Journaling Tips for Beginners: How To Start a Daily Journal

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Here are the best journaling tips for beginners. I’ve been journaling since 1999 (I was 8 years old!) and I am still journaling to this day. Journaling has helped me with my mental health and my personal growth and I hope you will have a similar experience!

In This Article

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Flatlay of a cup of coffee in a coffee shop.

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is a creative outlet, it’s the best way to get the creative juices flowing, express gratitude and thoughts. It’s a great way to process any negative emotions and to write down the exciting moments and positive things in your life. There is no wrong way to journal!

WebMD (2021) reports that journaling can help reduce anxiety, help regulate emotions, and encourages emotional healing.

Ask yourself: What are the benefits that journaling can have for me? (You can answer this to yourself or write it down – this is your first journal entry!)

Types of Journaling

There are different types of journals all with different uses. Here are a few:

Journaling Tips for Beginners - a row of different types of journals.
  • Bullet Journal
  • 5 Minute Journal
  • Fitness Journal
  • Food Journal
  • Gratitude Journal
  • Manifestion Journal

You don’t need to have a journal for each type (it’s up to you!) but you can combine journals together. Personally, my 1 journal is used for my thoughts, gratitudes and manifestion.

Journaling Tips for Beginners

If you’re wondering what do you write when you start journaling, read my journaling tips for beginners below!

Tools You Need

You don’t need a lot of tools to start journaling, you can simply use a pen and paper. But having a dedicated notebook and good pen makes the difference for me.

My favourite notebooks are made by Peter Pauper Press because they’re compact with a good paper weight. I’m currently using the Tree of Hearts journal by Peter Pauper Press.

Journal with a pink pen for Journaling Tips for Beginners.

Moleskine is another popular notebook brand. This brand is great because they come in different sizes with lined, grid or blank paper.

Next you need a pen or pencil. My favourite pens are Pentel RSVP. But for a colourful notebook, opt for Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens.

Digital Journal

Another option for journaling is a digital journal.

A digital journal is a great option for people who don’t have a safe place to put a physical journal, or do not want to carry a journal around.

You can use the notes app on your phone or download apps like GoodNotes and Notability.

Find The Right Time

Having a busy schedule can make it hard to pick up the journaling habit. However, you can journal anytime of the day.

To start your journaling journey, it’s best to find a dedicated time to journal each day. Ask yourself the following:

  1. How often are you going to journal? (3 times a week, daily…)
  2. How much time are you willing to journal? (5 minutes, 10 minutes…)
  3. Based on your above answers, what is the specific time you can have journaling practice? (morning, after work/school, before bed…)
  4. When will you have privacy? (If you need it, also see my tip below.)

Currently, I journal for 5 minutes during my morning routine starting with a gratitude list and manifesting.

As you develop the habit to journal, this will become second nature.

Check Your Environment

In a coffee shop, Journaling Tips for Beginners.

A lot of people want to journal in privacy, but if you’re comfortable to journal anywhere – then that’s great!

If you do need privacy, what time of the day or which days will you have the most privacy?

Instead of journaling at home, sometimes I go to my local coffee shop.

If you can’t journal at home, try journaling at a coffee shop, in your car or try a digital journal so it’s not as obvious you’re writing a journal entry.

Find a safe space for your paper journal especially if you’re concerned about people reading your journal.


Starting with journaling prompts is a great place to help with writer’s block. Check out my journal prompts for ideas!

Here Are a few writing prompts to start with:

Journaling Tips for Beginners pinterest pin.
  • What is your current daily routine?
  • Who has a positive impact on your life?
  • Write down a happy memory.
  • How do you feel at the end of the day?
  • Write a list of things you want to do this year.

Or Just Write Your Thoughts

Journal prompts are great but if you have anxious thoughts, simply writing whatever is coming to your mind is helpful.

How To Start a Daily Journaling Habit

The first step to build any new habit is to journal on a daily basis. I have my journal at my bedside table so the first thing in the morning, I can start writing.

Journaling Tips for Beginners: Final Thoughts

Overall, the starting point for any journal is to open a blank page and and start writing. There are so many different ways to journal and the most important thing is to journal for YOU.

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