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5 Popular Journaling Techniques for Beginners

5 Popular Journaling Techniques for Beginners

Journaling is a free world to explore. There is no right or wrong way to do.

However, there are others who have come a long way to show how they do it. Following are 5 techniques, models or styles to choose from:

1 – Freestyle Journal Writing

Freestyle journal writing is a no holds barred kind of writing.

It is done your way –  unrestricted, non-restrictive, not time-bound, unadulterated, uncensored, unstructured, non-directed, and uncontrolled.

It may be random, though not always and not as a general rule.

You write without strict consideration (or serious thought) of the following:

  • what to write (topic or theme)
  • why write (goal)
  • how long to write (duration)
  • how often to write (frequency)
  • how fast you write (speed)
  • what order or guide to follow (structure)
  • where to write (place)
  • what to write on or with (material)
  • how to write (format or presentation)
  • when to write (time)
  • how much to write (length)
  • how to write (tone).

The bottom line is - journal in your own terms.

2 – Guided Journaling

As the term implies, guided journaling follows a guide, model or blueprint.

You get directions by way of:

  • prompts
  • instructions
  • guidelines
  • structure
  • topics
  • themes
  • templates
  • questions
  • patterns
  • examples
  • quotes
  • spaces
  • dots
  • timing
  • reminders
  • ticklers.

Here’s an example.

For a 30-day gratitude journal, you get leads on what to write about on each day of journaling.

You may be asked to list down 3-5 things that you are thankful for identify concrete ways or specific actions to express gratitude.

For inspiration, you find quotations on top or below a number of lined pages.

Blank spaces are provided for doodles or drawings.

In general, you follow a guide for each day of journaling.

3 – Art Journaling

Journals are great to express creativity, whether done through free journal writing or guided writing.

However, there’s a third way that has grown in popularity among artists and non-artists alike.

It is art journaling.

Art journaling is keeping a visual or graphic journal or diary using art, imagery and text.

Graphic art is touching, moving and powerful.

An art journal is usually peppered with words or phrases, drawings, doodles, sketches, paintings, charts, cut-outs, photos, shapes, stickers, symbols, quotes, conversations, poems, songs, stories, patterns, graphic marks, and whatever feels good to be on the journal pages.

To start your art journaling practice, you need whatever art material that’s handy like:

  • Writing materials – pencil, ink pen, markers, paper, notebook, cards, post-it-note, journal, pastel, gesso paint
  • Coloring materials – paint, watercolor pens, colored pens, gel pens, glitters, charcoal, dye, paint brush, gel printing plates
  • Graphics materials – cut-outs, magazines, photos, illustrations, stickers, washi tapes, stamps
  • Cutting materials – scissors, cutter, knife
  • Gluing materials – paste, glue, tapes, stickers.

Remember: Except for your pen and paper (or journal), everything else is optional. 

Artistic or flat?

Colored or plain?

Clean or messy?

Planned or random?

Comprehensible or not?

They are immaterial.

What counts is expressing (or making sense of) what you think and feel in graphics and visual form.

4 – Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling is a way of keeping track of things you want and need to be done following a structure or system.

Read more about bullet journaling here.

5 – Bible Journaling

Bible journaling has become a popular way of keeping a journal.

For this, you only need your bible and a pen. Art materials such as those detailed in the art journaling technique are optional.

The main idea is to find spiritual inspiration in the Bible or to let the Bible speak to you and give you guidance.

You then illuminate on the message by interpreting the bible verses in an artistic or creative way. These may be one or all of the following:

  • highlighting important verses
  • drawing
  • doodling
  • painting or coloring
  • embellishing.

Here are simple steps to do bible journaling:

  • Pray. This is where you seek guidance or inspiration on anything you wish.
  • Find a bible verse. You may do a page every day, randomly open a page or select a verse, or start with a familiar or meaningful verse.
  • Read. Read the verse or page that you have selected.
  • Reflect. Pause for inspiration or guidance.
  • Do art. You may start by sketching your idea first then outlining and coloring them.

These steps may seem daunting but they’re really not.

Besides, you may innovate or come up with your own.

The Best One

Among the techniques presented, which one appeals to you?

What possibilities do you see for yourself?

Perhaps you have your own way… or why not come up with one?

These are just five of the countless ways of journaling; say, if there were a billion people who are into journaling, there can be a billion ways to do it.

Again, there’s no right or wrong way with journaling; not even a fixed way to do it.

What’s important is for you to start journaling, commit to it, and keep doing it for as long as you can.

You’ll be amazed at just how much you get out of journaling.

For tips on how to journal, read this post.