Reflection is the most important thing about writing in a personal journal. So when creating your journal, make it inviting and inspiring.

Why start a personal journal?

Keeping a personal journal has proven to be an effective tool in problem-solving, personal growth, record keeping. Moreover, it can be an enjoyable hobby if you are willing to keep it simple. So, where to begin?

How should I format it?

You may maintain a journal in numerous ways. A journal can be as simple as a sheet of lined paper (or blank if you prefer), a pen, and your thoughts written down. A serial can also be via an online blog system such as:

WordPress: This is an open-sourced, PHP-based blog system. It is available to download at to host on your server, or you can have a free blog at

Blogger: Google’s a free weblog publishing tool. Google offers a tour of Blogger’s features here.

It is not an exclusive list of available blogging platforms and the format, whether online or offline, is entirely your choice.

If you select an online journal, keep this in mind.

Please keep in consideration if you choose to write a personal journal online in the form of a blog (an online journal), your posts will be public, and your privacy will be at risk. Another critical thought to consider is the internet does not forget. Search engines compile links, and they remain archived forever.

Tips to keep you on track

  1. Suppose you traditionally chose to keep a personal journal (I.e., hardbound book, notebook, binder, etc.), then keep it private. Keeping it confidential will allow you to write without fear of judgment or criticism from others.
  2. Write in your journal daily. If you lack inspiration or a topic to write about, use a search engine to find a variety of journal topic prompts. Prompts will give you either question format starters or incomplete sentences to expand on.
  3. Proper English, grammar, and spelling do not matter in your journal. Write freely, thoughtlessly, and include all the slang and abbreviations that make your soul smile.
  4. Make your journal personal. Write in your favorite quotes, list your favorite childhood movies, and describe your first kiss. You could also clip inspiring pictures from magazines and paste them in your journal, decorate the cover, or use various scrapbooking kits to make the journal unique to you.

Keeping a personal notebook is all about introspection. Being able to flip the pages back to the first entry you made and reflect on that day, the circumstances surrounding you, smile at accomplishments or enjoy a grand moment in your life.

How do I start a journal?

Traditional Journal

  • Loose-leaf paper, a binder, and pens
  • Spiral notebook
  • Composition book

Online Format Journal

  • WordPress
  • Blogger

Ideas to make your traditional journal creatively all about you

  • Purchase a scrapbooking kit of choice and decorate the pages throughout your journal to express your personality.
  • Make colored copies of some of your favorite family photos and paste them throughout your journal in spontaneous places.
  • Draw and/or doodle in your journal.
  • Open random pages and place a series of question prompts for you to complete later.
  • Open random pages and place your favorite quotes, scriptures, and/or psalms to reflect on later.
  • Include various lists about all your favorite things in life. Repeat the list a year later and see if anything has changed.

Make your diary cozy, welcoming, and motivating. Allow it to be your confidant, friend, and place to share all your thoughts freely. Good luck with your personal journal experience.