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First I’ll say I love notebooks and journals. I’ve loved them since I was a teenager. Back then, for me a journal was simply a place to write about what was going on in my life and save the occasional postcard or ticket stub. The memories of my teachers, friends, my immature behavior and silly quarrels – all there.
A blank notebook can sometimes be intimidating,though, can’t it?
Diary journals are wonderful, but notebooks can be used for so many other things too. They can be lists, planners (bullet journals), and even pieces of art.
(I have more ideas for ways to fill your notebooks at the end of the post!)
This is the journal from my sophomore year of high school, in the 1970s.
I also want my journals to be visual and fun,with hand lettering and colorful elements. (But, they don’t have to be. A journal can be simple or elaborate – no rules.)
I love washi tape and stickers. I’m always trying to think of creative things to do in a journal and ways to use my journals.
These are some of my favorite stickers for journals.
Yes, those are llamas on the bottom right.
In the recent past, I’ve had glorious intentions and have purchased multiple journals, but, sadly, many of them are still blank.
Why are they blank? Because the pages aren’t removable, and I’m afraid I’ll make a “mistake.” Fear of journaling! I don’t like crossed out words or white out. Silly, I know.
I found this Tul discbound notebook recently though. This one is the junior size (5 1/2 x 8 1/2,) but it also comes in a letter size. Because it’s a discbound style, the pages are removable. I can remove pages or move them around. The cover is leather, and it’s so nice. (Update: I’ve also made my own discbound journal, and the tutorial is here.) Because I love the pretty leather cover and the quality, the Tul notebook has been the best discbound system I’ve found so far, other than the customized one I made.
The Tul notebook comes with lined paper, but there are several different kinds of refills available. Or you can pick up the Tul Discbound hole punch and use any kind of paper you want. My paper preference is the HP Premium 32 paper, because it’s super smooth (safe for my brush pens), acid free, and heavyweight. It’s my go-to paper for brush lettering practice, journaling, etc.
A ring binder style is another type of journal that allows for removing pages and moving them around. There are advantages and disadvantages to any type of journal or notebook (which, I guess is why I have so many different types!) I don’t have the one below, but I’ve added it to my wish list in the A5 size (planner size, so it’s smaller than a regular ring binder.) It has a flexible cover and really pretty dividers. The covers on this one don’t stay flat like a discbound notebook, though.
Here are some ways to fill your blank journal:
- Gratitude journal
- Sketches and doodles
- Lettering practice
- Book log
- Prayer Journal
- Home decor journal
- Gardening journal
How do you use your journals?
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