Journaling Benefits and Why I Keep One

There are many benefits to keeping a journal.

It can be hard to find time to journal. It’s either too noisy, too early, too late, or there are just too many people around. Journaling is a private thing. Not that everyone has deep dark secrets to write about; it’s just very personal, especially knowing that few people understand journaling and may think it a waste of time.

Journaling can help you organize your thoughts, focus, bring clarity, quite your mind, gain perspective, and even harness your creativity. Journals are a permanent record of your thoughts and memories. Writing in a journal provides a cathartic release of just about everything in your head.

Planner journal

In this age of technology, there are a few choices for journaling: pen and paper, computer, and even smart phone apps. I suppose if you like to record short snippets of your day or thoughts, an app might prove handy. I write far too much to use an app! I’ve tried digital journaling and didn’t find it satisfying. There’s something about pen and paper and the motion of writing everything by hand then later turning actual pages as you read what you’ve written … satisfying!

Evernote, OneNote, Google Keep (or Docs), or even a password protected document on your word processor are good digital choices.

I prefer whatever notebook catches my eye at the time. I’ve bought something plain and decoupaged the front and back to personalize it. I really love leather bound journals because they just feel substantial … rich … rugged. I found a few like the the one pictured that lie flat that I’m trying next. I started using this one as a planner. I’ve pushed away the idea of planners, which it seems is all the rage lately, because I prefer free writing – and lots of it. However, working four 10-hour days leaves me with 3-day weekends. No preprinted planner is tailored to such a week. So I’m making my own in a blank notebook.

Here is a list I found of paper notebooks that seem to be preferred by many: Five Best Paper Notebooks.

When it comes to pens, my current favorite are Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel pens. Here’s a list of five other pens that many like: Five Best Budget Pens.

What do I get out of journaling?

  • I can pour out thoughts without anyone interrupting.
  • I can get thoughts out without stammering for the right words.
  • I can scream and yell without anyone hearing.
  • I can complain about things and keep my mouth shut.
  • Likewise, I can read what I wrote later and reflect on how to handle things better.
  • It holds me accountable.
  • It reduces stress.
  • It quiets my mind.
  • Journals don’t judge me.
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