Journaling – How to Start and Choosing One to Inspire you

Is your life messy or uninspired?

Sticky notes everywhere, lists on your desk pad, in your diary…notes in a exercise book or half a list on your pc…


You can not keep track of anything…you don’t really have a plan, so who cares where you are going?

You know what is the real problem about being messy or uninspired? Total frustration, living day by day and not really feel that you are even part of it!

So…why do this to yourself?

I am messy too… Oh yes, I try not to be – but the moment I lose my grip on being ORGANIZED, messy takes over…and she is NASTY!

Luckily, there is a cure for this little inefficiency – a journal or journals.  

I got a gorgeous journal for Christmas and decided not to spoil the clean, crisp, blank pages with random notes and scrabbles. I made it my business to search for the proper way to use my journal.

And not just to start a journal, but to make it a habit.  A Daily Habit.  AN ORGANISED & INSPIRED DAILY HABIT!

Have you ever considered starting a journal? 

If you can push through and begin journaling though, there are tons of benefits.

Journaling – How to Start & Choosing One to Inspire you:

Why start a Journal?

Lots of people start a journal to help them:

  • Stay organized – Daily, Monthly, Yearly Planners
  • Live an Intentional Life – Inspiration and Motivation on the go!
  • List Making – From Meal Planning to Bucket Lists.
  • Hold themselves accountable – short increments of time a day… it’s all you need!
  • Log Ideas – Remember the perfect line you come up with whilst driving and now your memory is a blurr?  You feel like you have lost your break to greatness!  Or the name of some fancy blog you wanted to read…
  • Task Tracker – the mundane tasks, the ones you are not really interested in, but just need to finalise?
  • Make conscious efforts to be a better version of themselves – OUCH!  Self care, Self Discovery, Self Motivation, Self Love…nothing wrong with this, you owe it to yourself.
  • Track progress – water drinking tracker…money saving tracker…travel arrangements…’My pregnancy’…
  • Infuse creativity – write or draw, paint or sketch, this is your place, your inspiration and also, you records to remind you of your ideas and progress.
  • Keep track of time spent – block out 20/30 minutes for specific errands and to boost productivity or you can use one journal as a dairy and reflect on what you were doing during the month, year…
  • Jot down daily activities – when did it start raining this year and how much? (do you sense a bit of farmer in me?!), when was the last day I cut my hair?
  • Habit Tracker – Eating habits?!  3000 steps a day?!
  • Relief Stress – nothing serious, just doodle or make a mind map, sketches of how you want to arrange your dining room…
  • Set Goals – I want to lose 10kg this year = we’re in March, so it’s 1kg a month…I will remind myself the beginning of every month, how much I have lost.  To motivate myself, I will carry over the accumulate weigh loss. 
  • Practice Skills – It goes hand in hand with allowing yourself to be creative every day.  New at hand-lettering?  Buy a new journal and exercise 5 minutes a day.
  • Vision Board – things you like, places you are dreaming of…

The most important part of the above exercise and journaling in general?

It’s about you.

Journaling Get started with enough Ideas and Resources to make it a daily organised habit. Get all the detail on journal journaling 2 Journaling – How to Start and Choosing One to Inspire youJournaling Get started with enough Ideas and Resources to make it a daily organised habit. Get all the detail on journal journaling 2 Journaling – How to Start and Choosing One to Inspire you

How to start a journal

  1. Firstly, decide WHY you want to start a journal;
  2. Is it to be more organised, to keep track of your habits, to be more creative?
  3. If you know your WHY, choose a journal type or types (listed below);
  4. You want to start a journal for you – RIGHT?
  5. Start simple.
  6. If you don’t like to write without lines, buy yourself a journal with lines.
  7. Don’t overcomplicate. 
  8. Don’t compare the look of your journal with the perfect pages you see around.  Rather use it as inspiration.
  9. Get ideas before you start.  ​​​​
  10. Plan your journal’s layout.
  11. Plan your content.
  12. Remember to include an INDEX.
  13. Leave the back of your journal for permanent spreads, like Blogs to Check out/Wedding Planner etc.
  14. Schedule TIME to journal each day.
  15. Beautify your journal with the different options people are using, i.e doodling, quotes (see list further down in this post).  Its optional.
  16. A journal needs to be FUNCTIONAL.
  17. There is no right or wrong Journal –it’s yours.  

Like any art form, there are obviously certain supplies unique to journaling. Below, we will briefly look into what others are using.


A Journal/Notebook

  • A DOT GRID Journal (for Bullet Journaling)
  • A Blank Notebook, or
  • Any Book with ruler pages


  • Any fine tip pen
  • Micron Fine Liner Pens
  • Brush Markers

Planner Stickers/Embellishments

The Amazon products contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission with no additional cost to you.


