Fun

Where Your Book Begins

Journaling 101.

I’ve always organized my life in notebooks. I keep all of these things simultaneously: a few sketchbooks, a planner, a personal dream book, and separate notepads for things like to-do lists, overheard conversations, and meaningful quotations.

A sampling of my various journals.

I’ve found that all those notebooks express more of myself than the regular diary I kept until high school. My diary was random, depressing, extremely dramatic, and rather boring. It was a great way to vent frustration, but my writing in it didn’t feel constructive. I gave up on it and, under the huge influence of Ghost World, switched to a visual diary. Finally, I could express feelings too complicated or too intimidating for me to put into words. I discovered that I’m just better at drawing than I am at writing—my sketchbook was actually helping me figure things out!

I believe keeping a record, visual or written, is good for you. It helps you to clear your mind, develop your ideas, and know yourself better. It allows you to be emotional and honest as well as grumpy and pathetic. But if you feel thwarted in this process, like I did, or if you’re just looking for new ways to express yourself, let me share with you a couple of ideas and technical tricks that will help make your journal fun to create and to look at.

Medium

First, you need to find the medium that suits you. You have a few options.

Pick the perfect notebook.
Indulge yourself! Buy a fancy notebook. A good-looking book reminds you that you keep it for your pleasure. Also, it’s inviting, so it might motivate you not to give up on journaling. You can find a variety of great, unique designs and high-quality materials on independent online shops like Poketo and Little Otsu.

Or: turn an ordinary notebook into the perfect one.
The truth is, pretty and expensive notebooks never work for me. I’m so scared of ruining their pristine sheets with my shaky handwriting and messy drawings that I literally can’t put pen to paper! I always end up buying a cheap notebook and customizing the cover with some stickers or collages made from cut-out pictures or old maps or whatever, just to break the ice. With some loose sheets you can even sew/glue a notebook on your own, or turn a planner or an empty photo album into one.

My customized covers.

Easy as it seems, making a durable journal from scratch is not a piece of cake. A customized notebook, like the ones from Scout Books, can be a good solution for those with two left hands. If a white sheet of paper still triggers nothing but writer’s block for you, try boosting your artistic spirit with a “creative workbook” like Wreck This Journal or The Scribble Diary. They’re like coloring books for teenagers—in a good way.

If you don’t like writing/drawing on paper, just stick to your screen.
I won’t be talking about blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., because, despite their many similarities to personal journals, speaking to the public usually brings a different quality to your work. Still, there are lots of apps and sites devoted to journaling, list-making, mind-mapping, and all kinds of thought organizers that can be an inspiration for your journaling routine.

Method

Next, consider your approach. A few things to remember:

You don’t have to be a perfectionist.
Don’t judge yourself for poor handwriting or clumsy drawings—your diary is a space for trial and error, a secret place where pretentious poems and anatomically incorrect portraits of Harry Potter are equally welcome.

You don’t have to be organized.
Sometimes there’s just too much going on to keep your journal consistent, and that’s OK. You don’t have to write or draw in it every single day, nor do you have to stick to certain lengths or just one method of expression—I highly recommend trying different literary or drawing styles according to your mood and the amount of time you have for journaling. However, if you need order in order to express your thoughts, divide your journal into sections or keep a couple of notebooks for different things.

Find a good hiding place…
…unless you live alone and have absolutely no secrets. I was raised with respect for privacy, but I’m a middle child, so I know the reality of siblings’ curiosity. Sometimes it’s best if your family doesn’t know you keep a journal at all—this eliminates their temptation to find it. You can wrap your journal with a dust jacket of a normal book and keep it on the second row of a bookshelf. (I tried hiding my journal between folded T-shirts in my wardrobe, but nosy siblings also have a habit of borrowing clothes without asking.) If “privacy” is a flexible concept in your home, be clever. Maybe invest in a padlock.

Ideas

Now it’s time to actually start filling your journal with your thoughts and ideas and emotions. Of course, there are standard diary entries, poetry, and creative writing, but the following ideas, a cocktail of drawing, writing, and mind-mapping concepts, should help anyone who feels unsure about what exactly you want your journal to be. I’ve tried all of these and adjusted them to my needs. Some have become a part of my routine for good.

