I have a serious problem collecting thick notebooks and the best journals for writing. There's something compelling about an empty notebook or journal. It brings to mind the last days of summer when my mother would shop for our school supplies. Those empty notebooks would sit on the couch waiting for me to fill them with all the things I'd learn throughout the year. I'd be filled with this sense of anticipation.
When you're a serious hoarder of notebooks and journals like me, you always have some favorites. They're the ones with the smooth, thick pages where the pen skims fluidly across the space. Either you love them for their convenience, how important they feel, or how they seem to hold their breath in anticipation of the words you'll use to fill them.
Here are a few of the best journals for writing that I've found. They all serve a unique purpose.
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If you've ever woken up with a mysterious dream lingering in your head, you'll need to write it down before it disappears. You can use this dream journal to track things that might be worrying you, or use them for writing inspiration. I've written a few short stories based on dreams I've jotted down after awakening. Place your dream journal and pen near your bedside to write the bits and pieces of your dream as you wake. When you keep writing utensils and your journal together, you won't be fumbling around for them frantically as the dream starts to fade.
This journal is a soft, paperback book with 150 lined, 6 x 9 inch pages.
For my story outlines, I use a combination of a notebook and a word processing program. It's great to have the outline in front of me to flip through the pages. It helps me stay on track in the story and make changes with minimal fuss. I use a variety of notebooks, but the most important thing is the dividers to keep track of chapters and events in my story. If you use pencil on these dividers and tabs, they can be reused indefinitely.
These keep me organized with color-coded tabs that stick to the pages. I can reposition the tabs, and the package comes with 60 – 4 x 6 inch dividers.
This beautiful, little leather notebook will fit in your pocket or purse, so you can carry it around with you. The 3 x 5 recycled pages are enclosed in leather and secured with a brass clasp. The pages are blank without spaces allowing you to scribble down ideas, images, or snippets of conversations heard throughout your day. Often, this can be a great way to be inspired later if you have writer's block. Skim the book to find long-forgotten ideas, which you wouldn't be able to do had you not written them down immediately.
When writing, it's important to practice constantly. That means taking your innermost thoughts and bringing them to bear on paper. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you can benefit from the act of writing in a journal. Many famous writers like Virginia Woolf credit improvement to their fiction writing to the act of writing in a journal regularly. Some people use it to write down their feelings that day, events that happened, or digging deeper to past important life events.
This personal diary has 160 lined pages with 5 x 7 inch paper. The binding allows it to be laid flat for easy writing.
An achievement journal helps you keep track of goals and achievements. This notebook can also be used as a bullet journal to track steps to complete your goals as well as a reward system to keep you on task. It can be used for fiction writing goals or personal goals like work organization, fitness goals, or weight loss, depending on your current goals at the moment. You could track multiple goals in this journal.
The paper is a bit thin, so you'll have to be careful about markers bleeding through to the next pages. I use colored pencils in mine to create a daily journal. The cover is soft and flexible. There are 600 – 6 x 8.25 pages in the journal.
This is an excellent book filled with essays from terrific writers who explain how journals and notebooks have inspired their creativity as well as providing tips and tricks for readers to get more out of their journal and notebook process.