There are lots of journaling FAQs that we could have answered, but we started with the top 15 most common ones. Chances are, you may have asked yourself some of these journaling FAQs at some point. We've done our best to answer and point you to additional resources that can help you learn more!
1. What is journaling?
Journaling is a form of writing. And there are lots of reasons why people may start journaling. It can be a great way to record your thoughts and feelings, similar to a diary or free-flow writing. But it can also be more structured - to track progress, record events, stay organized, keep a daily log, and write down new ideas.
People often journal regularly, sometimes on a daily basis. But it all depends on your goals and what you’re trying to accomplish with journaling! Read more in our Beginner’s Guide to Journaling blog!
2. How do you start journaling?
One of the trickiest parts of journaling is starting. It can be tough to sit down and know how to start journaling. Because there are so many different ways to journal. There are no right ways or wrong ways. The key is that making a journal is a fulfilling and enriching process. And ultimately one that you maintain and enjoy. Check out the different types of journaling that you can explore to find a type that may be right for you. Plus tips for making journaling a daily habit.
3. Why is journaling so hard?
One of the many good things about journaling is that it can be a way you experience personal growth and self-discovery. But taking the first step is hard work. And knowing what type of journaling is best suited for your life and personality can be difficult. Part of why journaling is so hard is that it requires time. When we’re busy, it’s hard to spend much time sitting, quietly, writing our thoughts on paper. It’s important to think about what makes journaling fulfilling for you and how you can use journaling as a tool in your daily life to reduce stress, not add to it.
4. What should I write in journaling?
Whatever you want to write about! That’s the beauty of journaling. There is no certain way you have to journal. And if you have a specific perception of what journaling should be, then it’s probably too limited. You can journal about any and everything - your hobbies, your habits, your childhood, your relationships, your ideas, you name it!
Journaling prompts can be a great way to unleash your creativity and process your thoughts. Prompts can also help you dig deeper into your past and present life in order to better understand where you want to be in the future. Here are some journaling prompt LISTS for you about self-discovery and anxiety.
5. Can journaling be harmful?
There are lots of well-known benefits of journaling. There are psychology studies that show journaling can help boost your mood and improve your memory while reducing stress and the effects of depression and anxiety. That being said, your mental health is most important. If there are aspects of journaling that you find harmful, then steer clear of those. Focus on a positive mindset and the parts of journaling that help you feel better and improve your overall quality of life.
6. What are the two types of journal?
There are actually many different types of journaling. More than just two! From the type of journal you choose to write in, to the topics you choose to write about. There is a wide variety of journaling.
Some people prefer writing in a physical journal with pen and paper. Individual pages or a bound notebook, a ruled or blank notebook, specific types of pens or pencils, decorated with washi tape and colorful stickers or plain black and white. The same applies to your actual journal writing. Your journaling practice is a fantastic way to be creative and personalized.
7. How do I start a bullet journal for beginners?
Bullet journals are made for personalization. At Silk+Sonder, we have bullet journal pages in our monthly journals. These pages are perfect for beginners and journalers who have never tried bullet journaling before now. If you want to start your own dedicated bullet journal, there are lots of examples available online for bullet journal layouts and ideas. A simple Google search, and you’ll find endless templates and mockups of bullet journal pages you can try on your own. Plus we have a list of fun bullet journal insider tips for you to try!
8. What is an example of a journal?
There are so many different types of journals. Depending on your purpose or intent for starting a journal, you may choose a certain type of journal. But if you want more of a structured journal, Silk+Sonder has lists of journal prompts that can help you get started writing in your journal.
- Journaling prompts for anxiety
- Journaling prompts for self-discovery
- Journaling prompts for when you don’t know what to write about
9. Is journaling for everyone?
Yes! Journaling really is for everyone. You don’t even have to enjoy writing that much to enjoy aspects of journaling and to benefit from them. Check out some of the health benefits of journaling!
10. Is journaling a waste of time?
If you’ve journaled in the past, and you’ve felt like it's a waste of time, then you may want to try a different type of journaling. There are lots of different variations of journals - bullet journals, travel journals, dream journals, health and fitness journals. Get more ideas from our list of types of journals!
11. Is it better to type or write a journal?
There is no research to suggest that writing is better than typing (or vice versa) when it comes to journaling. But the physical act of writing tends to slow down our minds and help us focus on a singular task. There are also lots of journal accessories that can make a physical journal and writing pens a more enjoyable experience. We have a list of favorite journaling pens and accessories we recommend!
12. What should I do if I don't like journaling?
If you don’t like journaling, there’s probably a reason why. Does it remind you of your essay writing years in grade school? Are you trying to journal for hours at a time? What about journaling do you not like the most?
Because there are so many mental health benefits to journaling, it’s worth trying to find a type of journal that you love. Good news is that the journaling possibilities are endless - in fact, there are probably way more types of journaling than you even imagined. Read more about all the mental health benefits from journaling. AND check out suggestions of different journals you could try!
13. Where can I journal online?
There are lots of journal-keeping apps available online for free. If you’re not into hand-written journaling, then check out our list of 11 apps for journaling. Also, we have our own Silk+Sonder app for our community of subscribers!
14. What do you write in a mental health journal?
It is proven that journaling can have an incredibly positive impact on our mental health. We’ve compiled some of the most compelling evidence for mental health journaling. But when it comes to actually writing about our mental health, there are a lot of ways to go about it.
There is manifestation journaling, which is closely tied to self-discovery and positive mental health. We can use our journaling to help us conceptualize what personal growth we want to work towards. We have a list of tips from mental health experts on how to use journaling to help you flourish during hard times.
15. Should I throw away my journal?
It’s up to you! If journaling is a way to release, vent and process negativity in order to move toward positivity, then you may want to throw your journals away. This may be a nice ritual and a way to symbolically move into the future. If journaling is a way you track your progress and personal growth or is an archive of projects, travels, and habits, then you may want to keep them. You may enjoy re-reading and reflecting on them one day in the future. Whether or not to throw away your journals is a purely personal choice.
If you're interested in trying a Silk+Sonder journal, check out our different subscriptions that we offer!