I have been working on this little post for quite some time. A draft of this has stayed on my phone for at least 6 months and whenever something came to me I would jot it down. I've always been pretty good at keeping a journal- something just feels so good about having all my memories pressed safely between the pages. I figure that this time of the year is perfect for resolving to document your life on paper. Even though I love instagramming & blogging nothing could ever replace my journal. I love the thought of my favorite moments being tangible in a way. It's also somewhat therapeutic to be able to pour your heart out onto the pages. It's like your own personal time capsule that never expires and you can look back on it as often and as soon as you'd like. So with that said, here are a few of my tips for having an AWESOME journal:

1. You don't always have to have a hard copy of your journal with you
I almost always have a draft of journal entries on the notes app of my phone then end up writing them down in my journal later on when I have a chance to. I especially do this on trips & vacations (I'm crazy paranoid about my suitcase getting lost and something happening to my journal so it hardly comes with me in my travels). This is also great because you can just jot a few ideas down while you're out and about to help you remember those topics once you get a chance to write. Also, if you have a ton to say it's easy to use the voice command on your iPhone and just speak out what you want to type. I also write down 3 things every day that I'm thankful for in a section of notes then just screen shot that and print it out every couple of months. I also have it up on my blog and post my gratitude lists monthly which helps me keep track of it and stay motivated to do it.

2. Journal especially when it's hardest to/ during changes 
It can be overwhelming starting a new school year, moving to a new place, beginning a new chapter in your life, or doing anything that involves a variation in your normal routine. It's all too easy to just forget about writing down your thoughts. But out of all my journal entries the ones I re read most are the ones I wrote during changes. It comforts me to be able to look back on that point in time and see the growth and progression over the months/years. 

3. Have titles on each page (other than dates)
When I look back on my journal and try to find a specific time, I don't remember the calendar date at all practically. It helps me organize my journal when I put a little recap/title in addition to the date (example: while in Hawaii I just put "Hawaii" at the top of every page). And if those days were really important I might even hilight the title (just because I'm so OCD) 
read about my trip to Hawaii here>>

4. Print pictures
It's hard but do it. The best thing about my journal to me is that it's full of not only words, but pictures too. Yes it takes a little extra effort to go get them printed out and tape them in but it is so worth it. I'll usually leave space (a half page to a page depending on how many images I think will make it in) then once every couple of months get my pictures printed at Costco. They practically know me there because I always try to sneak in with my moms membership ID (whoops). Having those visuals just makes my journal so much more valuable to me. It's so great to think that someday my little kids can read through my journal and the crazy things I'm going through right now and have pictures to go along with it all.

5. Print all your pictures in one
If you don't have the time/energy/motivation to actually go through and print out pictures to put in your journal another way to do it is just print out a few pictures in one every month. By that I mean arrange your pictures into a word or pages document, take a screen shot of it or save is as a jpg and print that out. Another way I like to do it is just add pictures into the app pic collage and then save that to my phone then print it out. I always post my monthly reviews on my blog so it's easy for me to print them out with all the other pictures I am getting.
read about my monthly posts here>>

6. Don't just save pictures, save stuff
I got quite the collection on my church history tour of postcards, pass along cards, little notes, leaves, maps, and ticket stubs. It's so great because to me it makes everything so much more authentic. It's so satisfying knowing a few special keepsakes are arranged safely with my words and thoughts about where it came from and what I was doing there
read about the trip in the pictures above here>>

7. Keep it short and sweet if you have to
I ordered this journal for my mom a few years ago from Anthropologie to inspire her to start journaling and documenting all the fun things that happen to our family. As far as I know, it has been so helpful for her to be able to jot something down so quickly. I went ahead and bought the same one for myself this year (Anthropologie no longer has it but Amazon does!) because a lot is going to change for me by the time 2021 comes around. I think it will be so cool to make a daily documentation of how my life changes over these next 5 years. There are tons of other journals you can get just like this so I liked a few below.

I couldn't resist snooping in my mom's 5 year journal and I came across this little gem from last year... "Jacob here with Madison all day every day!" it's so weird to think how fast the time since last year has gone hah!

8. Try to stay positive
A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. Yes, some days we just need to let it all out and put the struggle into words, however, writing down the happy things that occur on a daily basis will help you remember them. It puts a silver lining on the day no matter how hard it what's when you count your blessings & the silver lining becomes permanent when you write it down.

Journaling makes you happy. It's a fact. Especially when you're sure to document the wonderful things (even if they are small). I hope these little 8 things inspired you to get started on your journal for this new year. I promise you won't regret the 5 minutes it takes every night to jot down your life story. 

*I have gotten all of my journals in the past from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters (I LOVE these ones) or shopbando.com. I also love the variety that Paper Source has- they carry moleskin, kate spade, bando, and all that good stuff.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! You are so inspiring Madison! I've been following your blog off and on for over a year now and you are the cutest! I've always wanted to keep a journal and your tips are great. Thank you and happy new year! 💕 Betsy

Anonymous said...

This is probably my favorite blog post yet! So cute, inspiring and helpful��