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

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade