Posted on Feb 23, 2013 | 1 comment

ultimateguide Most books on journaling typically focus on a single aspect of the practice and the two I have written are no exception. Modern Journaling is the digital perspective on journaling and 101 Reasons to Write a Journal focuses on the motivation side. I’ve just finished reading a book that encompasses a little bit of everything you need to know about keeping a personal journal- The Ultimate Guide to Journaling by Hannah Braime.

If you were new to journaling or wanted to get the most out of keeping a personal journal or diary you could browse bookstores and pick out a half-dozen books to get you started. The great thing about The Ultimate Guide is that it is an all-in-one ebook that you can read and get a very good understanding of the entire journaling process without needing all of the other books you would typically need. The suggestions and advice given within aren’t vague or broad either. Instead you get practical advice and ideas that you can apply the next time you open up your journal. Take, for example, Part 2 of the book that lists 30 written journaling ideas. This isn’t 30 individual ideas but rather 30 sections with many ideas within each one! Where other journaling books give you a long list of prompts, The Ultimate Guide gives you different journaling exercises (body evaluation, free association, gratitude journal…) and then even adds many prompts divided up by the varying types (springboards, stepping stones, unsent letters, lists…).

Part 3 is completely devoted to visual journaling ideas and includes suggestions such as creating a mood board, expressed visualization and self-portrait.

Although Hannah has been keeping personal journals for years, her book is written in a way that will be equally enjoyable and helpful to both newbie and experienced journaler alike. I think I especially like her style because she and I see eye to eye on so many concepts of journaling. These include keeping a personal journal private, including pictures whenever possible and- my favorite- utilizing digital journal tools to enhance the practice. Another thing I like about Hannah’s style is how she continual adds her own personality throughout the text. This includes an entire section devoted to dialogues where she teaches us how to communicate with the voice inside our head and discover that she calls her inner voice ‘Victorian governess’ and then we get a blow by blow reenactment of how these journal conversations play out between her and her VG.

Another bonus you will get from reading The Ultimate Guide is insights from other journaling professionals. This includes details on the stepping stones method by Dr. Ira Progoff and how Kathleen Adams uses lists of 100 as detailed in her book Journal to the Self.

I enjoyed The Ultimate Guide to Journaling for many reasons and it is likely that you will as well. I’ve recently gotten to know Hannah as we are doing similar things online and I am honored that she follows many of what we say and do on Easy Journaling. I encourage you to check out her book if you are looking for a comprehensive journaling guide and also to follow the great things she is sharing on www.becomingwhoyouare.net.

  • HannahBWYA

    Thanks for writing this lovely review Sam! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the book, found it helpful, and that you’d recommend to to both newbie and experienced journalers too. That was my aim when writing the book, so I’m happy to hear that’s the experience you had when reading it. The book is also available as an audiobook and on PDF from my website (www.becomingwhoyouare.net) for readers who don’t have a Kindle.

    Have a great day!