Journal Journey series!

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new series here inspired by my journaling adventures. It’s no secret that I absolutely love journaling, and recently I’m happy that I got to meet friends who adore it as much as I do. You’ll be seeing their answers in this blog very soon, but I thought I’d begin it by answering the questions myself haha. I hope this inspires you to start journaling if you haven’t yet! If you love journaling and would like me to feature your journal, kindly email me here: 🙂
I’ve been featuring a flip through of my journals in my instagram (@mabuhaydiy), if you want to take a peek.
Let’s start!
1. What made you start journaling and when did you start?
When I was a kid I’ve always been obsessed with notebooks and paper. My mom is a writer and my aunt is an animator so I grew up hearing typewriter clacks and playing with my aunt’s art materials (shh). I guess you could say they inspired me to have this desire to write and to make art. Everyone in my family loved books and reading too and I am forever grateful that this lifetime allowed me to be surrounded by books and comics and magazines and paper since birth haha. I was given a diary with a lock for my 7th? 9th? 12th? birthday (I cannot remember exactly when, sorry haha), and I made that diary my BFF. I was a bit shy and very awkward in social situations so that diary was everything to me back then. I wrote on it daily and shared all my feelings and all the highlights of my day in it. I still have it, btw. A few years later before I graduated highschool I was also given a very colorful planner and a barbie scrapbook because everyone was very encouraging and I filled those two as well: the planner with quotes and song lyrics, the scrapbook with news articles I liked (spice girls and leonardo dicaprio interviews lol) and letters from pen pals and other evidence of obsessions. Those are my journaling roots, in various forms. I also was very devoted to my sticker and stationery collection at that time. I considered my sticker book one of my most-prized possessions. My spiral notebooks from class had some leftover clean pages so I removed the wire and bound them using yarn. Used some to begin ambitious YA novels, some as journals, some for art journals. Some of the pages made it till today:
2. What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?
I have more than 1! I have a bullet journal for work and lists and quotes and tracking habits, a midori that I use as my travel journal/scrapbook/highlights of my day journal, a starbucks moleskine planner for daily gratitudes, and several little ones and thick ones for writing down self-help tips from podcasts, books and magazines haha. I haven’t included my sketchbooks because that’s a different story, heh. I’m quite in love with notebooks and paper in general.
My planner pages:
Some of my journals! I am not exaggerating when I say I probably have more than 50 filled journals for the past 10 years hahaha. I go through notebooks like popcorn:
3. What can we find in your journal pages? 
Everything! I write, experiment with art materials, document my days and highlights of my week, use it as a scrapbook, experiment with collage, etc. etc. I’m not too particular with what I can or cannot include there, I just like compartmentalizing so I have a bunch of journals half-filled all the time. I’m training myself to finish filling up the pages in my journals before I open a new one which is challenging (because #hoarder) but so far, so good! 🙂


4. Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? 
I basically journal when I’m not in a hurry. I like taking my time and preferably with some tea as my companion. I fill up my planner before I sleep and insert my ephemera in my midori journal so I can fill a page when I have free time. Mornings are spent on painting practice (right now am doing my #inktober project every morning).


5. What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?
Right now I’m loving the Midori Traveler’s Company number 13 refill. I got this from Scribe and I also love the stickers and foil washi tapes I got from beehappycrafts. I buy stickers from local makers too–from The Craft Central and Common Room.


6. What are your favorite journaling tools?
 Zebra brush pens, my waterbrush which is the best thing to have when you travel or want to make quick artworks (I have various waterbrushes from different brands like Pentel, Derwent, Craftdoodle, Craft Central hehe) and washi tapes, stickers, stamps. I also love brush pens for writing down titles or highlights of my day. And mildliners!
7. What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?
It’s the best gift for your future self. I’m forgetful and am thankful  my journals help me put things in perspective and remind me of how I should be grateful, always. They also serve as time capsules! You’d notice that if you draw something that you’re seeing in your journal on the spot, you’d remember everything about that moment when you see the image you’ve drawn sometime in the future. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done, and it just has to be done by you. 🙂 I find that super magical, like an easter egg from the Universe.
8. Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?
Do it now. Just buy a notebook/sketchbook that is right for your budget and if you like writing, find a pen that you like so you can write on your journal a lot. If you want to fill your journals with art you can start with considering the medium you like best. Figure out when you want to journal. While waiting in line? While waiting for your food in restos? At home, while the baby sleeps? During lunchbreak? You’d discover that deciding when you want to journal and where you want to do it will highly influence the types of materials you will want to use. For example, I do my journaling in milktea places, without sockets mostly, so a heat gun and all the embossing paraphernalia might not work out for my journaling session, haha.
Start with what you already have, like a pen or pencil and maybe a basic 3-12 colors watercolor palette. Expand your toolkit when you’ve figured out what you want to record in your journal. But don’t stop experimenting! Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, and your eyes. It’s up to you if you want to share your pages or not.
Bring it with you all the time, everywhere. You never when inspiration might hit you. Consider having a small travel journal if you’re a commuter like me just so you can have it with you on the go, and one for home use.
Don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes this is challenging especially if you’ve invested in a pricey, high-end journal. But remember why you started this journey, when you’re hesitant to use your materials. Your future you will be forever grateful you too the time to document your life right now. What I usually do when starting a new journal is to skip the first page. I just put the date there and move on to the next page. Always add the date somewhere in the beginning of your journal. Some people advice adding the date you filled it up at the last page as well. You’d see the benefits when your  filled journals have accumulated and you want to track your progress (or your life story).
9. What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?
I really love listening to podcasts by The Accidental Creative. They’re helpful and give tips for all aspects of life and I find that they’re soothing to listen to while I journal. I also enjoy artambays with friends where we meet in some place, have tea or dessert while working on our journals and while showing each other our journals.
If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why?
Definitely my waterbrush and DIY watercolor palette. I can write using the brush and paint, because I like writing and making art in my journals. 🙂
Do let me know if you have additional questions you want me to add in this series, and just email me: if you want to be featured or if you want to request for me to feature a certain journal-keeper. 🙂
If you want to read more about the journaling journey of other creatives, please stay tuned! 🙂
Thanks for dropping by!

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