Writing
Let’s begin with something easy and probably closest to the common idea of journaling. Try describing events as non-existent photos, like Michael Murphy of Unphotographable does, or writing down overheard conversations, like the illustrator Mark Smith does on his blog You Look Like the Right Type. These exercises in observation and description can be a good start to a more experimental approach.

Comics
This is time-consuming, but I find it really rewarding. Don’t get scared, I’m not talking about elaborate, marvelous graphics or complex autobiography in the spirit of Persepolis or Fun Home. My favorite comic diaries are simple in style and content. Gemma Correll, in her Daily Diaries, depicts ordinary objects and everyday events. Taylor-Ruth of Hanging Rock Comics focuses on thoughts and conversations. These entries don’t need to have speech bubbles or picture frames. Illustrator Giada Ganassin makes beautiful, mostly wordless calendars, and Rookie’s Marjainez has sketchbooks filled with clouds of song lyrics and doodles:

Sketchbooks
If comics seem too complex, try another kind of sketching diary. It doesn’t have to be narrative at all. You can think of your sketchbook as a collage, letting concert tickets, Post-it notes, and postcards fill your personal mini-museum. Abstract compositions, like Minna’s Dear Diary entries, carry as much emotion.

Sketchbooks are not always messy and chaotic. Have a look at Leanne Shapton’s project A Month of…, which is divided into specific categories. And how clean are the travel diaries of Carla Fuentes and Lehel Kovács?

A view from my room in Paris.

Daily activities
The simple practice of drawing (or photographing) everyday activities—what you ate/wore/bought/etc.–has caught fire on the internet over the past couple of years, for good reason. You won’t know why something like this is addictive until you try it yourself.

Graphs, lists, mind maps
There’s a chapter in Jennifer Egan’s book A Visit From the Goon Squad that’s meant to be a 12-year-old girl’s diary—and it’s written entirely in PowerPoint. The character used seemingly impersonal and corporate graphs and charts to depict the changing relationships between members of her family in few words but with great accuracy. Creating hand-drawn infographics, like the ones from Indexed, about your life can be more entertaining than solving a Sudoku. Not to mention lists. There can be a list for everything (as demonstrated in Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelity), and lists can be funny.

Everything else
Here you can find ideas for more than three months’ worth of intense journaling. After that you’ll probably have heaps of your own ideas. A diary told through playlists? Moodboards? Agent Cooper–style voice recordings? Since journaling is all about expressing yourself, there are as many possibilities as you have moods. So add, multiply, experiment, and have fun! ♦

96 Comments

  • decemberbaby August 28th, 2012 7:17 PM

    THIS IS SO GREAT. AHHHHH.

    And your journals are really beautiful… I wish I were that creative with mine.

    • Elektra August 30th, 2012 3:50 AM

      I love this post!! I’ve been following rookiemag for a bit, but I just recently signed up for an account. Can anyone help me navigate comments? Maybe the person I’m relying to, sorry, haha I just don’t know how to simply add a comment…
      Elektra

      • rhymeswithorange August 30th, 2012 3:36 PM

        Hey, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page to add a new comment

  • LeDerpina August 28th, 2012 7:22 PM

    I can’t draw. At all! And everyone I know can draw at least something recognizable. Sometimes I wanna draw on my diary, too. But for fear of ruining it (I always buy the pretty ones), I just stick to writing. I just wish I could have expressed my feelings through cool cartoons sometimes. :/

  • bethleeroth August 28th, 2012 7:24 PM

    I just discovered these: Decomposition Books from Michael Roger!

    http://www.michaelroger.com/

    All recycled, soy ink, varying sizes for all your journaling needs!

  • lubs August 28th, 2012 7:31 PM

    wow. Pefect timing. These are all so wonderfull, I’m sure I can be good at one of those.

  • caro nation August 28th, 2012 7:38 PM

    I haven’t gotten AROUND to posting these on Vimeo, but often when I go to band practice or a concert or an exhibition, I film it with this iphone app; I usually have to make a beeline for the bathroom whenever I arrive somewhere so I can sit in a stall and mentally sketch out some rudimentary storyboards, and then I follow my friends around, edit it the footage, and make it into a little short film. I have around 15, and their cluttering up my desktop. SO THERE’S ANOTHER IDEA.

    • Emma Dajska August 28th, 2012 8:02 PM

      I love it!
      (and please share your ideas, everyone!)

