What I Do With My “Used” Journals

Elisabeth Tavierne
Apr 5 · 3 min read

I posted on instagram story yesterday about how I filled up my entire journal + how SATISFYING it was. Ashleigh [@busybee.inthecity] asked: “What do you do with your finished journals.” + that prompted this post ; ).

I’ve been writing in journals since kindergarten [no joke, + it’s the funniest thing to read ever], yet I’ve probably only filled up a handful of journals in my lifetime.

It’s typical for me to stop halfway through, + buy a new journal… for a variety of reasons, example: “Awe, this journal is so pretty! I’m so inspired by this journal! I need to buy it!” + then I would ditch my old journal. Thus, I have MANY half finished journals on my bookshelf.

In the past 2 years, I’ve cut my spending way down on material goods [I still spend way too much on groceries + skincare, but that’s a story for another time], + gotten rid of a TON of items in my apartment. I was inspired by The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.

Ironically, around the same time, I started a journaling process that helped me finish journals entirely ; ), as well as create a space for what I wanted to remember from all of my writings.

So, the short answer to: “What do you do with your finished journals?” I throw them out. But, first: they go through my a little clearing process. + that’s what I want to share with you today!

My Messy, Yet Organized Journaling Process:

Step One: I use two journals. One is my “daily journal”. The other is my “year of X journal”.

Step Two: At the beginning of my “year of X journal”, ie — 2019 journal, I write down activities that I want to do [or things that I want to create] in the BACK of the book. I also keep a list of books that I read that year on the back cover. It’s almost like a brain dump of ideas. I’ll look at it every so often, + once I’ve done an activity [like Vipassana!], I’ll cross it off.

Step Three: Monthly intentions. On the first of every month, I write out my intentions for the month in my 2019 journal — including personal + career intentions. Here’s an example from 2017. I was really specific, aha… this year, trying to be way more in the flow + be as simple as possible in my intentions. Example… my April intentions are:

  • Increase my iron… take yellow doc daily, + do additional research on iron levels
  • 30/45 min morning meditation, + ask a question to my subconscious at night
  • Conscious consumption… what does this mean to me?
  • Make more space for God
  • Finish all the prep work for Bootycamp!

Step Four: Write in my daily journal… every day! I don’t have a specific process for journaling. It’s my to do list, diary, workout planner, a place I write down quotes, etc.

Step Five: Every month, I do a “month in review” in my 2019 journal. This looks like: Reviewing my intentions, + journaling on how they went, ++ freewriting about my month. THEN, I look through my daily journal + transfer anything that resonated from that month into my 2019 journal. This could be quotes, self-discoveries, growth lessons, etc.

Step Six: Once my daily journal is completely filled up, I throw it out! However, I do save the “year of X journals” — this is my third year doing this, + it’s truly amazing to see the growth + change within the seeming “short” amount of time.

Do you have any journaling practices that you love? I’d love to hear them! If you’re inspired by this, try it out + let me know how it goes.

Rooting for you always,

++ Elisabeth

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