33 Journaling Ideas: What to Write About in a Daily Journal
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Have you ever been at a loss for word when deciding what to write in a journal?
As a writer, I find that keeping a daily journal is imperative for organizing my thoughts and keeping my grammar where it needs to be. Writing without direction can lead to some wonderful creations, but it can also lead to writer's block and hours of being unproductive.
If you have a goal to write in a daily journal, then try using journaling prompts to give your writing focus. It is a concept that has greatly improved my journal.
Here are some journaling ideas for you to try:
#1. Inspirational Quotes
Everyone has something that inspires them to do their best in life. Quotes that inspire you do not have to come from a famous individual. They can simply be something that motivates you to do your best. Write about the quote and the deeper meaning that it holds in your life. If you still are at a loss as to where to begin, try out these inspirational quotes.
#2. Reflect on a Quote
Quotes are great journal prompts, so if you do not necessarily want to write “inspirational” quotes in your daily journal, you can write about nearly any quote at all. It may not pertain to your life at all, but you can still reflect on the meaning that originated behind the phrase. These quotes can add wisdom to your life or simply be a funny saying that you enjoy.
#3. Answer a Question
If you do not feel like collecting quotes, then question journaling prompts are also great. Questions often arise in life that you do not really think about much, but you can write them down on a piece of paper and place them in a container for a rainy day. When you run out of ideas, randomly select one of the questions to write about.
#4. Self Care
If you are at a loss for what to write in a daily journal, then try to start naming some of the goals that you have for your life. To help you maintain this path, you can write about some self care idea you want to try.
Writing about self care can sometimes have partial effect of making you feel better. For example, if you are going to have a manicure this coming weekend, and you decide to write about how that makes you feel, the thought of the upcoming event can actually serve to make you feel a bit happier.
#5. Life Milestones
Some goals that you want to achieve could be small—like going to get groceries before Friday—while others could be actual milestones in your life. If you have a big goal that you want to focus on, like graduating from medical school, getting married, having your first child, or buying your first home, try writing about it in detail.
#6. Specific Events
These events are not typically something that happened to you. Rather, they are world events that should never be forgotten. Journal prompts that fit into this category could be things like the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the building of the Eiffel Tower, or even battles of the Civil War. Throughout history, there are a lot of events that you could write about. I like to write about them as if I were there at the time.
#7. Captured Moments
If you have already reached major milestones in your life, you can write journal ideas about those events. It could be a detailed recollection of your wedding day, the feeling you had when your child was born, your experience at a rally that you attended, or another unforgettable event. You can also write about specific events in the lives of others.
#8. Describe Challenges
We all face challenges in our lives on a daily basis. If you encountered a struggle today that was difficult for you, your daily journal is the perfect place to write it down. Describe the struggle that you had to face in detail. What happened? How did you feel? Were you able to meet and overcome the challenge that crossed your path?
#9. Define Solutions to Challenges
Not all challenges are easy to overcome, so if you find yourself in a situation that you do not know how to overcome, write about possible solutions in your daily journal. Think about the specific actions that you can take to find the solution. Contemplate the situation to find more than one option. You can also write about ways that the situation could have been prevented in the first place.
#10. Write Down Prayers
If you don't know what to write in a journal, then you can start by reaching out to your spiritual side for ideas. Many of us pray on a daily basis, so instead of simply saying them out loud, write down your thoughts as well. This can be a way to increase your spiritual activity. It will help you strengthen your resolve. These prayers can focus on any aspect of your spiritual life, from gratitude to praise and worship.
#11. Express Gratitude
Sometimes we forget to show our gratitude for the good things in our lives. Each night, take the time to write about a few things that occurred during the day that you are grateful for. If you start writing down your gratitude, you will most likely begin showing how grateful you are, which can be an inspirational form of personal development.
Gratitude is such a strong thing to write about you may want to consider having a journal specifically for expressing gratitude. It may sound odd, but writing about how you appreciate others, even if you never show anyone, actually makes you feel a lot better about yourself. See 6 Best Gratitude Journals.
#12. Meditate before Journaling
When you are having a hard time deciding what to write in a journal, you most likely have a mind that is full of other things going on in your life. If your focus is on a meeting that you are having tomorrow, then how can you think of a fresh topic to write about?
Meditating can clear your mind and get rid of all of the mental clutter that is holding you back.
==>> See 10 more tips to meditative and mindful writing.
#13. Describe a Memory
Our memories are not perfect, so if you want to remember something specific, it could be advantageous to write it down in your journal. Using this journal prompt does not need to create long entries, but it can be a list of things that you look back on years from now with fondness.
#14. Overcoming Fears
Your greatest fears are often in the back of your mind. Figuring out how to overcome these fears is only going to help you in life, but when you think of these fears as your own, the process is rather difficult. Imagine that a friend has an irrational fear of something like spiders or riding high rides at an amusement park. How would you help them to overcome these fears? What would you say to them? If you are unsure where to begin, here are some of the top fears.
#15. Recall your Dreams
We all dream at night—the problem is remembering what we dream about. If you write down your dreams as soon as you wake up, then you will be able to take a deeper look into them to see if there is a deeper meaning. Be sure to record the date of the dream so that if you look at it years from now, you can remember when you were having it.
#16. Write a Time Capsule Entry
Make your daily journal entry about something that is happening in the news. It could be the Olympics, the swearing in of a new president, or a medical breakthrough for cancer patients. Write down your thoughts about the event. Describe how the country reacted during that period of time, and include news clippings that will be of interest in the future. Wait for 20 years to read the entry again—you will be amazed at the details that you included.
