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A Beginner’s Guide to Journaling: Three Tips to Getting Started

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Growing up, I always wanted to be one of those girls with stacks of journals to look back on, with each day meticulously recorded. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case until a few years ago.

It wasn’t until I started travelling that I finally found my journaling groove and routine. The moment I stopped worrying about what my writing looked like, I finally found joy in journaling. Realizing that the pages were for my eyes only made it much easier to be messy.

If you find it challenging to discover your motivation to fill those pages, here are my top three recommendations for any journaler:

1. Set aside time every day 

I find that setting aside a designated time each day to journal quickly becomes a routine. For me, this is before bed. 

I usually take around 20 minutes to write about my day or anything on my mind. Instead of focusing on trying to get a certain number of pages, I just write until I feel satisfied. After doing this for just a few days, I subconsciously started grabbing my journal before bed. 

2. Get your Supplies in line

I find that having a few good-quality supplies makes me so much more inclined to keep up with my journal. I don’t have the prettiest writing, so in my mind, having a nice book and pens makes up for it. 

I highly recommend the hardcover dotted Moleskine classic notebook. It has 208 pages and is the perfect size for any of life’s adventures. The hardcover also makes it very durable. 

For writing, I love the black Muji ballpoint pen, as it is the perfect, no-smudge pen for someone who is left-handed. 

For highlighters, I recommend Mildliners, given the wide variety of colours and the dual tip. 

If you are feeling extra fancy, the Canon IVY 2 mini photo printer is a game changer. I’ve loved including little photos of important moments in my journal, and their sticker back is beyond easy to add. 

3. Get in the habit of Junk Journaling (sort of) 

I love the look of a junk journal, with little pieces of the day collected and added to a book. I found it easy to keep this up while travelling as I always had tickets, receipts and postcards waiting to be added. 

Now that I’m busy with classes and have a similar routine each day, I am lucky to find one thing to add to my current daily journal. Instead of focusing on collecting as much as possible, I try to add just one thing a day. 

It still gives the page a fun look, even though it may not be the definition of a junk journal. This can be a candy wrapper, a receipt from grocery shopping or even a cute business card. Anything that helps tell the story of the day! 

And there you have it — my best three tips for journaling. It took me years to realize the key to enjoying journaling wasn’t perfection but instead authenticity and consistency.

Enjoy the journey as you reflect on old entries and see how far you’ve come. Happy journaling!

Kayla Solway

Toronto MU '27

Kayla Solway is a first-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University. She spent almost two years backpacking Asia and Central America and is passionate about storytelling and writing. If she's not thinking of her next trip, you can find her reading, hiking and playing with her dog. Find her on Instagram @kaylasolway