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24 Different Types of Journals To Spark Your Imagination

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While researching this I had a few sparks of inspiration myself.

Why have I never thought of making a “successful recipes” journal? I love the idea of writing down successes and letting them dictate my shopping list when I pop off to Tesco’s! My mum has a handwritten book of recipes passed from my grandmother. I absolutely love the idea of having a book of guaranteed-to-be-delicious recipes to pass down through generations.

Anyway, let’s get on with it – I’ve compiled a massive list of different types of journals for you to keep! Take a look:

The (arguably) most common types of journals

Bullet journal: Because, duh. No list is complete without it. If you want to keep track of everything in one place, a bullet journal is your top choice. I’ve gravitated back towards a more classic way of journaling during the years, but this is a wonderful and fun way of journaling to try if you haven’t, with TONS of free resources online.

Daily journal: Wherein you write about your day in whichever way you want to. What you did, who you saw, how work went, what you ate, and so on. A classic.

Travel journal: A travel journal is like a time capsule for you to look back at. You can illustrate if you like, or just try to capture your experiences as vividly as possible. When I went to Texas five years ago I wrote a journal entry at a café. I still remember that day just because I sat there writing about it! And also because I saw some guys dressed as superhero characters, but, y’know.

Health journals

Exercise journal: How are your reps going? All pertinent workout information can go in here to make it easier to track your progress. It’ll be nice to look back and see how far you’ve come. Besides, you can review your methods to see if they’re giving you the results you want.

Pregnancy journal: Good for remembering symptoms and developments that might be useful for your doc to know about, planning for the arrival, cravings, appointments, and so on.

Weight loss journal: If you’re trying to lose weight you’ll want to record your weight regularly. You could track your daily calorie intake here, too, as well as what kind of food you ate and how many steps you took. Granted, this can all be done digitally nowadays, but for the journaling enthusiast this might be a fun way to keep track of weight loss.

Spiritual & creative journals

Art journal: Oh, the beautiful art journals I’ve seen on Tumblr and YouTube… People create so much lovely art with this medium. Look it up if you’re curious, the pictures will speak for themselves.

Junk journal: Kind of related to the art journal, but the purpose of this type of journal is to  use “junk” like ticket stubs, receipts, flyers, and all other gluable bits of material to make junk art. It’s awesome. Often people make their own notebooks, too.

Dream journal: Some people find great insight in their dreams. We tend to forget them in the morning, though – hence keeping a dream journal. It’s a good place to write down both the dreams and what you get out of them.

Prayer/Bible journal: This can be a place to record prayers and when they’re answered or write out Bible verses that speak to you, for instance.

Writing journal: A journal exclusively for recording your ventures in writing sounds like a good idea to me. You can develop characters, brainstorm ideas, worldbuild, keep word counts, stick in pictures that inspire you, etc.

Poetry journal: For writing your poetry in!

Ideas journal: It’s nice to have an ideas journal for when you’re all out of juice and need a pre-made idea. Categorise them by colour-coding or using page markers, for example, or just jot them all down and read them over when you’re feeling uninspired.

Worldbuilding journal: If you know you’re going to extensively worldbuild when writing, it might be worth keeping a separate journal for it.

Hobby journals

Gardening journal: Info about how and when each plant will thrive is always good to have. It’s a way of keeping on top of your gardening through the seasons.

Food journal: Jot down recipes you want to try, or recipes you have tried and tweaks if you made them. It’s like building your own library of delicious food.

Reading journal: Which books you’ve read, when you read them, what you thought of them, insights you gained from them are thing that can go in a reading journal. I’m considering starting one of these myself.

Basically-any-hobby-you’d-like-to-keep-track-of journal: Whichever kind of data your hobby entails, a journal can surely be made for it.

Other types of journals

Time capsule: This one intrigues me. What if I made a journal exclusively for capturing a period of my life? I could stick in news and comment on them, detail different areas of my life, detail events around me, stick in photos… I think this is a great idea for capturing the feel of a certain time in your life. I wish my grandmother made one of these.

Morning pages: Each morning, right after you wake up, start with a fresh page and write without censoring yourself for a set amount of time or pages. It’s basically just stream-of-consciousness writing in the morning. I never managed to stick with this, but when I did it, it cleared my mind in a very pleasant way.

Pocket journal: A journal for when you’re on the go, so you can take down whatever and decide what to do with it later. A5 size or smaller is ideal.

Couples journal: This sounds very sweet – a journal where couples can write to each other whatever they need or want to that day. This reminds me of the cute notes I’d sometimes find on the fridge some years ago. They always made me so happy. A journal keeps it all in one place to look back on!

Personal development: This is pretty broad, but I’ve seen some good examples of this around the web. Usually this entails setting one or more goals, writing down why you want to achieve them as well as what might stand in your way and how you might overcome those challenges when they arise. Then the tracking starts, and I’d recommend evaluating your progress throughout, too.

Project/event journal: If I were getting married or having a baby or moving countries or starting a business or any other kind of time-specific thing were happening in my life, this is the kind of journal I’d make.


Whew! There are a lot of different types of journals you can make. I think I’d only keep a handful of these at a time lest I’d get overwhelmed, but keeping one or more journals for the most important things in your life is a great way to stay on top of them.

Have you got any other journal ideas to share? If so, please comment below!

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  1. Ivan Brozincevic says:

    I am amazed by all sorts of journals that are mentioned here! I had a vision in my mind that a journal is, well, a journal. Now I see a whole new perspective, thank you! You know, I fit into two types you have described. I keep an idea journal because I am a fellow blogger and I get hit by inspiration in a lot of different places. So, when it comes, I write it down immediately, and when I am at my desk, I work it out. Great stuff! Another one that I made use of is a personal development journal; actually, it is a goal journal. I write down my goals on a paper as a cornerstone for my development. Then, I keep upgrading the list as I move towards realization. It is fantastic to go through the process as described.

    Thanks for the read! All the best.

    1. Idea journals are awesome, aren’t they? I have a bazillion ideas lying around that I can always come back to. Probably should review them more often, though…
      Your way of keeping a goal journal sounds ideal. Reviewing and re-evaluating is so important.

      Glad you got something out of it, Ivan!

  2. Sam A. says:

    Hi There, interesting read! I didn’t know about all of this journal types. I did start recently keeping an ideas journal. It’s been great since I decided to start my own business. It keeps me from forgetting things.

    1. Yep, keeping us from forgetting things is probably the top benefit of keeping a journal 🙂 Sounds like you make good use of it for your business, which is a great way to use journaling!

  3. I sure enjoyed your article. I am familiar with journaling but I have not done it in quite some time. I still try to keep track of things in my life. I have been doing this using scraps of paper, my note app on my phone and on a white board. After reading your article I was inspired to change things up a little bit. I think having things written down in a journal/book will help keep me accountable and it will serve to let me look back at my successes as well. Thanks for your great information. I was totally inspired!
    Have a great day!

    1. I’m glad you got some journaling inspiration! Having it all in one place can be so useful, and it’s so satisfying to look back on your progress and see how far you’ve come. The accountability factor is spot on, too.

      I hope you have a great day, too!

  4. Wow! There are so many interesting types of journals. I keep a poetry and idea journal. I am addicted to buying notebooks so now I have an excuse! What wonderful ideas. Thank you for compiling this list!

    1. Haha, excuses to buy journals are the best! Glad you liked the ideas, Rose 🙂

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