The 5 Best Unique Writing Journals
If you’ve ever regularly written in a journal or diary, you know that it can feel good to record your thoughts. The best unique writing journals provide the perfect opportunity for self-reflection, gratitude, and documenting life moments. And journaling is actually really important — according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you manage manage stress and anxiety, or cope with depression. Plus, a 2005 study published by the The Royal College of Psychiatrists showed that participants who did expressive writing, including writing about stressful or emotional events, showed improvements in both their psychological and physical health.
But with so many journals to choose from, how do you find the right one for you? As you’re shopping for a new journal, first consider how often you plan to write. Many of the most unique journals are designed to be used every day, but undated guided journals (which usually include prompts or questions to get you thinking) and personalized blank journals may offer you a lot more flexibility in timing. Also think about what you’d like to focus on with your journal — some guided journals focus on cultivating gratitude, some are best for recording experiences, and some help you compare your thoughts over time. There are even journals designed to help you plan activities (such as travel) and record how things go.
Below you’ll find five of the greatest, most unique journals you can snag on Amazon. The best part about these journals? You can make them all completely — and uniquely — your own.
1. The Best Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals can be a great way to integrate positivity and mindfulness into your everyday life, and Good Days Start With Gratitude is a budget-friendly place to start if you've never tried it before. Each weekly spread contains an inspirational quote and spaces to list things you are thankful for each day, and it'll last you a whole 52 weeks. It's best not to skip days so that you can keep pace with the weekly layout, but it's so easy that you shouldn't have too hard a time keeping up.
I was gifted this one, and I like that it’s really basic and quick to use, making it practical for a lot of people, particularly on busy days. If you're looking for another kind of positivity-building journal, check out this list of gratitude journals.
Reviewers say: “It is so intentional and is a very easy routine to incorporate into your daily life to be more mindful and grateful. You also can’t beat the price!”
2. The Best Journal To Spark Creativity
This Start Where You Are journal is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to flex their creative muscles — at whatever pace that feels best to you. It's beautifully designed with full-color illustrations throughout, and it contains inspiring quotations, questions, and prompts to get you thinking and self-reflecting. What sets this journal apart from others on this list is that the prompt types vary, encouraging you to draw, make lists, etc. Plus, the pages aren’t lined so you can actually respond to many questions however you’d like, with illustrations or just with writing.
Reviewers say: “This book is a great way to start a journaling practice without being intimidated. Take each page and use it as a daily or weekly prompt and reconnect with yourself. A fun mix of writing, drawing, coloring etc that leads you inside to what your heart desires. Highly recommend for yourself and for gift giving.”
3. The Best Journal For Tracking Personal Development
Designed to be used over time, each dated page of Q&A a Day offers one question for you to answer on that particular day of the year for five years in a row. This layout allows you to reflect back on how you felt about that particular topic over the course of half a decade, and to compare and contrast your answers. You'll be surprised by how much things can change over time!
If you want more freedom to write whatever you’d like, try the One Line a Day journal, which just has lined space to write in over five years, rather than questions to answer.
Reviewers say: “If you want a quick and easy way to track your personal development, I think this would be a worthwhile I investment. I've already ordered a new one to start on my upcoming birthday-- so in 2021 I'll have a 10yr self-study.”
4. The Best Travel Journal
If you're a big traveler, you should definitely check out the Moleskine Traveller's Journal, which provides a framework for planning and documenting up to six large and 20 small trips trips. It also includes pages with tips and tools, including budgeting and checklist pages, an eight-year calendar, and a timeline for serious travel planning. The Wish List section encourages you to dream big when it comes to travel adventures and the Travel Memories sections allow you to record your journal entries on the go. Plus, it has a pocket in the back to save brochures, maps, and other mementos — and it comes with themed stickers.
Reviewers say: “Can’t say enough about this journal. Covers all the bases and is beautiful too.”
5. The Best Leather Journal With A Personalized Cover
This personalized leather journal may not be a guided journal, but that doesn't mean it isn't unique — far from it! You can make your journal completely one-of-a-kind by selecting from 10 different designs and adding a laser engraving of your choice. The cover is made of faux leather and is available in seven colors, while the interior pages are lined for easy writing.
Reviewers say: “This personalized journal is absolutely gorgeous. The quality, color, feel, and the detailing of the name I had put on it...it's really just beautiful.”
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Baikie, K. A. and Wilhelm, K. (2005) Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.11.5.338