How I Pick the Perfect Writing Journal

I was at Walmart the other day and decided to get my future journal. (I journal about my life as I feel the need to). I prefer smaller notebooks and fill them in 3 to 5 months.

This time I decided to get a larger notebook because I really love the flowery design. I love flowery designs.

I’ve found that I prefer dot ruled paper over lined, and this notebook has dots instead of lines. For now it will be there waiting until I’m ready to start writing in it which I predict will be in a month.

I’m not a fan of spiral bound notebooks though. I have found that I prefer journals with “exposed bindings” because they feel comfortable to write in.

The journal below probably remains one of my favorite journals of all time. (I’ve included screenshots of a couple of journals because I shredded them last year.)

This one was a birthday gift from B&N

I don’t think about getting one of these again even though I love the cover. Just like what I wrote in this journal, the journal itself became part of my past.

As I’ve continued journaling throughout the years, I know what works and doesn’t work for me in a writing journal.

#1. The journal’s cover has to keep me inspired.

The journal below always amazed me. It’s earthy. It’s feminine. It has warm tones. I see movement without movement. Do you get notebooks based on their covers?

I believe I got this one at Target

#2. The journal has to have a moderate number of pages. Not too little, not too many.

I want to document a period of my life. But I also don’t want to record a whole year in it. Knowing myself, I know that I’ll get bored of the journal and want to get a new one eventually, and I don’t like to leave journals half used. Also, as I’m constantly changing I feel that the new me always needs a new journal 🙂

#3. The journal has to feel comfortable to write in.

The journal has to have binding flexibility. I’m not a happy camper when I invest in a journal that I find myself uncomfortable writing in.

Join the conversation:

How do you choose journals or notebooks?

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My name is Andrea, and I strive to be the type of writer you look forward to reading with a cup of something, like coffee or tea, with sunbeams. Welcome.

13 thoughts on “How I Pick the Perfect Writing Journal

  1. I love a good notebook to journal in have managed to go through 4 notebooks in my collection and it’s only May. I feel like I am on a roll, that is until I fall hook, line and sinker for another notebook. That I have to have 😁 I really enjoyed reading your post and agree with a lot of your statements throughout. I am glad there is another person like me who adores notebooks. I agree you need to love the journal before you can write in it. 💖💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the great reply, Andrea… now you made my day! 🙂
    Yes, I have found it pretty amazing how the writing changes to reflect the changes in thinking… when I was younger I used to be more of a perfectionist and I wrote down every detail of my day… but as I got older and less of a perfectionist, I realized that I would never care to look back and see all those tiny details, so I had to train myself to just journal about the themes and insights and feelings, and stop writing down what kind of tea I had that morning, lol.
    Thanks for reading my blog too! 🙂 ❤
    Cheers to us journal-ers!

    Like

      1. Hi again, Andrea… now I will try to re-create what I shared here yesterday! It vanished when I clicked the post button… anyhow, I loved this post. I especially loved how you shared photos of journal covers. Did you see my recent post with a photo of my current journal cover? For about ten years now I have been buying blank sketchbooks and decorating my own covers with collages. I get very attached to the covers because they really represent me at the time, so I always dread a journal ending… but amazingly, each time, when it does end, I suddenly feel ready for making the new collage cover!

        I have friends who have burnt old journals, but I could never do that. I’m way too attached to them. Believe it or not, I have all my diaries and journals since I was a little girl, and I’m 49 years old now! They fill up many boxes!!! I’ve moved them all over the place! I wish I could down-size, but I have this vision of myself at age 90, sitting and re-reading all of the journals from my life.

        So, when I read that you had actually shredded a journal, I shuddered at the thought of it! I’m impressed… do you regularly shred the old ones?

        Thanks for the great post! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Teja! It makes my day :). Yes, I saw your recent cover! I love how it’s nature themed! I’ve never tried decorating my own journals. I might try it for my next one! I like the idea of writing in a sketchbook. I don’t like using lined paper anymore, and blank paper sounds like a better option than lined. Creating collages is so much fun! The most recent ones I’ve created (recent meaning a few years ago) were of vision boards. They always turn out beautiful and inspirational reflecting the things we love, our interests. I really admire you for keeping your diaries and journals and having that vision of yourself reading them in the future. Sometimes, I regret getting rid of mine. Sometimes :). Every now and then I like to reread them, and I’m always surprised to see how my life changes, how I change. Right now I don’t have any journals to refer back to, haha, but I have hope that I’ll accumulate a pile again. I don’t regularly shred them. I think I reached a point in my life where my way of thinking wasn’t working anymore, and I saw that it reflected in my journals, because as a reader of the journals, I found myself analyzing them (analyzing myself!). I found that I needed to change the way that I wrote to reflect the change in which I saw myself and my life. Note: I’m looking forward to catching up on reading your blog this weekend! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post, Andrea! 🙂

    Loved how you included photos of the journal covers… did you see my recent post with the cover of my current journal? For the past 10 years I have been buying sketchbooks and making collages on the covers… And I usually love each cover collage so much, because it represents me at the time, and so I get really attached and never want the journal to end, but amazingly, each time a journal ends I just happen to feel ready to make the new collage!

    I have friends who burn old journals but I don’t think I could ever do that… you mentioned shredding a journal, and I shuddered! Wowsa, how can you do that?! How often do you shred old ones? I’m way too attached to do that, I actually still have every diary since I was a little kid, and I’m 49 years old… they fill up many boxes!!! 🙂

    Thanks for the great post…. Sending you lots of balance, passion, and strength! ❤

    Like

  4. I banned myself from buying any more notebooks at this time.
    I have plenty sitting in a corner in a box. I just can’t think of anything that’s worthy of them. Or I pick one out, start and drop it after just a few pages. How sad? I cannot fathom burning them.

    Dotted journals distract me. I need lines. Or even a blank page is alright.

    I found that a book calendar works best for me – it has just enough space for me to write down important things and it’s useful.

    I think the example in #1 is awesome, but the writing gets lost in the cover design, and I have to say that it makes it less than ideal. I definitely pay attention to covers.

    No. 2 is spot on, and so is no. 3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I relate to you. I have a basket with some notebooks that I’m trying to make use of. I think that’s one of the reasons why I’ve also stopped myself from buying more notebooks too (except for this one, haha). I like how book calendar are concise & how I can refer back to them for important info/details.

      Liked by 1 person

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