How To Start A Journal (3 Important Things To Keep In Mind)

Okay, okay.

This may not seem like a high leverage skill, but on the premise of teaching ourselves how to let Ideas flow and produce coherent thoughts (as an HLS), it only makes sense that one important habit to get down is starting a journal.

Yes, most people don’t know how to start a journal.

They get enticed by the beautiful paper, the fantastic look, and feel, and sucked into another journal (yes, this is a personal experience.)

That’s why this article is necessary.

As well, we need to realize that Heightened Living is all about intentional actions.

Start with changing the complete basics, I.E., starting a journal, and you can radically change the most complicated skills.

As Bruce Lee said:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Practicing the basic habit of how to start a journal, can trickle into our HLS.

How To Start A Journal

There are three crucial aspects to starting a journal that people often neglect.

And no it isn’t:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Reward

While those are important to have, these are a bit more thought intensive and come before starting to write in the journal.

Each of these together will lead to a quality journal, that can be used effectively and let your beautiful thoughts fill the paper.

1. The Journal’s Purpose

If you don’t determine ahead of time what the journal’s purpose is, then odds are you won’t use it correctly.

See we often start journals and don’t set their purpose.

They become filled with a hodgepodge of information and resources that don’t apply to anything that we wanted to write in it. And then, when it comes time to find something you wrote down, it’s gone… Forever.

That’s why setting the journal’s purpose at the beginning will give you clear intention in what needs to go with it.

For instance, I set purpose’s like:

  • Gym
  • Goals
  • Gratitude
  • Dreams
  • Daily Reflections
  • Work
Once you set the intention, stick with it.

2. The Journal’s Frequency of Use

Yes, you need to set this up beforehand.


I’ve had journals laying around my room that I don’t touch for years.

The reason being, I didn’t set the frequency or at least determine how much I would use it, so it lays out and collects dust.

You may have the frequency as much as a few times a day (For an idea based journal), once a day (for gratitude) or a few times a year (to set goals and reflect on the previous quarter’s goals.)

Regardless of what you want to do with it, make sure to understand the use of it at least.

This also prevent’s that sadness that occurs when you forgot to bring a journal with you because in this case, you understand that the journal needs to come with you.

3. The Formatting Of The Journal

The last thing, before we get into a few of my favorite preformatted journals, is to set the formatting of your journal.

You may have lines, no lines or even graph paper, but if you don’t set your formatting before use you will get lost.

When we go back to look at our journals it can be beneficial to have consistent formatting which may consist of:

  • Date
  • Subject
  • Book Title
  • What The Thought is About
  • Page number
  • Content

Setting up the Journal in this way will leave it systematized for anytime you go back to look at it.

My 3 Favorite Pre-Formatted Journals

Now, on the other hand, you may want an already formatted journal.

That’s where my three favorites come in:

  1. The 5 Minute Journal (For Gratitude)
  2. The Productivity Planner (For Work and Productivity)
  3. The Bullet Journal (For Productivity and Tasks)

That’s it for today if you’ve got a favorite way to structure your journal let me know below!


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