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Taking Journaling to the Next Level
Table of Contents
There are many different styles of journaling. My personal favorite is the bullet journal, and if you’ve never tried it before, you definitely should!
Have you ever heard of a spiritual bullet journal? Here are some of the ways I make the traditional bullet journal system a little more spiritually inspired!
I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite journaling supplies and some of my favorite journaling bloggers. I am so excited about this post, and I hope it helps you feel inspired to journal more!
Journaling creates lots of incredible opportunities for us to dive deep into our subconscious and connect to our Higher Selves. It’s a wonderful way to raise our vibration and work through internal conflicts. Plus, it doubles as an awesome creative outlet!
This helps us get to the root of our emotions, which leads to understanding and acceptance. Pouring our hearts out onto blank pages helps to lift the weights off our shoulders, persevere through stressful situations, find closure where otherwise denied, and be grateful for everything we already have.
An empty notebook is the most powerful tool in your spiritual toolbox. With honest and genuine entries, you’ll find that you are more than capable of easily working through issues yourself, without the need of outside help. Once your journal starts getting full, you’ll realize that everything you have ever searched for was always within you.
So, if you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and hop onto the bullet journal bandwagon. You’ll love it! We’re all super friendly and slightly nerdy. And we love welcoming new people into our little community.
Once you’ve officially become a journal addict, scroll down to see some awesome spiritually inspired bullet journal spreads and supplies!
How Journaling Enhances Self-Awareness
Journaling daily gives us the chance to acknowledge our center. This is important because we cannot be there for others if we aren’t there for ourselves. Settling down to journal on a daily (or almost daily) basis helps us clear our minds, making room for everything and everyone else in our lives.
Emotional overwhelm is a problem most of us face every single day. We may become flushed with anger, or get swept up in the gloom of depression. Whatever emotion it may be, it needs to be expressed. And it is much easier and safer for us to simply write down our thoughts and feelings than to act out of impulse.
Peace is already within you, and journaling can help you find it. You will be amazed at how much lighter you feel once your emotions are expressed through writing.
This post is going to focus on the bullet journal system, but that is just one of the options. There are so many different ways to journal–stream of consciousness, bullet journaling, art journaling, bible journaling, prayer journaling, brain dump lists, journal prompts, and whatever else your creative mind can come up with.
There is no right or wrong way to record your thoughts. You can keep your notebook near you all day long and jot down thoughts as they come to you. Or you can set aside a special time each day to fill up a page or two. Keeping your thoughts on paper allows your mental noise level to stay low, which ultimately helps you feel at peace.
What is a Bullet Journal?
Bullet journaling is a creative way to stay organized, keep track of what’s important to you, plan for the future, and get artsy all at the same time. On Pinterest, I have a whole board dedicated to bullet journaling. This is a creative planning system where you typically draw everything out by hand. Daily, weekly, and monthly spreads are used to plan our our lives. Collections are added for big-picture type things. It helps us keep track of various habits, finances, to-do lists, etc. It’s also a place to write freely about our thoughts.
“The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above.” — Ryder Carroll
Over the past year, I’ve developed a journal style that incorporates my spiritual practices. The bullet journal is more than just a log of daily events–it’s a place we can go to work on our personal development. I’ve taken some more traditional bullet journal layouts, pages, and collections and made them work for my spiritually inspired lifestyle!
My Favorite Journaling Supplies
There are a lot of different journaling/art supplies to choose from. Depending on your individual goals, some supplies may suit you better than others. If you want to be more artsy and creative, then you’ll probably be wanting some nice markers and pens to play with. If minimalism is more your style, then you’ll only need a few high quality products. In this section, I’ll share a few of my favorite affordable products for bullet journaling!
The notebook itself is probably the most important piece. How big do you want it? How many pages do you need? What colors or patterns are cute to you? Do you want blank, lined, or dotted pages? What about the weight of the paper? Lots of different factors to consider. You want to make sure you enjoy your notebook because you might lose interest in journaling if you don’t. Once it’s filled up, you’ll probably end up keeping it forever. So it might as well be beautiful!
Currently, I am loving this copper Leuchtturm1917 dotted A5 notebook. This is the traditional bullet journal notebook. I love the weight of the paper and the dotted pages–it makes drawing those spreads and straight lines much easier. It’s small enough to fit in my bag, but large enough so I have enough space for writing. I highly recommend the Leuchtturm1917! I promise you’ll be able to find it in your FAVORITE color at an affordable price.
Awesome Writing Utensils
As far as markers go, there is no need to spend a chunk of money if it’s your first time using the bullet journal system. These Crayola Super Tips are great for adding pops of color on a budget. The ink will not bleed or fade through the pages, and there are 100 different colors to pick from.
