings out without bringing in other people. 
    • Can help reduce stress and negative emotions.  

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