tips for mastering journaling - open journal with colorful tracker

Tips for Mastering Journaling

Mastering journaling is a way to master your life. It allows you to gain clarity and insight into your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. By taking time to reflect, process, and capture what is happening in your life, it can help you to become more mindful, intentional, and in control of your life. It is a way for you to capture your unique story, gain insight into your personal growth, and document your journey. Whether you're just starting out with journaling or you have been doing it for some time, mastering journaling can have a profound positive impact on your life. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of journaling, the benefits of mastering it, and how to get started.

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tips for mastering journaling - open journal with colorful tracker

Journaling Prep

Here are some prep tips to get your started or help keep you on track to mastering journaling:

Find the right supplies

Finding the perfect supplies for your journaling doesn't have to be a challenge. Take the time to really explore the options out there and you'll be sure to find something you fall in love with! Look for colors and textures that make you feel inspired, and choose pens and notebooks that are fun and comfortable to work with.

When you get your favorite pen or a new journal, it's so exciting! The cover is so pretty and the paper is just perfect – it practically begs you to start writing! It's almost impossible not to write in it! When you discover the perfect journaling supplies, you feel full of enthusiasm and motivation to get started. You might just find yourself wanting to journal whenever you have some free time – and that's a great thing!

different colored gel pens

Build a Habit

One often overlooked prep step is getting back into the swing of writing. If you begin jotting down your thoughts and ideas in a journal, it could be the perfect way to motivate yourself to write every day!

If you’re someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy writing, building the habit will be more difficult. Grab a cheap notebook, some printer paper, a pen, or whatever your favorite writing tool is, and give it a shot. Start simple by just writing things down even without a plan. Write down your to-do list or the goals you have. The more often you write in small bursts like this, the more comfortable you’ll get with writing.

Explore different types of journals

If you're looking to become a journaling pro and make it a daily practice, it's important to remember that there are different approaches that might work better for you. Whether you prefer a more traditional journaling style or a gratitude or travel-focused journal, the choice is yours. Here are some journals you might not have considered:

Stream of consciousness

Stream-of-consciousness journaling is one of the most popular methods of self-reflection and inner exploration. It involves writing without any conscious thought, allowing your thoughts and feelings to flow freely onto the page. It is an incredibly freeing experience, and can help you to discover new ideas and perspectives on a variety of topics.

Stream of consciousness journaling can be done in a variety of ways, such as free writing for a certain amount of time each day, or writing a page of thoughts at the end of the day. Regardless of the method, the goal is to discover a deeper level of understanding about yourself and the world around you.

By focusing on your innermost thoughts, you can begin to recognize patterns and gain insight into how you think and feel about certain issues. Additionally, stream of consciousness journaling can help to reduce stress and anxiety as it allows you to express your feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement.


Each morning write down 3 things that you are grateful for. It will help you start the day off on a positive note. This simple activity can put you in a better mood and help you stay focused throughout the day. It's also great for reflecting on the past and looking at how far you’ve come. It will remind you to stay humble and appreciate all the blessings that you have.

bikes parked by a river across from a busy cafe


Keeping a record of all the places you've seen, the food you've tried, and the people you've met provides a great way to look back fondly on a journey. When you open your travel journal, it's like taking a trip down memory lane and reliving all the great moments of your trip.

Keeping a travel journal is a great way to remember all the little details that you would otherwise forget. You can document your experiences in great detail in your travel journal: the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings you experience on your journey are all worth capturing.

Writing in a travel journal is also a great way to express your creativity. You can include sketches and drawings of what you've seen, or even write a poem or a story about the places you've visited. No matter how you choose to document your experiences, a travel journal is sure to become a treasured keepsake.


Art journaling is a creative and therapeutic practice that encourages self-expression and exploration. It is a form of visual storytelling that combines words and images to capture memories and feelings. You can use an art journal to practice sketching, painting, writing, or any other creative medium.


Bullet journaling is becoming increasingly popular as a way to stay organized and on top of daily tasks and goals. It's a versatile system of note-taking, task management, and planning that you can tailor to fit your own needs.

It's simple enough to start with just a few basic supplies: a notebook, a pen, and a few different markers or highlighters. The beauty of bullet journaling is its flexibility. You can add and delete tasks, move them around, and customize the system however you need.

Many people with ADHD love their bullet journals. Often it's used as a planner, but you can easily use it as any other kind of journal as well. The freedom and flexibility of the bullet journal work well to tame the chaos.

colorful bullet journal

Getting started

Now that you understand the pre-journaling preparation steps, it's time to get started with journaling. These tips will benefit anyone who wants to master journaling, no matter if you're a total beginner, or if you've been journaling but need a bit of extra inspiration or motivation.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Commit to daily journaling

If you'd like to become an expert in journaling, it's important to write every day. Even if it's just jotting down what you did on a certain day or things you're grateful for, don't miss a day! Writing regularly is key for mastering the art of journaling.