    • bugaleeto August 29th, 2012 3:55 PM

      That sounds SO cool! I have this silent film app where it makes everything black and white and speeds it up and you can pick retro music.. Its fun to use.

  • Ginny August 28th, 2012 7:42 PM

    A couple weeks ago I started a journal of quotes/articles/excerpts I came across that were somehow reassuring or that I thought were good advice, and I LOVE IT. (Not gonna lie, I printed out a few Rookie articles and just pasted them in there!) My regular “this is what I did today” diary is not all that interesting so I think I’m going to start some type of visual journal too. Thanks for the inspiration, Emma!

  • bookworm123 August 28th, 2012 7:43 PM

    Ahhhh thank you Emma! This is BRILLIANT! I always say I suck at journaling (mainly because of inconsistency) but now I am really excited, and I make a new school year resolution to journal and have fun with it, which should be easy with all these ideas! *throws glitter because JOURNALS*

  • katrinaexplainsitall August 28th, 2012 7:57 PM

    If there’s one thing I’ve done consistently all the way from middle school it’s keeping a journal, and although I sometimes read over my melodramatic diary entries from 7th grade (“oh mY GOD. HE TOTALLY LOOKED AT M E TODAY!!!11!!1) and laugh my face off, I don’t regret any of it. Also, keeping a journal filled with like anything and everything is literally the best stress reliever ever. Lovely, lovely article, Emma!

    http://www.katrinaspice.blogspot.com

  • kendallkh August 28th, 2012 8:01 PM

    I have about 15 tabs open now… gosh I love journaling and drawing and everything about pen and paper.

    • Majel August 29th, 2012 5:16 PM

      haha I’ve got all the tabs open, too!
      Once again, Rookie is not also an awesome website (and much more that that of course) but shows you tons of other cool stuff on the internet!
      Thanks Emma.

  • littledidsheknow August 28th, 2012 8:08 PM

    This is great! And I just wanted to say that my mom is an English proffesor and she taught Persepolis in a prison, so it’s really
    cool to see that other people have read it.

  • aliceee August 28th, 2012 8:16 PM

    I love journals!! I’ve kept varying kinds since before I could even write properly, & always want to steal other people’s & read them lovingly. (maybe I have acted on that impulse a few times…) This summer I started one that’s really a mix of different stuff, visual & written & somewhere in between. I find it helpful not to stick to one format, it makes me more relaxed about actually putting stuff down on paper. If I’m really concerned I’ll try doing it on another sheet & gluing it in if I like it. I was surprised how much I enjoy making it & looking back on it, even when it’s sort of crappy.

  • uaresoawesome August 28th, 2012 8:20 PM

    This is great! Today was my first day of high school, and I was just thinking of journaling my freshman year. this is gonna give me loads of ideas! Thanks so much! And if I think anything is good enough, I just might submit it to you, Rookie. I love you all so much! :D

  • dianeisnotmyname August 28th, 2012 8:20 PM

    Thanks for this! You just motivated me to write an entry in my little black moleskine journal.
    Those Scout notebooks are tres expensive, yikes. I love my moleskin notebooks though, they make me feel like a beat poet (though I am far from it).

    http//bratzmobile.tumblr.com

  • Abby August 28th, 2012 8:27 PM

    I used to hide mine propped inside my prom dress at the back of my closet… but now I’m just in a dorm room and my roommate doesn’t even like me that much, so I just have it in a drawer where she could totally find it if she wanted to ha. But again, we have a mutual not caring about each other, so I’m pretty sure it’s safe lol.

  • Aria August 28th, 2012 8:31 PM

    I really need something like this. Thanks for the idea :)
    And by the way, you’re a great artist!

  • HollinsCollins August 28th, 2012 8:37 PM

    OHMYGOSH JOURNALISM IS MY LIFE!

    I try to write every day…I do comics, make lists and swear a lot.
    It’s really fun to come back and look at what you wrote after a while :D

    So yeah. Super uplifting post :D :D :D

  • Tyknos93 August 28th, 2012 8:45 PM

    I’ve had a journal since I was little! Now my sketchbook serves a dual purpose. I was really into decorating my journals and pasting found objects between the pages, but they were inevitably read by someone I did not intend to have see them, so I didn’t put in as much effort. idk.
    I did see this really cool idea at a local craft fair: http://www.etsy.com/transaction/40520480

    Basically, using old hardcover book covers for your journal. This shop keeps some of the original pages inside the journal as well. It doesn’t look impossible to do on your own.

