Are you ready to start your journaling adventure? It’s time to choose your journal! Shopping for a new journal isn’t as easy as it appears. There are many types of journals available, and the one you ultimately decide upon should align with your journaling goals.
There are different types of journals, but there are also different styles of journals as well. This post will walk you through everything you need to know about the different styles and types of journals to get the perfect journal for you!
Table of Contents
Sorry – Not Scholarly Journals
Before we get types of journals, let’s detour and talk about scholarly and peer-reviewed journals. There are tons of scientific journals, medical journals, research journals, and informed opinions based on heavy research. We aren’t talking about that here. Check out this website if you’re looking for information on scholarly research!
We’re talking about a very different type of journal without jargon and footnotes. We’re talking about the journals you use every day to help you understand yourself better. Each type of journal has a place – but we’re more interested in the personal here than in research. Sorry if anyone took an unexpected detour!
Now that we’ve cleared up any confusion, let’s dive into journal types!
Styles of Journals
First, we’re going to talk about the different styles of journals. If you want your journal to be anything and everything, you don’t have to worry about the specific type, but you should get the style that fits you the best.
A lined journal is a typical diary-style journal with lines in it. This journal doesn’t have any prompts but is full of lined pages to write out your thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams. A traditional lined journal is what most people think of when they think journal.
It’s the best type of journal out there, in my opinion. Lined journals are versatile and easy to use and understand. You can use a lined journal in place of any of the other journals on this list. However, if you need extra inspiration and want some flare or prompts to go along with your journal, the types of journals on this list can help you!
You can get a gorgeous, leatherbound lined journal at Soothi. They also have some of the other journal styles available as well!
Blank Page Journal
A blank page journal is better than a lined journal if you want to add sketches and drawings to your journal. Some of us use our journals for doodling, and it’s far more fun if you don’t have lines blocking your way!
The disadvantage to a blank journal, in my opinion, is writing in a straight line. My sentence will not be straight if I don’t have a solid line to write on. Some people can write straight naturally, and I envy those folks. I’m not one of them.
A bullet journal is a journal with pages filled with little dots, or bullets, in a grid. These bullets help you design your perfect journal. You can draw lines using the grid, but you can also use it to create a planner, to-do lists, and even doodle without lines getting in the way.
Bullet journals are all the rage, and they are fantastic for folks who want to design their perfect journal.
Types of Bullet Journal
One of the great things about bullet journals is that you can use them for nearly anything. However, a few kinds of journals lend themselves to bullet journaling rather than the other journal styles.
Here are the kinds of journals that work best with a bullet journal style:
- Productivity Journals
- Goal setting/tracking, to-do-lists,
- Planning Journals
- Schedules, chore charts, appointments
- Tracking Journals
- Mood trackers, fitness trackers, lifestyle trackers
There are so many other things you can do with a bullet journal. Check out our epic list of bullet journal spread ideas for more inspiration!
All-in-one notebooks are a cross between a journal and a planner. These have schedules, calendars, task lists, and extra room for you to write out your daily thoughts. I only like these types of journals for planning and scheduling. I prefer not to brain dump right onto my schedule! However, everyone is different, and if you want one spot for all your needs, an all-in-one planner is worth checking out.
My favorite all-in-one is the all-in-one Planner from Ivory Planner. It is much more of a planner than a journal, so keep that in mind before purchasing!
Types of Journals
Sometimes, you need a little more guidance on your journey to self-enlightenment, and that’s where the different types of journals can be helpful.
These journals will often have prompts, images, quotes, and other design elements specifically related to the journal’s purpose. A food journal may have a calorie chart, while a gratitude journal may have prompts regarding thankfulness. Every journal is different, though. One brand of gratitude journal may offer things that another brand doesn’t provide.
Below are the different types of journals available, along with my favorite place to get each type! Remember that you can also get a blank journal of any style and turn it into any of these journal types.
A gratitude journal is a journal made specifically to help you with gratitude and thankfulness. Promptly journals has a beautiful gratitude journal filled with prompts on self-reflection. The journal will help you realize all the wonderful things you have going on in your life and enables you to be thankful for those things.
A memory journal can help us remember important events in our lives. It’s akin to a diary, where you write down what you want to remember, but I think it can be much more than that.
I consider a memory journal a cross between a journal and a scrapbook. I write significant events down, doodle, add images, and tape memorabilia like concert tickets or random scraps.
The great thing about a memory journal is that it can be whatever you want. You can get a blank journal and use it as a memory journal, or you can go to a craft store like Michaels and get some scrapbooking stuff and turn your memory journal into an image-filled scrapbook. Journaling is a personal experience, and the right way to do it is whatever way works for you.
A diary is a specific type of journal that allows you to record your thoughts and feelings for a particular day and time. Many people also use their logs to record specific events that are important in their lives and how the emotions they have during these events.
The great thing about a diary is that there is no right or wrong way to use one. Write whatever you want in it. Use it to tell a story about your day or explain why you feel a certain way about a specific event. Diaries can help us work out complex feelings we didn’t know we had or simply allow us to record the happenings in our daily lives.
