It’s funny how trends and ideas keep going round in circles, moving in and out of fashion. And each time when the same thing makes a comeback, just wrapped a little differently, it seems so new and appealing.

Take the case of the diary writing of the past, that has now made a comeback as journalling.

In the good old days, the older ones kept a diary to record their daily activities and the younger ones to write their secrets. Both these practices faded away, until now. There are now countless journals for all kind of purposes, and even personalised for individual tastes.

I am glad this trend made a comeback and also for the varied ways that one can now interact with a paper and pen. Journaling is now not about just writing your thoughts or secrets, it is about sharing, exploring, polishing and improving the different facets of your personality and skills.

Let’s see what we can do with a journal.

A journal is a good place to:

• Write our thoughts, feelings and frustrations;

• Write our goals, plans and ideas;

• Use it for brainstorming sessions;

• Doodle and draw;

• Make notes and keep track of things;

• Practice writing;

• Note down studies-related points;

• Paste, note and collect hobby-related ideas and items;

• Make career and business plans;

• Record finance and expenses.

There are many more things that you can do with a journal, but it just needs to have a purpose to be of any use or impact to you. Various researches have led to the conclusion that journalling leads to many mental, physical and emotional benefits, if used in the right way.

According to credible researches, Journaling is good for:

• Stress management and reducing stress and anxiety;

• Strengthening the immune system;

• Improving communication skills;

• Sharpening the mind and improving memory;

• Improving the mood;

• Helping to fight depression;

• Helping to get over a traumatic event;

• Helping in problem-solving;

• Keeping one organised;

• Improving writing skills, etc.

These are just some of the benefits of journalling, and the best part of this activity is that it can be done in any way you are comfortable with. It’s your private and personal space, a notebook that reflects you and your needs, so it can be tailored to fit your interests.

For instance, you are more comfortable with doodling and sketching, but don’t like writing. It is perfectly alright for your journal to have no words, just lines and drawing. If you are more concerned about noting down things to get back to it later, or just not to forget something, a journal is the right a place to jot down important stuff.

Once you start doing it, you will realise you are so much more organised, as there is now a place where you can just note down important things and comeback to it later on.

Journalling is very useful for students and youngsters in their academics and career too, if used smartly for this purpose. Let us now look at the various types of journals you can keep and how they will improve and enhance your life in so many ways.

Bullet journal

Here you note down things and thoughts in the form of lists, bullet points, charts, drawings — basically any method that will help you stay organised and keep track of your plans, progress and goals.

It can include, to-do lists, shopping-list, to-be-read lists, bucket-list, and whatever list you fancy. It can include nice stickers, cute pictures, your sketches and pretty doodles, etc. Decorate it in any way you like.

Subject journal

This is very important for students as it is used to note down important concepts or information about a particular subject, or many.

For instance, you can keep a chemistry or maths journal to note down important formulas, definitions, calculations, etc, so that it is easy to find all important and frequently needed information in one place.

Feelings journal

A feelings journal is a great way to decipher, vent, release, share and understand you feelings, especially those that tend to overpower and disturb you.

When you write down what makes you super excited or super worried, you have expressed that feeling, so it is released and you feel somewhat calmer than before. And when your feelings are in black and white in front of you on a paper, you can understand it better. And maybe what seemed so upsetting to you earlier will no longer seem that way when you will read what you have written about it.

And you don’t always have to write long sentences in this, just draw or doodle in it, write whatever comes to mind, even if it is a sad song. Later when you analysis what you wrote or drew, you will be able to understand your feelings and yourself better. Writing your feelings and reading what you have written about it will also lead to self-discovery and develop more emotional intelligence in you.

Gratitude journal

This journal is great for getting over stress or depressing thoughts. It is a very useful tool to change a negative attitude/personality to a positive one.

Here you can write down all that makes you feel good and all that you are grateful for. Sometimes it can be hard, especially if one is depressed and thinks they are the unluckiest person on earth. But take a deep breath and think of what you are grateful for, it doesn’t have to be something big or significant.

As you spend time thinking of anything good that has happened to you, anything you are happy about and what makes you smile, and then you write it down, you automatically start to feel better. You are not as depressed as you initially were. You will find yourself calmer and more relaxed.

This journal is one that we all should be having these days, with things being so stressful and tough for most of us.

Hobby journal

This is to keep track of all things related you any hobby, subject, personality or craft that interests you.

You can include pictures, projects, information and ideas related to your favourite hobby. If it is craft related, you can record what you made, the material used in the project, the cost and the outcome. This will be particularly useful for later use when you are working on your next project.

Vacation journal

A vacation journal is a great way to plan and record vacations by using a combination of writing, pictures and souvenirs. This can be a combined family project where others also add something and later on it is so much fun to go through all that you experienced.

It’s a great way to preserve memories.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 7th, 2022

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