Happy Healthy Homestead


Keeping a journal is less common these days in the world of technology, social media, and little time.

For me, I use a mix of old fashion journaling and online journaling.

In some ways my blog is my journal when it comes to writing on topics of health, homesteading, and family as well as keeping records for the recipes I make.

In other ways social media is my journal because when we take a family trip we post pictures from it and write a summary about our trip in the post.

I also keep track of all my families appointments and events on a google calendar along with birthdays of all of our close friends and relatives. I can easily search the calendar to go back and see what day or year a particular event happened if I am trying to recall something from the past.

However, there is something special about just writing with a pen in a notebook. I knew I wanted to do this, but when I was trying to think about what kind of journals I wanted to keep, I first evaluated what I currently do online that is working well. Like I mentioned above I already have my blog, my social media, and my google calendar which all serve different purposes. I decided there are 3 traditional (pen & paper) journals that I would like to do now and 2 additional journals I would like to add in the future when I have more time. I talk about each of those in detail below.

When setting up your journal you also should consider how much time or how often you wish to write in them. At first I felt like I failed because it was very difficult to keep up with a daily record. It almost felt more like a chore rather than therapeutic. I decided I would not have a daily journal because it doesn’t work for my life right now. Instead, I add ‘journaling’ to my list of weekly to dos (so that I don’t completely forget about it). Usually doing a short entry once per week is maintainable. Even on some weeks when I am busy and skip, it least I am getting a couple in per month. Here are the journals I chose to do:

Journaling about your Kids

I have two journals dedicated for my kids, one for each of them. I write weekly (or so) a very short entry (2-6 sentences usually). I write about any funny things my kids may have said that week, a big achievement they may have accomplished, or just that I am watching them grow and love them so much. When they are all grown up one day, they can look back and read about what they were like from momma’s eyes.

Gratitude Journal

I also have a journal dedicated for me to write something that I am thankful for or that particularly blessed me that week. Sometimes my entry is as short as 2 sentences and other times I write full pages. It just depends upon my time, my mood, and the particular week. I love keeping a gratitude journal because it keeps me thinking positively. Also, I am a christian so for me this practice reminds me of all God has done for us and continues to do for us day by day.

Nature Journal

This is the journal that I mentioned above that I want to eventually start but have not started yet. I have only done a few pages here and there but have not yet committed to making an actual journal.

One of my lovely neighbors teaches classes on water color nature journaling. I have not taken her class yet but she has casually taught me a little on a camping trip we went on together and I really enjoyed it. I also loved flipping through her journals one day when I visited her studio.

If you live in the bay area and are interested in this, I highly recommend her classes.

While I am not particularly good at drawing or painting, the times I have tried doing this I have enjoyed it and it has been very therapeutic for me. I think part of it is because I have such a love for nature. It’s something I can do outside (I don’t have to be stuck inside with some big art project) and I can move around, I can look at a tree, a cliff, a bird and then draw what I see.

Being creative in this way is something I can do for fun and for myself. I think its especially helpful for me because I am very much a ‘type A’ person who loves lists, organization, and being efficient. The things I do for fun are long walks in the woods, exercise, taking pictures, reading and writing. With the exception of my walks, the other things I do for fun are tied to some sort of purpose. For example, I only read non-fiction books with the purpose of learning something. I always tell myself I would love to read fiction someday but only when I retire (Haha). Thats just my personality. However, when I water color nature I don’t need to be productive or accomplish anything, I can just be me in that moment.

That said, I have not gotten started on this because it does take a little investment of time. But I really do plan on incorporating it sometime in the near future. 🙂

Travel Journal

I personally don’t do this right now either. Instead, I post a short trip summary and photos on social media and include them in the yearly family photobook I make.

However, in the future this is something I would also like to do. I think taking some extra time to be quiet with a cup of coffee on a beach, on a camping trip somewhere, or even at a little shop in a town – could be a sweet way to record lasting memories. It could also be a way to record more details about the trip we are on. The entries could be about what we are experiencing, what we see and how we feel. Sometimes you become more creative and think of new ideas and goals when you are traveling. It least I do, especially when I feel inspired. I thought I would list a travel journal here as an idea in case others feel compelled to try this.

There are many other types of journals. You can make whatever kind you feel inspired to make. The important things to remember is to keep it maintainable, keep it fun, and to remind you that writing traditionally (pen and paper) is special.

Do you journal? What kind of journal do you keep? Comment below!