    • Yayo August 30th, 2012 4:05 PM

      Oh I saw a very similar thing (if not the same; can’t look at the link because my phone is an arsehole) at a craft fair in Belfast and they were so so beautiful. I would have bought one if they were’nt so stupidly expensive, but it’s sort of understandable considering how much effort must be put into them. I probably never use one anyway in case I ruined it.

  • Rosie August 28th, 2012 8:47 PM

    Definitely going to try this out! I actually started a journal similar to this, but I created it out of an old book that I wasn’t planning on reading, and pasted/painted/scribbled across the pages. It’s been a while since I’ve added to it, but now I think I’ll start adding more stuff now :)

  • LittleMoon August 28th, 2012 8:53 PM

    Quality! I’ve been doing something like this for a few years. But these are GREAT.

  • Maddy August 28th, 2012 8:59 PM

    oh wow your sketchbooks are amazing and really pretty and abstract art and I can totally see that you have a concept and I’m impressed. On a side note, my sister and I actually made notebooks and I love mine dearly and it wasn’t too bad. My mom knows bookbinding, though, but the stitch she showed me was really easy. I used this tutorial but instead of stitching in Step 6, I used a really easy pamphlet stitch. Seriously, just Google it, first link. :)

  • Mollylou August 28th, 2012 9:30 PM

    I found the best thing for me, journaling-wise, was to write something every single day. No excuses for being tired or cranky or busy.

    It’s called Don’t Break the Chain, and you can read about it here: http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

    It’s so much easier to get my thoughts out and organized now that I do it every day. And it helped me get over my perfectionism and JUST WRITE! :)

  • Summer August 28th, 2012 10:41 PM

    I keep a 365 day journal which is an idea I found on pinterest. There are questions for each day of the year (from ‘what is your favourite movie’ to ‘what did you eat for lunch’) and you have one index card for each day of the year. You use one line to answer the question (ie 2012 pizza) and answer the same question on the same index card the following year (ie 2013 burrito) so you can see how your answers change from year to year. You can also decorate the back of each card with the question and whatever you want to symbolize that day or question. It’s really fun and rewarding and easy to keep up with since the answers are so simple and short and can be caught up on if you miss a day so there isn’t any pressure!

    • sinclair August 29th, 2012 3:18 PM

      This is cool! Do you have a link to the questions?

      • Summer August 29th, 2012 11:47 PM

        http://debbiehodge.com/2012/01/5-year-journal-01/

        The link to the first 2 months is there. If you search ‘September’ in her search bar and find the prompts for September there should be links to the rest of the months from January-sept. on that page.
        it’s not very well organized but it works I guess !:)

  • Eryn August 28th, 2012 10:45 PM

    THANK YOU FOR THIS IT’S SO INSPIRING YAY!!!!

  • Kardvark August 28th, 2012 11:30 PM

    I recently started making altered book journals. I took an old hardcover book that I didn’t really care for and just started painting over the pages and turning them into collage art. A lot of people have trouble with this idea because they think “Oh no, I couldn’t destroy a book!” but you’re actually turning it into a work of personal expression. Plus it helps if it’s a book you hated. :P

  • TessaTheTeenageWitch August 28th, 2012 11:43 PM

    Thank you so much for this! I have ruined so many gorgeous journals by not writing anything but complaints and moaniness in them. I felt like all these negative memories were weighing me down, so I ended up ripping them to pieces and throwing them away. Seriously the most therapeutic thing I have ever done.

    This has inspired me to make beautiful journals that I will treasure forever! (and perhaps one with easy-tear pages for anger-management).

  • dramallama August 28th, 2012 11:46 PM

    hey, don’t know if you guys picked up on it, but the literally the best thing ever article doesn’t exist or something…

    • Anaheed August 29th, 2012 12:00 AM

      What do you mean?

      • SweetSarahO August 29th, 2012 2:43 AM

        I think she’s talking about today’s Sweet Dreams Post, “Literally the Best Thing Ever: New School Supplies.” When you click on it it takes you to a page that reads:
        404 Error/Page Not Found
        Sorry That page does not exist!
        Shame too, because that sounds like an awesome post! Hope to see it fixed soon.

