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The Art of Journaling

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by Marisa Seager

After last semester came to an end, I spent the next few weeks taking a May Term course on journaling. During this time, I experimented with three different types of journaling: standard, bullet, and art. 

Standard Journaling

This is the most common form of journaling and also what you’re probably familiar with. It is the practice of using a journal to serve as a private place to reflect on your life or process emotions and experiences. For many this can be therapeutic or even just a way to get to know yourself better. 

This can be a lot to unpack and especially if you’re new to the practice, so a good place to start is with prompts to guide your entries. In my experience, there were days where I couldn’t stop writing and others where I needed that extra push to get me started. 

Bullet Journaling 

If you’ve ever used Pinterest, then you may have already seen this form of journaling. It combines several journaling systems into one that is very organized.  This can be used not only as a diary but also a calendar, task manager, and place to process things. 

Instead of starting with an enticing blank page, use a journal with a dot grid pattern to design the journal for your own use. It can be as simple or as creative as you’d like! Personally, mine was somewhere in between and was used mostly for trackers and other fun spreads. 

Art Journaling

Most similar to a sketchbook, this form of journaling is a great way to practice your art skills, document your life, or process emotions. The best part is that you can use whatever mediums you like so don’t fret if you can’t draw. 

As a person who isn’t the most creative on paper, I used this type of journal to sketch when in places that seemed fit and also as a connection to my standard journal. One of the assignments in my course which I really enjoyed was to take quotes from my everyday journal and bring them to life within my art journal. Not only was it fun, but it was a good way to sort out my days.