Cracking Open a New Journal

The irony of writing a digital blog post about paper journals is not lost on me.  There is something about hand writing your thoughts which can’t be matched by typing.  It would be easy to keep a journal on the computer and  type a little bit everyday, but it would never be the same.  A computer file would be too amorphous, too easily lost in a computer crash or accidentally deleted.  A journal filled with your handwriting across every page is solid, a permanent record which you keep in a safe place and save until you’re old.  I rarely read my filled journals, but hopefully one day when I’m gray and reminiscent I’ll look back and be reminded of my younger self.  For now, the pleasure for me is in the writing- having a place where my mind can go, where the thoughts in my head can scrawl across the pages.  Writing is calming.  It’s a chance to talk to myself, to work through how I feel about things, to record the mundane and ordinary that no one else would care about.  Basically anything and everything- it’s good for my head.

My journal has always been the place for my life- a spot to record my day, draw a cute doodle, put mementos, write lists, jot down websites I want to check out, etc.  I used my journals sort of as a bullet journal long before bullet journals were officially a thing.

I’ve always kept track of the books that I was reading.  It used to simply be a list on the last page of my journal, but then I saw the idea of drawing in a bookshelf and coloring/filling in the books that you’re reading.  If you google “Bullet Journal Bookshelf” you can be inspired by a ton of great ideas!  I drew this in myself based off the picture online, but you can also buy this as a printable from:

I want my journal to be the place where I can capture anything. I write in my favorite quotes. I draw and doodle even though there are lines. I paste in little mementos if I feel like it. It took me a long time to get over the idea that journals were meant to be filled with only pretty, perfect pages of handwriting. It’s okay to trash my journal- fill it with complete randomness- because that’s my life and the chaos of my mind! I love quotes and am constantly writing them in. Sometimes I get a little more creative and create a drawing to go with the quote.

I’m rarely without my journal since it goes with me in my purse or my work bag on most days.  I’ve experimented with all sizes from large to small, from hard covers to soft covers, from sewn bindings to spiral bindings, from cheap to expensive.  I don’t have one favorite type or brand although I favor leather covers and creamy paper.  I’m a sucker for buying journals- I see a nice one and I usually have to have it even though I won’t get around to using it in the near future.  I admit to having expensive tastes… the more luxurious the journal feels the more likely I am to love it.

My new journal from Barnes and Noble, which along with TJ Maxx is the best place to purchase journals in my opinion.  (Sadly B&N don’t sell their journals on their website- only in store. This particular cover is likely not available but I’ve seen the same style journal with a butterfly cover, with cherry blossoms, plain, etc.)

I’m starting to write in a new journal that I just picked up from Barnes and Noble while I was at the beach a few weekends ago.  It’s a thick leather journal with a tie, and the pattern is called Flowers and Fishnets.  This specific cover is likely no longer available since I found it at 75% off in the sale bin.  Barnes and Noble does still sell this style of journal for $34.95 but in different patterns such as cherry blossoms, roses, or butterflies.  It’s 6 x 8 inches with 384 thick ivory pages, and it feels well made and rich.  I’m excited to start filling up the pages!

Leave a comment below and let me know what type of journal you’re using and what you like about it!  Also, what sort of things do you put in your journal or keep track of?  I’m always looking for new ideas!


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