Old leather bound journal on wooden table with a open compass on top and a pen and ink well to the right for a post titled4 Types of Journals: Which One Fits Your Style?  H

Old leather bound journal on wooden table with a open compass on top and a pen and ink well to the right for a post titled4 Types of Journals: Which One Fits Your Style?  vJournals have long been cherished to capture thoughts, ideas, emotions, and memories.

Whether you are a passionate writer, an avid planner, or simply seeking a creative outlet, there is a journal that perfectly fits your unique needs.

The right writing companion can make all the difference in capturing your thoughts, emotions, creative ideas, and precious memories. Just like finding your favorite writing tool, you're going to notice that you prefer specific types of paper, sizes, and binding styles. When you find your ideal journal, you'll notice that you'll write more and more often, and feel creatively inspired to begin enjoying the benefits of journaling.

Let's look at your journal design options to discover the ideal writing companion for you!

Old leather bound journal with a sprig of greens in the leather wrap, a pen, and bush branches on the right for a post titled4 Types of Journals: Which One Fits Your Style?

1. Traditional Journal:

When you picture Lewis & Clark, Indiana Jones, or a sea captain with his journal, what do you picture?

Usually, they have a rugged-looking leather, hand-bound, thick 6 x 9” journal that’s either carried in their hand or sitting at their desk, ready for them to enter their discoveries of the day or to document the details of their journey. You expect to see paragraphs of their story, numbers, symbols, sketches of a map, and illustrations as needed to preserve their experience.

Some of the journals were carried in a special pouch, some were locked, and others used belt-like strapping to secure them from opening during adventures. Their romantic beauty still inspires journal writers today.

These journals tend to be more expensive especially if they’re made by hand and include specialty leathers, tooling, metal accents, and hand-made papers. However, attractive contemporary variations are available at a much lower price point.

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Contemporary traditional journals can have lined or blank pages and are usually bound on the longer left side. They range in size from 4 x 6” to 18 x 24”. Some writers prefer the look of unlined text-weight pages. If the weight is light enough, you can use a line guide (placed behind the page) to guide your spacing and keep your sentences consistent and straight.

You can choose from a wide range of papers to fit your needs. A thicker page is encouraged for those who enjoy including art or attaching mementos. You can explore various art mediums, experiment with mixed media techniques, and combine your thoughts with vibrant visuals without worrying about the pages distorting from moisture or weight.

If this is the style you choose, make sure you don’t just put it on a shelf. Too often a gorgeous journal, like a blank white canvas, is intimidating and challenging to make the first mark. Force yourself to make the first mark, let your creativity flow, and witness your emotions come alive on the pages.

Cypress essential oil will help create a feeling of security and grounding or Idaho Grand Fir to help ground and empower, helping you stimulate your mind while your body relaxes as you journal about a wild adventure! If you’re incorporating visuals or looking to enhance your artistic journey, remember that essential oils like Bergamot or Ylang Ylang can inspire creativity and provide a sensory experience.

Three stacked notebook style journals with a pen on top.  A clipboard, open calendar, plant, cup of coffee and paper clips sit next to it on the table for a post titled4 Types of Journals: Which One Fits Your Style?

2. The Classic Notebook:

The classic notebook is timeless, inexpensive, and versatile.

With its clean pages and durable construction, it offers blank lined pages ready to be filled with your thoughts, dreams, or even sketches. Use it as a personal diary, a gratitude journal, temporary note-taking, or a brainstorming tool for your creative projects.

The classic notebook journal can be found as small as pockets size up to 8 ½ x 11”.
Their bindings can be stitched, stapled, or glued. They can be top or side-bound and vary in the paper weight and line spacing from wide to college rule.

If the classic notebook is for you, we'd recommend diffusing essential oils like Lavender or Frankincense for a calming atmosphere or Peppermint for focus and clarity.

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3. Guided Journals:

Guided journals provide structure and prompts to inspire deeper introspection and self-discovery.

Guided journals are as diverse as our communities! They offer specific themes related to your age, life stage, ailment or concern, special interests, the holiday season, hobbies, sports, crops, pets, food, and more. Their journal prompts are designed to lead you through the process of recording your thoughts or key moments through your progression. For example, a “Baby’s First Year” or “Weight Loss Journey” guided journals depend on specific dates and accomplishments

Guided journals focus on personal development or self-care like gratitude journals encouraging appreciation and mindfulness journals promoting presence and reflection. These guided companions help you embark on a transformative journaling practice.

While working in your guided journal, consider Joy essential oil or Release to uplift your spirit and create an atmosphere of emotional wellness as you navigate through your journaling experience. Create a calming and introspective atmosphere with essential oils like Frankincense or Peace & Calming.

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4. Bullet Journals:

Bullet journals have gained immense popularity due to their flexible organization system.

Bullet journals have bullet patterns (hence the name), shapes, and layouts to guide your journal entries. They mix organization and creativity by providing you with the starting structure and space to design your own unique layouts, trackers, and collections.

Bullet journals are used for both personal and business needs. Because they’re often project or list-related, the entries are more short-form vs. sentences and quick reminders vs long experiential reflections. Bullet-style journals combine to-do lists, habit trackers, calendars, and more in one place while adding artistic touches to make it truly your own.

For those who need quick reminders and visual cues, this style works very well. The shapes and layout provide perfect color-coding opportunities for organizing. They’re a fun and creative style that has helped people new to journaling start experiencing the benefits.

Is there a downside to bullet journals?

Ha! Well, there can be.

Many journalers report their purchases have become excessive because they’re obsessed with all the different options available to color code (colored pencils, gel pens, & markers) and the variety of templates for creative layouts.

As far as efficiency, the reports include many finding they’re spending so much time playing with the pages that they’re not as efficient with their time. If you know this describes you, plan your creative time to include brainstorming your projects and to-do lists to get the benefits of both. To help, enhance your focus and creativity while journaling with essential oils like Clarity or Citrus Fresh.

An open gratitude journal. Journal is a tri-fold design and page has a large red heart, plus there are 3 mini journals in front of that for for a post titled4 Types of Journals: Which One Fits Your Style?

Which of these 4 types of journals feels like it fits your style of journaling?

With an array of journal options available, finding the perfect writing companion becomes an exciting adventure. 

Whether you choose a traditional journal, a classic notebook, a guided journal, or a bullet journal, know that you will enjoy the time and benefits of journaling. When you find the structure that works best for you, your journal will become a cherished outlet and resource for your work, and your innermost thoughts and creative expressions.


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