The Easiest Way You Can Start Journaling
Journaling is kind of this elusive thing. How do you start? How do you keep going? What do you even write about? Do I have to start all of my entries with “Dear Diary”? Do I have to journal every day?
It’s a lot, really, when you’re considering taking up journaling. But, I’ve found there’s really only two things you need to worry about if you want to journal:
Where will I journal?
How often will I journal?
Where or How Will I Journal?
Well, before we answer that question, let’s answer another question.
Paper or digital?
We all pretty much have a phone constantly at our fingertips these days, and that makes digital the obvious choice for a number of people. But, some of us like the feel of a pen on paper. Or maybe you’re like me and don’t fully trust that everything is saved in the cloud for realsies, so you want your own copy.
There’s no right or wrong answer, but choosing one will help you answer your second question, which is “How often will I journal?”
Let me explain. If I chose paper journaling, it might only be convenient for me to journal say once a week. But, if I choose to journal digitally, I could really journal every day, multiple times a day, if I wanted.
For that reason, I reallyyyyy recommend that all beginner journalists (Yes, you’re a journalist! Reporting on the story of your life!), start digitally. You don’t even need a fancy app. Your built in notes app on your iPhone or Android is perfect. Why? Well, you can have a folder just for your journal notes, then you can have folders within that folder say for each month, and the best part, they’re automatically dated for you!
Not to mention that journaling digitally is the most cost effective way to start journaling. It’s cheap, plain and simple. It’s cheap and you will be ready to journal those snarky comebacks you wish you had thought of in the moment. Don’t worry, they’ll be saved and at your service for next time 😉
Okay, that’s cool and all, but I want to go old school. Pen and paper.
I’ve got you, babe.
We all have different personalities, and some of us can remember things on paper better than if they’re stored in our phone. I totally understand. If you’re wanting to go the paper route, but not really sure if you’ll stick with it long term, go to the store and get you a niceeee 50 cent notebook. You know the ones, spiral bound, thin paper, college or wide ruled.
It’s not the most glamorous thing, but it will get you started. But, some of us also need pretty things to motivate us. I feel. But. The pretty journals are expensive, and after starting one too many journals and completing five pages, I’ve wasted approximately $3829 on pretty journals.
If pretty things are your motivation, use the fancy journal as a motivation. Meaning, give yourself a goal like, “If I can journal X times this month, then I’ll get myself that over-priced journal at Barnes & Noble.”
What if you want the best of both worlds?
This is me! I like the ease of having my journal right on my phone when I need it, but I really wish I was the kind of person who had the most beautiful journal speckled with colorful pens and stickers.
So, I just print my notes out. Hook your phone up to a wireless printer and print those babies out! Then, grab a hole punch and stick them in a binder that you can decorate to your heart’s galore. The best part? You almost never have to worry about running out of space in your most beautiful journal.
Perfect Journals to Reward Yourself
How often will I journal?
So, you’ve answered the question of where you want to journal, but aren’t quite sure what you can commit to. Every day is a pretty big commitment. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from goal setting, setting unattainable goals is more discouraging than encouraging.
Start with just twice a week. Not only will that give you a chance to get used to journaling, but it will be flexible. If you’re busy one night, just do it the next night, no worries.
Not to mention that sometimes days are just boring. It’s not fun to write “I woke up, went to work, came home and watched Netflix.”
Now, if Karen got all up in your business at work, write that shiz down!
After you’ve consistently or even semi consistently journaled twice a week, then you know you’re committed. Maybe you’ll never write more than that, or maybe once a week is good enough for you. Whatever you decide, it is your journal.
Journaling isn’t such a mystery now, huh? Get to writing in your journal, ladies. Who knows, maybe one day it will be found and put in a museum. So, put in the juicy stuff, for the good of us all.