Do you have a random pile of empty journals in your room that just sits there, collecting dust, and yet you have no idea how to use any of them other than for daily journaling?
Well, in this post, I've got you covered!
I've always been one to have a few empty journals in my room, and as a writer, I am consistently gifted one or more for holidays. I write my stories on my laptop, not by hand, so I end up with all of these lovely, aesthetic journals that I never know how to fill.
Over time, I've learned how to put all of the journals to good use!
As you may or may not know, I am a bullet journaler, so this post will also help provide some bullet journal ideas, if you're wanting to start one, or already have one. These 13 ideas can be used in any journal and in any way, and I hope this post finally gives you the inspiration to give one of your lone journals a purpose!
1. A morning pages journal
I've written a previous post about my morning pages routine, which I attend to almost daily, and you can check it out here.
But, briefly, my routine is:
- Write 3 things I love about myself.
- Write 3 goals I have.
- Write one thing I'm grateful for in this moment, and explain why.
- Write down any affirmations or mantras I need to be reminded of.
- Set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and write!
Morning pages were made to be three pages of train-of-thought writing, but I find this routine helps me begin on a positive note while encouraging me to jot down the good and remember certain milestones.
You can read more about actual morning pages here.
2. A book (or movie/tv show) tracker
Yes, I've only read 9 books in nearly 4 months, please don't judge, haha.
This is a specific page is in my bullet journal, but a few years back, I actually had an entire journal just for logging books. I would write the book title, the author, my rating, the genre, and my overall thoughts. Honestly, I may return to that system.
But this little chart works for me, too! And, of course, you don't have to only track books.
3. A recipes list
I haven't logged too many recipes here, but I usually only write down recipes if I'm afraid I won't remember them.
Having a journal full of every dish you've cooked, along with a rating and overall health scale/calorie amount may be way more helpful than going on Pinterest every time you want to cook a dish. This is something I may start doing in the future.
There have been so many times where I've forgotten dishes I cooked, but tracking them down makes cooking a little more organized!
4. A writing log
Lately, I've been trying to overcome writer's block and at last, I've begun a new project (I will talk about this more soon)! Along the way, I've been tracking my writing to remind myself how much I've done already, and after each writing log, I'll celebrate with a mug of cocoa or a fun movie with my boyfriend.
You could also include milestones, plot ideas, and how you felt emotionally while writing that day. There's so much you could do here!
And this doesn't just have to be for fiction writing, either. You could use this idea for homework, blog posts, and other creative projects! This may be helpful for you to see when you get into the flow, and how long it takes to get there!
5. A journal just for your book or passion project
A few days ago, I whipped out this lovely journal and at last, gave it a meaning to be on my shelf. The cover is lined with classic book covers, so of course, I transformed it into a journal solely for my new writing project!
I keep a list of book ideas, plot ideas, and character names (which may also help me with projects in the far future) and anytime I get an idea for my WIP, I jot it down so I won't forget it.
Having a beautiful journal dedicated to your book or passion project will also help you to feel more excited to tend to it because it's set in stone--it's a real thing, coming to be!
6. A financial tracker/saving + spending log
I have downloaded countless apps to log my spending and saving and keep track of money, but they all end up sneaking a charge into my bank, or after a while, I get tired of updating them. I much prefer hand-writing things, anyway!
If you've been wanting to get into budgeting, or need to save up for something, turn one of your empty journals into a financial tracker! And feel free to check out my post, What I learned after a month of budgeting in college on getting started!
In the front of my bullet journal I have a page for my overall monthly spending budget, which I refer back to at the beginning and end of each month, and throughout the months, I log my spending and saving here, in these pretty spreads.
Also, when you write down all the money you spend, you tend to realize how much it really is, especially when you add it at the end. Just saying!
7. An idea journal/brain-dump journal
This little guy was found in my car tucked under the passenger seat. I have no idea how it got there, but it has been a big life-saver for me!
Sometimes I don't want to create an entirely new page in my bullet journal for an idea or a brain dump of thoughts, so I carry this journal with me in my purse and always have it visible in my bedroom just in case I need to make a grocery list, jot down a task, or plan my next blog post.
Whether it's a big or little, a random, thought dump journal is great for getting the junk out onto paper, especially if you aren't a fan of journaling!
8. A habit tracker
In my bullet journal, I always have a monthly habit tracker so I can keep track of things like daily reading, exercise, and other various hobbies. It's a great way to help start new goals, and keep track of how often we are doing those healthy habits!
For some habit ideas, check out my first youtube video, 6 habits to do every day!
9. A mood/emotion tracker
This past month, I've been keeping track of my moods so that I can configure how often I'm feeling a certain way and whether those feelings have any underlining meaning. I've also had anxiety trackers in my previous spreads, where I track my anxiety levels and jot down negative thoughts and fears that appear throughout the day.
This also helps me to be in tune with how I'm feeling and really reevaluate the entire day. If I'm feeling tired or off, I'm honest about it, and then I work to find why.
10. A Good Thing journal
As of now, this journal is my new favorite thing!
I came up with this idea on a day when my thoughts felt increasingly negative and I was experiencing many doubts and fears. I wanted a place where I could reflect on all the positives of my life and easily remind myself that I am loved and supported.
Basically, at the end of each day, or as often as I can, I take out a pencil and write down all of the good things that happened that day. There is no bad news allowed in this journal, at all. If I'm feeling sad, I will write an affirmation to replace that thought and move on with only good things.
This journal has become my little sanctuary after just a few weeks. Today, when I was experiencing anxiety, I tore it out and skimmed through, feeling secure with all the good things that have happened in my life.
I recommend you try this. Like, seriously. Start one!
11. A planner
Or, a bullet journal. (Ft. my cat's tail!)
You know I had to throw this one in here! Starting a bullet journal, or even just turning an empty journal into a weekly spread/daily spread log is great for optimal productivity and creativity! Maybe you're bored of the generic planner spreads and want more functionality and personality throughout your week. If so, well... bullet journals are the perfect way to go!
If you want to start your own bullet journal but are unsure how to do so, check out my post How to begin a bullet journal.
12. A dream journal
I haven't tracked my dreams in a while, honestly, but they've gotten so strange lately (probably from late-night snacking, oops) that I may just start up again!
According to many psychologists, dreams reveal many key details of ourselves and our future. If you're having peculiar dreams yourself, then maybe write them down, look up their meanings, and possibly learn something about yourself that you didn't know!
I use the book above to help me uncover the mysteries in my sleep. It's so detailed and informative!
Or, take this idea a different route and make a journal for your dreams and goals. That works, too!
13. A Dungeons and Dragons journal / world-building or character-building journal
I don't know too many people who also play Dungeons and Dragons who read my blog, but I felt the need to include this because one of my favorite journals is literally just for DnD! I use it to jot down spells, characteristics of my character, as well as facts and descriptions of the worlds my character visits and the people she talks to. This helps me build her personality and keep track of the things she encounters.
You could also make a journal for your fictional book characters/your story's world to help keep it all organized and in place! When I was younger, I had an entire journal of sketches and ideas for my stories.
So, there you have it! 13 ideas for those empty journals lying around your room! For more ideas, check out my post 30 bullet journal page ideas!
Are there any ideas I didn't mention? Do you have any journals for specific purposes?
Tell me about it all below! :)