        • Anaheed August 29th, 2012 2:53 AM

          It should work OK now? I have no idea what happened there; it was working fine on our end.

        • SweetSarahO August 29th, 2012 3:09 PM

          It does work now, thank Anaheed! Don’t know what happened either. The internet is tempermental!

  • -alexandra- August 29th, 2012 1:07 AM

    my dearest rookies!
    stare at the blank page before you!
    open up the dirty window!
    let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find!

    ‘TODAY IS WHERE YOUR BOOK BEGINS .
    .
    .
    .
    …the rest is still UNWRITTEN

    love me some natasha b. <3

  • jaz-understated August 29th, 2012 1:53 AM

    I’m so glad you did this! And I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s afraid to write in fancy journals!
    I usually buy a cheap comp book and decorate the hell out of it. My drawings definitely are not the best (they look like scribbles) but I write all my thoughts and songs that I love in it.
    I’ve grown seriously attached to these (I’m on my 3rd book) and now it’s hard to go anywhere without it ’cause you never know when inspiration can strike! :)

  • SweetSarahO August 29th, 2012 2:40 AM

    Emma, thank you so much for this post! It’s inspired me to start journaling again. I was kind of in a slump for a while but you gave so many resources with new and creative ideas that I’m excited to start up again. By the way, your journals look amazing!

  • starpower August 29th, 2012 3:47 AM

    Starting a visual journal was amazing for me!

    Will do another one next year…

  • szabuoska August 29th, 2012 3:48 AM

    Oh, there are words in polish in your notebooks! That’s so cool! I had no idea that anyone who speaks polish writes for Rookie!

  • qrczaque August 29th, 2012 4:15 AM

    zajebiste!

  • Hatti August 29th, 2012 4:25 AM

    Aw yiss! I’ve always been interested in journaling and bought Wreck My Journal a few years ago but never got round to doing anything. I think this will be my next personal project. Thanks Emma!

  • Caitlin H. August 29th, 2012 4:27 AM

    This is brilliant.

  • Lillypod August 29th, 2012 4:44 AM

    i have a mini moleskine for bullet point lists. .. A large moleskine for important “stuff”….
    And pretty notebook I write notes in, like an unending sentence…it’s for EVERYTHING. quotations, books i want to read, movies, art, architecture, fashion….I started it in 2008 and Im so glad I did because its great for writing and gives me inspiration.

  • Lucille August 29th, 2012 5:28 AM

    I’m currently writing in, like, six or seven notebooks. But I’ll be Junior this year so I think of starting to write my Junior high school notebook!YEY!

    http://fashion-babel.blogspot.com

  • Lucille August 29th, 2012 5:38 AM

    PS I’m addicted writer.
    PPS I love this article!

    Thank you Rookie!

    http://fashion-babel.blogspot.com

  • Dayzee August 29th, 2012 6:00 AM

    This is amazing. I will be doing this. I think that this will finally help me to actually keep my journal consistently.

  • ♡ reba ♡ August 29th, 2012 6:21 AM

    i’ve been thinking about starting a journal for AGES now and just haven’t got round to it – but this has really motivated/inspired me!! thank you!!

    rookie has a really weird/spooky/cool way of having articles relevant to what i’m going through/thinking about about at the time.. i think since i started reading every day since september my mind has synchronised with rookie!!!! xxxxxxx

  • thumbelina August 29th, 2012 7:34 AM

    I started a journal a few months ago when i lost someone in my family. i wrote down anything from poems to song lyrics to favourite quotes by celebrities or from my favourite books. sometimes i just made a big angry scribble in the middle of the page! it helped me calm myself by just being creative and sometimes reading it back to myself is just as fun. it helped :-)

  • anton August 29th, 2012 8:02 AM

    I love this! So inspiring!

  • chiara_ August 29th, 2012 8:18 AM

    I started keeping a kind of visual diary six months ago. I often buy a simple monocromo wirebound notebook and then I start writing anything that comes to my mind. As soon as I find a sentence I wrote inspiring, I start cutting all around it, so in the end my notebook doesn’t even have pages anymore, as it’s all about pieces of paper kept together by some rings.
    I like how messy it becomes!

