University Writing Center Blog

Posted on April 23rd, 2019 in Writing Strategies by University Writing Center

Written by: Emily S.

Writing is something we all do on a daily basis, but sometimes between reports for work or essays for school, it can become easy to forget that we can also write for ourselves. Journals are great because they’re an extremely personal tool that can make writing for pleasure more enjoyable at times. You can use them for anything at all: writing stories or poems, making to-do lists, tracking goals, or talking about your feelings. Many people prefer using a journal as a place to store all different types of writing, from creative fiction to grocery lists. Others who think in more visual ways may like filling journals with collages or drawings. The best part about a journal is that it can become whatever you need it to be.

The act of putting words or pictures onto the page (or screen, if you prefer) can be really cathartic. The thoughts that may have been clouding your head all day are able to escape onto paper, allowing you to dive deeper into self-expression. Having a written copy of your thoughts can also act as a time capsule of sorts. One of my favorite things to do after filling a journal is to go back and reminisce over all of my previous entries. No matter the kind of journal you keep, rereading your writing can help you see your personal growth in unexpected ways. If you haven’t ever considered journaling, I highly suggest it!

Some of my favorite places to buy paper journals:

Amazon: Amazon has a huge variety of journals to help you find one that’s perfect for you. From guided journals to lined journals, there are plenty of options to choose from, and many of them are affordable too!

Etsy: If you’re looking for something more personalized, Etsy is a great site. Many of the options let you customize your journal exactly how you’d like it.

Bullet Journal: Not only does this site sell good quality notebooks, but it also has tons of inspiration for journal spreads if you’re interested in a more structured journal.

Some great journaling apps and websites:

Notes: The notes app on your phone is a great option. It’s always convenient and easy to access.

Five Minute Journal: This app is available for both Samsung and Apple, and focuses on quick, five minute reflections each day and night. It’s good for people who want to use journaling as a form of self-reflection.

Morpholio Journal: If you want a journaling app that combines writing and drawing, this app might be perfect for you. It allows you to sketch, design, or write from the convenience of your phone.