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.

Types of Journals

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 commission if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!


Daily Life, List books, or Bullet Journaling 

The Rhodia Rhodiarama Softcover Notebook is a lovely, softcover notebook with smooth ivory paper.  This paper is one of my favorites, due to its smoothness. It also won’t bleed or feather with most pens. Fountain pen lovers adore it. Rhodia is a favorite brand of many because of the quality of the paper, and I love that it doesn’t fray my brush pens. It comes in a dot grid, as well as lined paper. 

Scribbles that Matter  has a hard cover and great reviews.  The paper in this one is super thick, smooth, and there’s no bleeding or ghosting from markers or fountain pens. 

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.)

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. 

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.  Visit my blog post at the link above to see how I make my own.


For planning, I just bought an empty binder.  It’s purely functional, and I don’t draw in it or decorate it.  I use pocket dividers, that I bought separately, for the sections, and I just include some notebook paper for notes.

This one is really pretty.

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:

Create with Joy, Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Over the Moon, Love My Little Cottage, Keeping it Real, My Wee Abode, Gingersnap Crafts, My Girlish Whims, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Home Matters, Make it Pretty Monday, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Life and Linda, Lou Lou Girls, Fluster Buster, Wonderful Wednesday, Building Our Hive, Esme Salon, Mostly Blogging, Thursday Favorite Things

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  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. 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.

  3. When I saw your post on the link party, my eyes got wide and I grinned. JOURNALS! 😀 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.)

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

  5. Journals are so nice. I wrote one years ago with my very first cancer. It is so interesting to go back and read what I wrote. Thanks for sharing Pam. I am happy to feature your post at Love Your Creativity. Happy New Year!

  6. Hi Pam, Thanks for participating and sharing your posts at our Linky. I just love that leather journal, so pretty. Shared on SM

  7. Lots of ideas here, love the leather one! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 65. Pinned!

  8. I enjoyed your article about the various journals, Pam. And I enjoyed reading about how to make the disc journals, thanks for sharing.

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