Food journals can help you on your weight loss journey. In this type of journal, you write down your meals, including everything you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks. You also record the calories to get an idea of how many calories you consume each week.
The best food journals also offer space for you to write down your daily exercise. The key to losing weight is calories in versus calories out, so the food is only half the journey. You can get free printable food journal pages on WebMD, but if you want a solid journal that you can carry with you, check out theLife and Apples Wellness planner available on Amazon. It has space for your food journal and includes a meal planner and a section on gratitude!
If you want a journal that will help you remember your travel experiences, keep track of your bucket list destinations, and help you find new and exciting places to visit, you need a travel journal.
Typically, when I travel, I prefer to bring a small pocket-sized journal that is easy to carry. I want to jot down my memories and any information that could be useful to you all when I write about it in the travel section! I recommend a small Moleskine journal that you can get at Barnes & Noble. Moleskine is durable, so it won’t get destroyed if it gets shuffled around in your backpack!
However, my best friend bought me a fantastic prompt-filled travel journal last Christmas. It’s called a Travel Listography, and it helps you explore the world with lists. It has prompts and lists ideas for tons of things that I wouldn’t have even considered, like the best neighborhoods I’ve visited and the most interesting historical cemeteries. It’s a fun way to look at traveling from a different perspective.
A grief journal helps you heal from a traumatic event. These events might include losing a loved one or difficulty starting a family. Grief journals come with prompts designed to help you work through the complicated emotions inherent with loss.
While it’s heartbreaking that this journal is needed, the fact is many of us experience loss. A grief journal can help us process that loss. Promptly journals offer the most in-depth selection of grief journals that I have seen. If you are in need, this is an excellent place to start.
Artists and creatives use art journals to jot down ideas and sketch out prototypes. These journals are made for doodling! Sometimes artists want to do a quick sketch of an idea they were considering or write notes about the next masterpiece they will create. A journal is a perfect place for artists to collect their thoughts and keep their projects on track.
Traditional, unlined journals are best for art journals, but you need to make sure you’re getting something made for art. The paper in art journals is generally thicker than in traditional journals so that you can experiment with different mediums right on the journal pages without ruining the book. The visual journal, available on Amazon, is an excellent choice for a blank art journal. Michaels also has a fantastic selection of art journals, sketch pads, and drawing books.
There are also art journals available that have prompts. These journals give you daily sketch ideas or other artistic inspiration. The Painted Art Journal, available on Amazon, is the epidemy of this type of journal. It has 24 prompts designed to help you create your artistic narrative and ask you to explore various mediums on your journey.
A junk journal is a journal that you get to make from stuff you find around the house. Use paper scraps, cardboard, poster board, and notepads to create a journal that is uniquely you.
Junk journals are fun because you get a bonus crafting activity with them. Many people use their junk journals as art journals or diaries, but your imagination is the only limit.
A meditation journal will help guide you through your meditative process. Some might have prompts for setting intentions for your meditation, while others may ask that you reflect upon the thoughts you had while meditating.
A great way to get into the process of journaling for meditation is by joining Silk & Sonder’s journaling club. They have a subscription-based journaling program that includes access to their app, a member’s only community, and daily affirmations and exercises to help you on your journey. The subscription also consists of the monthly journal!
A dream journal helps you remember and understand your dreams. I keep a dream journal under my bed so I can grab it first thing in the morning and write down everything I remember from the night’s escapades. Usually, I don’t remember my dreams, so I don’t have much to write down, but I’m glad it’s there when I need it!
The knock-knock dream journal available on Amazon has prompts and other activities dedicated to helping you understand your dreams. It’s a fun take on a dream journal for those who want to understand their subconscious.
Specific Hobby Journals
There is no limit to what you can do with a journal. There are thousands of hobbies that lend themselves to journaling. Here are a few examples of using a journal to track and appreciate different hobbies. The list may inspire you to journal about your specific hobby!
- Track the items you have, the ones you want, what you paid for, and what they are worth!
- Wine tastings, favorite restaurants, what you ordered, flavor profiles
- Favorite locations, places to go, ideas for the photo setup
- Favorite games, character builds, retro games, items
- Favorite books, authors, and thoughts while reading
A Hunter’s Journal
This one is for fans of the hit show Supernatural. Although I prefer Buffy, Supernatural made a significant mark on television, and now you can get novelty hunter’s journals online.
Although this is just for fun, it also showcases that there are journals for every possible thing you can imagine.
A Journal For Everything
Journaling is a great habit to get into, regardless of why you choose to start. Hopefully, this post gave you some fabulous inspiration and ideas on why you should start journaling.
The cool thing about journaling is that there is something for everyone. There is a specific journal type to fit many different needs, some of which I’ve probably never even heard of! And, if there isn’t a particular type of journal, a regular lined or blank journal will do the job! So grab your journal and get started today!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.