Seven alternative ways to journal if you hate writing

26 November 2018, 12:25 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 07:19

You don't have to be a writer to enjoy the benefits of journaling
You don't have to be a writer to enjoy the benefits of journaling. Picture: Getty

You don't have to be a good writer to keep a journal, and there are loads of alternative and creative ways to start in 2019

Much like tie dye and pink eyeshadow, journaling is set to make a huge comeback in 2019.

More and more of us are being tempted by the nostalgia of writing down our thoughts and feelings in a notepad we keep hidden in our underwear drawer.

For many, the art of journaling now is much the same as it was in Primary School, only probably without the endless pages dedicated to questioning whether your crush is going to ask you to dance at the disco (though we’re not here to judge…)

But not everyone enjoys writing. And, more importantly, as it’s 2018 and almost 2019, not everyone remembers how to use a pen.

If you fall in either of the above categories, and if the thought of trying to maintain a typed journal each evening after a day spent hunched over your work computer fills you with dread, we’ve picked out seven alternative ways you can journal - that don’t involve writing.

Voice note journal

Journaling really can be as simple as saying your thoughts out loud and recording them as voice notes on your phone. Using the app, you can easily save and label the date of each note, so you’ll have a nice library of all your recordings to go back to.


NB: this probably isn't one for those who share a room with their partner (unless they don’t mind being banished to the living room for 15 minutes each night).

Video journal

Video journals are particularly fun because they allow you to look back at your two-years-ago self and laugh at what sort of stupid haircut / outfit you were sporting at the time. The best way to start one is using a webcam on a computer, but your front camera on your smartphone will work just as well. Or why not go retro and use an actual video camera?

Photo journal


Rather than writing down what you did that day, why not take photos of it instead? If you’re super organised and store them in the appropriate folders on your phone or laptop, you can create yourself a nice little picture journal.

Doodle journal

If you can draw (or even if you can’t - who cares!), doodle journals can be a great way to document your day. You can start one on the cheap by buying a sketch pad - or, if you’re really fancy, you can invest in some illustration software for your computer.

Scrapbook journal

Rather than writing down your feelings, you could get really creative and cut out words and pictures from newspapers and magazines that represent your thoughts and emotions.

Scrapbook journals are a great way to get creative
Scrapbook journals are a great way to get creative. Picture: Getty

List journal

OK, *technically* this is writing - but creating a journal in the form of lists and short form notes if a great alternative for people who are averse to writing longform prose.

Music journal

This definitely isn’t one for everyone but, if you can sing or play an instrument, what’s stopping you from documenting your life via the medium of song?

Of course if you're more of a purist when it comes to journalling, there are several gorgeous diaries on the market right now that are ideal for a New Year New Me present for you or a pal.

BestMe Life Planner, £29

Brainchild of Calum Best, these vegan-leather bound diaries are chock-full of simple and effective methods to help increase your energy, focus and wellbeing.

These methods have been proven to raise both your productivity and success rate over a three month period, in both mind and body.

The planners have been proven to increase productivity
The planners have been proven to increase productivity. Picture: BestLife

Ponderlilly planner, £28.99

With space for intentions, to-do list, gratitude, and notes - plus reminders to recharge - Ponderlilly's gorgeous A5 planners make beautiful gifts for you or a loved on.

Starting from January 2019 and taking you all the way to 2020, the luxe diaries are bound to be something you treasure for years to come.

Ponderlilly's planners are a feast for the eyes AND mind
Ponderlilly's planners are a feast for the eyes AND mind. Picture: Ponderlilly

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