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Try Your Hand at Journaling

Try Your Hand at Journaling

By Marisa Rodriguez, School-Age and Teen Services Outreach Coordinator

Journaling is certainly not new – the 4500-year-old “Diary of Merer” is listed by Guiness World Records as the oldest surviving papyrus document, outlining the construction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. For centuries, even millennia, humankind has filled the pages of books, scrolls of parchment and the walls of caves with their observations, feelings, ideas, failures and successes. Notable examples include Marie Curie’s groundbreaking notes on radioactivity, Emilie Frances Davis’ diaries recounting the Civil War from her perspective as a free Black woman living in Philadelphia and Anne Frank’s descriptions of her life while hiding from Nazi persecution. 

In addition to helping us record important details about our daily lives, journaling also provides a wealth of benefits. Some of these include improved mental health and social emotional competence, increased organization and productivity, as well as better-defined goals and dreams.

Ready to start your own journal? Try out one of these ideas!

Gratitude Journal

Focusing on gratitude can improve your mental health and aid in social emotional learning, according to a 2019 article in The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Think positively by responding to one of the following prompts:

  • What is going well in my life?
  • How do I bring joy into my day-to-day routine?
  • How do I show my loved ones that I care about them?

Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is the perfect way to organize your lists, trackers, plans and goals. Bullet journals typically have grid patterns that allow you to customize them based on your needs.

Your bullet journal might include:

  • Reading Log: Keep a running list of everything you’ve read.
  • Budget: It’s never too early to start good financial habits! Track your budget to help you spend responsibly.
  • Bucket List: Where do you want to travel? What would you like to try? You can keep track of these ideas in your bullet journal.

Collage Journal

Do you prefer to express yourself visually? You can create a journal using drawings, photos, and clippings from magazines or newspapers. Think of your collage journal like a collection of mini vision boards.

Gather images based on any of these topics:

  • What does my best life look like?
  • What dreams do I hope to accomplish?
  • Which hobbies or creative activities bring me joy?

Fairfax County Public Library offers programs about journaling. Check out what is on the schedule in coming months by visiting

Fairfax Virtual Assistant