We Can All Keep a Journal

We Can All Keep a Journal

We all have the ability to keep some sort of record or diary.

Journalling for All

At our Porto Coffee Creatives today we were discussing journaling and how different people were using them.

And I got to thinking about how diaries and journals are good for all sorts of things. And don't have to be written either. Any way of recording thoughts, activities or the day would count.

They give us a place to express inner thoughts. A place for thoughts and ideas to become concrete, or coalesce from a myriad of factors in our life.

The Written Journals

The regular journal or diary is a written one made each day. But for some people something more spontaneous or haphazard may work.

The diary might be thoughts for a page, things you did, problems you're facing, observations about life. Start with whatever is easiest or most meaningful for you.

For some it might be easier to tie to a daily habit to get down the routine of a journal each day.

But it could be more than a small book and written journal. A daily blog, a fortnightly blog, emails to yourself,

Other Journals

There are many options beyond writing. A simple one is some kind of art journal. Sketching something each day or several times a day. Keeping bits or art you like or making a different format depending on your mood.

A video diary might be something you record on your phone, to keep private or show on a video platform.

Photo journals, instagram journals, newspaper clippings / other mementoes, dreams journals...the list goes on.

My Journal Journey

My journaling started over 4 years ago during a winter in Spain after listening to a podcast. started with the 5 Minute Journal. Basically journal prefilled with several questions to answer each day around gratitude.

It helped be develop the habit of writing things down each other, and when I filled out the first one I made my own version. Some questions were kept and others were added that I liked. This was when I made it my own.

The a friend suggested writing each day and the focus of the journal shifted. I didn't write 3 pages each day but a page was enough to make each day. Filled with thoughts, doubts, hopes, plans and things that wanted to be written down.

It continues to shift and currently I write down...

  • In the morning any dreams I remember, checks for drinking water and spending morning time outside. Plus current emotion(s).
  • Also in the morning is a page of writing on thoughts and anything that comes to mind. Sometimes this is Stream-of-Conscious flowing (in English or Portuguese) but normally its in a non-English language.
  • In the evening I record two highlights, what to try and visualise, whether I remembered evening fitness and try to remember the most memorable thing of the day

I'm probably going to add a sketch every 3-5 days insted of writing, inspired by writing this article!

Lastly I've been keeping a regular sketchbook since arriving in Porto. It has a sketch every 1-4 days, normally when I'm sat in a cafe! I just record the location and date. So far it's been a great help in giving confidence in drawing and led to painting experiments.

Finishing Up

I was asked at our coffee creatives if I was worried someone read or stole it or I lost it. Not really, as anyone who could decipher the random notes in imperfect handwriting of my thoughts in 4 languages is welcome to them.

How do you journal?




Duncan is an aspiring creative nomad, who publishes random lists and tools for roleplaying games. Hobbies include salsa, games, books, podcasts, languages and history.
It varies. Probably in Europe