  • veraflorine August 29th, 2012 9:00 AM

    The collages look like some documented roadtrip through a fantasy world, absolutely amazing. Also, your drawing from your view in Paris is wonderful.

  • MissKnowItAll August 29th, 2012 9:19 AM

    This is so great!
    I’m gonna be a junior in high school. I have this bad habit of losing books so I kept a binder instead. Every time I had an idea or I felt sad or depressed I doodled on a post it and taped it on the c

  • MissKnowItAll August 29th, 2012 9:21 AM

    over of the binder. I have about 13 covers now.

  • Special_Snowflake August 29th, 2012 10:59 AM

    Heehee, love the fact that as a fellow Polish girl I get hidden insight on Emma’s thoughts :)
    xx

  • RaeRae August 29th, 2012 11:10 AM

    I love your journals!!! This post has inspired me to get back to journaling. Awesome work once again.
    On a side note, what language is that in your journal? Is it Polish? I am a language geek and would love to know :)

  • M.Rose August 29th, 2012 11:51 AM

    I really love this article. I’ve favorited it on my browser so I can read it whenever I like. I might even go one step further and print it out. I know, radical. I am a sucker for Moleskine and Cavallini Stationery so I buy those a write copious notes in them.

  • littlebirdmo August 29th, 2012 12:40 PM

    I love making journals, art or otherwise! Awesome article.

  • eliselbv August 29th, 2012 12:46 PM

    This article is truly helpful! I just started a notebook because I had the feeling that I NEEDED to write and now I know how to start!
    Thanks

    http://www.iloveyourjokes.blogspot.com

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini August 29th, 2012 12:58 PM

    Tips for keeping digital diaries private: Not only should it password-protected, but also, create tons of empty folders within folders with fanfiction you’ve never written, schoolwork you’ve never done etc. so any potential sibling has to search for hours until they can find any document at all. Also label your diary something uninteresting and school-related, and have the document start with a homework assignment or something.

  • sinclair August 29th, 2012 3:20 PM

    Rookie should totally have like a giant entry of scanned journal pages from readers (:

    • cami8 August 29th, 2012 7:59 PM

      great idea! something like that massive collection of photos of shrines from readers they did a coulple of months ago

    • Tavi October 13th, 2012 10:05 AM

      Yes!! OMG, we’re gonna ask for this now. Thank you for the great suggestion!

  • eggzonable August 29th, 2012 3:43 PM

    I Capote z pokoju Nataszy!

  • Susann August 29th, 2012 5:06 PM

    This is so inspiring! I must write and draw more :)

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • Tulip August 29th, 2012 5:18 PM

    Love this, I’ve been doing it for years. Great article.

    http://tulip-agate.blogspot.com/

  • Majel August 29th, 2012 5:34 PM

    As an idea:
    For a year or so, I wrote small notes on what was good that day and what was bad. Each one just a few words and maybe a small drawing.
    It didn’t take up much time but I still got and get an idea of what was going on. I found this pro- and con-attitude rather interesting.

    Example: (of a very normal day)
    +
    my neighbourhood
    new route with the dog
    concert plans weekend

    -
    waiting… for nothing
    chemistry
    ants in busses

  • cami8 August 29th, 2012 7:55 PM

    this was so amazing! Lately, I had been thinking about starting some sort of notebook with quotes and simply thoughts, and this has given me some great ideas for it. Im definately doing it! Thank you, Emma!

  • daisyhaneisha August 29th, 2012 8:01 PM

    AAH so awesome.
    Here’s some art journalling classes a cool girl has made: http://classeskaramade.com/
    She’s rad.

    Also yesterday I went to the op shop (thrift store) and found National Geographics, 50c each!!

  • lazydaizy August 29th, 2012 8:15 PM

    this is so incredible! all of the imaginative resources, tips, newness… i’ve always journaled, but wished i could incorporate more creativity
    more words
    more weirdness
    more color
    more pictures

    into my thoughts.. even though they probably are terrifying and colorful to the observer…
    thanks emma!

