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Journaling Formats

Each button has a link to a helpful resource.  I use all the formats at various times end even combine them. 


This kind of journaling is done with bullet points in 9 designated prayer areas/prayer circles and informs the other 3 formats so we must cover it first. 

With 4 talking circles and 5 listening/noticing circles, there is not a big white page to fill up that might intimidate those who are not writers. You can use colored pens and stickers to jazz it up, but a plain black pen works great too. Kids like to get creative in the kids version on the blank white page above the "circles,"

The format of the same placement of prayer area makes for faster journaling and the ability to jump in and out of circles if you are ADD or journaling time is interrupted. It also helps you connect the dots of what God is doing, focuses your time with God, and leads to a more meaningful and fruitful quiet time. 

The structure of the prayer prompts in the circles is meant to help you get journaling easily (think no blank white page) and the blank white page above the circles gives you room to keep going if you need more space. 



This kind of journaling is written much like a letter. It is wonderful and is something we often do at a retreat when we go off by ourselves with God.

The letters with circles around them are only there to teach, to visually show how areas of prayer in conversation with God fall in no particular order.  Writers tend to like this way of journaling and the blank white page.

Dear God, I need your help with this big decision. You have always helped guide my path. I am afraid my wants might be getting in the way of your will. Can you please clearly guide me?.....



This kind of journaling is done in the margins of your Bible, devotional, or Bible Study and written using the codes of the 9 prayer areas.

You may already be a margin journaler and not even know it! When you move beyond just answering a question like a student, with the correct answer, and move into life application and pouring out your heart to Jesus, that moves it into the spiritual practice of journaling. 

The INSPIRE Bible by Tyndale is a great one for coloring scripture in the margins. (I am asking for that for Christmas.) The memorable image of the verse in color and big print makes it so much easier for visual learners to retain the wisdom and hide that scripture in their hearts. 

The devotional featured in my sample is from "The Devotional for Women" by Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Dorothy Kelley Patterson. This 365-day resource is short, but packs a powerful punch! I am never disappointed. It is my go-to on days I don't have as much time to spend with God. 

For a link to one of my favorite, beautiful devotionals by artist and author Ruth Chou Simons, that has space for margin journaling, click the resource below. Those who love gorgeous images alongside wise words and scripture will love this book!



This kind of journaling is done with a verse, pictures, words, stickers, markers, paints, colored pencils, washi tape, and clipped pictures. The images have significance that solidify the message and helps us remember and retain the learning just by having the visual come to mind. If you have a magazine and can clip an image, you can do this kind of journaling. 

Any blank white paper works, just make sure it is thicker so things don't bleed through. Gluing two pieces of paper with a glue stick in your journal works too. This image is my custom cover to a recent journal, and that page is heavy stock for this reason. Search "spiritual art journaling images" or "Bible journaling" online for tons of inspiration.

Give it a try just once! Get together with a friend or mentor (in person or by Zoom) and share your art with her. Talk through what it means to you. There is another layer of processing that happens when we speak something out loud to a caring and wise Christian friend. God may use them to help give you wise counsel.  

EX: The washboard represents things being hard. Blessings can still be found even if we are walking through a valley. The marbles are the good things (although they might be small) we can find in each day if we look for them. The  fog in the valley can make the path feel dark, unknown, and scary, but we must keep walking forward. We will be ok with Jesus beside us. God doesn't want us to worry, but to lean on Him in the dark. He will make everything beautiful in its time. 



This kind of journaling is done with fun craft supplies too, but it is more simple in nature because it's just a pretty list of important things around a topic, scripture passage, teaching, or sermon vs. overly personal content like the previous example.  

It makes it easy to go back and read those main points when you need them. The repetition of writing it again drives the key messages home. I use the white blank page above the circles in my Spiritual Circle Journal for times I want to do this kind of journaling.

EX: This is list of things learned during a mentoring session to help overcome worry. When afraid, or if worry tries to grip me, I go back and reread this topical page and it helps so much.  I referred to it many times in the early months of the lockdown due to Covid.