I have never been someone who likes to physically write things down (except for notes in class). If I need to make a shopping list, I type it into my notes app. If I have an idea or feeling that I want to reflect on later, I audio record myself. If I want to document a moment, I take a photo or video of it. If I need to do some calculations, I open up Excel.
Most of the reason I don’t physically write is because I hate my handwriting. But in my opinion, physically writing something down takes up too much time and isn’t as efficient as recording yourself or typing. When I’m journaling, I don’t feel that physically writing gets out all the emotion I feel. Journaling is a healthy way to reflect and remember things that happen to you and how you feel about them, which is why I have found a different way to journal that doesn’t involve a pen and paper.
If physically writing isn’t for you but you still want to journal, check out these other ways you can get your thoughts and feelings down.
Something more visual, like a Scrapbook, may be the right path for you. Scrapbooks blend together pictures from your adventures in addition to captions that explain the feelings and thoughts from that moment. My grandmother chooses this way to journal, since it allows her to be reminded of the good times, as well as get her creative juices flowing with the fancy scissors to make borders and themed stickers.
If you’re visual, but taking and printing out pictures isn’t your thing, try a doodle or drawing journal. No words, just doodles and drawings of what you’re feeling. Let your mind and hand wander as you reflect on the images and feelings in your brain.
Something more verbal, like an audio journal might be right for you if you are comfortable hearing your own voice. I personally use this method because I feel that it captures my emotion by capturing the rhythm, tone, and volume of my voice. It also feels more natural to me to talk instead of write; it just feels like chatting with a friend.
If you’re even more camera savvy, you can do a video journal or a vlog. This way of journaling captures not only your voice, but your facial expressions, gestures, and everything else that makes you, you. It’s also really fun to go back and watch or listen to these types of journals and see how you’ve physically changed.
Something that uses typing, like a blog might be for you if you just can’t shake the “using the hands to write” mindset. Typing is way faster and way more efficient since most websites will catch your grammatical and spelling mistakes. Blogs are also easily found by other people online, so this could be a great way to connect with people journaling about the same topics.
It doesn’t matter which way you choose to journal; find the way that works for you. Get those creative juices flowing and those thoughts and reflections down the way that makes you feel best.
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Also published on Medium.