25 Types Of Journals To Keep (Plus: The One Journal You Need)
Yop & Tom
How many journals is too many? When there are so many different types of journal to keep, it can be hard to know what to choose.
Why do so many of us have stacks of journals surrounding our desks? Why do we trip over journals poking out from underneath our beds?
Some of us like to have lots of types of journals. Others like to bring it all into one (read on for our solution if that’s you). And some like it somewhere in between (you might like to pick one from each category we’ve listed below).
Types of journals for your mental health
1. Bullet journal
Your bullet journal is essentially an organisation system for your entire life. The beauty of it is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
Track your mood. Organise your schedule. Document your thoughts. Or get creative. And keep it all in one place. That’s why it’s a great type of journal for your mental health, it’s designed to take care of you in your own unique way.
Your dream journal is where you log your dreams when you wake up each morning, before they leave you to be replaced by your thoughts for the day.
It’s one of those things that can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. You can opt to log each dream in great detail, turn your dreams into illustrations, or just jot down a few bullet points to help you remember.
Surprised to see a financial planner listed as a type of journal to help with your mental health? Don’t be.
Financial journaling = self care. When you look after your finances, you’re also looking after yourself. You’re giving yourself a valuable tool you need to move forward and reach your goals.
Developing an awareness of your finances - what you’ve got coming in, what’s going out, and what you might need to do a little differently - can help ease any potential financial stressors as you set a clear plan to iron out any creases in your financial journey.
A habit tracker is a visual way of keeping track of when we completed a certain habit. This could be as simple as keeping track in a calendar, but in journaling, we use a simple spread to monitor habits.
We all know that a walk outside can calm even the most stressed out of minds. A nature journal takes that process one step further.
You’ll observe the natural world around you and collect those observations inside your nature journal. How you do this is totally up to you. It could be through pictures and illustrations. Or thoughts that pop up in response to what you see. Or something totally different!
Morning Pages is a tool that originates inside The Artist’s Way, a book written and released by Julia Cameron back in 1992. The goal? To help readers with something called creative recovery.
The book describes itself as a journey that’ll help your creativity to recover from limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage and any other blockers that might be stifling you from reaching your full potential.
Here at Yop & Tom we don’t believe there’s a perfect time to start a journal. All that really matters, is that you put pen to paper. But if we had to pick one? It’d be whilst travelling.
When you’re surrounded by inspiration, creative juices overflowing, creating daily memories you want to last a lifetime… it’s easy for your travel journal to be overflowing. Our co-founder explains how to begin.
If we were to choose just one type of journal to keep, it’d be a bullet journal. All those journals we listed above? You could bring them all into one. Everything could be in one place.
There are so many benefits to this simple system - from mindfulness to mental health and so much more. But there are also a few challenges. Most notably, around bringing different areas of your life together.
Still, a big question lingers. Do you combine your work and personal life into one bullet journal? Or, do you keep them separate?
Combining your work and personal bullet journal
Combining your work and personal bullet journals together can give you a more holistic view of your life. When our personal lives and work lives are so intertwined, it can make separating them hard.
We only have one dose of energy to share between the two sectors of our lives. So managing your time in just one location makes a lot of sense.
We loved what this Reddit user had to say about combining your work and personal bullet journals:
“My advice as a productivity junky - keeping separate bujos (bullet journals) for work and home can trick you into thinking you have separate energy banks to accomplish tasks.
When I kept separate journals I found myself vastly overestimating how much I was able to get done in a day - and it made it harder for me to look back and see what went wrong if I dropped the ball on something.
Now I keep one bujo, but each daily page is split in half - work stuff and non-work stuff. Makes it easy to see when I’m in danger of overloading myself.”
That makes a lot of sense. There’s only one of you, so combining your work and personal bullet journals can:
Give you a bird’s eye view of your life
Help you manage your time better across the board
Enable you to track your meetings and appointments, even when the hours between your work and personal life overlap
Keep you on track towards goals that you’re working towards “out of hours”
Help you get personal chores and to-dos done in your work breaks, and vice versa!
Creating a separate bullet journal for work
If just one journal doesn’t feel right for you, you can try creating a bullet journal for work. This ensures that you’re not taking your work home with you and can be a great option for those of us who struggle with setting boundaries between our work and personal life.
It’s also a pretty handy way to prevent any awkward moments. Like confidential data from the office getting into the wrong places. Or your colleagues coming across some rather personal notes inside your bullet journal.Yikes!
Reddit seems to agree, with these users explaining how work-personal boundaries are their main motivators for having a separate bullet journal for work:
“My work bujo (bullet journal) lives in my desk and is used as a reference by my entire team, not just myself. I wouldn't want anything personal in it just for that.
On a more practical level, I keep track of a large number of tasks and information at my job on a day to day basis, and even though the data isn't in itself sensitive, the sheer volume of it would overwhelm anything personal. My work dailies alone often take up an entire page per day.
I also prefer to keep my work and personal lives separate, as this isn't a job I take home with me.”
“I show my work notes to other people sometimes, and I'd rather not have my coworkers see information about my personal life. I'd also rather not think about work stuff when I'm not at work. And it's a lot easier to find things in each notebook when they're separate.”