Why You Should Be Journaling

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Why You Should Be Journaling | Sense of Sunny

As a self proclaimed writer, I have broken my fair share of pencils, dried up lots of ink, and scribbled through countless notebooks. This all began the year I received my first lock and key diary. The keeper of my secrets.

While those pages were filled with notes on the really important events of my day (i.e. Recess and school…in that order) and the names of boys I would never have the nerve to speak to, it was also a special look into my perspective of the world, albeit limited. It was a window into my young soul.

The act of writing is no new age experience. Back in 3200 BC, the peeps in Mesopotamia were doing it. Before it was cool. Writing is something we’re all taught and do on a daily basis. We write to-do lists, we write emails, we write messages in birthday cards.

But when was the last time you wrote something for yourself, to yourself?

Journaling gets a lot of smack. It’s either too *zen* or takes too much time or is only for artsy fartsy types. Guess what, friends… Journaling is cool!

Because if you’re looking for your voice you can find it here.

Our voice isn’t just the noise that comes out of our mouths. It’s the authentic things that we feel and believe about ourselves and the world around us. When we find our voice, we uncover what makes us uniquely ourselves. Discovering our voice is not an easy thing to do nor is it ever really completely done. The act of continuous writing enables us to see more clearly the patterns and trends in our opinions and how we express them. Similarly, as we evolve, writing allows our voices to change too.

And then your thoughts become things.

If you’re anything like me, then you know how impossible it can feel to understand all that is in your brain. The moment you take those invisible thoughts and put them on paper, however, they become real things. Real things that can be organized, analyzed, and understood. The ability to literally look at your feelings gives you more power than you can imagine. The second you write something down, you are accountable for its role in your life. Thoughts can be suppressed and ignored. Words are lasting. Unless you have a good eraser, but that’s not the point.

If nothing else, you can document your life experiences.

Journaling is a form of record keeping. In a day when iPhone photos are the extent of our documented history, we are missing an important piece of memory–our feelings! Sure, a picture says a thousand words, but those words could differ from year to year. Writing down our feelings allows us to remember the exact moments in our life, the way they were experienced, for better or for worse.

Now that you’re 90% convinced that journaling is in fact cool, let’s talk logistics.

Types of Journals

The Classic Moleskine

Lined journals are perfect for any format, method, or type of journaling you decide. This Moleskin is easily transportable and the hard cover/elastic duo keeps everything in one place.

Dotted Journals

They’re all the rage these days, and for good reason. The dot method allows complete freedom of expression. One of my favorite bloggers, Kara (Boho Berry), is a great resource for Bullet Journals and how to utilize them to fit your lifestyle.

Creative Journals

I love journals that provide writing prompts for you. I think a traditional lined/unlined journal is necessary for getting out those thoughts from your everyday life, but creative journals, such as this one, are great for inspiring you to think more about subjects you may not usually consider writing about.

leatherjournalLeather Bound Journals

There’s nothing quite like them. The scent, the feeling, the look…the whole thing screams *I’m deep and introspective and I know it!*

Digital Notes/Apps | There are a few options for the tech savvy, so no fear if you’re not into stuff. These options are great for on-the-go journaling. You can simply use the Notes feature on your phone. In this post, I talked a little bit about journaling and one of my favorite free apps, GridDiary. Another favorite of mine is using GoogleDocs and GoogleDrive. This is where I house most of my important documents and blog post drafts. There are other options, like OneNote and Evernote, that allow you to categorize your entries in “notebooks” and sync up to your different devices. There is no shortage of possibilities.

Writing Formats

Stream of Consciousness

This type of writing is the least structured and is exactly how it sounds… writing as the thoughts flow. This format tends to be my most used and is really helpful for releasing all those thoughts, without fear of over analyzing.


A super easy method for organizing whatever theme you want to focus on. There’s pro/con lists, generic lists, high/low lists, resolution lists, goal lists, etc. This method takes away some of the pressure of feeling like you need to write lengthy entries.

“Dear Diary”

Another no-fail option and one that my young self utilized most frequently. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to yourself, it’s a fun trick to personify your journal. Diary feels like a friend who knows all of your secrets, but can’t share them with a single soul. Kind of like your dog.


If you’re unsure where to begin, utilizing journal types that provide questions or prompts really help to get the juices flowing. Often times, the questions/prompts will inspire further thoughts and provoke some serious things to think about. This format is particularly useful for those who consider themselves writers and want to work that creative bone.

Are you into journaling? What’s your favorite method?


  • http://someshananagins.com/ Shannon Mahaney

    Great post! I love journaling! I just recently picked it back up last month more consistantly. I love to write about how my day was or what is weighing heavy on my mind.

    • http://www.senseofsunny.com/ Stephanie

      Thank you very much! I hope you can stick with it! 🙂

  • Joanna Malefaki

    I love journaling and planning and especially decorative planning. I don’t keep a journal, but I do have a few planners which serve as journals as well 🙂

    • http://www.senseofsunny.com/ Stephanie

      I love that idea! Keeping your planner and journal all in one place seems like the best way to ensure that you’re taking time to reflect every day. Thanks for sharing, Joanna!

  • Caitlin Ethridge

    I love journaling, I started when my son was born and use it as a way to remember every little milestone.

    • http://www.senseofsunny.com/ Stephanie

      It must feel so special to be able to look back at those moments!