How to Commit to a Journal

For those who have piles of empty notebooks

Jessie Lewis
4 min readApr 8, 2021


It took me forever to figure out how to keep a journal. How to be one of those people who is a journaler.

The thing is, it’s not about willpower. It’s about finding the parts of journaling that work best with your lifestyle and desired goals.

In this video, I share 6 tips to help you start a journaling practice and actually keep it up.

How to commit to using a journal

But if you’d rather read (do note that you’ll miss out on some of the details), here’s a little synopsis:

1. Give up on what a journal is “supposed” to be

Instead, focus on what you want out of it.

In an earlier video, I shared the 3 types of journaling: recording, processing, and planning. Each style of journaling provides its own benefits. So, what benefits are you looking for?

Rather than get down on yourself about not being able to squeeze yourself into what you think journaling is supposed to look like, explore what you want. And let those desires lead you to the kind of journaling that you want to do.

2. Make it as simple as possible

What would it look like if it were easy?

Do you need to write full entries, or just bullet points?

Do you need a physical journal, or would a Word Doc do the trick?

Do you need a full planner or just a to-do list?

I don’t know the answer. Personally, I need a mix of everything. But find what “easy” looks like for you.

3. Tie journaling to a stimulus

This is from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

If you want to start a new habit, tie it to an existing one. Create a simple “when ___ happens, then I will ___.”



Jessie Lewis

Writer, artist, mom. Subscribe to my personal newsletter, The Jumble, for more on creative living →