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How to Set Up Your Journal

Whether you’ve been journaling for a while and have lost interest, or you’re fresh new to the practice, one challenge you may have is being unsure of what to write and where to put it. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to keeping a journal, some people find it easier to stay on track when they use layouts and themes to help them stay organized.

Organize Your Journal into Sections

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If you want to make your journal more structured, the first thing you need do is divide it into sections. The majority of journals only come with a notepad with a set amount of pages and no dividers. If you’re utilizing this style of notebook, you’ll have to come up with your own system of arrangement.

You might want to start by generating a list of what you want to write about in your journal so you can see if any specific categories stand out. For example, if you want to use the journal to write down what you’re thinking about on a regular basis, express appreciation, and work on your own objectives, you’ll need at least three separate parts. Others may have more or less, based on your own preferences.

An Index or Table of Contents

While bullet journals are more typically used for this, there’s no reason you can’t do it with your ordinary journal! You never know how many routes your journal may take, and before you know it, your thoughts and ideas are mixed together on different pages. It can take a long time and be quite frustrating to search for a specific page. This is why utilizing page numbers and an index is beneficial.

Begin numbering all of your pages, then jot down what that particular entry was about. The subject or topic can then be added to the index at the beginning of your journal, along with the page number, making it easier to find later.

Consider Printable Templates

Using printable sheets is another option to set up your journal and keep the pages organized. These can be inserts into different sections of your current journal, or a binder-style journal that allows you to print whatever you want and change pages around as needed.

There are several free and paid printables available that provide templates and suggestions for your journal. There are lined pages with certain subjects, daily notebook pages where you can write about your day, mood trackers, health pages, and so on.

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