Question From a Reader – How Many Journals?

Question From a Reader – How Many Journals?

I’ve received another question from a reader.

This reader said, “I would like to have a work journal, just thinkin’ journal and a volunteer activity journal. Should I keep three books or just one and try to write everything in one journal?”

Many people over the ages have kept just one journal for all aspects of their lives. And that was just fine for a different day and age. Yet, today there are some compelling reasons for keeping multiple journals.

For example, many writers (authors) keep a life journal as well as a writing journal. Some folks prefer to have a spiritual journal and another journal for other aspects of their lives. Many RV owners keep one journal designed to be used while they are on the road and another when they are in their stick and brick homes.

Because some journals, such as garden, wine, hunting, nature, vacation or fishing are meant to be used for specific time frames or for particular events they tend to become adjunct journals. They may become pieces of a larger puzzle that is put together when combined with the “regular” journals. Or, these enthusiast specific journals may stand alone as the only type of journal some people use.

But, I’ve just got to say, the reader’s question is brilliant.

The categories listed are excellent.

  • A work or business journal is the perfect way to stay ahead of the game.
  • A “just thinkin’” journal keeps life exciting.
  • And, a volunteer activity journal is bound to be quite useful not only to the owner but also to any organizations through which the volunteering takes place.

If you have a particular interest (in this case the reader is very interested in volunteering) using one journal just for that interest is an easy way to see progress, needs, trends, even important statistics.

What seems most important to me is that there are only 3 different types of journals mentioned.

And, 3 is such a lovely number.

Obviously, you have a variety of interests in your life. And, choosing just 3 aspects on which to focus may be difficult. Yet, at the same time, narrowing the focus to just 3 keeps you from being overwhelmed while still allowing for an exciting mixture.

Try this:

  1. What 3 categories of your life would benefit from having a dedicated journal?
  2. Do you already use a variety of journals?
  3. Will you begin one or more?


As a lover of words, pens, paper and the dictionary I'm a natural for journal writing. But, I wasn't always faithful to the task and had to learn the hard way. Some trial and error as well as input from my journal writing friends helped move me along. I have a burning desire to help people who want to use and get the most out of their journals and diaries. I see journal writing as a self improvement tool and a way to avoid costly mistakes, bad relationships and my stinky-self. Finding my kindly self is part of the journey which keeps me writing. I Journalate and so can you.


  1. I have a “thinkin” journal, an art journal, and a special journal I started when my daughter passed away last October. I am adding my mom to this journal – she passed away last month

  2. You have an interesting array of journals, Teresa. Your bittersweet journal kept for those you love who have recently passed away must give you comfort.

    Thank you for sharing the types of dedicated journals you have. Isn’t it interesting that you too have 3?
    Do you use each on a regular basis? Do you use one more than the others?

  3. Hi
    I currently keep a personal journal, an art journal and a business journal all of which I work in fairly regularly though never all at once and never daily. My personal journal is for processing feelings, emotions and ideas I don’t want to share w others and i mark these as confidential. The art journal is for experimenting with color, texture and just for fun collages.. it satisfies my urges to create something quickly with my hands… a good balance for the mind work i do that often takes a while to yield results. Finally the business journal is an addendum to my calendar and is always with me for notetaking in meetings and church activities, etc. I also use it to record marketing ideas for the journal writing classes I teach and presentations I make to groups. I do keep a different journal for every vacation we take and a journal for my son. I update the journal for my son once every year of two and include only the major milestones — so I have 10 years of comments in one journal so far.I figure my son has his own memories so I don’t try to be too comprehensive.

    Happy journaling

    • Fantastic, Denise,

      Your list of the journals you keep is well rounded. Wonderful. As a journal writing instructor, you know the importance of steady variety and balance.

      I have one somewhat similar to the one you’ve been keeping for your son. Each year, in December, my granddaughter and I have a private tea. My hubby dons a suit, places a white cloth over his arm and serves as our waiter. We’ve had a variety of goodies over the years.

      At first, the only thing that went into the annual tea journal were my own recordings of the event. Then I began asking my granddaughter to tell me about her reactions to the tea and I would record that for her. Now that she is 7 she will be adding her own words to the journal which comes out only once a year.

      I agree with your thoughts concerning maintaining balance with the use of your journals. And, I love it that you keep a milestone journal for your son. That is a fantastic way to preserve your own memories of his years while allowing him the space to maintain his own journal.

      Thanks for taking time to drop in and comment.


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