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18 Amazing Different Ways to Journal (+ Powerful Creative Ideas)

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Looking for journaling inspiration?

Journaling is considered one of the best self-care practices out there. It has massive benefits, from stress therapy to boosting confidence to holding you accountable toward your goals and dreams. 

Starting a journal is highly valuable if you are starting a new endeavor or are serious about overcoming a particular situation. The more we nurture and care for ourselves, the more our life expands. 

There are various reasons to journal depending on your specific needs, but allow me to point out several below:

  • Journaling as a self-reflection tool. 
  • Journaling as a clarity tool for jotting down notes and creative ideas.
  • Journaling as an organizational tool for daily planning and logging. 
  • Journaling is a grounding tool for releasing thoughts and feelings. 
  • Journaling is a tool for practicing consistency, concentration, and focus.
  • Journaling as a tool to practice intentional living. 

As you can see, I am pro-journaling!

So, without further ado, here are 18 different ways to journal to get your creative juices flowing. 


1. Mental and Emotional Health Journal

If you are working with a mental health counselor or healer, starting a journal to accompany your sessions can be helpful. 

Therapeutic treatment is a vulnerable time. Usually, a traumatic event prompts the decision to work with a professional, so we can be lost and unclear. We are in the trenches, trying to understand ourselves and figuring out how to navigate our situation. 

Many things are discussed, from grieving to boundary setting, addressing unhelpful relational patterns, and uncovering old childhood wounds. Dedicating time to reflect on your sessions can help therapeutic advice click and accelerate your overall process.

Ideas on What to Include in a Mental and Emotional Health Journal:

  • Script affirmations
  • Document core wounds you are working on
  • Document discussions and advice given by your therapist
  • Track moods and thoughts
  • Answer shadow work questions

2. Food Journal

asian-woman-wearing-apron-writing food-recipes-journal

I immediately think of healthy food journaling when I think of food journaling, but the ideas on how to use a food journal are endless. 

Ideas on What to Include in a Food Journal:

  • Journal dining and food adventures for food writers
  • Creating food and cocktail recipes
  • Noting herbal remedies and studying herbs
  • Healthy meal planning
  • Letting go of unhelpful eating patterns
  • Nutrition tips and advice 
  • Starting a new lifestyle, like going vegan

3. Glow Up and Self-Transformation Journal

Sometimes, a setback like a devastating breakup can catalyze us into a much-needed healing cycle and open childhood wounds. Starting a glow-up journal can be an enjoyable and therapeutic way to stay motivated as you reinvent yourself. 

With a glow-up journal, you can track your internal and external self-transformation as you work on self-love, healing self-worth, or increasing your confidence. You can also use your journal to develop a new self-care ritual that fits the new version of you.

Ideas on What to Include in a Glow Up and Self-Transformation Journal:

4. Hobby Journal

different-ways-to-journal-my-life-journal-hobby-plant-a garden
Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

Are you learning how to play chess, picking up a new sport like pickleball, or taking an improv class? When embarking on a new skill or hobby, keeping a hobby journal can be helpful for taking notes and documenting your process, especially if you are taking a class. You can write down what you learned, set goals, express yourself, and have fun while you expand and develop.

5. Physical Health Journal 

Are you starting a new exercise regimen or yoga practice? A physical health journal is another powerful journal you can start. Creating a journal can keep you accountable, organized, and focused on transforming your physical health. 

In the past, my personal training clients who were successful at their goals were self-motivated and arrived at our sessions prepared when I assigned homework. So it wasn’t me who was helping them; it was them. In your journal, you can gently analyze progress, setbacks, and most importantly, what you’ve learned about yourself along your journey.

Ideas on What to Include in a Physical Health Journal:

6. Self-Love and Healing Journal

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

A self-love and healing journal is a great way to remind you to love and nurture yourself. Some of us have walked through life unaware that our self-love tank has been nearly empty. But once you are aware of this, you can start caring for your well-being and cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself. 

Ideas on What to Include in a Self-Love and Healing Journal:

7. Daily Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is every spiritual teacher’s favorite vibration, and for good reason. Because it works! 

If you’ve ever experienced your mind taking over and going on overdrive, gratitude is a powerful remedy for calming the mind. Our mind has about 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts daily, so not every thought manifests, but our overall vibration will. 

Developing a gratitude practice like gratitude journaling can help you powerfully redirect your thoughts and find gratitude for what you already have.

Ideas on What to Include in a Daily Gratitude Journal:

8. Creativity Journal


Whether you’re picking up a new creative hobby like pottery or pursuing a career in the creative arts, starting a creativity journal is a great way to document techniques you’ve learned, set goals, and jot down your creative ideas. 

Developing your creative talents and gifts is ultra-fulfilling and therapeutic. Doodling in your journal can be meditative and get your creative juices flowing. It’s also nostalgic to look back on old journals to see who you were at that snapshot in time.

9. Daily Self-Refection Journal

Daily introspection, especially during significant change, transitions, and upheaval, is therapeutic and growth-inducing. A daily self-reflection journal can help you live more intentionally and find clarity. Because of our busy lives, most of us tend to project our energy outwards, but setting aside time to go inward is a powerful practice for attuning to your spirit deeply.

Ideas on What to Include in a Daily Self-Reflection Journal:

  • Set daily intentions and reflect on them
  • Develop mindfulness
  • Reflect and dissolve ego traits (e.g., transcending rigidity and control because of fear and shame).
  • Build and reflect on character traits (e.g., alignment and integrity with words and actions)
  • Answer journal prompt questions

10. Manifesting Journal


If you are serious about manifesting, starting a manifestation journal is a must! A manifestation journal can help you manifest your dreams into reality with manifesting practices such as scripting, visualizing, and embodying the wish fulfilled. You can organize your goals, track progress, and experiment with different manifesting techniques. Read my complete guide on how to write in a manifesting journal.

