How to Create a Sensory Journal for Writers

Creating a sensory journal doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a spiral notebook and will give you the benefits of creating the habit of observation. However, here are a few things you can use to make the best journal for you.



1. Keep it small enough to carry.

Whether you want to fit it into your purse or have something slim enough to fit next to your laptop, think about how you will transport your journal and make sure you get a size that works.


book-855708_19202. Make sure it has a strong binding.

You will be using this journal a lot and it will endure hundreds of moments of being opened, scribbled on, and snapped shut again. Make sure your book is sturdy enough to act as companion withstand the wear and tear of your ideas.

3. Find a book you actually like.


It’s okay. You can be a snob here. I won’t tell. Journals, notebooks, and pads all have certain feelings. Some will inspire you to write; some will feel boring. Find a book that resonates with you, one you’re excited to crack open every day.

4. Use tabs.

You can separate them into the five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and feel. You can jot down the elements of a novel: People, Places, Emotions, and Props. You can organize this journal however you like, but take a bit of time to think of what you want to be focused on observing and how you will use your research. When you have tabs in your journal, reading back over it will not be intimidating, flipping through pages to find that perfect idea you know is in there somewhere.

5. Fill It Up


A sensory journal will not gather more information unless you actually use it. Make a habit of carrying it – or at least small sticky notes you can transfer into it. Do it every day until it becomes a habit. You are not only retraining your mind. You are creating the habit of writing and pages of material to work with.



Creating a sensory journal will turbo-charge your writing and cost next to nothing. Give your mind the chance to observe and to strengthen the link between what you see and what you write. Your mind will more easily turn observation into prose. You will become more attuned to experience every moment of your life and a better person to experience life with.

Happy writing!