Chances are you’ve got a lot of great plans lined up for the summer. But instead of solely relying on your smartphone to capture everything in photos, why not write about it too?

Writing is one of the easiest and most beneficial forms of self-therapy. It can help you discover new things about yourself and appreciate everything you have in the present.

If you already have an established journaling practice, summer is a great time to tweak your habits a little so you can get the most out of it. And if you don’t already have one, now couldn’t be a better time to start!

Here are a few tips to consider when journaling about all the thoughts running through your mind and experiences you’ll be having this summer.

Get Visual

If you’re not already set on journaling the old fashioned way with pen and paper, try combining all the amazing photos you’ll be taking on all your adventures with your writing. There are all sorts of apps out there that you can access on your computer and your mobile device which you can use to attach photos, track your location, tell you the weather, and keep everything organized in a nifty calendar. Day One and Journey are two premium journaling platforms to check out.

Let Emotions Flow

While it might seem obvious to simply describe all the busy and exciting events that have taken place, you’ll experience the most growth when you pair that with how all of it made you feel. Try writing one sentence to explain the event followed by two or more sentences detailing the thoughts and emotions you felt before, during, and after it was all over. Integrating your narration with emotion will supercharge your storytelling.

Be Honest

It’s normal to want your journal entries to sound fun and exciting while leaving all the not-so-great sounding stuff out. But manipulating or censoring your writing won’t do you any good now or in the future when you come back to read it. The trick is to allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind first without worrying about how boring, negative, or even angry it might all sound in the end. Being honest in your writing will help accelerate your growth.

Set Reminders

A good idea is to develop a morning or evening journaling habit. An even better idea is to set up reminders on your smartphone or within the journaling app you’re using to do both. Research shows that our brains are most active and ready to be creative in the minutes upon waking, making it the perfect time to journal about your intentions for the day. And at night, specifically the last few minutes before your head hits the pillow, is the perfect time to journal about what you want your subconscious mind to be processing while you sleep.

Don’t Skip

There will undoubtedly be at least a few summer days when you’ve got nothing going on, and while these days may not seem worth journaling about, they could serve as your most valuable days for self-growth if you simply decide to stick with it. On a rainy day when you’re stuck inside or on a day that you need to take to recuperate from a big trip, take the time to keep journaling. It often turns out that on these days when you think you have nothing exciting to journal about, you’ll actually still have a lot to say, which might just help you get to know and love yourself a little deeper.