 Ideas on What to Include in a Manifestation Journal:

Related: 21 Powerful Shadow Work Journal Prompts for Manifestation

11. Self-Discovery Journal

Are you soul-seeking right now? A self-discovery journal is a fun tool to accompany your quest and search for your true self and the truth. A self-discovery journal generally focuses on self-growth, self-exploration, and answering self-discovery journal prompts. In your journal, you can nurture creative impulses, write down life ponderings, discover your hidden potential and gifts, find your life purpose, and so much more. 

12. Bullet Journal 

Bullet journaling, invented by Ryder Caroll, was all the rage in 2013 and persists as one of the best productivity systems in modern culture. Our social media feeds were inundated with productivity tips and instructions on how to create your own bullet journal

Consider the Bujo method, like the DIY and ala carte system for journals and planners. The Bujo method is perfect for creatives who live outside the box but also value structure and can’t seem to find a planner that fits their needs. It is ideal for designer types who thrive on precision, perfected lines, immaculate penmanship, and organization. 

It is time-consuming, but you’ll figure out how to create a style that works for you.

13. Morning Pages

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

Morning Pages is a meditative journaling practice invented by Julia Cameron. She teaches this ritual in her book The Artists Way, a 12-week self-help program for creatives.

With this ritual, you handwrite three pages in a stream-of-consciousness style every morning. Stream of consciousness means free writing whatever thoughts come to mind without editing. You don’t pick up the pen from your paper and write. 

You’ll see that the monkey brain is just a bunch of static noise. Your writing will be gibberish, broken sentences, and nothing will make sense. 

Morning Pages is an excellent precursor to traditional meditation for meditation newbies who feel uneasy meditating. This ritual will calm down the mind. Hands down. It works.  

14. Finance and Budgeting Journal

Whether you’re just learning about finances, getting out of debt, or on your way to millionaire status, starting a personal finance journal is the perfect way to organize your financial life. Finance enthusiasts and gurus swear by financial planners. If premade financial planners don’t suit you, designing your own financial journal is a fabulous option. You can customize your journal according to your money needs and goals. 

Ideas on What to Include in a Finance and Budgeting Journal:

  • Write money goals
  • Create and track budgets  
  • Create a finance plan and strategy
  • Script money and abundance affirmations
  • Identify limiting beliefs about money
  • Study stocks and investments
  • Develop healthy money habits 
  • Learn money psychology and behavioral patterns

Related: Personal Net Worth: How to Calculate + (Free Worksheet)

15. Spiritual Awakening Journal

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

When we undergo an awakening of sorts, we are experiencing an expansion of consciousness and deeply questioning our existence. So many things are changing, from physical, mental, and emotional to external changes. 

If you are undergoing a spiritual awakening, a kundalini awakening, or a dark night of the soul, keeping a journal to document your experience as you process your reality can help you stay grounded while navigating this confusing and vulnerable time.

Ideas on What to Include in a Spiritual Awakening Journal:

  • Process old wounds and trauma
  • Document daily experience 
  • Plan changes you would like to make in your life
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Start a gratitude practice
  • Deep introspection of self and connection to the Universe

Related: The Map of Consciousness by Dr. David R. Hawkins Explained

16. Dream Journal

Dreams are a fascinating topic. Studying how the mind works during sleep has intrigued metaphysicians, oneirologists, and psychologists like Carl Jung over centuries.   

While ninety percent of our dreams are our mind filtering and cleansing itself at night, ten percent hold important messages and symbols worthy of analysis. Decoding dreams is a powerful method to study your subconscious. 

If you are diving deep into a self-transformation and healing journey, have recurring nightmares, or are just curious about your dreamscape, keeping a dream journal beside your bed might benefit you. 

17. Travel Journal

Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

A travel journal is the ultimate companion for travel writers, enthusiasts, and adventurers. You can keep many things in your travel journal, from trip ponderings to romanticizing your travels by sketching and writing poetry. 

You can reflect on your favorite places, what you liked and didn’t like, how the trip impacted you, and what you were most grateful for about the trip. What was the culture like? Any tips and tricks you learned that you would like to tell friends when they travel? Here is a complete travel journal list by Traveling Tulls.

Ideas on What to Include in a Travel Journal:

  • Trip budgeting
  • Packing List
  • Itineraries and flight information
  • Plan museums, restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, excursions, historical sightings, and landmarks.
  • Document fun experiences and memorable moments 
  • Translate basic words like “hello” and “thank you.”

18. Wedding Journal

Your big day deserves a journal, too! Planning a wedding is intense and time-consuming, especially if you are going to host a big, elaborate festive celebration. 

There are many things to think about, from picking out your wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses to searching for wedding venues, floral arrangements, wedding cake, wedding inspiration, theme, table organization, writing your speech, and planning the ceremony and dinner party. As you can see, it can quickly get overwhelming.  

So, starting a journal to keep organized is a fantastic idea! When it’s all done, a wedding journal can be nostalgic to reflect on and reminisce about. 

Closing Thoughts on Different Ways to Journal

And voila! When it comes to journaling, the world is your oyster. Creating a magical life you love rests upon what you do behind closed doors and in your spare time. I hope these 18 different ways to journal will inspire you to start a journal and enjoy the journaling process. 

You might also enjoy: Law of Attraction: Beginner’s Manifestation Guide 

If you liked the article, please consider sharing it on Pinterest and connecting with us on social media. Happy manifesting.

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Picture of Susan Pham, mbgFNC
Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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