A good story doesn’t always come from the pages of a novel. Most of the time we’re living in it and don’t even notice. With only a few days into the new year, now is the perfect time to start keeping track of your everyday moments and immortalizing them on the page. You don’t need lengthy, flowery prose. You don’t even need full sentences. Try to draw your day, or capture moments in photographs, or write in different languages. The beauty of this often-forgotten art is that the only eyes you have to please are your own.

To help you get started, here are a few tips on the art of journaling from artist and author Abbey Sy, who has been keeping journals for more than ten years now. Read through some of her ideas here, and share yours in the comments!

1. Use what you have.


Abbey: Being a huge analog junkie, I love collecting memorabilia and anything made of paper in general. I also am addicted to washi tapes and collect a lot of fineliner pens as an artist, so most of my journal pages use a variety of those materials mentioned. However, it can always vary for each person – you can use colored pencils, paint, stickers, and multi-media materials to jazz up your pages. Your task is to be resourceful enough and use them to your liking.

2. Choose what to share.

Abbey: Commonly when we think of journaling, “Dear Diary” is the way to go. But the whole premise of writing everything that happened in a day is not always the best option for others. So, instead of limiting yourself to that idea, try to be selective of what you want to write about in your journal. It can be as simple as writing a memorable statement from your day, putting a short list of key things that happened, or as complex as a full paragraph of ideas and realizations within the day. Anything goes!

3. Make time to document.


Abbey: In order to be able to maintain a journal, you should always make time to document. Personally, I try to keep my journaling to 15-20 minutes per day so I don’t have any excuse that I have “no time.” Try to ease it in your schedule and treat it as an activity to look forward to in the morning or in the evening.

Kickstart this daily habit with Abbey’s Journaling Workshop on January 21, 2017, 1-3pm at Top Shelf, Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street. To participate, simply purchase a copy of ABC Daily Journal at any Fully Booked branch or at Fully Booked Online. Be one of the first three to purchase online and get an exclusive journaling loot bag from Abbey!

You may RSVP at bit.ly/abcjournalingworkshop. Check out the event page for more details. See you there!


Abbey Sy is an artist and author from Manila, Philippines. Best known for her hand-lettering work and travel illustrations, she has worked with a wide range of clients from various industries. She has written and illustrated best-selling books on lettering & journaling, and her art has been recognized on both local and international publications.

With a love for anything analog and traditional, Abbey constantly documents her ideas, thoughts, memories, and adventures chronicled in the pages of her journals since she was thirteen. She currently works as a creative entrepreneur—doing freelance work, teaching art classes on weekends, and producing her own merch, in the hopes of further fulfilling her dreams, fueling her passion for both art and travel, and inspiring others to Always Be Creating.

View Abbey’s work at her website, abbey-sy.com, and follow her updates on Facebook (fb.com/artbyabbeysy), Twitter & Instagram (@abbeysy).

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