Journaling doesn't need to be complicated or come with a bunch of rules – the best way to become an expert is to just give it a go! Make a promise to yourself to jot down your thoughts every day and you'll reap the mental and emotional health benefits to improve your life.

Throw out the rules

When you're new to journaling, don't worry about keeping it neat and tidy, spelling things correctly, or making sure your sentences are perfect – the point is to just let yourself write and express freely without any restrictions.

I’m speaking as an English teacher: spelling and grammar don't have to be a worry with journal writing. One of the most difficult things people struggle with when it comes to writing is their internal editor. We are meanest to ourselves. That little voice tells us that we’re stupid and our writing sucks and our grammar is atrocious.

Tell that voice to shut the hell up.

A journal is a special place to simply express yourself, so feel free to write however you feel comfortable. It's not like an essay or book that needs to be edited – it's personal and private, and you can make it your own!

There are many options – some people prefer to write in shorter paragraphs with correct grammar, while others might choose to express themselves with individual words or phrases on the page. Whatever works best for you is the right way to go – just make sure to stay honest and open with your writing, and keep up the practice!

illustration of a pen on a notebook paper marked with A+

Find your motivation

If you're looking for motivation to keep a journal, take some time to think about why it's important to you. Reflect on all the potential benefits that journaling can bring and consider the best reasons to start it.

However, for many people, simply mulling over the advantages of journaling is not always enough to motivate you to keep it up. Rather than take that route, why not explore an alternative? Consider the why not, or what might happen if you don't devote yourself to daily journaling.

It's great that you want to take care of your emotional and mental well-being, relieve stress, and identify what triggers your anxiety. Journaling gives you all these advantages. But if that's not incentive enough, why not journal just for the sheer joy of it?

Or think about what will happen if you don’t journal. Will your anxiety get worse? Will your stress increase? Will your negative thoughts pull you into a depression? Sometimes we need to consider the possible consequences to motivate us.

Re-ignite your love

This is for people who have journaled before and didn’t stick with it. There’s something about it that keeps drawing you in, but you haven’t been able to stick with it.  Without consistency, you won’t be able to feel the full benefits of journaling.  How do you start again and set yourself up for success?

Find new reasons to journal

You may be familiar with the benefits of journaling but not enough to keep you writing daily. That's totally understandable! Why not discover some fresh reasons to journal?

Journaling can be a great way to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, but if that's not why you're interested in it, what is? Are you hoping to gain a better sense of self-awareness? Are you aiming to find more clarity?

Take some time to think about why it's so meaningful to you, and you'll find plenty of your own special reasons to keep it up. It's a great way to express and explore your thoughts, so why not give it a try?

Re-read your writing

If you're feeling a bit stuck with your writing and you're missing that spark of excitement, why not go back to where it all began? Take a look at your early journal entries or perhaps find an old journal from a while back and reminisce. This little trick can really give you that boost you need!

Reading something you wrote in the past is like taking a trip down memory lane; you're instantly transported back to that time in your life, remembering what was going on and why you felt those things. It can even be inspiring and encouraging, motivating you to keep writing, to reminisce, and to continue to create beautiful stories!

Re-reading is also a great way to celebrate how far you’ve come. You can see the progress you’ve made toward your goals and how you’ve changed as a person.

2 Black women talking and sharing their journals

Meet other journalers

Remember that there are journaling communities out there. Connecting with other enthusiasts of journaling can help to rekindle your enthusiasm and motivation. Let yourself be inspired by others, who may journal on a daily basis, make gorgeous bullet journal pages, or simply share their experiences.

Talk to friends and family, or look on social media. You’ll be able to find both in-person and online communities for support.

Try new things

If you're looking to become a pro at journaling, no matter what that means to you, then one tip we have for you is to switch things up every now and then! Changing up your journaling routine can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing and help you find some extra motivation. It can also help clear your mind and offer relief from writer's block.

  • Change the time of day – If you normally write in the morning, try writing at night. If you write at night, try at lunchtime. Sometimes a little change is all you need.
  • Change your mood – If you’re the kind of person who only writes when you’re struggling with something, try writing when you’re in a good mood and things are going well. Write about an amazing day. If you normally write the good things and avoid your journal when you’re upset, let it rip when things are a mess.
  • Add some beauty – Add doodles or pictures. Use colorful pens and washi tape. Make your journal something you enjoy looking at and spending time with.

In conclusion, journaling is a great way to get to know yourself better and to gain insight into your life. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced writer, there are always new ways to improve your journaling practice. By understanding the basics of journaling, implementing a consistent practice, experimenting with different writing styles, and adding creative elements, you can become a master of journaling.

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