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February 01, 2024

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).

Yop & Tom dotted journals

 

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.

Need some help getting started?  Check out our free guide here.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

2. Dream journal

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.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

3. Financial planner

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.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

4. Habit Tracker

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. 

The best type of journal:a habit tracker (this one’s free!)

 

5. Memory Journal

A memory journal is a notebook, or journal, where you keep track of any stories, life events or anything you want to remember. 

Some people use them as scrap books, cutting and sticking in tickets, receipts or other memorable items. They can be a fun and interesting way to log events and look back at them in the future.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

6. Moon journal

Your moon journal is where you journal your emotions in line with the different phases of the moon.

Whilst modern society might like us to feel and behave the same each day, the reality is that our feelings and emotions can vary wildly from one day to the next.

One of the explanations for that change is the influence of the moon. Many believe that the moon can use its gravitational pull to influence our emotions.

Moon journaling is a way of understanding and harnessing that influence, in a way that gives your mind and body the support it needs to thrive.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

7. Nature journal

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!

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

8. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journaling is the practice of writing down what you’re grateful for each day. 

The idea is that this type of journaling enables you to train your mind to seek out more of the good, highlighting the positive things from your day-to-day life that you might otherwise miss.

We’ve got our own thoughts on the practice (read all about them here) but it’s still worth exploring for yourself.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

9. Spiritual Journal

Your spiritual journal is your place to connect with something higher than yourself.

If you’re religious, this might mean documenting your religious studies as you explore that journey. Or, you might simply wish to explore your connection with the world you cannot see.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

10. Confidence journal

Before you can start to build self-confidence, you need to know how low confidence shows up in your life. 

By journaling the times you experience worry, fear or low self-esteem, you’ll start to spot the triggers for those moments of doubt. We spoke with  Certified Self-belief Coach Sophie Carefull to explore how.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

11. Worry journal

Sometimes, you just need to get those thoughts out of your head and down onto paper. That’s what your worry journal’s for.

This type of journal is designed to hold your anxious thoughts in one place, outside of your body. Giving you a calmer mind.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

Types of journals for your creativity

12. Creative ideas journal

Where do you keep those ideas that pop up in your head when you’re in the middle of doing something else? Inside your creative ideas journal.

This is a holding space for your ideas. Giving you somewhere to refer back to when you’re looking for a little extra inspiration.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

13. Morning Pages journal

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.

You can find out how to get started (with prompts) here.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

14. Doodle journal

When your mind is wandering and your hands need to be kept busy, pick up your doodle journal.

This type of journal isn’t designed to be referred back to. Instead, it’s simply someplace to draw, sketch and explore your creativity, without the pressure for it to be “perfect”.

The best type of journal: practice pad

 

 

Types of journals for your personal life

15. Daily to-do list

Is there a more frustrating feeling? The sun’s set, the day’s disappeared, you’ve been non-stop busy. Only to look up and ask yourself, “what did I actually accomplish today?”.

And the penny drops. You didn’t do anything to move you closer to your goals.

That’s why to-do lists matter.  Here’s how to write an effective to-do list.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

16. Health and fitness journal

A fitness goal is a target that you work towards as your health and fitness improve. It should be realistic, doable and meaningful to you and your interests.

Your fitness journal is where you explore that goal, as you document the highs, lows and everything in between along your health journey.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

17. Parenting journal

A parenting journal is very similar to a family journal. This is where you log key moments from your parenting journal, for both you and your child to look back on in the future.

You might choose to turn it into a memory journal, with photographs, stories and more to bring those moments back to life.

The best type of journal: dotted journal

 

18. Personal journal

This is the OG type of journal. The type we all loved to write in our teenage years.

Your personal journal is where you write out your daily thoughts, log what you did and explore new ideas.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

19. Personal planner

How do you manage your downtime? Using your personal planner!

You might use a goals journal alongside your planner, to dream up big goals before creating a plan to bring them to life.

The best type of journal: power of three plannner

 

20. Travel journal

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.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

 

Types of journals for your education

21. Study journal

Your study journal is where you keep track of everything your teacher shared with you. You can use it to plan essays, conjure up ideas for assignments and even monitor your learning progress.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

22. Reading journal

Your education doesn’t end when you finish school. It continues throughout your adult life, including through the books you read.

Your reading journal is a place to  keep track of what you’ve read, what you want to read and what you thought of it. Giving you an easy list to refer back to as you dive a little deeper.

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

 

Types of journals for your career

23. Business journal

If you’re self-employed, you need one of these.

Your business journal is your tool to help you grow your side hustle or business. It’s where you document your ideas, generate product plans, strategise your launches and so much more. 

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

24. Work Journal

Your work journal enables you to keep track of your meeting notes and other important to-dos, whilst simultaneously documenting the progress of your career.

Be sure to prep for each of your HR reviews and surprise them with your organisation!

The best type of journal: lined journal

 

25. Work Planner

This is where you plan out your work schedule. It’s simple but oh-so-effective. Because nobody wants to show up for a meeting they’d forgotten about, totally unprepared. 

The best type of journal: diary



How many types of journal is too many to keep?

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?

woman holding a yellow yop & tom journal

  

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!

 

Yop & Tom Moon & Star journal

 

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.”

Source

 

“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.”

Source

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