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journaling faq

Top Question: Where do I start?

You have a lot of questions and I have a lot of answers. Let’s see if we can get you comfortable and ready to start journaling. The guide below is an easy way to begin.

How to Journal in 10 Simple Steps

You can also click on any of the questions in the FAQ below to expand the box and see more information. If you don’t see your journaling question addressed, drop me a line via the contact form.

Is Journaling for me?
That’s a very good question!

You may be wondering:

  • Why should I journal?
  • What’s it going to do for me?
  • What’s the pay-off?
  • Will it be worth the effort?

Just for starters, journaling can help you:

Overcome perfectionism
Accept criticism gracefully
Weather change confidently
Unplug and refocus
Build your creativity
Refuel your fiction or poetry

Visit the Why Journal page to dig deeper into these questions and more.

Do I have to write by hand?

I’ve found people get the best results from journaling when writing by hand. Putting your hand to paper moves a different part of your brain than typing. Yes, you can type faster than you can write, but journaling is not about speed, it’s actually about slowing down and being present with your thoughts and feelings. More heart than head.

I’m a big believer in the power of the handwritten word. I do the majority of my journaling by hand in a bound notebook. I’ve experimented with different methods of journal writing, from stacks of loose-leaf paper to password-protected online documentation. I get the best results writing by hand.

Journaling by hand may seem old-fashioned but here’s why it’s essential. P.S. magic!

The Magic of Journaling by Hand

What kind of journal should I use?

Finding the perfect journal for your new journaling adventure is a fun challenge. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you start shopping for a writing notebook.

Hardcover? Leather? Spiral-bound? Composition? Artisan? Leather spiral-bound? Hardcover artisan? Hardcover spiral-bound composition? Oh the choices! It boggles the mind.

No worries – I’ll take a look at the various options and give you some food for thought when you’re deciding on the best journal for you, based on where and how you plan to write. 

Pick Your Perfect Journal

If you want to check out the journals I’ve chosen as my life partner and I’ve been journaling with exclusively for 15 years, read this:

Blueline Notebooks: a Love Story

Do I have to journal every day?

Over the years, I’ve come to believe that daily journaling is the best method for consistent personal growth and emotional clarity.

If you haven’t kept a journal consistently before, or if it’s been a while since you were dedicated to journaling, I recommend writing daily for at least a month. Once you are in the habit of doing it every day, you can assess your needs and experiment with your schedule. 

Here’s why you’ll get the most out of your journaling when you dedicate a bit of time daily:

8 Reasons to Journal Daily


When should I journal?

The best time of day to journal is when you’ll actually be able to get it done! Read more in the post What’s the Best Time of Day to Journal?


How do I keep my journal private?

Privacy is often a central concern for journal writers, especially when you’re first starting out. If you are concerned about someone reading your journal entries against your will, it’s essential that you find a solution to this problem right away.

If you’re editing yourself in your journal, holding back the truth, or writing a certain way because you’re afraid of being found out, you’re wasting your time and denying yourself the chance for genuine growth.

Here are 7 solutions:

7 Ways to Keep Your Journal Private

Where should I journal?

I like coffee shops but everyone’s solution is different. You need to be able to focus on your journal and not be interrupted so you can enjoy the flow of writing.

Find Your Perfect Place to journal.

Journal writing is easiest when you’ve got a room of one’s own. In reality, most of us share our living space with another creature. Here’s how to carve out journaling space for yourself.

5 Ways to Make Room for Journaling at Home

I'm in a journaling rut. Help!

We all get into a rut with journaling. Whether you’re feeling bored with the process or just looking for new ways to spice things up, never fear – the solutions are near!

Try these posts to get you started adding some life back into your journal and the process of approaching the blank page.

7 Ways to Beat the Journaling Blahs

How to Infuse Your Journal Writing with Heart

5 Surefire Tips to Jumpstart Your Journaling

How to Break in a Blank Journal


What if I don't have time to journal?

I hear you! Don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling to find time to put pen to paper We are all strapped for time in this brave new world.

Here are two resources you might find helpful:

20 Ways to Find 20 Minutes for Journaling

The Lazy Guide to Journaling in 10 Minutes or Less

Still have a question I didn’t answer here? Try searching the journaling resources. You can also drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help get you the answer you need!

Yours in journaling,