(This is an update to a letter I wrote to my mom when I gave her a journal for her birthday. I read the letter and thought that with a rewrite, it would make for a decent blog post.)

Here’s my basic philosophy for starting to keep a journal: anything goes.

First, get a journal. Go to a bookstore and browse their selection of notebooks, if possible, feel the paper. I like to write with gel pens and pencils, and rough paper just doesn't work for me.

my filofax, open on a blank daily page with the journal tab behind it

Pick the journal you like, and then get a pen or pencil that goes with it. You don't need to choose one certain size for your journals. I have journals ranging from pocket size to A5.

And, as anything goes, even a couple of pages in a planner can work as a journal!

You can use your journal for anything you want. You could keep notes throughout the day of what you observe or what you think. You could use it to write things you liked to read or watch, or, as a bare minimum, write one line per day.

Do what feels right to you.

You can write in it whenever you want, too. For some, once a day in the morning works, for some in the evening. For some, it’s a book they need to keep with them throughout the day.

Anything goes!

pencilcase, filofax pocket and a leuchtturm a6 notebook

Here is a list of questions you could ask yourself if you don't know what to write about on a certain day:

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • What do I like about myself?
  • What does faith mean to me?
  • What is beautiful in my garden?
  • What did I eat today?
  • What would I like to do tomorrow?
  • What would I like to read again?
  • Describe a story behind something in your living room
  • What am I worried about today?

Just a few examples to get the writing started. Of course you can write whatever you want, it's your journal, your document of your life.

You can also use your journal for quick daily sketches, or you can paste things in it, such as cards you receive, receipts for things you've bought (you could journal some lines about it, or an inspiring picture from a magazine.

What would you like to do with your journal?