In the past, I have talked about journaling and I was doing it for a while, but it all started to just look like words on a page. It didn’t mean much to me. I would write and write, but wouldn’t enjoy the process. However, I am now starting from scratch and I am starting with a beginner’s guide to journaling.
I really wanted to enjoy the process and tap into my creative side. If you are anything like me… you like to think you are creative, but in reality, you are not. I have creative ideas, but I never know how to go about making them a reality.
I myself have a perfection problem. If the idea in my head doesn’t come out perfect I RIP IT OUT and either start over or I give up. Most of the time I just give up. Just like I did with journaling. We are not going to do that.
So we are back to square one with a beginner’s guide to journaling.
We are going to create things and appreciate them at face value. If you are reading this post it’s most likely you are a beginner in the journaling world and feel overwhelmed. I hear ya… We are all surrounded by these beautiful layouts by these crazy creative people and we are jealous.
We need to get over ourselves and stop comparing our beginning to someone else’s middle.
They had to practice and make not-so-good layouts just like we are going to. The journal is going to be your yearbook of progression. Your drawings may look like stick figures and your color palette is all over the place, but who the fuck cares.
We need to make it clear in our heads that we are beginners. Who might need a little help from a beginner’s guide to journaling. So let’s put on our creative caps on and not give a fudge if it doesn’t look good. Just have journaling fun.
Let’s start off with supplies. What do we need to start a journal? Everything I list I have bought off of Amazon. Not that you have to buy from amazon, but if you click these links I provide I get commissions for purchases through the links in this post. Amazon has been a godsend in 2020.
(side note- this is the first year I have shopped online for Christmas, my everyday needs, and journal/penpal supplies. Have I been living under a rock… everything is right at my fingertips. I never had to leave my house!)
The basic supplies for a beginner’s guide to journaling are:
Notebook, pens, and markers. I took it a little bit further with the help of Amazon. Also, I made an amazon wishlist and sent it to my friends and family. So some of the supplies I got for Christmas.
Supplies you can buy
What I bought from Amazon –
Then I had an amazon gift card so I bought these for myself-
For Christmas, I was gifted these –
Look at your local Walmart or Dollar store. I have been collecting stuff to use for months. I have found so much stuff on clearance or for a buck to build up my stash. As I said before nothing is off the table. Think outside the box.
Not all of this was bought because of journaling. I also have a penpal and bought the stickers to send to my penpal. I am doing what I can to go back to being the creative person I used to be growing up. Somewhere along the way, I lost it. These products are just a bonus to make journaling fun.
Supplies you can find at home
I have also been scouring my house for things to use. Advertisements in the mail, magazines, old tissue paper, wrapping paper. Anything and everything is on the table. Recycle, reuse, repurpose. Don’t limit your imagination. Anything goes when it comes to a beginner’s guide to journaling.
I raided my stepdaughter’s room. I of course told her I did beforehand. Nothing personal that was for her, I just swiped her construction paper, glue, and washi tape she wasn’t using. Whatever I could find and use to make journaling fun.
If you are unsure about how to collect supplies for your journal… check out my YouTube Video. I go through ALLLLLL OF MY SUPPLIES and show you how to get creative!!!
Sticker bombing my journal
This originally started out as a project for my stepdaughter. She is really into anime and drawing, but I couldn’t find a sketchbook for her that was anime. I had all these stickers that reminded me of her so I thought why not put the stickers on her sketchbook.
This leads me to search YouTube for “how to sticker a notebook”. Because YouTube has everything. However, I found 1 maybe 2 videos on it, but they called it “sticker bombing”. Everyone was sticker bombing everything, but not so many journals.
I had so much fun working on her sketchbook. The stickers went crazy and I ended up sticker bombing a new cellphone case for her of one of her favorite anime shows “Hunter X Hunter”. I knew I had to do it for myself. I had so much fun.
