Creative Ways to Fill Your Empty Journals

Graphomania: an obsession with writing (Collins Dictionary). That undeniable urge to grab your journal and pen, and begin writing whatever comes to mind. Poetry, travel logs, feelings and thoughts, daily tasks, checklists, stories — the never-ending list of possible writing prompts. Does this feel at all relatable?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a lover of literature and words. Reading and writing have constantly been a form of therapy for me, bringing me comfort by simply looking at a book or holding a journal. I can’t recall a single moment of my teenage years where I didn’t own and use a journal for SOME amazing possibility. But like many things, my time using journals and reading was put on hold as the bombardment of adulthood took over.

At the start of 2017, I made the decision to join the book blogging community to help bring my love of reading back to life. But what I wasn’t expecting was my love of journaling to also rise once again; the book blog community is FULL of NUMEROUS and CREATIVE ways to use journals! That NEED to pick up a pen and write things down started to come back, making my love of journaling ignite once more.

So for all you who love to journal, want to find ways to love journaling, or loved it once and can’t seem to get that urge to try again, here are a number of ways to find uses out of those unused journals (or excuses to go out and buy one).

JOURNAL IDEA ONE // A Review Journal

Book, movies and television, restaurants, travelling, make up brands, clothing and accessories … the amount of topics people review on social media is endless! But rather than trying to remember all the comments you meant to make in your social media post, why not carry around a review journal?

Personally, I use Archer & Olive’s bullet journals for this. I love how they don’t bleed through, they provide enough space for me to write out my thoughts and are light enough to carry around with me wherever I go. Another good (and more budget-friendly) alternative would be the Leuchtturm1917 bullet journals; they’re lighter and have more pages, but they do bleed through more.

JOURNAL IDEA TWO // A Journal of Lists

So many lists, yet so little time. Having a journal of lists is a lot of fun and a great distraction, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The prompts are endless and can be redone every year: 10 films to watch in the fall, 10 young adult romance novels, 10 things that make you smile. Not only can this help with balancing one’s mental health, but it’s also just a fun and engaging activity!

Do Good Paper Co.’s Small Spiral Notebooks (A5) are the PERFECT journal for this! It’s small and compact, making it easy to carry around with you and storing in your desks or drawers. I also love that it’s lined paper, making lists a little easier and neater.

JOURNAL IDEA THREE // Tracking Books on Your Shelves

This has been a growing concept in the bookstagram community! I originally found it in Zuky the BookBum’s Instagram story. Basically, you write out ALL the books you own on your physical (eBook and audiobooks can also be included … it IS your list) bookshelves (I saw SHELVES because … really, who only has one) and highlight the ones you have read. You can highlight by genre, book rating or any other way.

I use Do Good Paper Co.’s Linen Diary (B6) – Pink for this. I love how small and compact it is, but it leaves me enough room to write out my lists. The paper is also thick, so there’s little to no bleed through. Also … it’s just so cute!

Concluding Thoughts

The uses of journals are endless, which is what makes them so much fun to have! Mental health checks, organizational needs, work notes, packing and to do logs — everyone and anyone can find a reason to use a journal. There’s a beautifulness to looking back at all of your completed journals, having the nostalgia fill you up as you see your creative ideas or insanely busy days. A keepsake, a memory log, a good laugh — there are so many wonderful ways to use your empty journals.

Discussion time!

Do you use journals? What do you use them for? What are some of your favourite journals?

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Posted by

Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

14 thoughts on “Creative Ways to Fill Your Empty Journals

  1. Great ideas! I have a travel journal, actually which I started this time around last year and I really enjoy creating spreads for this one. It’s kind of sad now since I haven’t used that one i a while but making lists for books, tv shows, movies is also a lot of fun! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to start a travel journal next year. I’m HOPEFULLY going to Holland and some other places in Canada … but it REALLY depends on COVID. Fingers crossed we can both continue those! I’m so glad those lists helped you! I hope you have lots of fun!


  2. I used to buy countless journals and then either fill in the first 10 pages and abandon it, or not use it all scared that I will “ruin” the journal 😀 I still have a few empty ones that are just too pretty to use. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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