This time of year has to be the most exciting when it comes to making plans and goals. I find the best way to organise yourself is with a journal, and it just so happens that I love a bit of journal shopping.
Below I will list a few key things I look for in the ‘perfect’ journal, and hopefully this will help you select the one that is right for you:
1. Day to a Page
This is my number one priority when it comes to a journal as I like to have the space to write down my everyday activities and do a bit of soul searching if I need to. Also handy if you want to stick a few vision board pics in, or doodle while you enjoy your morning coffee.
One downside to having one day for every page is that your journal is always going to be on the slightly larger and heavier side. This has never really been a huge issue, except for maybe on flights when you have that pesky 7kg limit…ugh! I usually compensate by taking a thin notebook on the plane with me, and stick the sheets into my journal later.
2. Lays Flat
You will find that a lot of journals these days will be the lay flat variety, due to the explosion of bullet journal enthusiasts. This is another factor that is quite important to me as it makes everyday journaling a lot easier when the pages aren’t obscuring your view, left handed writers will find this extremely irritating. I’m not a lefty but I can appreciate the difficulties they must face when it comes to writing materials.
A pocket is not a major essential to be included in a journal as you can easily glue in your own, but it is a nice touch and makes storing your photos, ticket stubs and stickers that little bit easier.
4. Lined or Grid
Some journallers like to have a blank-paged book, but as someone who cannot draw a straight line, and writes in a slope without guidance, I am of the variety that needs lines or better yet – grid lines.
5. Paper Thickness
Whether you are a prolific everyday writer, a watercolour painter or an every now and again doodler, you should consider picking your diary according to paper thickness. If you like to paint in your journal then I would opt for the thickest paper you can afford. I like to go for the mid range, something that is thick enough so you don’t have too much bleed through and not too thick that makes it impossible to write comfortably.
6. Monthly View Calendar
I have become used to having a monthly view in the past few years, and I have to say it is most helpful when it comes to knowing at a glance when you have to work, go to that wax appointment, or send a birthday card.
This year I have selected three different journals, all unique in their own way, and now I have to make the choice of which one is going to be my 2018 journal.
From left to right:
Milligram’s 2018 Non-Diary – Daily Notebook – Grid – this was a little bit of happiness when I finally found a brand that did grid diaries. Milligram (formerly Notemaker) have one of the best selections of stationary and diaries I have ever come across, and they’re based in Australia.
Available at Milligram (formerly Notemaker)
Passion Planner – I love how compact the passion planner is, perfect size for putting in your hand bag or taking travelling with you. My favourite things: the soft, flexible faux leather cover; pocket and grid notes area in the back, handy printouts for extras such as addresses; paper thickness. This was more a purchase of habit, after two years of being happy with the product but still feeling like I needed a day to a page space to write everyday extras.
Available at Passion Planner
Collins Debden Edge Floral Edge – when I initially started searching for an alternative journal, google brought up a random site and these beautiful diaries flashed in front of my eyes. And they seem pretty popular too. They come in Rainbow, Camouflage or Floral. I’m not usually a floral sort of person but this was too beautiful not to try.
Available at Collins Debden
In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself. The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it. —Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
Do you have a journal you love? Do you buy the same one every year or change your mind like me? Let me know, I love new journal inspiration xx