Hello. My name is Julie Gibbons and I’m a journal addict 🙂

(This post was inspired by Quinn McDonald’s recent post about her various journals and last evening’s conversations during Creativity Coffee with Jamie Ridler about journal techniques.)

I’m a relatively recent convert to the practice of journaling, but I find it to be such an important part of my life, that I’m also studying Journal Therapy (when I can find time to do the lessons!).

There are of course as many different ways to journal as there are journalers. I’m in a groove that seems to be working for me right now, so if you’re looking for some ideas, here’s a quick insight into the journals I’m using most days.

Morning Collage

Morning journaling for me is a creative practice called Found Inspirations. I use a dedicated mixed media visual journal by Strathmore sized 3.5″ x 5″ for it. It takes me about five or ten minutes and is the perfect start to my working day.

found inspirations journal

(You do know that you can download your free guide to creating your own Found Inspirations practice don’t you?)

Smash and Grab

The next two books to appear in my working day are my Valentina notebook for daily to-do’s and my raspberry Filofax with my project plans and ideas, but they’re not strictly journals, so the next one I’m going to show you is my creative business planning Smash Book.

This is where I smash in all of my ideas and plans for my upcoming products and services. It’s also dotted throughout with inspirational messages and affirmations, often sent to me by friends. It’s scribbly and messy and colourful.

Smash book biz

I use a variety of pens, stickers, patterned tape and I often glue in words and images using a glue stick – no paint is involved, making it easily portable. I use the orange Smash Book as many of the pages sport a plainish background.

My creative business plan has a sister on the shelf, in the form of the pink Smash Book. It houses notable quotes, letters & postcards, photos, business cards from Etsy purchases, theatre & cinema tickets and much much more. It’s full of personal inspiration, affirmations, encouragement and memories.

smash book personal

It’s like a scrapbook journal, but the difference isn’t just in the look of it (scrapbookers would be horrified!) but in how I use it. There’s a whole wheen of journaling text in, as anytime I see or hear something throughout my working day that resonates, this is the place I put it.

Art Journaling

And so we move onto the art journaling proper. I’m currently alternating between working in this Canson XL mixed media journal (9″ x 12″) and an altered book, which is much smaller in size. I don’t get to visit these journals every day, but use them to try out different art techniques, work through prompts and challenges online, record personal memories and for other therapeutic benefits not available to me through written journaling or creating Found Inspirations.

Canson XL mixed media journal

altered book art journal

Bedtime Journaling

My day always ends with an entry into my Fresco personal organiser by Filofax. It’s an ideal size simply to record the notable events of the day, how I’m feeling and very often the weather! Last year was the first year ever that I’ve managed to maintain a daily journal of any kind and almost at the end of this second year (my year is Nov – Oct) doing it I can’t imagine it any other way.

bedtime personal filofax

Quite often I don’t manage to capture everything I want to say in my bedtime Filo, so I always keep an additional journal by by bed. I used to do a lot of expanded writing at bedtime, much like the morning pages practice, but since my RSI injury flared up so much, I’m often unable to do it.

This writing can include a stream of consciousness, gratitude lists, poetry and other gems, but often I limit myself to one page and just jot down notable bits and bobs from the day, sometimes using some glitter pens for added pizzazz.

bedtime journaling page

The one I’m using just now is a pretty soft cover A5  lined journal from Paperchase. It’s as thick as a hardback novel, but the soft cover makes it much kinder on my hands and wrist.

Not the end!

Those journals make up the bulk of my activities, but I will admit to having even more on the go right now!

There’s a beautiful purple journal in which I’m recording all my learnings as I participate in Circe’s Circle. I chose purple as the colour for my project and am enjoying it all the way through from the journal to the purple ink inside.

I chose Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 Page Journal technique to create a sample Digging for Dharma Journal and can’t stop making these! I’m going to show you how to create your own Dharma Journal soon and am getting very excited as I lay down some pretty cool exercises.

Would any journaling addict be complete without a Moleskine? I think not 🙂 I like the red covers & ruled pages combo and use mine for random journaling, research and recording snippets from the books I’m reading.

Just last week I began a new intuitive business journal and collage practice and am using an eco wire-bound A4 sketchbook for that.

Gosh – that’s rather a lot of journaling, isn’t it? I hope it gave you some ideas as to the types of journaling you might undertake that you previously didn’t think of.

There’s only one rule

You might think it all sounds a bit much to keep so many journals and use them for so many different applications. In fact, I find that I’m pretty flexible about what goes where. There are often to-do lists scribbled in the notes section of my bedtime Filo and there’s a very fine line between my personal and business journaling.

The one rule that I try to keep to is to date the entries. I don’t always remember, of course.

Journaling is my way of navigating my world and my business. It surely isn’t for everyone but the marvellous thing is that it is available to everyone. You can pick it up when you need to and drop it when you don’t.

If you’d like to get started with a journaling practice but are unsure where to start, or don’t have lots of time, you might find the Found Inspirations practice would work for you. Read a wee bit more about it and sign up to download your free copy here.