Keeping a dream journal is one of the most important things that a dream enthusiast can do to improve recall and keep a log for interpretation. Dreams are always most clear right after waking and often feel like they cannot be forgotten; but, as time goes by it is very easy to forget your dreams. The ephemeral and sometimes bizarre nature of dreams doesn’t quite fit into the mind’s typical patterns of memory retention. Here are some easy steps to keep a successful dream journal.

The first step, obviously, is going to be to buy a journal. There are a lot of different things to consider when buying your journal including length, aesthetics, size, and features like page markers or inserts. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be something that you, personally, find pleasing to look at.

Next you need to create a space for your journal. If you don’t already have a bedside table it is important to get one. You want your dream journal to be as close as possible so you can begin writing immediately upon waking. It may also be handy to have a small table lamp handy for writing in the dark. Be sure to keep pens and pencils handy as well.

A common tactic among dream journal enthusiasts is to write the next day’s date either the night before or after every entry. It will save you from entering fully into ‘the real’ world to find and mark the date before writing. Keeping dates is an important way to chronicle your dreams and be able to reference different times in your life.

Now it is finally time to begin writing. This part is rather simple and self-explanatory. Put in as much detail as possible and where you think necessary. It’s not necessary to turn every dream into a novel and sometimes a short paragraph will suffice. Some dream theorists believe that the feeling of the dream can be more important than the content so in a few words write how your dream made you feel. An interesting tactic that is often employed once you begin writing is to name your dreams. This works as a brief summary and headline that can often capture the essence of the dream.

Depending on how you are organizing your dream journal it is often a good idea to leave some room for interpretation. Sometimes it can be beneficial to do an immediate interpretation followed by an interpretation a few days later when you have had some time to think about it and process your dream a little more.

Ultimately everyone will find their own method for keeping a dream journal that works well for them. These are just some common tips. The advantages of a dream journal are numerous and an important process for those that believe in the power of dreams.