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What is a journal?

journalsTurn and ask the person sitting next to you and see what they say.

One person might tell you that a journal and a diary are the same thing. That every entry begins with “Dear diary…” (“Dear journal” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?)

Another person may tell you that journals are subject-specific academic publications with articles containing the latest information and relevant research.

Yet another could tell you journals are those old things kept by their ancestors that talk about coming from Ireland on a coffin ship.

There are travel journals, exercise journals, and drawing journals. Journals that keep track of what you learned today and journals that track your creativity and journals documenting business ideas that fly through your brain.


So which one is correct? What is the actual definition of a journal?


All of them.

A journal is whatever you want it to be.

It could be a place where you document every thing you eat on a daily basis.

Breakfast – 2 eggs and a slice of wheat toast. Good start.
Lunch – Leftover ravioli and a yogurt. 
Snack – Utah truffles. 3 of them.
Dinner – Stir fry. Healthy!
Dessert – Ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream… Delicious, heavenly ice cream. So amazingly delicious… 
Post dessert – 3 more truffles. Somebody stop me. But don’t really.

It could be a place where you remember the funny things that your 2 year old does on a daily basis.

The child now known as Elsa came into my bedroom early this morning completely naked and smelling like cadbury mini eggs, asking “Do you want a chocolate egg?” to which I replied “sure…” as I tried to figure out what time it could possibly be since it was still dark outside…  Elsa grabbed my face and said “Oh you do? That’s so sad, honey. They’re all gone!”

It could be a place for gratitude

Today I’m grateful for Utah Truffles. Especially the dark chocolate mint ones. 

A journal can be anything you want it to be. Mostly, though, it’s a place to remember your story. Because guess what?

Your story matters.

Your life is more than your job or your kids or your history. You are LIVING. Breathing. Dreaming. Experiencing. Your life, the one you right now are living, MATTERS. You are fascinating. You have experiences to share, stories to tell. YOUR STORY is the reason to journal. To remember.

How will you remember your story?


Did you catch all 13?

13 things a journal CAN BE:

  1. A diary
  2. Subject-specific academic publications
  3. Documents from ancestors
  4. Education journals
  5. Exercise journals
  6. Drawing journals
  7. What you learned today
  8. Creative journals
  9. Business idea journals
  10. Food journal
  11. Child journal
  12. Gratitude journal
  13. A place to tell YOUR story

What will you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!