The 5 Kinds of Journals Worth Keeping

August 19, 2016 • Rehack Team


Journals are amazing collections of information that tell you about where you’ve been, how you’ve been and why. These logs of life aren’t only reserved for the dramatic or day-to-day events. The truth is that journals may contain thoughts and images about anything. Here are a few types of journals in which to write down your thoughts.

A Dream Journal

Do you have recurring or strange dreams? Many people have recurring dreams that they can’t decipher, and a dream journal is helpful.

Keep a small journal and pen ready by your bed in an accessible place. A phone’s light may jar you from the memory of the dream. Lay in bed for a few seconds as your eyes open. To remember more about your dream, latch onto the first detail that comes to you.

Immediately reach for your journal and pen, and write in stream-of-consciousness or make a list. Don’t focus on making your handwriting nice or forming complete sentences. Capture the details first, because they will disappear the longer you wait.

In a few hours, you’ll form connections and analyze your dreams naturally. If you get stuck, look up details in a dream dictionary and ask questions. Trace important patterns. You’ll be amazed at you what you discover in the next few months.

A Bullet Journal

Many moms and busy professionals take advantage of the trendy bullet journal. The idea is to use less time to record more and do more — all while reaping big personal rewards. Complex entries become a chore. You either ending up ranting and mentally frustrated in your entry or dread it altogether.

Rapid logging is the language used in bullet journal entries. It has four elements:

  • Topics
  • Page numbers
  • Short sentences
  • Bullets

Set up your journal using the four elements. Add a topic (descriptive short title) and page numbering. For the topic of “tasks,” a bullet point creates an actionable item, such as “do the laundry” with different symbols assigned to show its status as complete (x), task migrated (>) or task scheduled (<). Bullet journals are as simple or as complex as you make them.

Creating a bullet journal can be very involved, but you can seek the help of online groups and bloggers who create buzzworthy bullet guides. Once you get started, bullet journaling can simplify your life.

A Once-Sentence Journal

Speaking of simple, this journal only uses one word for every daily or weekly entry. Gretchin Ruben created the idea and many journals wherein she strives to write a single sentence daily. It’s a great exercise in brevity and perspective.

Author Marty Shelley also wrote very brief entries in her personal journal, as if she were a scientist noting that she was learning a new language and suddenly was on a boat to a new country. This made her brief entries about the passing of a loved one all the more impactful.

Of course, you could always adjust the one sentence to five sentences, or pick one word to describe your day. Use your journal to write about how you feel, but see if your entry can transform the meaning of a single word.

A Nature Journal

Love taking walks or meditating in nature? Use this journal to write about what you see and feel in nature, like Thoreau. The entries could be very serious and then turn surreal if you are a creative writer.

Are you an amateur herbalist? Inside your journal, you could also draw the plants that you successfully identify from “Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide,” listing the area, date and plant details.

Are you a gardener who thinks of your garden as a refuge? Plan your garden and track its start to its harvest as you record your personal growth in relation to the growth of your plants.

A Memory Journal

A memory journal is a beautiful journal to be kept and passed down through generations. Your memory journal may contain creative first- or third-person entries recanting memorable events, from births to taking a particularly reflective walk on a clear day. Press pictures and keepsakes into the journal.

Memory journals also serve as a place of research for the family genealogist who wants to record the memories of older relatives. Handwritten entries from family members create an even more precious treasure.

Journals can be intimidating with their blank pages, but they are waiting to be filled with experience and knowledge. Have you kept a journal? What will be in your next journal?