When it comes to keeping a dream journal there are many options. Some people have linear brains and prefer straight left to right writing (like this page). Others need something more creative, or circular.

If you fall into the latter category a dream mind map might be perfect for you. There are many ways to do mind maps and you can probably invent a system that works well for you. Here’s one way to do it:

The gist is that you put your key concept in the center. Begin by writing the title and date of your dream in the middle of the paper and draw a circle around it. I always start by drawing a line straight down (about an inch) from the circle. I then write a short description of the first scene and draw a circle around it. From that circle I draw more lines, somewhat like spokes on a wheel, and then record free associations OR continue to record various scenes, elaborating on the people and objects and themes.

When I’m done with the first scene or series of scenes, I move to the right and draw another inch long line from the center circle. I write the second major scene and draw a circle around it and start over again.

This system works well if you want to free associate meanings of the themes, objects, colors and image.

You can incorporate different colors, images, shapes, and symbols to convey different meanings.

Left or right margin for notes
When recording, consider leaving a wide left or right margin in your journal so you can jot down thoughts later on (interpretations, observations, symbols, puns, etc.)

Record Details at the top of your page
It can be helpful to keep track of dream themes at the top of your journal page. For instance, I record objects and subjects in detail so I can easily flip through my journal and find all the dreams I had about a particular person, animal, color, etc. At the top of my page I note the

  • Animals
  • Numbers (I make special note of things that show up in multiples, like “two tigers”)
  • Colors
  • Time of day
  • People
  • Location
  • Mood
  • Action
  • Elements (earth, air, fire, water)
  • Weather