Unique and Effective Ways to Journal Your Journey

Last week we discussed the benefits of keeping a journal, including as a means of self-expression, self-exploration, and self-preservation. 

This week we’re going to dive into different ways to journal. 

When I think of journaling, I think of all the pristine notebooks I have laying around my house. Not every journal has to be a blank paged book that you write in for hours sharing your innermost thoughts. (My hand is raised here because this is how I journal. There’s something soothing about filling up those clean pages.) Some journals take minutes to update. Others use no words at all. Journaling isn’t so much about how you do it as it is that you do it with frequency and consistency. 

Depending on the outcome you desire from journaling, you can design a journal practice that meets your needs. Keep track of a goal, work through difficult times, express yourself creatively, engage in self-care or simply catalogue your dreams. Whatever you need, there is a way to journal it. 

Let’s look at some traditional journal ideas:

  • Blank notebooks
  • Electronic notebooks
  • A writer’s pad 
  • Fill-in-the-blank prompting journals
  • Gratitude journals

Traditional journals are great for people who love to write (like me) and spend time laying out their thoughts and ideas with minimal prompting or influence from the outside. For those more comfortable at the keyboard, an electronic journal may work better. 

Here are some unconventional journal ideas

  • Bullet journals
  • Video journals
  • Bible Art journals
  • Art journals
  • Vision boards or boxes
  • Mind maps
  • Food journals
  • Mind Mapping

These unique journal styles usually appeal to men and women who prefer alternatives to longhand or traditional journaling. Busy people who don’t have spare time may find bullet journaling an effective way to stay on track with their creativity without sacrificing too much energy. Artists may love expressing their thoughts, ideas, and dreams in a doodle journal or through a series of painted pieces in a collection. Sometimes the mere activity of making the art opens the mind to new thoughts while it is distracted by the art activity.

For those who prefer no-nonsense and practical methods of journaling, a mind map may be just the ticket. Mind mapping takes ideas and thoughts and creates compartmentalized areas for each thought. Then the ideas that match that thought are neatly assigned to the thought. This is a very unique way to organize anything from starting a new business to writing a book. I often use mind mapping when I write articles or find myself stuck in a part of a story I’m writing.


There are as many ways to express yourselves as there are ideas in your heads. You may love to write longhand about how grateful you are each night before you go to bed but you also have an electronic notepad on your smart phone that you use to jot down bullet points on business ideas that pop into your head at work. Having more than one journal is as common as journaling itself.

As with anything you try, you won’t know which type of journal works for you until you try out several. Which one will you try first? It’s okay if you try out and combine several. 😊

*** Need more self-care tips including info on incorporating more laughter into your day, head on over to A Cup of Positivity on Facebook join the discussion.

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Self-love is not selfish.

Self-Love JournalLearning to love yourself is on of the most difficult things you will ever do on this journey called life. It’s okay to take care of your needs first. This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to take care of your To-Do list. It simply means you’re changing priorities so that you put yourself first.

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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂 

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