You can watch the video I record when I sticker bombed my journal. Just uploaded a new video as well of my first few layouts. It was a recap of 2020 and a get-to-know-me. Go check them out if you wanna journal along with me. I even made a podcast about it.
Record the journaling fun
I am by no means perfect, but I have a really good time creating those YouTube videos. Just turn on the camera and got creative.
Being able to watch myself take a blank piece of paper and make it into something memorable has been so freeing.
No expectations just taking an hour for myself to just do and not think has been the highlight of my days.
Tips for making journaling fun
Don’t Stress about journaling every day
My days are pretty boring lately and very routine. There is no need to beat yourself up if you don’t journal every day. That is how you get burned out.
Create a relaxing routine around journaling
Since Mikayla isn’t here a lot due to school and covid. I have set up shop in her room at her desk. I go in and close the door with my drink in hand and a smelly good candle. Although, I have a desk I needed a space separate from it. At my desk I do my work, blogging, answering emails, and other business-related things. I didn’t want to clash my 2 places.
If all you have is a desk then do what you gotta do. I did journal and work from this desk, but it took me a couple of months to realize I could use Mikayla’s room while she is not here.
Pick a theme ahead of time
I get so overwhelmed when I know I want to decorate my journal, but can’t decide how. Then an ungodly amount of time is spent on Pinterest and Instagram trying to find inspiration.
Look at the supplies you have… stickers, scrapbook paper, junk mail ads… are any of them the same color or would look good in a spread together?
I took all of my supplies and laid them out. I started grouping things together that I thought would be cute. Grab some zip-lock baggies put it all in there and BAM you grab a baggy and get to creating.
If you don’t know what to write in a journal create lists. I plan on adding pages of shows I like, Movies, and books I want to read.
If you have read my blog before you know I love me some lists. I am putting my to-do lists in there. No need to waste another piece of paper. Or if you do write it on another piece of paper glue, tape, or staple that sucker in your journal.
Practice your handwriting
I have good handwriting days and I have bad days. I know I need to practice. Plus I got those dual tips markers and I need to know how to do the fake calligraphy with them.
My hands and wrists don’t move the way they should to create those beautiful lettering so I MUST practice, practice, practice!
Writing prompts help
If you want to get more in touch with yourself sign up for my email list and you get access to my freebies that include 38 Journal prompts as well as others to help you out on your personal growth journey. You can visit the sign-up page by clicking here.
I have a bunch of journal related content that you might be interested in like:
25 simple questions you never ask yourself, but should
Life Audit Questions
How to Start Today – Manifesting the life you want
10 interesting October journal prompts for Self-discovery
World Mental Health Day – Checking In With Yourself
Healing your inner child
Do not be perfect
We need to get over this notion that if it doesn’t look pretty it is ugly and not perfect. You need to change your definition of ugly and not perfect because anything created with your own 2 hands is crazy beautiful and perfect.
Lose yourself in the process
I go in thinking I will be doing just one page and I will end up doing multiple pages. Getting lost in the process and just creating things is one of the best feelings. Don’t worry about time or if it’s perfect. This is the part I find that makes journaling fun.
Print, cut, and glue
If you are not as drawing savvy as others… there is no shame in printing things off of the internet, cutting them, and gluing them in your journal. I have done that and will continue to do that.
Beginner’s guide to journaling
No matter what you decide to do when it comes to following this guide to journaling make it your own. Your journal could be nothing but random squiggly lines and glued magazine letters. If that is what makes you happy then do it.
The point of a journal is to be an outlet for some source. I am making my journal my catch-all. Anything I see, think, or feel will go in here. Brain dumps, random drawings, random thoughts, things I want to keep track of, and things I just want to remember.
I hope this beginner’s guide to journaling has inspired you to get creative. Have fun with it it’s just paper, take your time to enjoy the process, and don’t take yourself so seriously Picasso!
What are your must have’s in your beginner’s guide?
Until next time, Have a great day!
