Different Types of Journals

21 Different Types of Journals [+ What to Write in Them]

Do you want to start journaling, but aren’t sure where to start or what to write? Here are 21 different types of journals to inspire you to finally start keeping a journal!

Journals can be used for all kinds of things – as a record or tool, or even to vent. Journaling even has a ton of health benefits

Starting a journal can be overwhelming – how do you decide what to include and how often to write in it?? 

Relax! There’s no wrong way to journal. People use journals for all kinds of purposes and there are so many different types of journals out there. But if you are struggling to get started and aren’t sure what to write, try starting with a specific journal type or theme to help give you direction.

Here are 21 ideas for different types of journals you could keep

21 Different Types of Journals to Keep

1. Classic Journal

This is what most people think of when they think of a journal. Buy a simple lined or unlined notebook and use it as a diary. You can write whatever you want in it!

You can add an entry every day, or every week. Write a few lines or write pages and pages – whatever works for you.

If you ever kept a diary when you were younger, this was probably it.

2. Bullet Journal 

Bullet journals are insanely popular. If you know someone who uses a bullet journal then you probably also know how much they love it! Out of all the types of journals we cover in this post, this one has the most vocal and enthusiastic fans!

A bullet journal is flexible and easy to customize for whatever you want to use it for. This type of journal is particularly useful for people who 

  • like to make lists of all sorts 
  • like to use pen and paper
  • track goals and other things
  • want to able to keep track of whatever they want in their journal

All bullet journals start with a customized index page at the beginning so that you know where to find everything in your journal. 

Pro tip: don’t over complicate your individual pages! You should be able to understand at a glance what is on the page.

If you want more help, this article has a very helpful step-by-step introduction to setting up a bullet journal.

3. Group Journal

A group journal is a journal that you pass around within a group of people. When each person has it they write down a bit about what is going on in their life, or in response to what other people have written, and then they pass it on to the next person.

This could be especially fun if you can get together with a group that is spread out in a lot of different places. Ever read (or seen) Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Something like that, except with a journal, instead of pants.

4. Manifestation Journal

A manifestation journal is used for keeping track of what you are manifesting. Have you ever heard of a vision board? This is similar, except that it is a whole journal dedicated to helping you manifest what you want and make your vision a reality.

A good way to set up your manifestation journal is to only focus on one goal per page (or couple of pages).  Then add words, pictures, drawings, affirmations – whatever will help you manifest your vision more clearly.

Make sure you go back and write down the date you manifested your goal!

(Here is a great article all about manifesting journals and how they work.)

5. One Line a Day Journal

This is exactly what it sounds like – you write one line a day!

This is a no frills, low pressure way to keep track of what’s going on in your life. Just write a sentence or two about what happened that day or how you are feeling. It shouldn’t take up very much space. You can even use a regular calendar and just write your line directly on the calendar

6. Prayer Journal

This is a journal devoted to tracking your prayers. Write down your prayers instead of saying them. Then you can revisit them later and record what kind of response or answer you got.

7. Dream Journal

A dream journal is for keeping track of your dreams. If you want to do this, you need to write your dreams down as soon as you wake up, because you get up and start moving the details start to slip away very quickly. Then you can come back later and analyse your dreams for deeper meaning and guidance. My sister used to track her dream and she discovered that often she would dream about an event a YEAR or TWO before it happened. She would never have noticed this if she hadn’t been keeping a dream journal.

8. Food Journal

A food journal is for tracking what you eat and drink. How detailed you get is up to you. You can just write down generally what you eat or you can get super detailed and break down calorie counts and macros and all that. You can also track your mood, digestion, skin health, or other things in order to figure out how you personally are affected by different foods.

9. Fitness Journal

Use a fitness journal to track your fitness journey and your workouts. You can track your workout schedule and details, log your runs, track your mood, physical stats, anything related to how you keep fit.

10. Travel Journal

A travel journal is a great way to keep track of your trips! It can be really fun to have a brand new journal for each trip. You can keep exhaustive notes, write down stories, and attach pictures, tickets, and other mementos.

11. Garden Journal

A garden journal is perfect for you if you love to garden. It can be used to keep track of what’s going on in your garden, what is changing, things you want to try, planning out garden beds, etc. You can even use it to keep notes on your plant health and development or to note what animals you see.

12. Nature Journal

If you like to go on nature walks or spend a lot of time observing the natural world, then a nature journal may be right up your alley! Use it for sketches, observations, poems – anything dedicated to the natural world you love.

13. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journals are really big right now,and for good reason! Cultivating an attitude of gratefulness has a huge impact on your mood and health. Keeping a gratitude journal is really easy: every day, write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter if they are small or big things, as long as you keep them positive.

14. Project Journal

If you regularly work on large projects, then you might find it useful to keep a project journal. This is a journal to keep track of a specific project. You can include a record of what you have done and when, results, data, measurements, notes, etc. Keeping a project journal will not only help keep you organized, but it will give you a way to look back afterwards and see what worked, what didn’t, and what improvements you can make for next time.

15. Moving Journal

Got a big move coming up? Use a moving journal to keep yourself organized. Use if for ongoing to-do lists, checklists, and to keep a record of the process. You can also use a moving journal to write down your feelings, thoughts, and anxieties as you go through the process. Moving is stressful and just taking the time to get your thoughts out can help keep you centered and on track.

16. Art Journal

You don’t have to be an artist to keep an art journal! If you are a creative person (hint: You are definitely a creative person, even if you think you aren’t), you can start an art journal! You can use it for daily doodles, sketches, and musings, or to track art projects and ideas. I would suggest using a blank, unlined notebook for this kind of journal.

17. Reading Journal

A book journal is great if you read a lot. Everytime you start a new book, write down the title and the date. Then when you finish it, note the date and write out your reaction and review. You can also keep a list of books you’d like to read or buy.

18. Pregnancy Journal

Keeping a pregnancy journal will not only help you through your pregnancy, but it will also give you a special memento that you can look back on through the years. Use it to track anything pregnancy related – doctor’s visits, diet, emotions, planning, lists, etc.

19. Idea Journal

An idea journal is a journal set aside just for any ideas you have. It’s a good idea to use a small notebook for this kind of journal so that it’s easy to slip into a purse or pocket. Anytime you have an idea, whip out your idea journal and jot it down!

20. Poetry Journal

If you love to write or read poems, a poetry journal is for you! Use this journal to jot down lines of poetry (or entire poems) that you love, and to write down your own poetic musings.

21. Junk Journal

A junk journal is unique, in that you won’t ever go back and read over what you wrote! Don’t use a nice notebook for this. Get a cheap spiral-bound one. Use it for brain dumps and writing out strong emotions. The whole point is just to get stuff out of your head and down on paper – and then let it go. Once the notebook is full, burn it! Or just throw it out. But don’t hold onto it and don’t read over what you’ve written. It’s all junk.

In Conclusion: Which Types of Journals are You Going to Try?

Keeping multiple types of journals for different things is a great way to keep organized and track things that are important to you, and to remember and chronicle important events in your life. 

There are so many different types of journals out there. The sky (and your imagination) are the limit! 

Happy journaling! 

Have you tried keeping a journal? What kind of journal did you keep? Did you like it?

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