Journaling... just for me!

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

By Aaina Chopra.

I have been making to-do lists and daily plans ever since I started university.

I started out using the regular Student Diary, it would have about half a page for each day of the week and blank space below it to write what I needed to do, what I had on that day and sometimes how I was feeling. The pages sometimes felt limiting on days I had more things on my to-do list or if I had to write up some notes about a seminar I had been to. Thus, I decided to switch to a bullet journal.

Bullet journaling is a method that is used by many to organise their lives. I use my bullet journal more as a way of planning, it had allowed me to become more productive reflecting and meditative; it gives me space to be creative and enjoy the process of planning my life.

It's a journey...

Irrespective of how you begin to journal, I believe that journaling can change your outlook and the way you live your life. It help you to be more reflective, feeling more in control of how you spend your time, what you set out to achieve and holds you more accountable to your goals.

I sometimes stick to the official method of shorthand in bullet journals, but often enjoy the freedom of using my journal as I want. As a perfectionist, I was worried that I would spend more time ripping out pages of my journal when I made a mistake, rather than actually writing things up. However, after reading articles such as these, I decided that I had to trust myself and allow myself to make mistakes. I decided to focus on the process and how journaling was allowing me to organise my life, rather than if everything was as neat as I wanted it to be.

I have 'habit tracking' pages, weekly spreads, monthly spreads, daily plans as well as specific pages for different projects I am doing. I can make pages on books and films I want to read as well as goals and to-do lists within my journal. This has allowed me to have enough space to fully organise my days and keep on top of tasks. I get creative inspirations for themes from Pinterest where at a quick search, you can find a whole host of different journal ideas and page ideas.

Upon doing more research on bullet journaling, I discovered the world of digital journaling.

This is done by using a tablet and stylus. I already had an iPad, so I invested in an Apple Pencil to begin digital journaling. I watched several videos on how to begin journaling digitally and invested in the apps GoodNotes and Procreate to start digital journaling.

Digital journaling has all the advantages that physical journaling has as well as the obvious freedom of deleting and rearranging things. It also allows me to be more creative with images and digital stickers.

There are many ways to digital journal, including apps that are catered to digital journaling, note-taking apps or artistic apps. All of these lend to a different way of journaling and if you want to start digital journaling you can research on which one may suit you best – depending on which device you are using, cost and individual style.

That being said, irrespective of how you begin to journal, I believe that journaling can change your outlook and the way you live your life. It makes you more reflective and holds you more accountable to your goals. This way you begin to be more productive and get more out of each day - journal on people!

There are a number of great sites like Personal Planner where you can even personalise your own planner!