Lifestyle Personal Development

How to start journaling? 7 benefits of journaling

Damn. Just checked out my personal journal and its 4 days behind. How do you start journaling and make it a habit?

I would have thought I’m slipping away but then I remember I got a 130+ streak on NotePD.

Journaling is a luxury if you’re always thinking of what next to do and can’t find time to just be.

Then you got to put those thoughts and plans on paper/blank document.

Some aspect of your life of course are better kept private – that’s what I do with my personal journal. Then after refining or cutting the story to only “suspense packed” lines or just childhood stories then I allow myself to use them every now and then on public writings like this.

How to start Journaling as a Habit

1. Write Morning Pages 

This is can be a great part of your morning routine. When you wake up and still have ideas running through your head – your best bet is an early morning journal or any kind of morning writing, journaling, etc.

Morning Pages‘ by Julia Cameron is a specific process of 3 pages of long hand journaling.

Take the time to scramble through your journal on all the ideas you have. You could pick up something of interest.

Also if you regularly publish on a blog or social platforms like Twitter or NotePD – its a good way to gather ideas which you could further expand at the end of the day.

2. Take a Notebook everywhere you go 

These days there are pocket journals which you could take advantage of in case you want to note down any ideas that sparkle at any random time of the day.

I have a journal just like i have books at different target locations of both my home and work place.

This way i always have something to put my ideas and i can easily find them.

3. Organize your Notes on Softwares like Google Doc or Evernote

Google Doc is great as first drafts since it has a simple and non-distracting user interface and as a bonus autosaves while you write.

EverNote has this amazing search feature which is great since the app can be integrated with other reading apps like InstaPaper which save your highlights specially.

4. Journal in the Evenings

Most people have to wake up early, prepare and go to their working places in the mornings so they don’t have time for activities like Journaling.

But Evenings are also effective. In fact, more effective from my experience to write produce high quality ideas not just for your personal consumption but blogposts and Idea lists.

It could also be a great time for Gratitude journal where you look back over what happened at the end of the day and both appreciate the little things plus connect some dots.

5. Journal to Brain Storm 

Do you overthink? Do you feel stuck?

Journaling without any restrictions or filters might be a godsend when we are upset or worried about something.

The fear fades as we put our thoughts on paper.

We can go a little deeper and perhaps discover the true root of the problem.

7 things journaling can help you do

1: Keep track of your thoughts

You can journal about anything that’s on your mind, whether it’s a problem you’re trying to solve or something that’s making you happy.

The power you give to events comes from the story you tell yourself as we mostly see things as we “are” rather than how they “are.” So journaling can help you become more aware of these stories and put them in perspective.

Sometimes the right attitude is just Gratitude which you can attain more from pausing, reflecting and penning down facts.

2: Capture good ideas

When you’re listening to someone and get an idea or get an epiphany at any moment – no matter how unusual it may be – journaling is a solution to retain such ideas.

My favourite example is Richard Branson, “I don’t mind where the ideas come from as long as they make a difference.”

Check out: 10 Lessons From Richard Branson’s Autobiography: “Losing My Virginity.”

When you feel something is so good – writing down on such ideas on a journal would help you really anchor it in.

3: Know yourself more

Knowing yourself can help you trust yourself more, become more certain and develop clarity in life.

Journaling helps accelerate this process. I always start my journaling at the end of the day on what I did and what I plan to do next day.

Then I ponder on why I’m concerned about something or a particular thing bothering me.

Sometimes we all need to hit pause to process our thoughts before even narrating to other people we feel understands.

4: Store memories

Then sometimes you do re-read your past journals.

Damn. I remember breaking up with a particular lady. And when I went back to my journals all the while I was in touch with her.

Even in moments when I wasn’t sure of how I felt in the relationship – my journals showed how much pain I was enduring.

Rereading them again made me thank God for how free I had become letting go.

You can use those memories to reflect back and make changes … here’s a thought from a coach on his fitness journey:

“When I’m in a rut, I look at what I wrote in the journal during the bad days. I look at what routines I dropped. And often times, the rut is caused by something I changed that I shouldn’t have changed.”

5: Work through difficult emotions

Getting all of your worries and stressors out on paper can help relieve some of the pressure you’re feeling.

Writing down how you’re feeling can help you understand and process what you’re going through.

6: Generate ideas

Journaling can help jumpstart your creative juices by giving you a place to freely explore ideas.

The brain is indeed a powerful organ. Through routines and habits, don’t be surprised if it only what we ask of it.

If you want more ideas start asking more of it, what James Altutcher calls on NotePD “challenging your idea muscle.”

7: Write as a habit

Journaling is an outlet to make good first drafts that you can easily refine to anything.

If you don’t give yourself permission to pour out raw and fresh ideas – then how can you have time to refine such ideas.

Writing with the intention of getting better at writing not only actives your creative forces but instill them as a habit.


When did you start journaling and why did you start at the first time?


How to get your Creative juices flowing? 18 tips to get your creative juice flowing

How do you get your creative juices flowing?

For long, i used to see myself as the talent “”appreciator.” I was hailing people i thought were creative and secretly wishing i could tap some.

The problem was i never gave myself permission to be one.

Then I realized we all have something unique and special within us. Its left for us to allow them manifest by giving them room to come out.

18  Tips for getting the creative juices flowing

Here’s a list of activities and exercises to help jump-start your creativity when you’re feeling stuck.

