I don’t know about you, but I like to journal. I always have. People journal for different reasons. Some like to journal because it’s a way to preserve memories that you can look back on years later. Others journal because they find it’s a great stress-reliever and still others like it because it’s somewhere they can talk about whatever they want without fear of being judged. I’ve always enjoyed it partly because I enjoy writing but also because I find it’s a good way to reflect on things that happen in my life as well as a good way to work through emotions and just my thoughts in general.
I bought my first journal at the school book fair in fourth or fifth grade. It’s the small, square one with a horse pictured below. That was my first ever journal and, as you can see, I haven’t really stopped since. To date I’ve filled seven journals and have almost filled my eighth. I also started keeping a separate dream journal around 7th grade or so and have filled 3 and a half of those so far. I noticed in middle school around that time that I seemed to remember a lot more of my dreams than my friends and thought it would be interesting to begin writing them down. Ten years later and I still try to record what dreams I can.
With so many years of journaling under my belt, I’ve had time to try out many different types of journals and the various writing utensils that can go with it. So to anyone interested in starting a journal or in the market for a new one, here are my tips on picking the perfect journal. The first thing I would determine when picking out a journal is whether or not you want the pages to be lined. I personally prefer lined, though if you like the type of journaling that involves drawing or doodling, unlined paper may be the better option. Size is also another component to consider when choosing a journal. My first journal was very small but as I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that I now tend to lean toward medium or planner-sized journals. Some journals also come with a little tassel attached to mark your spot.
The last and probably most fun part of picking out a journal is the cover. Maybe this makes me a little nerdy but I’m a sucker for a cool cover. I’ve had fabric-covered ones, handmade ones made from recycled paper, ones with pictures scattered throughout, and ones with foil or quotes on them. And because my family and friends are aware I like to journal, a number of my journals have actually been gifts which is really cool because it means I think of them whenever I use that particular journal. This also means that I haven’t had to buy myself a journal in about 5 years and won’t for another year or two because I’ve got a few empty ones waiting to be filled.
As for the writing utensils, I’ve also experimented quite a bit with them. Personally, I do not recommend using pencil because the pages start to rub together after a while (even if it’s just sitting on your shelf) and the words start to fade and rub together into a light gray smudge. I learned this the hard way so now I tend to use either pen or marker. I also like switching it up and using different colors because, why not? Life’s too short to stick to just black and blue. And, also because I’m just that geeky, I have a preference when it comes to pen nibs. Does anyone else have a preference or is it just me? Though I have and do use both, I have to admit that I like a fine point pen a bit more than a ballpoint pen. Pilot and Sharpie Pen make some good fine point pens that I really like. Pilot also makes some good ballpoint pens.
Do any of you like to journal? What are some favorite journal covers you’ve had?