The term ‘Journal; can easily be substituted with ‘Life Planner’; ‘Diary’ or ‘Notebook’.Here is a list of different types of Journals:

  • Art Journal – Make art in your own space, with the medium of your choice, or experiment with different forms of expression.  You don’t have to share it, it’ your creative space!
  • Bible Journal – Express your divine connection in the form of words or color.  
  • Bullet Journal (BUJO) – Bullet Journals are the most common journals around journaling.  In the words of the creator of Bullet Journals – “The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” ~ Ryder Carroll
  • Creative Journal – In this journal, you will add content and experiment with color, shapes, styles to eventually create a new product or add finishing touches to an existing item. Eg if you create soft toys, you will make rough sketches of something you have seen at a craft show, later refine it more, and eventually end up with a your own take on the item. 
  • Daily Planner – is just what is says.  Imagine anything that happens to you in a day, capture or track that.  Eg.  Meal Planning, Tasks to do, Water drinking tracker etc. 
  • Free Form Journal – i.e. practising watercoloring
  • Goal or Clarity Planner – as Livia states in her post:                 
  • “taking stock and figuring out if it feels good to be right here, right now.In recent years, it has become a tradition in our home to regularly set time aside to reflect on the past few months to see whether where we are is in line with where we want to go.”Her words sum up why you want to have a seperate goal planner or maybe incorporate one in your current journal.    If you want to hold yourself accountable for progress, you need a goal/clarity planner!
  • Gratitude, Happiness or I am Thankful Journal – I learned of journals and how it can make a positive change in your life, from Michele at Michele’s Finding Happiness.  She and her family started talking about gratitude at the dinner table and it developed into a family ritual.  To be thankful costs nothing.
  • Habit Tracker Journal – Want to keep track of your finances? Want to know how many squats you did when you started your routines a few months ago – consult your fitness tracker… every habit you have or want to cultivate, can be recorded.
  • Inspirational Journal – someone commented that Inspirational quotes are useless….it’s nice to read but does it change life’s…only you can answer that question.  Personally I like quotes, I make quotes and it inspire me.  If you want to jot down all the life-changing quotes you cling to, start an Inspirational journal!
  • Monthly Planner – if you have a home to run, kids to cart and a hubby to support, plus a day-job on top of that, keep it all together with a monthly planner.  You need to know what happens next week before you can make a hair appointment, that sort of thing….
  • Planning Journal – daily, monthly, annual planning in one.
  • Prayer Journal – in the words of Leigh-Ann of Intentional Life, a prayer journal is:     “My prayer notebook is set up to walk me through my daily time in God’s Word as well as my daily prayer time. With my prayer notebook, I’m more organized, more motivated, and more consistent. My prayer notebook is a great tool in helping me be more faithful in my overall pursuit of God and my relationship with Him.”
  • Self Love Journal – Every woman needs a self love reminder, just to become aware of  her own feelings, needs, gratitude, herself.
  • Smash Book Journal – is a scrapbook-style journal, but without any structure.  Memory-keeping your style.
  • Success Journal – similar to a goal/clarity journal, but you can extend it to small wins each day, big wins a week etc.
  • Study/Class Journal – students know how to make study/class journals work and I had one as a child.  Why did I slip up along the way?
  • Therapy Journal – are you suffering from anxiety or a mental health condition, keep your mind occupied with what should matter.  Write how you feel, what keeps you awake and then reminisce on ways to overcome those feelings.
  • Travel Planner – one of the most rewarding….planning a tour to the wild?  Or a trip to 7 cities in 7 days?  Or keep track  of places you want to go to.  


In your quest to explore journaling, you will learn that people use the following methods or themes to beautify their journals:-

  • Bordering
  • Calligraphy
  • Doodles
  • Lettering – Brush & Hand Lettering
  • Mindmaps
  • Mixed Media
  • Planner Stickers
  • Printables
  • Quotes
  • Schemes
  • Scrapbooking
  • Shabby Chic
  • Sketches
  • Typography
  • Vintage

The links below contain affiliate codes – which means if you make a purchase, I will be compensated.  If you day, thank you so much!

You know what – journals are like books, useless if not read or used….my sincere wish is that you will start using yours and that a whole new and organised life will start for you!

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  1. Great post on journaling! It makes me want to grab my journal and write, write, write! Thanks so much for including a link to my article on the Inspirational Journal in your post! Love your blog.

  2. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas and showing how easy it is to start one. There is no wrong way and there are so many choices. I love writing and I also have an art journal or actually a few. LOL Thank you for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup. Blessings to you!

  3. Thank you Sue. One of the reasons I did not start was because I tend to scrabble a lot and all the pages featured everywhere are so neat…BUT no, my journal is a use-book!! Im hoping yours will become one too!

  4. This is such a great post and I have tried journalling in the past but failed. I now know the reason because of your post! I though journalling was all about writing your thoughts and I’m not always very good at that, although I don’t write a bad blog post LOL:) I love how you have given several different ideas of how a journal could be used. Like you I received a beautiful journal book from my daughter but I didn’t want to spoil it by writing in it. Now I have some great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #Blogging GrandmothersLinkParty. Have a great week!

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