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Journaling- The stellar comeback of journals

For many of us, it seems a lifetime ago when we maintained a diary, or jotted down a few thoughts, or indulged in a little journal therapy. Our lives have been made easier (?) by gadgets, but the lure of writing or expressing oneself in a diary is irresistible, not to mention quite effect, handy and practical as well! Journaling, whether to pen down private thoughts, experiment with art or organise one’s self is making a stellar comeback. You need only look at the breath-taking images from journals on apps like Instagram and Pinterest for proof of some fantabulous work out there!

 Bookedforlife rounds up a list of different types of journals that are popular today. Are you all set for a new journaling adventure? 


The personal diary and/or the reflection journal


Simple notebooks with lovely covers can work well for daily journaling.

This is the most quintessential and traditional type of journal where you just note down your thoughts. Julia Cameron introduced the idea of “The Morning Pages” in her timeless book on creativity: The Artist’s Way. The morning pages are longhand stream of consciousness writing to be written the first thing every morning. Over a period of time, Cameron believes, and many creative people corroborate, that this process works on the inner creativity. The process of writing morning pages will enhance your creativity and insight. In The 5AM Club, author Robin Sharma talks about the benefits of maintaining daily diaries to be used for reflection in a specially designed slot for the same every morning. 

Your reflection journal will be one where you note down your deepest thoughts, musings and reflections. Not only will you feel light at heart, but it will help you magically sort through many issues that you may be facing at the moment.


Point to note: You may choose from a selection of lined journals with thicker pages that stand the test of time.


The topic journals


Lot’s of free space to write your thoughts, and gorgeous images and lines from Ruskin bond make up this journal.

You may want to note down information and thoughts about specific hobbies and activities. Jotting down details about your plants and garden tips in a gardening journal, or noting recipes in a recipe book or maybe maintaining a record of books you have read; all these are specific journals for specific purposes.

One of the most popular categories here are travel journals. Traveling is a passion for many people. What could be better than noting down memories as you travel complete with little knick-knacks and adding on a few pictures later on? Many of us do not print pictures anymore. Our travels are chronicled online on social media and remain on our computer drives. However, if you are a passionate traveller you may want to note down your thoughts and experiences and capture it in a travel journal. If you’re a nature buff you must have a look at Ruskin Bond’s journals, which you will find tailor-made for anyone who adores nature!

Point to note: There are several tailor-made journals available for specific purposes. Some of these have interesting information and nuggets related to the topic in question.


The keepsake journal


This is a five year journal and could be used as a great keepsake for a five-year milestone, after which you could switch on to another journal.

Sometimes we want to write a journal in order to chronicle our thoughts for a particular person who is important to us, and then gift the journal to them at an appropriate occasion. I wrote a little diary for my parents and gifted the same to them the day I got married and left their home. I know that they cherish the journal! I have written a journal noting down the little details about my pregnancy and year one of my son. There is another ongoing one for him, where I have put in random musings and I plan to gift it to him on his sixteenth birthday.


Point to note: These journals are written with a view to gifting someone else with your thoughts. The design could be slightly fancy and aesthetically appealing keeping in mind the linking of the receiver.


Bullet Journal


A grid journal is the best for Bullet journaling

BuJo or Bullet Journaling is quite a rage now! Despite the availability of several scheduling and organising apps, the simple act of putting pen to paper for scheduling still has many takers. Bullet Journaling will help you to organise your time and thoughts in a manner that suits you best. The system is very personal and evolves for you as you use it. While you can read more about the how-to of the process here, you may also seek inspiration from beautifully done up journal pictures online. You can start off with any simple notebook or journal. However, if you want something more inspiring and prettier and adaptable to the BuJo spirit, I would recommend dotted paper notebooks.


Point to note: Dotted notebooks offer a lot of flexibility for Bullet journaling.


Art Journal

This book has tips on how you can maintain a daily art journal

Give a free reign to your creativity by executing different art projects in your art journal. You may try out varied art, craft or painting techniques here.  Just like your personal diary chronicles your thoughts, an art journal will show you your creative development over time. It gives you a chance to dabble in projects and ideas on a non-judgmental platform before you try it out elsewhere. It can serve as your inspirational board as well.

Point to note: Look out for a journal with thicker paper so that the colours don’t bleed. Also, look for a slightly larger size so you get a wider canvas for expression.


 Take your pick and start off your journaling adventure. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section!





Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.