20 Questions About Journal Writing You Should Consider

Journal writing is a powerful tool for reflection, memory keeping, and personal growth. It can be a lifelong commitment with many intrinsic benefits. And fortunately there are dedicated journal writing coaches who provide resources and strategies for getting the most out of journal writing.

In this regard, I have brainstormed a list of questions about journal writing that you should consider, whether you use a paper notebook, or a digital journal. I have addressed a few of these questions in previous blog posts, and I will be expanding on others in the weeks and months to come.

I welcome your feedback about which topics and questions resonate for you as a dedicated journal writer.

1. Is your journal secure so that you can freely write in it without having to worry about other people reading it?

Solution: Consider using a digital journaling app, or an online journal that can be secured with a password. 

2. Are you writing honestly, or do you often think about what others would say if they read what you’re writing?

3. Are you writing on a regular basis?

Solution: Set aside specific days and times for journal writing that can you handle in your schedule. See also these tips for completing NaJoWriMo, which are useful for developing a journal writing habit.


4. Are you using your journal for the purposes of reflecting on your current experiences and challenges your facing?

5. Are you using your journal writing for the purposes of reaching your goals and enhancing your life?

6. Do you include one or more themed projects as part of your journal writing?

7. Are you keeping a few ongoing lists in your journal?

8. Have you marked a few journal entries on your calendar to come back and review one or more times a year?

9. Are you tagging your entries in your digital journals so that you can filter them for review?

mod notebooks10. Have you thought about scanning your paper journals for archiving purposes? Note: you might consider using Mod Notebooks, which are paper notebooks you can buy, and at anytime you can mail one or more of them to the service for digital scanning. Your notebooks are mailed back after they are scanned.

Also check out Nathan Ohren’s podcast about how he digitized over 100 paper notebooks. He’s also written about how to digitize handwritten journals.

11. If need be, have you set aside a date to destroy your journals to insure that they are never read by other people?

12. Are you writing journal entries about memorable experiences that your family members might want to read years from now? If you digital journal entry, you can tag entries for filtering and exporting for archiving and printing purposes.

13. Are you saving important emails, social media posts, etc, as part of your journal writing?

14. Are you adding memorable photos and artifacts to your journal?

15. Have you tried some creative writing in journal, e.g., dialogue, descriptive settings, third-person narrative?

16. Are you writing in a paper notebook or digital app that inspires you to write?

17. Have you ever considered using a digital journaling app for the purposes of tagging entries and for better security of your journal writing?

18. Have you tried journal writing in a different environment to see if it makes a difference in how you write?

19. Do you regularly review your past journal entries and reflect upon them?

Art Journal Magazine20. Have you ever considered art journaling? Art Journaling Magazine is a great resources for this. Google search for the resources and ideas.






Are there other questions that should be on the list? Please share them in the comment section below.


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Bakari Chavanu

is the creator of NaJoWriMo, and is the author of the interactive iBook, Starting From Day One: Using the Day One Journaling App to Record and Enrich Your Life
  • Great questions. I’m beginning to understand why you started this website. You are good at pinpointing key points of journaling.

    I started journaling as a kid after reading a book about a girl who keeps a diary. She writes her secret thoughts about her friends. Then one day, her friends get a hold of the diary….

    Your points about security are spot-on!

      • Would really like to share — but can’t recall at the moment, and didn’t locate it on google. I’ll give it another shot, though, and report back if I get anywhere.

        • Thanks. I’ll take a look as well. I’ll be compiling a list of good books about journal writing, and I want to see if the one you’re referring to should be added to the list.

          • I searched again. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to find it. Published decades ago, probably out of print for awhile. Maybe what I’ll do is write my own book about a journaling anti-hero….kind of a Snake Plissken meets Mark Twain novel.

          • Hey Joe, thanks for doing a search.

            Your own book would be super great, and I think it’s very cool that you announced the idea here on NaJoWriMo. Keep me/us posted about your progress. It would be fantastic to see how you actually used journal writing to write about novel about journaling.

            Keep in touch.

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