The Clog’s guide to journaling for lazy, unartistic Bears

Photo of daily planner, bullet journal
Maddie Fruman/Staff

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I’ve always aspired to be an artistic person because I revere artists as magical people who have the ability to manifest a vision in their head into our physical reality. Sadly, creating art in this manner is just not for me — no matter how hard I try, the vision in my head is simply not what ends up on the paper. I’ve been inspired by beautiful, detailed bullet journal spreads on Reddit and Instagram to start a journal of my own. Whether you want your journal to be a diary, a way to plan your schedule or a place to be creative, keep reading for some tips on how to stick with journaling even if you’re unartistic, lazy or both.

Don’t worry about making your journal look put-together

Bullet journaling can be a creative outlet for artistic people, but for your average Joe, it can be too time-consuming if what you really want is a journal to put your life and thoughts in. It took me forever to start my bullet journal because I kept messing up spreads or I thought my drawings looked too ugly. Once I realized that my life is messy, I became more comfortable with letting my journal reflect that.

Spend five minutes a day journaling

I believe the beauty of journaling is that there are absolutely no rules. Is there social pressure via social media to have a perfect journal? Yes … but once you put down your phone and pick up your journal, you forget about the world around you. Habits are tough to form, so starting with something as little as five minutes a day journaling will help naturally integrate the practice into your life.

Not sure what to write? Try these ideas!

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’re already sold on the idea of journaling. But you may be wondering, “All right, what do I write about?” I mentioned above that journals can be used for planning out your schedule (think homework, classes, meetings or personal events), but they can also be used for word vomit or tracking your dreams. I also suggest gratitude journaling, in which you write down three to five things or people you’re grateful for every morning. This will help center positivity in your mindset as you start your day. You can also use your journal to write poems, short stories or letters of things you wish to say to people but just can’t. You can turn it into a period tracker, a food tracker or an exercise tracker. As you can tell, there really are no rules when it comes to what you should write about.

There’s no need to get expensive journals or supplies

Journaling can easily turn into an expensive hobby. The famous Moleskine journals can range anywhere from $15 to $30 depending on the size you get. A pack of pens with a plethora of colors can add up to $20 or $30. If you don’t care about the quality or quantity of your journaling items, you can make a journal out of anything. If you have an unused school notebook lying around or extra loose-leaf paper and a binder, you can make your own journal relatively inexpensively. You can also use regular markers or colored pencils instead of fancy pens and stickers.

The possibilities are truly endless for how you can use your journal. The beauty is that it’s all for you, so you can decide how put-together or chaotic you want it to look. Happy journaling, Bears!

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].