11 Types of Journals for Capturing Your Life

Girl writing on the floor in the type of journal that she prefers.

Are you looking for a way to relieve stress? Think through a challenge? Expand your gratitude and enjoy life more? These are just a few of the benefits of regular journaling.

Often we think of journaling as writing down the daily happenings in our lives—and that’s one type of journaling. But did you know there are many other types of journals? Here are 11 types of journals you can use to enhance and document different aspects of your life.

Types of Journals

Girl writing in a travel journal on a mountain.
Capture the sights and sounds of your vacations or trips in a travel journal. A travel journal can be especially meaningful when you're able to visit a place where your ancestors lived.

There’s always something to be thankful for, even in tough times. Consider keeping a journal about the things you are grateful for. If you have a hard time thinking of something, ask yourself what your life would be like if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today.

Are you dealing with a health challenge or just trying to improve your general health? Track your challenges and progress in a health journal. You may find patterns and insights that point you toward increased wellness.

Creating a baby scrapbook with cut out pictures, stickers, and ribbons.
Use a baby book or scrapbook to capture important milestones in your children’s lives. One day they will thank you!

Whether you want to track and share delicious recipes or improve your food choices, a food journal can help. You can often learn more about your body and health by noting how you feel after eating certain foods.

If you find yourself in a stressful time in life, it may help to process your feelings by writing in an anxiety journal. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling less anxious as you write.

7. Talent Journal

Do you wonder what your talents are, or do you want to explore and develop them further? Writing about your talents can help you focus on how you use them and can even help you find new ones.

Woman writing in a bullet journal
Not every journal has to be prose. Part planner, part self-reflection, and part daily log, a bullet journal can help you evaluate and make progress in your life.

You don’t have to be in school to keep a learning journal—life is rich in learning experiences. Writing about them can increase their meaning and impact.

Capturing insights in a scripture journal as you study the scriptures can help you remember what you’ve read and even gain more insights.

Girl in bed writing her dreams in a dream journal.
Writing about your dreams can help you understand and learn from them. Tip: Write your dream immediately upon waking up. Details usually fade after just a few minutes.

For more ideas on different types of journals, check out “7 Journal Ideas to Help You Record Your Story.”

What Is the Best Way to Keep a Journal?

There are different opinions about the best way to keep a journal: pen and paper, digital, voice recording, or other methods. The truth is, different methods work for different people. In fact, you may find that you like one method for one type of journal and a different method for another type. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

Often starting a journal is the hardest part. If that’s where you are, here are tips for how to start a journal and what to write.

How Often Should You Journal?

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer. It might help to remember, though, that the word journal comes from the French word jour, meaning “day.” The advantage of writing regularly is that you’re more likely to capture things accurately and less likely to forget your important experiences.

Little boy journaling on the floor with a feather pen.

Sharing Your Journals

How often have you wished your ancestors kept a journal? Do you think your descendants might feel the same way? Your experiences could inspire them and give them hope. As Morgan Harper Nichols wrote, “Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.”

There are many ways to share a journal with your family. You can give them printed or digital copies or put your journal on a cloud service. You may even want to upload your most important journal entries to FamilySearch Memories. Consider putting them in an album in your FamilySearch Gallery so you can easily share them with others.

What Type of Journal Should I Try?

With all of these types of journals to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. Don’t feel like you have to try them all—just choose one or two that seem most relevant to you. Keep in mind that your journaling may change over time. For example, you might keep a health or travel journal only for a certain length of time.

No matter how you journal and no matter what you journal about, journaling opens the door to self-reflection, self-understanding, and a richer life. Give it a try today!

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