Neat Newsletter

Latest news and information straight to your inbox.
No need to visit the site and search through recent posts.
Easy opt-out at any time.


Free Service

Free help for anyone
interested in improving their
Journaling for Creativity.

The 24 types of journal entry when Journaling for Creativity

This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Journaling for Creativity and the writer's notebook. One that will demonstrate how to journal in order to improve creativity and effectiveness of artists, writers or anyone needing to be creative.

Introduction Contents The Types of Entry


Journaling for Creativity:Types of entries summary


So far on the blog we have discussed what journaling for creativity is, and have listed the things that you may scribble, snap, click, type or place an entry into or on to. In the next section, we will be working our way through the different types of entry that may become part of your creative journal and today’s post summarises the areas we will be covering in the weeks to come.


When looking down the list, you may think that some types of entry appear to be a complete journaling topic all on their own. This is in fact true, but we are not stand-offish; any journaling practice that feeds, assists and develops the creative-mind is likely to be rounded up and corralled into our journaling for creativity stables.


An apology: This site is primarily for writers, which means that the posts on journaling for creativity are strongly biased towards writers. We are aware that we have been gaining some interest from a few artists and musicians, especially from Twitter. A huge thanks to you all for your interest and we hope that where you find areas below that state “writing” you can replace it with an equivalent activity for your art.

A summary of the entry types

Type of entry

Short Description

Project plan/overview

Your road map

Personal conversation

Hold a personal conversations in your journal to discover your own hidden thoughts.
Send yourself and your characters letters in your journal.
Naming your journal; not such a foolish idea.

Thoughts, inspirations and epiphanies

Gossamer thoughts captured before they vanish.

Personal ponderings

Ponderings on current writing projects, personal growth and affirmations.

Recording things

Observations, descriptions, everyday things, events, overheard dialogue, emotions, questions, sounds, sensations,  photographs etc.


A place free from judgment, where quick drafts, quick proving tests can be played with.


Search results, whether it is exciting or boring, research is always necessary.


All sorts of notes; to-do lists, visual notes, check lists etc.

Plots and outlines

Plots of the current project, the next one, or ones after that.


From single lines to complete stanzas.


Interviews of people you’d like to know, whether they are real people or imaginary characters.

Essay entries

Whimsical dips into writing for no purpose other than to write.

Free writing

Creativity tool to enable flow of consciousness writing.

Mind maps

Visual technique of capturing and organising non serial thoughts.

Cluster maps

Visual technique to draw out the associations and relationships of items.

Night notes

Discipline of unloading turbulent thoughts into a journal before going to sleep.

Morning pages

Discipline of writing three pages first thing in the morning to facilitate movement into creative space.

Project journal entries

Journal entries ordered into specific projects or categories; for example, next book, travel, promotion, books, ideas, plants.


Transcriptions from books or quotes.


Entries that allow you to do another entry more easily; for example, question lists, forms, grids, timelines.

Physical items

Lumpy stuff you like to feel and handle.

Compost entries

An entry of interest that has no current importance, kept with other entries until useful.


The art of others, music, doodles, sketches, diagrams, characters, maps, equipment, places, clothes, storyboards.

Journaling games

Games for enjoyment and to develop creativity.


Next week we will look at the importance of keeping a project plan and overview in your creative journal, and the in and outs of the personal conversation entry.

Photo credit: Arting365…,, by Studio Roosegaarde .

"Journaling for Creativity: Types of entries summary" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Share Button

1 comment to The 24 types of journal entry when Journaling for Creativity