Inside: Learn creative journaling ideas that will help to express yourself and get your thoughts and feelings on paper.

When it comes to hobbies that bring big benefits to our wellbeing, it doesn’t get much better than journaling.

Journaling can improve mindfulness, lower stress and anxiety, boost your confidence, give you clarity, and strengthen your memory – just to name a few. 

While there’s no wrong way to journal, most people embrace a fairly traditional approach – grabbing a notebook and a pen, and dedicating a little time each day to capture your thoughts, with or without the help of a prompt.

But others?

Others take a more creative approach to journaling – which can be a great way to make the process more fun and mentally stimulating while reaping all of the benefits that journaling can bring. 

Whether you consider yourself a highly artistic person who’s totally excited by the idea of a creative journal, or the thought of incorporating more creativity into your journaling process sounds a little scary, virtually anyone can embrace creative journaling ideas, transform your practice, and reap big benefits.

Give it a try. You might be surprised to see just how excited you are to spend time with your journal each day. With some creative journaling ideas, you might be able to shift your journaling practice from a habit to a hobby that benefits your health and wellbeing in big ways. 

writing in a journal

Why Should I Try Creative Journaling Ideas?

Not convinced that creative journaling is for you? Truly, creative journaling can be for everyone. Approach it with an open mind and find a way to silence your inner critic! 

There are a few reasons you might want to give creative journaling a try.

Your current journaling practice is feeling stale.

Maybe you’ve been journaling for a while, and you’re reaching a point where you just can’t get inspired to come up with something new to write.

You’ve leveraged lists of prompts online, captured your feelings, and summarized your day-to-day more times than you can count, and you’re looking for inspiration. Creative journaling ideas can help!

You love to express your creativity.

Some of us don’t consider ourselves inherently creative people – and that’s OK. But if you do think of yourself as an artist, or a creator, or a maker, incorporating that into your journaling practice can be huge.

And if you’re an artist who doesn’t have a ton of time to spend focused on creative projects, creative journaling can be an easy way to kill two metaphorical birds with one stone – journaling and expressing your creative talents. 

You like to change things up.

The beauty of creative journaling is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can change your approach virtually anytime with no consequences whatsoever.

If you’re the type of person who struggles to stick with a very fixed routine, embracing some creative journaling ideas can go a long way in helping you maintain your journaling momentum. 

creative journaling ideas

Creative Journaling Ideas You Can Try Today

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and try a few creative journaling ideas? I’ve got you covered!

There are endless ways you can explore your creativity through journaling. Here are just a few approaches you can take to be a bit more creative and have more fun with your journaling practice:

1. Don’t be afraid to doodle and draw.

Most people pick up their journals to write, not draw – but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way. 

You’re free to do whatever you want in your journal. Drawing, sketching, doodling, and designing are all fair game. They’re a great way to capture your feelings, work through emotions, and navigate your past.

Incorporating a little fun and lightness into your current journaling practice by adding illustrations to capture your ideas and bring life to certain stories can ultimately add another dimension to your journaling experience. 

Struggling to put something in words? Try drawing, sketching, or painting an image to represent it instead. Let yourself create with no clear goal in mind.

Or maybe you want to incorporate a little fun and lightness into your current journaling practice by adding illustrations to capture your ideas, bring life to certain stories, and ultimately add another dimension to your journaling experience. 

girl thinking and journaling

2. Focus on stories.

Creativity isn’t all drawing – writing can be creative, too. Instead of sitting down each day and journaling to capture your thoughts around a specific prompt, challenge yourself to get creative and use your journal to tell stories. 

Bringing your memories to life through storytelling can be an incredibly powerful way to remember the past, work through difficult moments, and bring clarity to situations that may not have been so clear at the time.

By writing your story in third person, you can put a little bit of distance between yourself and that particular event, which many find to be one of the helpful benefits of journaling. 

3. Consider bullet journaling. 

Bullet journaling is another great way to embrace your creativity and incorporate it into your journaling practice.

Many bullet journals start as a blank slate – most commonly, pages with a faint grid outlined by dots. It’s up to you to choose what information you’d like to capture and how you want to document it. 

You can create different themes using specific color schemes, stickers, and other design ideas – or take a more casual approach and change it up by the day. Again, there’s no wrong way to journal; it’s all up to you. 

Bullet journaling is a popular practice, and a quick search on Google or Pinterest is a great place to start for a little inspiration.

creative journaling ideas

4. Try mind mapping.

Another creative journaling idea to inspire you? Try mind-mapping in your journal.

Mind maps are a great way to step back and gain perspective, especially when it comes to your thought process. They can help you both process and organize your existing thoughts and open your mind to new and exciting ideas.

To start, write a main theme or idea in the middle of your page. That’s the focus of your mind map. Draw a circle around that, and then begin to branch off of that focal point with additional ideas.

Connect these ideas back to your main theme with lines, and incorporate additional branches to tie these ideas to additional thoughts, feelings, or ideas you’d like to capture. By creating a mind map, you can literally see how your ideas flow and connect – which is a big benefit of embracing this methodology. 

You can incorporate mind maps into your regular journaling practice, dedicate a new notebook to capture them, or take a different approach – there’s no wrong answer.

creative journaling ideas

5. Add additional media.

If you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut, creative journaling is a great way to change your mindset and improve how you’re feeling. Creative journaling is all about thinking outside the box. Allow your mind to take you in a variety of creative directions.

If you don’t consider yourself to be as artistic or you just have paper memorabilia or magazine clippings that are meaningful to you, incorporate them into your journaling.

It can be a much more free form way of using scrapbooking elements by adding them to your journaling practice. If collage isn’t your thing, feel free to add any alternative forms of media that you want to your journal.

Clear your mind and express yourself by using these creative journaling ideas in your daily habits.

How have you incorporated creativity into your journaling practice? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. after losing our new orleans home in katrina, we moved to texas where my 2 sons lived. 1st thought was to write. have always written short stories, journals, long letters. writing has always been a most lovely part of my life. but for 1st time, found it impossible to write. depressed, felt lost, felt like a grieving that would never end. felt i’d be in a kinda writing limbo forever – yet another katrina loss. add anger. after about 5 years of this mess, became seriously ill with heart problems. now believe that broken hearts really do exist. there was so much i wanted to share with my young grandchildren and might never get that chance. so decided to make myself write a journal to them. that was the return of creativity. that was 2010, so have been keeping this journal for 12 years now. medical problems slowly improved. a healing journal?? little by little told my babies my katrina story. could write only a little at a time before crying, but that was ok – kept going. introduced them to their deceased great grandparents, how i met grandpa at 17, and all about our 56 years of marriage, all the way down through love stories about their dads’ growing-up years. took them on vacations with daily journal entries. screamed about years of crazy politics. grieved for innocents shot down in mass shootings. i continue to update them on each january 6th hearing on tv. the 5th hearing is starting in 2 hours, and they’ll know what happens. they’ll have a living history lesson. my journal has been my literal lifesaver. plan to use your great suggestions for more creative journaling and looking forward to your intentional living inspiration. thank you for the chance to share my story.

  2. For Toni, Thank-you for your courage to share your story. I am inspired. I am sorry you lost so much, your resilience gives me hope. I am lying in bed with covid, thought I might start some writing for my granddaughters. I did not know where to start, and landed on your comment… I will begin after my next nap.

  3. Love all these ideas! I have been wanting to be more consistent with journaling. One thing I’ve been doing is from the gap and the gain. I write down three wins I had in each day and that makes me feel happier and makes me better at looking at things optimistically. It also doesn’t take much time!

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