Tips and Tools For Journaling

Journaling with pensFive Tools to Start Journaling


The good thing about journaling is you don’t have to spend a fortune to start. In fact, journaling is cheap and easy. You can start writing with five simple tools for journaling

  1. Pick up a journal that suits you. Moleskine offers beautiful hard bound journals starting at $9 from Amazon. Also at Amazon, journals by Dayna Lee and Minimalism Art run between $8-$12. If you are on a budget, Target offers Yoobi spiral notebooks starting at $2.99. I prefer lined journals, but Moleskine and Minimalism Art allow you to select lined, plain, dotted and squared pages.
  2. A writing tool is essential for journaling. Using a pencils is fine, but tend to fade over time. I have always written with pens. I have experimented with lots of pens over the past two decades. My go-to pen is Pilot G-2 retractable gel pen in bold from Staples. I like to write with bold pens instead of fine or extra fine because I like a thick, inky letter. A five pack of pens is $8.69.
  3. Colored pens are not essential, but needed for variety. I doodle occasionally when I lose my train of thought. Doodling gets me back on track. I experiment with colored pens. I buy the pens on sale when I am out shopping.
  4. Location, location, location. This may seem like an odd tool for journaling, but it’s essential. Find a place that feel comfortable working in so you are able to focus on the writing. This place must be quiet and free from interruptions. If your phone or watch or family member are disturbing you, it will be difficult to write.
  5. Timing is everything. It’s important to find the best time to write so you can make it a habit. I am not an early morning person no matter how hard I try. I usually eat breakfast, load up on coffee and then I sit down to write. Try a few different times before settling in to create a journaling habit.

Kick Start the Journaling Habit

Once you’ve obtained the tools, start slow. If you try to sit and write for 30 minutes on your first day, it may be overwhelming. So start with filling one page of the journal or writing for five minutes. Build up time or page count every day. Don’t get discouraged if you fall short of your goal. Try again the next day to reach your targeted goals.

If you need help starting out, read my article on how to use affirmations in your writing. I also have a private journaling group. Comment below for an invite.



Nicole L. Czarnomski (zar-NOM-ski) is a marketing director by day and freelance writer by night. Her magazine bylines range from wheatgrass to whiskey to pet sitters. She usually writes with one or two cats on her lap and a hot cup of black coffee by her side. She is the author of the memoir “How Cancer Cured My Broken Soul,” the product of her nine-month battle with Stage 3 breast cancer. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading a memoir or psychological thriller or anything by Kristin Hannah. If there isn’t a book in her hand, she is bingeing on Netflix or painting, art journaling, singing karaoke (only at home) or woodworking with her husband.

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