1. Reflective Journal
Reflective journaling involves reflecting on your day, experiences, or specific topics like faith, family, or love. This can be a great resource for everyday journaling or end-of-week or month reflection.
Reflective journaling can be done on any blank piece of paper, or you can buy a guided journal that deals with a specific topic to help you get into the practice.
2. Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals come in many forms, but they always involve writing down the things and experiences you are grateful for in your life.
The more detailed you are, the better. For example, I can write "I'm grateful for the weather today," but when I look back on that I may have no idea what I meant. However, if I write, "I'm grateful for the sound of the rain on the roof," or "I'm grateful for the feeling of the sunshine on my arms," I will be able to feel present in that moment both while journaing and when I look back on it later.
3. Prayer Journal
Some people just express themselves better in writing than verbally, and this can cause a mental block when trying to make dua or supplicate to Allah. A prayer journal helps you overcome that block and open an honest and vulnerable channel of communication with God. It can be done freestyle or in a journal designed specifically for prayer journaling, but the most important part is to just start writing and open that conversation with Him!
4. Quran Journal
Quran journaling is a great way to begin working on your relationship with the Quran (or work to deepen the relationship you already have) without the overwhelm that can come from just picking up the mushaf and starting to read. Quran journaling can be done in a blank notebook, a bullet journal setup, or a guided journal.
If you are Quran journaling without a guided journal, you can pick a verse that resonates with you, read the tafsir for that verse, and reflect on what that verse means to you and how it applies to your life. How can you implement the lessons from that verse in your life?
Guided Quran journals will usually have a pre-picked verse and possibly some tafsir as well, and you will only have to fill in the reflection sections.
Lists are a fun way to organize your thoughts, and you can make lists of just about anything! Books to read, recipes to try, favorite surahs/ayat, inspiring Muslimahs, daily tasks, and anything else you could think of!
Plus, lists are easy and portable - you can write them on a scrap of paper, in a dedicated notebook, on a sticky note, or on cute memo sheets.
6. Habit Tracker
While a habit tracker isn't necessarily what you think of when you hear "journal," it is certainly a form of organizing and reflecting on information.
Keeping a habit tracker can help you track and build health and wellness habits such as meditation, movement, and journaling and it can also help you keep track of your spiritual habits like prayer, dhikr, and fasting.
There are many ways to do habit trackers, but a good first step is to decide which things are important enough for you to track and what you hope to gain from tracking them. From there you can try different layouts until you find something that works best for your needs!
7. Morning Pages
Morning pages were first coined by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way, but have come to signify a general practice of emptying your mind first thing in the morning.
To do morning pages, you generally give yourself a writing goal such as 10 minutes or 3 full pages, and you write until you meet that goal. It doesn't have to be pretty or grammatical, or even make sense - it is just a tool to get everything swirling around your mind down on paper and out of your head.
Most people do morning pages shortly after they wake up, but another useful variation is doing this right before you pray your salah in order to empty your mind and prepare you to concentrate fully on the conversation you are about to have with Allah.
You can always come back to these pages later on in the day or week and read them back to see what kinds of patterns are emerging, and reflect on what actions you can take from there.
8. Project/ Goal Journal
Keeping a specific journal for a project you are working on or a big goal you have can not only be a helpful way to keep your projects and goals organized and track your progress, but a fun memory to look back on after projects have been completed and goals reached.
In a dedicated notebook, lay out all the steps and the timeline for a specific project or goal you are working on, track specific milestones, see where you fall behind and get back on track, and celebrate your wins!
9. Writer's Journal
You don't have to be an artist or an author to keep a journal of the things that inspire you or spark creativity! Keep a small notebook with you in your handbag or car to jot down ideas that pop into your head, scenes from everyday life, inspirational quotes/sayings that you come across, or anything else you observe that inspires thought and reflection!
10. Bullet Journal
A bullet journal is the most open form of journaling, and most readily customized to your exact needs. Any plain notebook that you may have on hand can be used to create a bullet journal. You start with creating pages for your yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily plans, tasks, and schedules. Beyond that, you can include pages for all the different types of journaling mentioned above, and anything else you may need to keep track of! Pages are tracked by number in an index, so information is easy to find at any time.
Many people also make their bullet journal an artistic endeavor, though there are many examples of minimalist bullet journal layouts as well,
Bonus: The Dua Journal
The Dua Journal is a guided journal that combines a few different types of journaling mentioned above. Each page is open-dated, taking the pressure off of you to write at specific times. Daily pages include space for reflecting on your day - what went well and what you could improve, expressing gratitude for all the good and happy moments in the day, and writing out a few short duas to Allah.
Depending on the journal you choose, you will also find either extra space for dua, a section on what you learned that day, or guided Quran journaling pages. The Dua Journal is truly a versatile tool for helping you to work on your personal development in this dunya and your relationship with Allah and your faith for the hereafter!