  • GrettaMae August 30th, 2012 12:01 AM

    Dear Emma Dajska,
    Your entry is lovely and all your ideas are quite awesome and original. But I am absolutely in love with your ferret. Please (please!) tell me all about him/her and how I too can create one just like him/her.
    Love,
    GrettaMae

    • Emma Dajska August 30th, 2012 8:05 AM

      Dear GrettaMae,
      This ferret is an illustration from a vintage taxidermy manual
      (so I’m not sure if you want to make one like this :))

  • jcmay96 August 30th, 2012 8:50 AM

    Thanks! I used to have one, but then I stopped writing since I’m too busy with my school work. :(
    Thanks to re-motivate me!

    http://jessiakhalis.blogspot.com

  • Teez August 30th, 2012 7:27 PM

    Love this post!! I recently made a collage entry out of all my favourite quotes from one of my fave books (Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin). The book itself it was falling apart and was looking a little sad and I’d already underlined most of my favourite quotes, so chopping it up and making it something pretty laid out in my journal was really relaxing and fun. also i know i will now treat myself to buying a nice new copy of the book for me to wreck all over again :)

  • Dino August 31st, 2012 6:34 AM

    I love this so much!!! I keep a diary which I call my Pillowbook ( I got that from Aden Chamber’s book ‘This is All’- amazing book BTW) and I’ve recently wanted to be more creative because just writing gets soooo boring. This post is perfect timing!
    My friend has a planner in which we all write funny incidents, jokes, a conversation, or we stick pics, tickets etc etc. So keeping a journal with friends is also super cool. :)

  • Marian K August 31st, 2012 3:45 PM

    Really enjoyed this post. I love hearing about journaling ideas. :)

  • marengo August 31st, 2012 7:13 PM

    This is incredibly wonderful. I printed out the 100 days of idea sheets and put them inside an envelope that I pasted inside the front cover of my moleskine. I already did one of the days, which involved cutting out magazine squares and gluing them down in a random grid pattern. It was quite fun, can’t wait for tomorrow’s entry :D

  • keezey September 1st, 2012 11:20 AM

    I’m terrible about journaling, but I love to buy all the pretty ones at Barnes n Noble…This has inspired me :)

  • briallu September 2nd, 2012 8:43 AM

    There are no words to describe how utterly inspiring this post is. Writing “proper” journals has never worked for me – I tried writing a dream journal too, but writing every dream out seemed like a drag, as my dreams are usually very long…! So, thank-you. ^-^

  • BlueCardigan September 4th, 2012 10:12 AM

    Hey Rookie, Thought you’d like this in the theme of journals and beginnings. Love the post. http://bound.is/american-made

  • Emilie September 4th, 2012 12:48 PM

    I keep a sketchbook/diary similar to this, I’ve always kept it pretty private but… maybe I should submit some scans? If I do should I just send one or two or do it as a collection?

  • kolumbia September 4th, 2012 8:40 PM

    This is FABULOUS!! I’m not super artistic, but I’m definitely going to try this.

  • eggzonable September 8th, 2012 5:07 PM

    btw http://www.incidentalcomics.com/2012/09/sketchbooks-of-pros.html

  • Resh October 4th, 2012 3:32 PM

    I totally did the Notebook Makeover before I read it! I have tons of pretty notepads and notebooks that I just don’t want to waste, so in the end I never use them. But just last week I found in a drawer a big notebook I didn’t remember having, but I’ve totally grown out of its cover illustrations. What did I do? I gave it a complete PINK makeover! I picked some magazine cutouts that were mostly pinkish or bling-y or diamond-y. Then it was just sticking them on a white paper shaped like the notebook and sticking all that on the cover and ready! A super rad pinkish-blingish girlpower notebook for anything in the world I feel like putting in there! XOXO

  • _primadonna November 10th, 2012 8:22 PM

    I love this so much, bc I really needed some more journal inspiration :)

  • dearedie November 22nd, 2012 7:41 PM

    I’m going to try this,thanks! :)

  • positif November 28th, 2012 9:46 AM

    YES, that’s what I need! JOURNAL! I have so many metro tickets, cinema tickets, postcards and stamps from my latest trip to France and I wanted to pin them to my beautiful cork board but there’s no space left :( I was looking for a way to keep them and a journal is what I really need.
    Thank you for a great inspiration (as always) <3

  • Georgiana June 9th, 2013 4:13 PM

    Thank you thank you this is so inspirational Ive picked up my abandoned journal after reading this

  • Joyce June 13th, 2013 1:39 AM

    This is great! I’ve always been interested in journaling and this helps a lot. and all those blogs you suggested are great, i just checked them out. thank you for this!