Types of Journals and some Recommendations

As you all may know, I love journaling, and I have one of almost every type of journal there is. (I told you about the traveler's notebooks I use in a recent post.)

So, I realized I hadn't really talked about the types or physical forms that journals can take, based on their purpose.

For example, for simply writing about daily life, a notebook of any kind will be fine, even a plain spiral bound one. (I will say, though, that, these days, I am more likely to actually write in my journals when they are pretty or interesting looking.)

If you want your pages to hold up over time and not turn yellow, a high quality journal with acid free paper is nice to have.  Also, if you'll be using markers or fountain pens, paper thickness is important. Less important, (but still important to me!), is paper color. Some journals have cream pages, some have white, some have ivory, and some even have black pages.

So, I've done a little shopping for you, and here are some of the different journals that I can recommend, based on the type of journal you want to start.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Daily Life, List books, or Bullet Journaling

Scribbles that Matter (light ivory paper with a dot grid, 160 gsm weight), and Archer and Olive (bright white paper with dot grid, lined, or graph, 160gsm weight), are brands that have great reviews and are of exceptional quality.  The paper in those is super thick, smooth, and there's no bleeding or ghosting from markers or fountain pens.  Also, they lay flat.  Scribbles that Matter and Archer and Olive are more pricey than the average journals, but I think that has mainly to do with the excellent paper quality and overall quality of these.  Dot grids are really nice for bullet journaling.  I don't really do bullet journaling per se, but I like how the dot grids keep my lettering somewhat straight, without being too noticeable.

If you prefer lined pages, this next journal is a solid choice.  (The company also has versions with dot grid pages and blank pages.)  The paper is a little less thick than the one above but still a nice weight. It has a lay flat design and comes in pretty colors.  The lined pages are great for everyday memories, notes, lists, etc.

For a really elegant writing experience, this lovely leather journal would be a step above. More for keepsake journaling special memories, rather than bullet journaling or planning, this one would make a great gift too.  The paper is thick and acid free.  (The journal is real leather, so something to be aware of, if you have concerns about that.)

As I mentioned above, I've been using traveler's notebooks a lot for my daily journaling.This is my favorite one. It was a splurge, (although I got mine on clearance), but it's beautiful and functional.

When you buy a traveler's notebook, it's not the same as buying a journal full of pages - you are basically buying a cover and one notebook insert. I purchased additional inserts on Etsy. The inserts can also be purchased separately at Scrapbook.com, among other places, and here's another tip - The Moleskine Cahier size notebooks fits this size cover too, but the paper is thin (70gsm.)

Art Journaling, Photo Journaling, or Sketch Journaling

For art journaling or photo journaling that you won't be doing every day, you  might prefer blank pages with paper made for all kinds of media. I have this mixed media sketchbook  for art journaling. 

A mixed media sketchbook will handle a lot of different media, both wet and dry.  This one has 40 pages, which is enough pages for me, as I don't art journal nearly as much as I write.

Here is a hardback version with 64 pages.

Another great idea for an art journal is to simply make your own. A discbound journal is perfect, because you can remove the pages easily and move them around.


For planning, I just bought an empty binder.  It's purely functional, and I don't draw in it or decorate it. But it's still pretty throughout, because I printed off the free 2020 Planner pages, from Organized Dream, (no affiliation), and they are gorgeous.  There are pages for Daily Planner, Blog and Business, Budget, Meal Planning, etc. And, did I mention they are free??  I use pocket dividers, that I bought separately, for the sections, and I just include some notebook paper for notes.

Here's the 1 inch binder I'm using.  I got it at Office Depot/Office Max, (no affiliation.) As I'm sure you've noticed, I tend to like florals!

This next one made it a little hard to choose, but in the end, the pinks and greens coordinated with my other supplies better.

Of course, if you stroll through the discount stores, there are plenty of other pretty journals and planners.  The quality may not be as high, but really, any notebook will do to keep your memories or plan your days.

And, if you need some ways to fill your blank journals and notebooks, I have some ideas here.

I hope you've enjoyed this little sampling, and I hope you will join me this year and commit to keeping a journal of some kind!

Linking to:

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy
Inspire Me Monday at Mostly Blogging
Creative Mondays at Claire Justine
Over the Moon at Marilyn's Treats
Little Cottage Link Party at Love My Little Cottage
The Really Crafty Link Party at Keeping it Real
LouLou Girls
Tutorials and Tips at Homestories A to Z
Creative Muster at Fluster Buster
Tuesday Turn About at My Wee Abode
Wow Me Wednesday at Gingersnap Crafts
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
Artsy Fartsy Party at Artsy Fartsy Mama
Creatively Crafty Link Party at Try It Like It
Blogger's Pit Stop
Home Matters at Modern on Monticello
Friday Features at OMHG
Happiness is Homemade at Create with Cynthia
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House


  1. I love gorgeous journals. And I still don't really know what a bullet journal is. I can sort of get it, but I can't explain it well to others.
    Have you read Love Lettering from Kate Clayborn? I think you'd like it!

    1. I'm the same way about bullet journaling -- To me it's more of a pretty planner! But I love the way journaling terms morph over time and so more people get interested in journaling! I haven't read that book, but now I want to!

  2. I love a good journal, and just reading about journals makes my heart happy!

    1. I feel the same way, Michele!

  3. Thank you for this! I always start the year intent on getting better at journaling and then somehow never take that last step. After reading this, I want to give it a try again.
    Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned.

    1. I do the same thing every year, Teresa. I decided that this year I would really do it! Thanks so much for pinning.

  4. When I saw your post on the link party, my eyes got wide and I grinned. JOURNALS! :D I just love my journals, notebooks, and all things paper, pen, and marker. I just started using a dot grid journal for my lists. (While I love the artistic talent some use in their Bullet Journals, I don't have that and haven't been great at keeping at using one.) I have been better at using the dot grid for lists than in previous attempts. I think it's due to a book I read as well as a couple of blog posts on how to be productive with notebooks and lists. I'm a writer and this journal is helping me get things organized. (It's not perfect yet, nor do I expect it to be so. I am seeing what works for me with this current journal. When I need a new one, I'll have a better idea of what I will/won't use it for.) I've bookmarked this so I can revisit when I'm in need of a new journal (or three). Adrienne from Gluten Free Preppers and a member of the Blogger's Pit Stop Crew

    1. Ah, I love meeting kindred spirits! Journals, notebooks, and all things paper, pen, and marker--oh yes! Thanks for visiting and commenting! (P.S. I have celiac, so I'm excited to find your blog.)

  5. I love journals! Especially anything that is extra big and has flowers on the cover! I will always be a paper and pen gal!

    1. I will always be a paper and pen gal,too, Kim -- and oh, yes, I almost always choose florals!

  6. A very interesting article with a lot of information. Very well write up :)


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