Crayola is great for beginners, but eventually you’ll probably want to upgrade your markers. If you’re a closeted artist and want to get creatively crazy in your journal, then I highly recommend Tombow’s Dual Brush Pen Art Markers. They are really easy to use, and the water-based ink doesn’t bleed or fade at all. On one end of you have a wonderful brush tip that’s perfect for hand lettering. On the other end, you have a bulleted tip that is perfect for line-drawing. These pens are a little bit more expensive, but absolutely worth it!
Sometimes, a simple ball-point pen will suffice for bullet journaling. Other times, you might want a pen with a little more OOMPH. Personally, I adore these Faber Castel Pitt Artists Pens for writing and drawing in my journal.
They are really smooth, feel nice in my hand, and release the ink more consistently than a ball-point pen does. The tips are rounded so you can hold the pen normally, not straight up and down like other felt tip pens. Plus I really like the variety of thickness available. They just give my journal that nice artistic feel without the huge price tag.
Spiritual Bullet Journal Ideas
If you haven’t journaled since high school English class, you may feel a tad uncomfortable at first. You may feel like you need to write in a certain way, or about something specific, but that just creates tunnel vision. Don’t limit yourself by thinking journaling is about exploring your thoughts in a way that leaves you feeling fulfilled and complete. Whatever that means to you, embrace it!
Think of your journal as a “safe zone,” a place where can genuinely be you without fear a judgment (from yourself or anyone else). You have complete creative freedom. You can make up ridiculous words, spell everything wrong, have shitty grammar, and compose sentences that don’t make sense, and it’s all okay. The only thing that matters is penning your thoughts to paper.
Over time, you’ll develop your own unique journaling voice and style. Try out a few things, see what works for you and what doesn’t. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal–it’s an adaptable system and everyone can customize it to fit their needs. Below I’ve listed some of the spreads and collections I always include in my bullet journal set ups:
Whenever I plan for a new month, I like to write down a few affirmations to focus on. I usually pick between 4-12 mantras and list them opposite of my “welcome” monthly page. Each time I open up my journal, I read through my affirmations to get into the right mindset before diving in. Sometimes they change drastically from month to month, other times only a few or none are repeated. These aren’t the only affirmations I use, they are just the “main” ones for that month that I will continuously come back to.
A daily gratitude practice is extremely important. And gratitude logs have captured the hearts of bullet journalists everywhere. There are a ton of different ways to keep a gratitude log, and I like to switch it up every month! Sometimes I do a free-form doodle/hand lettering style. Other times I do a numbered list for each day of the month. If I’m not feeling a specific page that month, I’ll incorporate gratitude into my weekly/daily spreads.
Tarot & Oracle Spreads
Reading the cards is something I do often to connect with Spirit. I like to keep track of their messages in my bullet journal so I can quickly reference them as time goes on. Each month on my monthly spread, I pull a few cards and write it down on my calendar page. During the week, I typically include my reading at the top of my weekly spreads. Occasionally, I pull a card every day that I will track on my daily spreads. At the back of my notebook, I have a page of tarot symbols that I use instead of writing out the card title each time. I found this on Pinterest and it’s been a real space saver! If I used an oracle card that week instead, I just write down the message on the card rather than a short-hand symbol.
My favorite weekly spread is another awesome idea from Boho Berry. It leaves me just enough room to keep a to-do list, track my yoga practice, journal every day, record my tarot readings, and even track my local weather. If I want to track a daily tarot card, I replace the weather icons with tarot symbols. The two sections at the top of each day are perfect for tarot card recordings, fitness tracker, weather tracker, or whatever feels right in that moment.
Most bullet journalists keep habit trackers for things like water consumption, cleaning, working, etc. I wanted my habit tracker to be a little more influential. Typically, the habits I track each month are daily meditation, affirmation reciting, walks outside, reading time, creativity, yoga, and eating vegetarian. I feel like these habits are a little more aligned with my greater soul purpose, rather than just see what days I do meaningless tasks. That’s why I like to think of it as a spiritual habit tracker!
Mood & Moon Tracker
Mood trackers are a popular practice that improves mindfulness. Every day you take a moment to consider the most prominent emotion you felt and write it down. The Moon has a profound affect on our daily emotions, so I usually keep track of both in my bullet journal. I got this awesome idea from Boho Berry! This spread helps me correlate my emotions with the various moon phases, which provides a lot of clarity. I also love to include the zodiac signs for even more clarification. I color-code these symbols in my tracker so I can remember what element each sign relates to. This is probably my favorite part of my bullet journal each month!
The biggest tip I have for anyone who is interested in bullet journaling is to ditch perfectionism. There are lots of beautiful pictures on Pinterest and Instagram of incredible bullet journals–don’t let them intimidate you.
Don’t compare your art to someone else’s, that is the easiest way to lower confidence levels. Journaling isn’t about being picture perfect. It’s about having a safe space to fully express yourself that you can return to again and again. Let those beautiful pictures inspire you, not bring you down!