Keeping a Journal

Post by Ellie, Information Services staff

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” – Michelle Obama, Becoming

Keeping a journal is a great way to organize your thoughts, to document your life and a noted form of therapy. Journals themselves can be works of art, but whether you buy a vegan leather notebook from the UK, a “junk journal” from an Etsy seller or a $1.25 coil-bound notebook from Dollarama as with all great things, it’s really what’s on the inside that counts.

Spiritual advisors, therapists and self-care proponents have all lauded the positive benefits of journaling on one’s mental health, and these books from Kitchener Public Library can help you take up or continue your practice, adding new techniques or creative components to your journal:

Books on Journaling

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

Holiday draws on timeless Stoic and Buddhist philosophy to show why slowing down is the secret weapon for those charging ahead.

Make Your Own Ideabook by Arne & Carlos 

With Arne and Carlos’s wit, style, and trademark handcrafting genius to guide you, learn how you can make and enjoy your own ideabooks–to celebrate, remember, or reach out for all that lies ahead.

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

Bullet journaling is a mindfulness practise disguised as a productivity system. In this best-selling book, the creator of the Bullet Journal will help you use this technique to go from passenger to pilot of your own life.

Dot Journaling–a Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

A dot journal is a planner, to-do list, and diary for every aspect of your life: work, home, relationships, hobbies, everything. Early adopter Rachel Wilkerson Miller explains how to make a dot journal work for you.

Journal Me Organized by Rebecca Spooner

Journal Me Organized provides all the information you need to eliminate mental clutter, focus on goals, and enjoy a creative outlet.

The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep by Tzivia Gover

Discover how to use dreamwork, meditation, and journaling to sleep deeply and wake up well.

Draw Your Day: an Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal by Samantha Dion Baker

An instructive guide to creating an illustrated journal based on artist and Instagram sensation Samantha Dion Baker’s unique creative process, featuring information on materials, creative inspiration and instruction, prompts, and helpful tips and tricks.

Diary Fiction

Another wonderful by-product of journaling is the literary genre of “diary fiction”. One of my favourite book series growing up was The Diaries of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend, which chronicled the life of a fictional protagonist from adolescence to adulthood in the form of a life-long diary. Many many other great works of fiction have been written in diary form (Bridget Jones, anyone?) including these amazing newer offerings, all available at Kitchener Public library.

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10 Writing Prompts to get you Journaling

Ready to journal? Pick one of these writing prompts and sit down with a pen and paper when you have some time to yourself. Set a timer for twenty minutes and write whatever comes to you. Remember, no one ever has to read this unless you choose to share it.

  1. Write about a time when work felt real, necessary and satisfying to you. This work can be paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.
  2. What are the ten smallest, most minor, most insignificant things in your life that you are grateful for?
  3. What is your opinion on soul mates?
  4. If you could, what is the one thing you would change about your past?
  5. What are you worried about right now? And what would help you to stop worrying about it?
  6. Write about things you have done that you previously thought you could never do.
  7. Who are the people you most admire?
  8. What is your most vivid memory of the kitchen from your childhood?
  9. Write about an adventure you’ve had.
  10. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
A poster for the Summer Reading Clubs sign up blitz. Children, tweens, teens, and adults of all ages can keep track of progress, complete fun activities, attend programs, and win prizes! Register at

Do you like keeping a record of what you’ve read? Do it with KPL’s Summer Reading Clubs. Logging your books and writing down your thoughts adds texture to your reading experience. You can also play fun book-related games, get book recommendations and win prizes! Register on our Summer Reading Clubs hub.

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