While keeping a journal is more of a personal journey than any other thing, decided on the whole by what goes on inside your head: thoughts, ideas, and questions, reading about suggestions on how best to keep and maintain one wouldn’t really hurt. You can also check out notebook and journal templates in Publisher.
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Elements of A Good Notebook and Journal
You’re not keeping a journal to write a masterpiece worthy of Longfellow, Woolf, or Eliot. You just need to write or draw something that would perhaps help you gather your thoughts better, or keep track of both long-term and short term goals or maybe even just for the sake of writing itself. You may also like vintage journal templates.
When choosing a notebook or journal, look out for the following elements:
1. Purpose: What do you need a journal for? Eighteen days down 2019 and we still see plenty of “how to start the year right” tips across the internet. Like some people, you’re probably thinking of going to the bookstore or stationery shop to get yourself a planner, just like you did the previous year. Amid at the abundance of planners, notebooks and journals you’ve purchased down the years, how many of them really served their purpose?
2. Cover: From the brightest colors to the trendiest font styles, you will have so much to choose from, when it comes to journals and since it is one of the most personal things you would own, it’s wiser to choose one that reflects your preference and personality so that you will always look forward to opening it to write or read. You may also like real estate journal template.
3. Paper: Writing on flimsy paper destroys an otherwise great writing experience. It can also be pretty annoying to continue writing when the pages of your journal easily get torn from being made out of poor material. Take the time to choose not only what your journal looks like but also its quality. Besides, you would only want your writings, especially your recollections stored in good paper quality if you want them to survive the test of time.
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Steps to Keep A Notebook and Journal
If this is your first try in journal-writing or you may have had one before but left it to complete destitution after writing on a few pages, there’s no better time to start or try again and let your consciousness flow freely through your writing. Follow these steps to help you connect better to your thoughts:
1. Find a journal that’s ideal for you: First, decide how you want to go about having a journal or notebook. You may prefer a physical/paper type, with many pages to write on or you might be more keen on having a digital form of a journal. Both have their own merits and drawbacks so you need to evaluate what works best for you. If you’re drawn to the traditional way of journal-writing, then you’ll be better off with a physical journal. If you run on a very demanding daily schedule, it could more practical to do it the digital way.
2. Decide what kind of journal you want to keep: There are about a hundred possibilities open to you when building a journal-writing strategy or even just a theme from simply writing down every thought that you think could become useful later to making it more focused and draw out one thing you’re working on in your life. There are also no rules that say you can’t keep both an “everything” and a specific journal at the same time as long as you know which one is random and one isn’t. You also don’t have to have two for different purposes.
3. Find the best place to write: Journal writing, to some extent, is a sacred, personal thing for most people and requires the kind of solitude that perhaps only artists and writers really understand. You have to be somewhere where there’s peace, where you’re alone with your thoughts and no interruptions. It’s very important not to feel pressured and be comfortable, free of the worry of someone barging in on you. Choose the best spot where you can write and freely experiment by writing in different places. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish, organize and plan, and you’ll be surprised at the development of your writing.
4. Relax: Every person has a different preference of what helps them feel at ease and content, and this is no different when finding the right mood to write in a journal. There are those who prefer writing with music on to set the mood. Others can concentrate better writing in silence while others need to have a certain view of the world outside to be inspired. You’re free to choose whatever helps you escape the noise and into journal-writing, something, anything that wouldn’t make it seem like a task. You may also see an inspirational journal template.
5. Don’t fear the blank page: Many of us feel intimidated by a blank page and rightfully so, especially if we’re on a deadline. But journal writing should be free of that pressure, so start thinking small and don’t obsess into trying to fill its pages as much as you can.
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Types of Notebook and Journals
You don’t even need to lead an exciting life just to have something to write about because if you pay enough attention to everything around you, there is always, always something to write about.
Here are the most common types of journals you can use:
- Gratitude Journal: As the name suggests, you can use this type of journal to document all the things you’re thankful for each day or week such as people, certain events and things that matter to you the most.
- Vacation/Travel Journal: This is where you can record more than just the places you’ve seen or visited. You can also write about your experiences in your travel, including stuff about people you’ve met. You can write about how you felt, what you thought and how these travel changed you.
- Ideas Journal: In this journal you can record all the ideas and inspirations that flash into your mind at any time without warning, providing a place that you can come back to as an idea-storming resource when you have the time. The ideas can be for writing, for business, for play and just about anything under the sun.
Notebook and Journal Sizes
The two most common standard paper sizes are the ones from the A series and B series. These sizes are under ISO print standards:
Notebook paper size measurements A series:
- A3: 297 x 420 mm (11.7 x 16.5 in)
- A4: 10 x 297 mm (8.3 x 11.7 in)
- A5: 148 x 210 mm (5.8 x 8.3 in)
- A6: 105 x 148 mm (4.1 x 5.8 in)
- A7: 74 x 105 mm (2.9 x 4.1 in)
Notebook paper size measurements B series:
- B5: 176 x 250mm (6.9 x 9.8 in)
- B6: 125 x 176mm (4.9 x 6.9 in)
- B7: 88 x 125mm (3.5 x 4.9 in)
Tips in Keeping a Notebook or Journal
The idea of making our mark and leaving a record to show we existed, that we lived and breathed and experienced different things is something that had always attracted even those that weren’t even the slightest bit interested in writing. A journal is a great way of making it possible, especially if you follow the tips below:
- Be destructive: Break the rules and give yourself the freedom to experiment, play around with anything you can find and make a mess out of your jumbled thoughts. Worry about making sense out of them later. Rub dirt on the page, collect scraps of material that made your day memorable; a shell, a random note from someone, heck even a wrapper would do. Stop caring about the result because it doesn’t have to look great. It just has to be a page you can go back to when you’re feeling nostalgic.
- Just try it: We don’t really try things very often because of our fear of the uncertain, but we should know by now that nothing is ever certain: we make assumptions about outcomes. When you keep a journal, you realize that the really interesting thing is not knowing what will happen, and discovering an unexpected result.
Notebook and Journal FAQs
Is journaling good for anxiety?
You might have been one of those who kept a diary under the mattress of your bed in your teenage years and it probably felt good to write your deepest struggles and fears without fear of being judged. You might have ditched the diary in your adult years but the concept of writing down your thoughts and emotions to understand them clearly still applies. This is especially helpful if you’re suffering from stress and anxiety because it can make you gain better control over your emotions and is good for your mental health.
How do I get better at keeping a notebook or journal?
You don’t have to stress over how and what you write. By all means, write whatever feels right to you. Ditch the writing rule book and don’t try to follow a format. Your journal is your private haven to just discuss whatever you feel and want.
The habit of writing in journals doesn’t mean you have to follow a schedule. Use it as you see fit because keeping a journal helps you establish order when your world feels like it’s in a big mess. It also helps you discover more about yourself through relentless and unapologetic self-expression.