Practical tips and tricks for coming up with creative ideas, even when you feel like you’ve hit a wall:

1: Come up with 10 ideas daily

For any problem you have in mind, instead of trying to find the ultimate solution with one thought – try to come up 7-10 ideas preferably “bad ideas.”

From 10 you could pick out the best 3, then 1.

This would prove to you how the best ideas can come from dirt and ultimately get your creative juice flowing.

You just exercised your creative muscle before coming up with a solution.

NotePD is a good place to exercise this muscle.

2: Let your creative juices flow

When you’re working minimize distractions.

Aim for flow while working.

Allow your brain get into higher brain waves that can signal and get your creative juices flowing.

Check out more Productivity tips to get more work done.

3: Take Note of ideas immediately they come to your mind

Have a system of capturing ideas when they come to your mind. And also when you spot them from other sources.

For example, if you find a good story – store it somewhere and label it with an idea so when next you’re brainstorming on that particular idea – you’re can easily recall and tell such story. I use Evernote for this.

I also think you should not be afraid to take advantage of a creative spark that may be out of your schedule instead of allowing it die e.g. late night writing.

4. Engage in a Hobby or Sport

Engaging in activities that you enjoy, such as a hobby or sport, to help relax and clear your mind.

5. Try a new activity or learn a new skill

Engaging in a new activity can help stimulate your mind and generate new ideas.

It all adds up. The idea you get from one skill can transform to something more creative mixed with another skill.

6. Take a Break from Routines 

Think of when you used to solve Algebra or Calculus (if you did).

The hardest solutions hardly come when you’re tensed or working on the problem.

Sometimes the best way to get your creative juice flowing is to simply step away from whatever it is you’re working on and take a walk.

Taking a break from your work and doing something completely different, such as going for a walk or listening to music.

Play and some light exercise can work wonders for your creativity.

7. Spend time in Nature 

Spending time in nature, which can help inspire creativity and provide a sense of peace and tranquility.

8: Stay Physically active

Zero physical activity = stuck ideas.

The more you move, the more you ideas can flow.

Take a walk outside and take note of the sights and sounds around you. Maybe you’ll find inspiration in nature, or from people-watching.

9: Use Paper and Pen

I have an amazing typing speed. So when i achieved such speed, i thought i could replace pen and paper completely. Then i noticed less flexibility and creative ideas.

This confused me. What could be the difference?

But when i read books on creativity and writing, it confirmed that was a mistake.

While typing is faster, pen and paper still beats computers on releasing your creative juices.

Better still is to mix it up. Have periods of writing with pen and paper and those of typing.

9. Take short Naps 

Taking a short nap or practicing mindfulness or meditation, which can help calm your mind and allow your creativity to flourish.

10. Consume inspirational content 

Listening to or reading something inspiring, such as a TED Talk or a book, to help spark your imagination.

11: Do some research on your topic

Read articles, watch documentaries, look at art work related to it, etc.

The more knowledge you have on the subject matter, the easier it will be to come up with creative ideas related to it.

12: Change your perspective about Creativity

Stop assuming creative people are the most gifted and talented ones born that way. You too can.

Give yourself permission to see things from different angles and come up with unique ideas. While routines and habits simplify things.

13. Think outside the Box

Our brains can quickly get used to an activity that we stop thinking. This now can now hinders creativity if we never mix things up.

Sometimes, you gotta think outside the box to find solutions.

14: Get Momentum

There’s something powerful about building momentum. Whatever is important to you, don’t do it only when you feel like.

Do it everyday until you gain momentum.

Setting aside dedicated time to work on a creative project, and giving yourself permission to let your imagination run wild.

You don’t need to have a lot of tools and resources to build momentum.

15: Use constraints

Working within certain limits can actually help spark new and innovative ideas.

Twitter is regarded as one of the best tools to use when learning to write better because it forces you to limit your writing to 240 characters or less; as a result, you learn to get to the point faster.

16: Sharing ideas with like minds 

Talking to people – whether it’s friends, family, strangers, or even just listening to someone else’s conversation – can give you some new perspectives and help jumpstart your own creativity.

When you’re around people who support you – you’re not afraid of showing your truest and deepest self which is where light and creativity comes from.

17: Set aside dedicated time to work on creative projects

How do you think creative individuals like artists and writers spend their time to advance their careers? They make time for creative projects.

Setting aside dedicated time to work on a creative project, and giving yourself permission to let your imagination run wild can be a game changer.

18. Get more Organized

Getting organized by having an Order or structure and using tools such as a Planner can help you stay creative in a few different ways.

First, it can free up mental space and reduce stress, which can make it easier to think creatively and come up with new ideas.

Second, being organized can help you make the most of your time, which can give you more opportunities to be creative.

Finally, having a plan in place can help you stay focused and avoid distractions, which can also help to boost creativity.

In short, getting organized can create the conditions that are conducive to creativity, making it easier for you to come up with new and interesting ideas.


Having structure helps you stay organized but life doesn’t have to be stiff all the time.

Listen to a new song, read a new book, have some idea showers, create a mind map, listen to someone that has a different perspective.

I guess this is one of the reasons apps like Tiktok blew up. No matter who you curate your account to fit a particular niche, there’s always a random idea the algorithm feeds you that can make your day.

Ultimately, the key is to find what works best for you and to make time for creativity in your daily life.