#17. Track the Food You Eat
When you are attempting to lose weight, nothing is more helpful than a food journal. It helps you monitor the food you eat. You can also use this journal prompt to describe the location that you are eating at, the presentation of the food, and how well you enjoyed it.
#18. Keep a Travel Journal
I enjoy traveling, so one thing that I find comforting to write about is my experiences in different locations around the world. Using this journal prompt is perfect because it helps me remember the precious details of my trips that could easily be forgotten. You can write about the food you ate, the excursions that you experienced, and even some of the people that you met. If you have not had the chance to travel much, write about places that you would like to visit. When you are finally able to go, you can compare your experience with what you wrote.
#19. Write as a Family
If you cannot think of a new topic to write about in your journal, try writing an entry as a family so that you can expand on the thoughts of each other. Each member of your family can write in the journal. You can write about a fun day that you all spent together, or create a journal prompt. Sharing a journal will allow you to understand each other's thoughts and thinking patterns.
#20. Write about Dislikes
Not all writing is enjoyable, so if you are struggling to find a topic, start thinking about ideas that you do not particularly want to write about. If you cannot think of something better, then you still have a topic. It may not be ideal, but it will give you a place to start
#21. Thoughtless Morning Entries
When you first wake up, your mind is not bogged down with the thoughts of the day, so this is the best time to just let your creativity flow. Try to write at least three pages of content without thinking much about what you are writing.
#22. Use Monthly Themes
If you cannot come up with a specific idea, think about themes that are present during each month of the year. In January, you can write about new beginnings. In February, love is always in the air. If you are having problems thinking of themes, then check out this list to help you get started.
#23. Write a Letter
This is a great way to talk to someone that you do not get to see that often. You can write to someone who has passed away, someone who lives far away from you, or even someone who lives in your home. Maybe you have something to say to an individual, but you do not want to say it out loud. Writing a letter to them will help you organize your thoughts and sort your feelings before you actually speak to them.
#24. Write to an Imaginary Friend
In life, you sometimes need to tell others about your problems. Not everyone is comfortable expressing themselves, so writing a letter that is not meant for anyone to read is a way to come to terms with your feelings. It allows you to talk to someone and organize your thoughts without being judged.
#25. Write about the Lessons of a Book
Most of the literature that you read has an obvious plot as well as a deeper lesson that is hidden in the pages. Any time you complete a new book, write about the lessons in it. You can even include some of your favorite quotes.
#26. Do a Writing Sprint
Set your timer for five minutes and write until the time expires. It does not matter what you are writing about, simply make sure that your pencil is always moving. This is a great way to get your thoughts down on paper—and if your time is limited, it only requires five minutes.
Want to create a daily routine filled with quiet, self-reflection?
If so, check out Effortless Journaling -- How to Start a Journal, Make It a Habit, and Find Endless Writing Topics.
With this book, you can make the journaling habit a part of your daily routine.
#27. Write One Sentence Each Day
Writing a lot can be discouraging for some, so if that sounds like you, try to start by writing one sentence a day in your daily journal. It will not take a lot of effort or time, but if the topic is something that interests you, you may even write more without realizing it.
#28. Write Down Affirmations
If you are unsure of what to write in your journal, write down an affirmation that you believe in, and continue writing it until you fill up a specific number of pages. Try to fill up three pages. If you think of something else to write about before then, you can fill the rest of the space with that topic.
#29. Create Lists
One of my favorite things to do when I am drawing a blank for new journaling ideas is to create a list of things that I enjoy. This could be a list of movies, your favorite television shows, things that you need to pack for your vacation, or even a grocery list that you need to get in order to make some of your favorite foods.
#30. Create a Mind Map
If you have been brainstorming for a big project that you are taking on, then drawing out a mind map could help you get your ideas flowing. It will help you to see the bigger picture more clearly instead of focusing on a small part of the task at hand.
#31. Create Thought Clusters
Start with one idea in the center of your page and expand from that single thought. Write down anything that comes to mind. It may seem disorganized, but it will tell a story when the thought process is complete. While it may seem like you are adding extra steps to your journaling, it actually helps you decide what to write about.
#32. Design a Character Sketch
I don't mean to draw a portrait of yourself, though you can if you like. I simply mean creating a portrait in writing. Bring yourself or another individual to life by describing their personality, their emotional state, and their style in a way that expresses character. You can even describe an imaginary individual if you prefer.
#33. Be Creative
If you cannot figure out what to write in a daily journal, then you can simply make a creative entry of another type. Perhaps you like to draw. You can stencil a picture that you want to create, and you can even color it in if you wish.
If you do not have artistic talents, doodling is perfectly fine. This is your journal, so use whatever creative means you wish.
This type of journaling idea is what bullet journals are all about. I love to look at these journals, but I don't have the artistic skill to make them look like some of these bullet journal artists.
(Seriously, some day bullet journaling this will be an art form, like collage, macramé, or watercolor)
Final Thoughts - 33 Journal Prompts
How did you like the journaling prompts on our list?
Having journaling ideas that you can use to write in your daily journal is important. Everyone gets writer's block from time to time, so having a list of ideas can help you to jump start your creativity.
These 33 ideas offer a great starting place for your daily journal. Try them out and let us know what you think.
If you have other journaling ideas that you want to share with others, please list them in the comments—and don't be afraid to share this article on your social media feeds.
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