What Journal is Right for You

Gratitude journals, happiness journals, Bible journals, bullet journals and ten other types of journals fill your social media pages, but how do you know which one is right for you? Do you need more than one journal?  Can you use one journal for all of your writing?  Let’s take a look at some of these journals to help you determine which ones right for you.

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Types of Journals

Like I said in the first paragraph there are a ton of different types of journals, to figure out which one best suits you, here is a short list of the 7 most popular types of journals

Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is a journal where you write down things you are grateful for each day. Perhaps you are grateful you survived rush hour traffic, maybe you are grateful for your children’s health or maybe you are just grateful you woke up breathing.  A gratitude journal focuses you on the positive aspects of your day.

Happiness Journal

A happiness journal is similar to a gratitude journal in that you are focusing on good things that happened during your day.  The difference is you are focusing on the feelings you have rather than the things you have.  For example, I might have had an interaction with a coworker that made me smile, or I might have watched a child picking flowers in the park, both things made me smile and added a bit of happiness to my day so they might end up in my happiness journal at the end of the day.

Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is just a journal where you keep a bulleted list of things instead of a long stream of consciousness.  A bullet journal just describes the style of writing but does not dictate the purpose of the journal.  So if you keep a happiness journal you could use a bulleted list like the one below in your journal

  • Watched two kittens fighting over a ball of string
  • Overheard my husband telling someone how great I was at my job
  • Had a great conversation with my bff, hadn’t talked to her in a while.

Food Journal

A food journal is usually used for weight loss or people with a suspected food allergy.  In either case, whatever you eat and drink that day is entered into your journal.  For dieters, this is usually to see where they are eating extra calories, and for people with food allergies, this allows them to see what they put into their system.

Bible Journal

A Bible journal is used for Bible study.  In it you would record your readings for the day, any research you did on those readings and then your thoughts and feelings on those scriptures.  You might record how you think they will impact your life, or how they might be relevant to today’s society. The scripture might inspire you to do something different in your life.  Whatever it is, it goes in the Bible journal.


An old fashioned diary is still the most popular type of journal out there.  This is the one you write about your day, the good, the bad, the ugly.  You write who made you mad, what inspired you and all about that killer steak your husband cooked you for dinner.  Your insecurities, your fears, pretty much everything goes into a diary.  Diaries are cathartic, they give you a safe space to sort through all of your thoughts and feelings without limit.

Organizers and Planners

Some people choose to use their journals as pseudo planners.  They put to do lists, wish lists, and life plans in their journal.  Some people use a three subject notebook to organize recent, short term and long term planning.  There is not usually a calendar associated with these journals, just a list of things the owner of that journal would like to get accomplished and the time frame they would like to accomplish it in.

Which One is Right For You

I am going to tell you a secret, there is no wrong answer here.  My journal (and I do only keep one) is a mishmash of happiness, bullet, and diary with a dash of planning and organizing thrown in.  My journal is where I take my brain out and let it exercise a bit.  It has days of whining diatribe, journal exercises from various books, 3 bullet points of happiness for the day, and the baby stages of my yearly goal planning.  My journal is where I let it all hang out.

So how about you, which one of these types of journals resonates with you?  If you are new to journaling my advice would be to pick one type of journaling and try it out for a week or two.  If you are someone who loves structure and is looking to add some happiness to their lives, maybe a bullet style happiness journal is where you should start.  If you just feel like you need to let loose at the end of the day, a diary might be the right choice for you.

How Many Should You Have?

I really recommend having just one journal, more than that and it is hard to keep up with. The one exception I would make is for food journaling.  If you are food journaling you really need to keep a detailed list that is easy to review.  Writing down your food plus random thoughts will make that difficult.

Just remember there is no wrong choice!  Your journal is a personal, private and safe place to consider all manner of things, it is up to you what you would like to include and how you would like to style it.  Some people draw, some people use different colors and some people just use a pen and a blank,  hot pink journal.

If you would like some journal prompts you can start with these 25, and sign up for my newsletter in the box below to get 25 more!





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