Growing Up + Writing It Down (+15 Journal Picks)

If there’s one sentiment I whisper over and over again on this blog, lately and forever, it’s to write it all down. Your heart. Your fears. Your progress.

Remember where you’ve been and watch yourself grow and shift and change because it would be easy, how easy, to forget.

Two weeks ago, after being kicked in the knees by an unexpected twist, I sat down to devote myself wholly to sending out Christmas cards. The problem, it seemed, was in deciding what to write on them. What I didn’t want was a big obnoxious photo of myself sitting smack in the middle—I wanted them to be thank-you notes.

I wanted them to nudge my favorite souls, most of them knee deep in transitions, into a beautiful new year: 2013.

So I dubbed 2013 the year of opportunities, because I figure we create our own opportunities, and what better way than to say it before the countdown even begins, before the ball even drops, before the crowd even forms inside the nooks and crannies of Times Square?

Then, my buddy Sara Brink shared this photo of a 2013 journal on the Close Reads Café twitter feed. And Google corralled me into another and pretty soon I was dedicating this post to showing you how to write down your hopes and dreams and fears and appreciations because guess what ladies and gentlemen? December has taught me—for years now—that goodbyes are utterly unprecedented.

Here are my journal picks:


1) The Gratitude Journal
Whether or not your journal actually says, “Write down all the things you’re grateful for” (left), part of reflecting is learning to document those people, places, memories, etc. that are sweeter than sugar cookies on a rainy day. | Buy It: Etsy


journal-theyear2) The “Everything I Want To Accomplish” Journal
Literature on tackling dreams suggests that accountability is a major factor. If you write it down, you’re more likely to follow through with it. Likewise, if you tell someone, and they check in periodically, you’re also more likely to cross the metaphorical finish line. | Buy It: Etsy


journal-resolutions3) The Resolution Journal
In my head, this isn’t the same as a dream journal. Resolutions are more like improvements or habit-crushers. Especially for anyone who has hardcore resolutions, like major weight loss or quitting smoking or drinking, documentation plays two roles: planning the process and monitoring progress. | Buy It: Etsy



4) The Journey Journal
This has been described more as a travel journal, and that’s certainly fair, but I’m of the mindset that this stretch of my twenties is a journey within a much larger journey (my whole life) and documenting something your college experience or study abroad trip or alternative spring break may seem tedious when all you want to do is BE, but it’ll be those small moments, the feelings really, that you won’t remember easily in ten years. | Buy It: Etsy


journal-createwrite5) The Creative’s Journal
Part of the creative process is about freedom. You could have a journal dedicated to anything and everything, but do you really want your novel ideas or logo mockups sitting next to your rants and raves? The creative mind is already messy; the least you can do is separate it from your personal thoughts. | Buy It: Etsy

Some Other Fun & Specialized Journals:
The Happiness Project Journal | Quotable Create Yourself Journal | Albert Einstein Quote Journal | Write What Should Not Be Forgotten Journal | The Idea Notebook | Y’all Gonna Make Me Write Some Words Journal | The Q&A 5-Year Journal | Looking Back, Looking Forward Planner | Write Everyday Agenda* | Wish Jar Journals

*The nerd in me cringes when I read this because it should be the Write Every Day Journal (not everyday), but that’s the official name. **Credit for many of these picks goes to Sara Brink and her love of all things awesome.

What are some of your favorite journals? Do you keep a journal/wish you did and where do you buy them? I could use some recommendations.


5 responses to “Growing Up + Writing It Down (+15 Journal Picks)

  1. lettersfromasomedayeditor

    I love this post! Happy I was able to help. I actually own journal #4, and documented my trip to Europe in it. It’s a cute little thing. Love all of your descriptions, too– you might be one of the people I tell my “goals” and “plans” to in the near future so you can keep a watch on me. 😉

  2. I love this post!! 🙂 I forget where I saw it (and I kick myself every time I think about it), but I saw a description of someone’s journal collection written by one of their employees. I’m pretty sure it was an editor of a magazine or something and the employee saw their giant chest full of random journals and notepads. She said something about how he would write on anything and he was so passionate about writing that he spent a lot of time and money finding fun new materials to write with/on. Since I’ve seen that, I’ve made a huge point to enjoy the novelty and buy new amd different journals to enjoy. 🙂 I haven’t gotten one yet, but “Wrekc This Journal” has been on my radar for a while. 🙂 There’s more than one, too!

  3. Thanks for the honor of featuring my 365 Things I Am Grateful For journal…makes me smile!

  4. Thank YOU for making such a wonderful journal. Perfect idea for the year ahead.

  5. I have the Y’all Gonna Make Me Write Some Words journal 🙂 I actually got the three pack with that, the Writers Block is for Chumps, and the triangles one (which i gifted to my roommate)

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