Thursday, April 12, 2012

Journaling Tools that Add Life and Variety to Daily Writing

Since journaling has become popular as a hobby and as therapy, a number of journaling tools have become available. In essence, you can keep a journal with nothing more than a supply of paper and a sharpened pencil. In fact, these are the tried and true tools of many generations. Thankfully, we can now choose from a wide array of papers, lined and unlined bound books to write in, colored pens, and pencils of all sorts.

In addition to different writing tools you can use to spark your creativity, you can also choose journaling software for your computer. There are award winning programs available that give you not only prompts to get you thinking, but that organize your entries into categories. You can try a free download of a simple program or purchase a more elaborate one. You might even try a mind mapping program for problem solving.
Electronic journaling tools are convenient and save paper, but for some people they just seem a little too inorganic or something. Many people prefer pen and paper. Some of the most prolific journalers still choose a traditional bound composition pad with black and white cardboard cover. Composition notebooks now come in more creative colors, too. There are some advantages to using these books. For one thing, they are inexpensive. Also, the pages are bound in so that you have a lasting creation when you are done.

A simple sharpened pencil has been the traditional choice when it comes to writing implements, but the selection of pens available now just has to spark a writer's creativity. Gel pens in a wide array of colors (and sometimes scents!) add sparkle and life to journal entries. Colored pencils are nice for both writing and sketching.

One thing to consider when choosing writing tools for journaling is that being able to erase has its advantages. They are hard to find, but erasable pens come in more colors than blue and black. Watch out about cheap brands. Sometimes they drop little watery places or globs of ink or on your paper. Shaking an erasable pen like you would shake a thermometer can help the pen to write better.

Depending on your needs, you can choose either a blank journal or one that includes thoughts to ponder. Many self-help books have matching journals that include prompts so that you can journal about the principles in the book. Other journals stand alone with writing prompts that encourage the introspection needed for personal growth and development.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself using more than one type of journal at the same time. A simple spiral notebook in the kitchen can be wonderful for jotting down everything from recipe ideas and menu plans to phone messages and notes to the kids. For stay at home moms, the daily "to do" list can go here, and so can shopping lists. Keep the pages bound and you have a record of your planning, ideas, and things accomplished.
While you have your home journal and your guided journal going, you might like to have a small journal for traveling. There are some really nice little journals that will fit in your purse, pocket, or briefcase easily.

Here's a final thought. Did you ever receive a beautiful bound journal as a gift, but procrastinated about using it? One avid journal writer recently found an unused bound blank book in a thrift shop for less than a dollar. In the front cover was an inscription - "To a wonderful teacher. Oct. 1984." Is this a commentary on saving the good stuff for later, or what? If you have a blank journal that seems just a little too nice to use for your paltry musings, think again! What are you waiting for?

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Download an excerpt of The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between below: OR authenticself-sampler.pdf
If you want 3 writing *sparks* delivered to you every day for 31 days, check out WriteSparks!™ Daily HERE for info on how to get started -- it's free :o) Thank you for reading. Keep writing!

Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
WriteSparks!™ creator

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