38 thoughts on “The Beginner’s guide to journaling – How to start”
It’s nice to have a notebook for a daily journal. However, in my case, I can’t keep up with the writing due to various reasons. Customizing a journal notebook is also a good idea. Great article to be shared with everyone, keep it up!
pretty good tips,,,this pandemic should not stop us from learning new things and become productive even at home,,,learning is a continuous process..
I’ve never had a journal before. I love this idea of creating a journal notebook.
I have so much fun just creating and getting my thoughts out of my head.
It’s funny how different the handwriting can be from day to day. I thought it was just me so it’s really interesting to read that yours vary, too. Also, I think we just don’t write enough with pens anymore.
My handwriting varies from hour to hour. It’s crazy. Also, it depends on what I am using to write with. Certain pens tend to make my handwriting sloppy while others looks amazing.
I totally agree with you on the style. At first, I didn’t want to start because it looks ugly and I want it to be colorful haha. However, now I’m enjoying the process. Thank you for sharing!
The process is my favorite part. I get out of my head and just create.
Journaling has helped me throughout my life. Thanks for sharing this and help others start that great habit.
Creating these beautiful layouts have really made me want to journal more.
I just start journaling and I really needed some help… Thanl you so much for sharing, will bookmark this 😊
That is what I am here for! Let me know if you have any questions!
What a great guide on how to journal. I journal a lot and I just need a pen and paper to jolt down my thoughts.
I was doing it like that, but it got kind of boring just seeing my crappy handwriting across the whole page. I needed something pretty to look at. lol
Great guide. Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns. Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them.
Absolutely. I am using my journal for everything.
I always dont know how to start journaling & this sharing from you really helpful. yeah!! thanks so much for this. cheers, siennylovesdrawing
You are very welcome Sienny!
Just saved this blog post for later because I DEFINITELY want to get into blogging, and I’d love to get all of these nice stickers!
I think you meant journaling, but I get what ya mean! lol
I LOVE stickerbombing, i have a bit of a sticker fetish! Great read. I bet you write fabulous journals if its like your blog work!
I have a sticker fetish too! lol, My journal is the x rated version of my blog. My blog may have a few curse words, but my journal is a whole lot more colorful. LOL
I tried bullet journaling when COVID started and quickly found I wasn’t using it as anything more than yet another to-do list. I think I need to try again with your tips. Also kudos for using David Rose and his mall pretzel…that just makes me like your blog even more 😉
I am not bullet journaling. That stressed me out way too much. I just want to create and write down my thoughts. I did stop using my journal for my to-do list. I bought a separate lined notebook for that. Btw, I love Schitt’s Creek!
I love creating customized journal out of old and unused different papers then decor it with some fancy things!
I love just being creative. Using old papers, wrappers, receipts makes it one of a kind. When you look at your journal you can see places you have been and the memories you had there.
Never did journaling in my whole life. I see it time-consuming. But, maybe I will consider to make a journal after I read this post. Thanks, Michele for sharing this.
Of course, you would see it as time-consuming. Yet you write a blog which is kind of like journaling.
I haven’t journaled in years. I don’t know if I have the patience to do that still. Mostly, I maintain a planner. But that’s all.
Maybe I should consider journaling again.
I am the opposite. I tried a planner and couldn’t do it. LOL
I love how fun and creative you made journalling be. I personally use a journaling app cause I haven’t written on paper in years. Hope more people would discover the magic of journaling haha
I had to make it fun and let my imagination and creativity run free.
I’m glad journaling is working for you, I would love to keep tract of many things in my life including my sad and happy moments but am forgetful so it can’t work for me. Haha.
I make myself a running list of the memories I want to include in my journal.
I have always wanted to get into journaling. I am definitely going to have to start soon.
I recommend it. I love being creative and getting anything and everything out of my head and heart.
I was very surprised how hard it is to actually start journaling. But it makes me feel so good when I do
Sometimes it takes a little bit to get me going, but when I do. I journal everything.
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