Journaling is having a moment: bullet journals are being touted as a solution for basically everything, gratitude journaling is making thankfulness happen all year round, and it seems more people are turning to handwritten reflection in a world where tweets can, and will, come back to haunt you.
The perks of writing things down in a digital world can’t be understated, and keeping a journal makes organizing your own thoughts that much easier. Not to mention some researchers are finding that because of this self-organization and reflection, journaling may help you manage stress, anxiety and depression. And the journaling perks don’t stop there: as the Harvard Business Review explains, the habit can help you professionally, too. Many business leaders keep journals, as this Forbes article points out, as taking time to mull over decisions, reflect and see problems from different perspectives is a skill that sets one up for success in the office or outside of it.
Choosing the right notebook for you is important: while for many the world of notebook hunting is a gleeful rabbit hole reminiscent of middle school supply shopping, it can also be a wormhole that prevents you from actually getting started. To start writing, scrawling, drawing and creating today, try these top picks from Amazon.
Leuchtturm’s slogan is “details make all the difference,” and you (and 1,984 Amazon reviewers) can likely see why: the pages are numbered, there’s a table of contents for you to keep track of where your brilliant ideas are, two string bookmarks (take that, Moleskine) and a handy back pocket. My favorite feature is that it lays flat, meaning you can use every inch of the notebook to capture your thoughts and never have to uncomfortably wrestle with the binding to do so. Plus, this notebook comes in 17 striking colors. (The lemon yellow and army green are my personal faves, if you’re wondering.)
This beautiful spiral notebook is simple and to the point, which seems like just the sort of vibe you want to conjure when using graph paper. There are no frills here, just smooth, off-white A5 paper, a sleek black cover and overall design, and a slim build that makes it perfect for throwing in your bag and thinking on the go. And if you're into the gridded route but aren't quite sure if this one is right for you, check out other recommendations here.
Midori Horizontal Ruled Line, $9.65
This slim cotton notebook is unfussy but beautiful, which makes it a fantastic choice for your writing needs, whether you’re working on the Next Great American Novel or reflecting on relationships past. This notebook is literally a blank slate: you can draw on the cover or get a notebook jacket if you’re into that. In addition to its simple presentation, this notebook lies flat and has very smooth paper, which makes writing in it an absolute joy.
If the Midori above was a durable yet slightly more delicate option, this notebook is literally the swiss army knives of notebooks. You can write in the rain and it still works: yes, the paper is literally waterproof. Carrying an all-weather notebook certainly makes your words seem more, well, sturdy. But even if you’re not planning on writing during storms, the small notebook is the perfect size for writing to-do lists and thoughts on the go.
If you’re looking for a blank notebook, the world is really your oyster. But this minimalist and cost-friendly option from Muji is a perfect place so start. It’s durable and spiral bound yet thin enough to carry around with you.
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