What's the best journal for me? Three journals that really work.

How do you choose the right journal for you?

Finding your perfect journal can be tricky. There are so many journals out there how do you choose the journal that’s right for you?

In this blog post I have identified three types of journal that really work, and they are all different, so I’m betting that one type will be just the thing for you.

kelly herrick journals that work blog

Journalling is a really powerful way of getting stuff out of your head, pouring your heart out, working through stuff and planning. Journalling can also be super-helpful in getting to know yourself better. There’s so many ways to use a journal I thought it would be helpful for me to outline three and give you the pros and cons of each journal.

There are tons of styles of journals available, ones that you write in, ones that you draw in, paper ones, online ones, general ones and specific ones (think Yoga Journal, Dog Journal, University Journal)… Finding the best journal for you is about understanding why you want to create one. Ask yourself

What do I want to get from journalling? Which journal is right for me?

Once you know what end result you want the choice should be easier. For example if you are looking for freestyle inspirations then a doodle journal might work for you, if you are looking to create a life vision then a planning journal might be the best fit.

The three journals that work

1: The Freestyle Journal (aka a notebook)

I like this type of journal because it’s a blank sheet of paper. Literally and emotionally speaking. The example I used above ‘Write it Down’ came from Asda. Be sure to choose one with a design that inspires you.

Pros of using a freestyle journal:

  • It is totally open and unfettered - go wild

  • The power is in your hands - it can be whatever you want it to be

  • It’s flexible - you can doodle one day and write an essay the next

Cons of using a freestyle journal:

  • If you need inspiration maybe a blank sheet of paper isn’t for you

  • It’s not as easy to track over time because what you create changes on a daily basis

  • You might stray, without structure you might be tempted to let it drift…

2: The Short Journal

I love this type of journal! It’s super-snackable. The ‘365 days of Happiness’ journal above is available from Paperchase. How fab is this? Look at those rainbow colours and that pom pom #joyful!

Pros of using a short journal:

  • It fits in with your day - 2 mins is all it takes!

  • It keeps you focused on one thing - like happiness in this journal. One line journals keep you focused on one thought

  • It’s easier to track a trend over time as you can compare day by day

Cons of using a short journal:

  • If you need to purge and write your heart out there’s not really the room for it…

  • If you want to explore things in depth then this jumps from day to day rather then going into layers

  • It’s quick, so if you need more ‘me time’, more reflection, then you might want a longer process to enjoy

3: The Life Planning Journal

The one above is a wonderfully curated journal by Kristina Karlsson. I say curated because you will be co-authoring this too! It’s available at Kikki-K. There is also an accompanying guide.

Pros of using a life planning journal:

  • If you need structure and inspiration this is ideal

  • If you want to look at the bigger picture and progress to building a vision this is perfect

  • The prompts and exercises will help you think about things in a new way

Cons of using a life planning journal:

  • If you find it tough to stick to someone else’s plan you might chafe at the structure

  • It takes commitment to work through it, but the rewards are worth it!

  • Its not a simple snapshot in time, but a developmental process. How lovely.

So I hope that gives you some help and advice in choosing the right journal for you. I really hope that you get one of these little books of wonder in your Christmas stocking!

Taking the time for yourself to reflect, plan, write it down and express yourself is both important and powerful. These journals, or any others, will help you find your voice and create a clearer sense of your identity - so find that precious time to be you.

Journals for your Christmas list!

Please share with me the journals that you love and the journalling prompts and exercises too. You can follow me and share via my facebook page.


Kelly Herrick is a coach & collaborator who helps people access more freedom & joy. She is also the strategic lead in an international design agency, a painter and mum of two boys.

Please get in touch and let me know your thoughts. You can find me on Facebook or Instagram at @iamkellyherrick. Or through the website kellyherrick.com.

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