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We're big proponents of journaling. Whether you’re using one to write down all of your thoughts and emotions, as a way to organize your life, or simply as a vessel to hold countless daily lists, one journal can go a long way. And sure, you could use any old notebook to do all of the above, but why do that when gorgeous journals are a dime a dozen?
Whether you're looking for an unassuming journal that'd be easy for nosy housemates to overlook or an in-your-face design that doubles as coffee table décor, you've got options. From handsome leather-bound hardcovers to prompt-filled books that'll spark some inspiration, these are our favorite journals now.
Papier Personalized Leather Notebook
There’s something about a leather-bound journal that feels utterly sophisticated and particularly grown-up. London-based brand Papier—known for its wide array of stunning stationary and journals—offers an assortment of different options, all made from premium upcycled leather.
Take your pick from pine green, royal blue, or navy, as well as seven different cover designs, each imprinted with silver, gold, or rose gold foil. Added monogramming and a ribbon marker make for the perfect finishing touches on these stunners.
& So They Made Personalized Interests Observer-Style Notebook
It should come as no surprise that Etsy—one of our go-tos for one-of-a-kind finds—boasts an incredible selection journals. While many are eye-catching, & So They Made's Personalized Interests Notebook is a real standout.
Shop owners Hannah and Josh say their design is inspired by vintage reference books. With each journal, you get to specify not only text for the front cover, but also the spine (you can even include volume number). Consider getting one per year to chronicle your thoughts or get a few that are dedicated to various interests and topics. With a soft faux-leather covers in a rainbow of hues, the journals basically beg to be stacked as a set on your bookshelf.
Decomposition Recycled Notebook
If you have a fondness for the composition books of high school or college days gone by, consider a journal from Decomposition. The brand's vintage-style notebooks are college-ruled and made of 100 percent recycled paper and soy ink. Scrap any ideas you have of a boring black and white cover, though. Decomposition notebooks come in a variety of whimsical prints from landscapes and animals to florals and food (because who wouldn't want an illustrated guide to fromage on the cover of their journal?)
If a full-size notebook isn't really your style, Decomposition has smaller options, too. Check out their medium- or pocket-size journals which have all of the same features just in a shrunken-down size.
Rustico Writer’s Log Large Refillable Notebook
Those looking for a long-lasting journal can stop their search now. The Writer's Log from Rustico is hand constructed from top-grain leather and it features a flap-tie closure and 192 lined pages. While running out of pages typically means you have to buy a new journal entirely, that isn't the case here. Once you've filled up every page of the log, you can purchase a new insert and keep on writing.
The Writer's Log is available in nine different colors, but if you ask us, the neutral buckskin can't be beat. You can also opt for laser engraving if you're looking to add your initials or customize it as a gift.
The Five-Minute Journal by Intelligent Change
The old "I don’t have time to journal" excuse doesn't fly when it comes to Intelligent Change's Five-Minute Journal. The book features writing prompts and sections for both morning and evening contemplation.
With an emphasis on cultivating gratitude and focusing on the positive, you can complete each page in, well, just five minutes. We also appreciate the included inspirational quotes, as well as the simple yet chic linen cover.
Moleskine Cahier Journal
The small size of Moleskin's Cahier Journal—it's just 3.5 x 5.5. inches—makes it an ideal on-the-go option. Keep it in your purse, glove compartment, or pocket, even, and you'll be able to jot things down as you think of them.
Since the cult-favorite notebook is so affordable, you can easily stock up on multiples, too. (We suggest getting one for grocery lists exclusively—it's much better than a stack of Post-It notes.) Moleskin's notebook is available in six solid colors and you can choose between lined, unlined, or gridded pages.
Anthropologie Ula Raffia Journal
Anthropologie's Ula Raffia Journal strays away from leather or paper bindings choosing to channel coastal sophistication with raffia instead. The journal is handmade by artisans in Bali and Java, and the woven texture contrasts perfectly with the buttery-soft suede tie closure.
With 176 unlined pages, there's plenty of room for sketching, doodling, and writing. It’s so pretty that we could even see it displayed as coffee table or nightstand décor.
Chronicle Books One Line a Day Journal
If you’ve always wanted to keep a journal, but are too intimidated by the process or aren’t quite sure where to begin, this offers the perfect solution. With Chronicle Books' One Line a Day Journal, all you have to do is write—you guessed it—a single line per day.
The journal has enough room to capture five years’ worth of daily moments, and once it's full, you’ll be left with a beautiful keepsake and time capsule that's documented all of the most important events in your recent life.
Shinola Large Journal Cover with Tab
Shinola is a Detroit-based brand known for its leather goods, and this leather-bound journal proves why. With a sleek and professional appearance, it works just as well in the office as at home.
The large journal is bound in the brand’s signature leather which develops its own patina over time. Raw-cut edges add visual interest, while unlined pockets on the interior up the practicality aspect.
Knock Knock Affirmators! Journal
An irreverent and fresh take on traditional self-help books, this journal is packed with guided affirmations and positive vibes—all in the most non-eye-rolly way possible. The journal's 128 pages feature witty (yet spot-on) affirmations on all kinds of topics from patience to courage, plus plenty of writing prompts to help get your journaling juices going.
If you’re looking for a place to pour out thoughts and emotions, or hoping to journal your way to a better self, this is the place to do it.