As the end of the year draws to a close, with each New Year’s resolution made, promises for a better life, a new you, anything from goals to hopes and dreams and wishes, there are few things that are able to match the promise and potential of a new year as a new journal.
Whether the journaling is a new practise or it is something you are returning to, the excitement of a new journal in itself wraps up hopes, dreams and all things wonderful in to pages – just waiting to be filled.
Tips for Successful Journal Keeping
1. Make it part of your routine
Regardless of whether you write first thing in the morning or last thing before bedtime, make it a part of your routine and come back to it, day after day, ideally at the same time each day.
2. Don’t beat yourself up, if you miss a day or even several
Life happens. There may be, for whatever reason, days missed on your journal. No matter, just pick up where you left off and carry on. If you feel that you’d like to back-fill, do it, if not – no worries. A journal is there to support you, not the other way round.
3. Record the positive
There’s lots to be said about the joys in life and it is ultimately true that when you focus on all that is good, that will continue to show itself to you.
Some days will undoubtedly be better than others. Some days you might fly high and others not so. That said, the practise of focussing on the positive is nowhere as poignant as when you are journalling.
4. Look back
One of the greatest joys of journalling, year after year, is the surprise it will give you when you happen to take some time to look back. To turn back the pages to an earlier time, an earlier year, perhaps even ‘what I did today, 2 years ago’. Often it feels as if, time moved inexplicably fast, and yet, you will always be glad you captured the memory.
Among the most enticing journals we’ve seen around this year range from multi-year journals to alternative ones – such as the ‘One line a day’ or the ‘One sketch a day’. For some fun it might be an idea to try out Kerri Smith’s Wreck This Journal.
Best Multi-Year Journals
First, let’s take a look at keep sake multi-year journals. These journals have spaces for up to five years worth of journal-ling in them.
by Potter Style
A mother and child share so much together – countless milestones, simple joys, unexpected challenges, and all the little surprising moments in between. This five-year journal will help you capture it all. Simply turn to today’s date and take a few moments to answer the question at the top of the page. As the journal fills, it will become a loving record and cherished family keepsake.
by Potter Style
Q&A a Day for Creatives is your go-to source for inspiration, whimsy, and idea generation. Each page of this four-year journal features a compelling question designed to get you thinking drawing, and dreaming. Open the journal to today’s date and fill in the appropriate space as you see fit. As the journal fills year after year, you’ll own a showcase of your ever-growing creative output.
by Betsy Franco
Q&A a Day for Me is a one-sentence diary that prompts any teen to record best friends, worst haircuts, favorite outfits, and embarrassing moments. Filled with 365 questions, one on each page for every day of the year, a teen has the space to write down a short response every year for three years. It’s easy to get started—just turn to today’s date and take a minute to answer the question at the top of the page. As the years pass, he or she will have a keepsake time capsule that shows how much his or her answers change (and which ones remain the same)!
by Betsy Franco
A journal for parents and children ages roughly four to ten (although age range is flexible) to share the evolution of thoughts, feelings, and dreams over the years. Also great for kids who want to keep a time capsule of their own whimsical thoughts and serious ideas about the world.
by Potter Style
“With this one-sentence journal, couples can create a three-year time capsule of their relationship in the easiest way possible. Our Q&A a Day provides a question for every day of the year, with enough space for two people to jot down a one- or two-sentence response. Over a three-year period, both writers can see how their answers compare, contrast, and change as they create a lasting keepsake of their relationship.
by Chronicle Books
This classic memorykeeper is the perfect way to track the ups and downs of life, day by day. The 365 daily entries appear five times on each page, allowing users to revisit previous thoughts and memories over five years as they return to each page to record the current day’s events.
by Gretchen Rubin
365 days. 5 years. 1,825 happy moments. The Happiness Journal is the ideal project for anyone who is looking to add more meaning and happiness to their lives but is short on time. Based on the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, this five-year journal will help you make a time capsule of the next few years in the simplest way possible. You can start at any point in the year. Simply turn to today’s date, and take a few moments to think about the quote or question on the top of the page. Jot down your thoughts and perhaps a note about what made you happy. As the years go by you’ll notice how your responses evolve (or don’t) and discover the things that lead to lasting happiness. The quotes are interesting, funny, and always thought provoking.
by Peter Pauper Press
Not a multi-year journal but a journal nonetheless. This journal includes inspirational quotations here and there all with the aim of making a better believer of yourself. The fold over panel closes with a magnetic catch hidden way inside the cover to keep your writing secure. The journal has 160 lightly lined opaque pages with space for personal reflection, sketching, making lists or jotting down quotations or poems.
Best Artistic Journal for the Creatives
If you are not much for words and would prefer other forms of expression, such as sketching or colouring then these visual journals are for you.
by Books LLC Chronicle
This charming keepsake sketchbook features spaces to draw each day for one year. Visual journaling is vastly popular, and it’s easy to see why the practice of daily sketching allows budding artists to capture impressions that might otherwise pass them by, to see the evolution and rhythm of their thoughts and inspiration. Students, doodlers, aspiring and established artists will want to make this journal their constant companion, one they can then keep as a lasting record of their work and imagination.
by Emma Farrarons
Record your thoughts and activities in this beautiful colouring diary, filled with illustrations fromThe Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons. Each day is dated, but not named making this gorgeous diary suitable for use in any calendar year. With rounded edges and a beautiful foiled cover, The Mindfulness Colouring Diary is a perfectly portable way to achieve mindfulness every day.
What About Something Different
Just to be different, these quirky journals may just be what some of us need.
by Keri Smith
Think of Wreck This Journal as the anarchist’s Artist’s Way — the book for those who’ve always wanted to draw outside the lines but were afraid to do it.
For anyone who’s ever wished to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes Wreck This Journal, an illustrated book featuring a subversive collection of suggestions, asking readers to muster up their best mistake – and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them).
Through a series of creatively and quirkily illustrated prompts, acclaimed artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in “destructive” acts – poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, colouring outside the lines, and more – in order to experience the true creative process. With Keri Smith’s unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art and journal making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.
by David Sinden
Anti Journal is no ordinary journal, it’s an anarchic, therapeutic route to personal and artistic discovery packed with partially illustrated pages to complete in imaginative unconventional ways.
For all ages, bedroom journalers, total novices or professional artists, Anti Journal is sheer creative bliss and the catalyst for discovering your own twist: create, pattern, draw, paint, disguise, stain, collage, construct, colour, stitch, sketch, write, tape, document and discover talents you never knew you had. Create beyond the norm: use paint, pens, pencils, chalk, but how about old clothes, fruit peel, cellphones, emotions, highlighters, digital media, physical actions, junk, photography and nature too? Anti Journal knows no boundaries or rules. It’s the personal tool for expression and will stir your imagination out of even the deepest slumber.
No matter where you go, just carry your handy-sized Anti Journal in your bag and live a more creative life. It’s therapeutic, joyous and expressive – its journaling outside of the box.
Whether you decide that a journal from this list is the one to get your started on your journalling journey, or something else that catches your eye, enjoy the journey, revel in all the good that surrounds your every day and have yourself an amazing New Year.