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Best journals 2022: Notebooks to get your life in order

For writing down thoughts, scheduling or getting creative, here’s our guide to the best journals for every need

Journalling has become a bit of a catch-all in recent years, encompassing myriad practices such as dream journaling, bullet journalling and good old-fashioned to-do lists. It’s inextricably bound up in the wellness industry, billed as a way to process your feelings, plan your future or chart your specific goals. If nothing else, it’s a fantastic way to get organised, acting as an inky relic of your own personal growth.

We’ve trawled the market for the best journals for every need. Whether you’re dusting off the colouring pens for an intricate, diagram-led bullet journal, or you just want to put ballpoint to Moleskine and pour your heart out à la Bridget Jones, we’ve got the best journal for every need.

Best journals: At a glance

The best journals you can buy

1. Moleskine: The best blank canvas journal

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

Moleskine journals are a staple in every half-decent stationery collection. The timeless notebooks come with buttery smooth covers, and are available in a range of colours and ranges. Recent examples include the Sakura cherry blossom and Year of the Tiger lines, for the whimsical and bold respectively. Italian fashion house Missoni has even collaborated on a recent Moleskine range. For such premium-looking products, these notebooks are surprisingly affordable, starting at about £6 – handy, since their pleasing insides will have you pouring out your heart and repurchasing in no time at all.

2. Paperchase Creative Spark journal: The best journal for creativity

Price: £12 | Buy now from Paperchase

Working from home can be a stifling experience for some, particularly as we now enter our third year of tracksuit-clad Zoom calls. This little creative spark journal from Paperchase is a godsend to creative types looking to banish homebound monotony and feel inspired. Writing prompts in zany formats (“What you wished you’d said”) encourage lateral thinking, getting you to approach situations with consideration, empathy and a fresh perspective. Like a lemon squeezer, but for the brain.

Buy now from Paperchase

3. Self-Helping Myself: A Guided Journal by Em & Friends: The best journal for beginners

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

This kindly worded journal is great for those who want to start journaling, but aren’t really sure about how to go about it. It contains a range of writing prompts (including questions and illustrations) to coax the shy, sheepish or cynical out of their shells. Em & Friends’ creation is designed to encourage self-reflection on your inner and outer lives, creating a roadmap to greater fulfilment on a daily basis. It makes a lovely gift to a wayward pal, too. Encased in a blue leather binding and peppered with whimsical fonts and gorgeous full-colour illustrations throughout, it promises to look lovely on any bedside table.

4. Do It For Yourself: The best motivational journal

Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking to use journaling as a means to an end, the memefied, zine-style journal Do It For Yourself from celebrated Brooklyn-based writer Kara Cutruzzula is a good place to start. This du jour journal intersperses thinking and writing prompts with stylised motivational quotes and graphics, each a gut punch to autopilot methods of thinking (“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit”). The bold typography is a joy to read – albeit quite mind-bending at points – meaning you’ll actually want to pick up this journal and plow on with your personal ascent to wherever you want to be.

5. Fitbook: The best fitness journal

Price: £11.50 | Buy now from Amazon

Fitbook is a 12-week, results-driven, spiral-bound journal that encourages readers to set fitness, exercise and nutrition goals. For example, users record their current weight and body fat percentage alongside their target stats for these categories. But you’re not spurred on by sheer willpower alone; there are sections where you set your own rewards for incrementally achieving your goals, along with a notes section for reflection and a smattering of motivational quotes and insightful, research-led tips for an extra productivity kick. A handy nutrient tracker lays out recommended servings of grains, veggies, fruits, dairy, protein, fats, vitamins and sugars, and there’s a water chart to ensure you’re getting your recommended eight glasses.

6. Papier Wellness Journal: The best bullet journal

Price: £26 | Buy now from Papier

Papier’s journals aren’t the cheapest, but they’re probably the most gorgeous. With a range of charming covers, from Colourblock (think mustard yellow clashing with baby pink, or a forest and sage green combination) to calming Constellation, or Marble Sea, these books offer ample space for bullet journalling under the heading “Thoughts & feels”. There are also a good range of other sections for recording sleep, activity, self-care, daily wins (“What went well today?”) and gratitude – so you’re not left entirely to your own devices, which can feel overwhelming. These hardback beauties have a built-in bookmark, so you won’t have to leaf through reams of previous entries every time you open the journal. Plus, Papier donates 50p from every wellness journal sold to YoungMinds – a mental health charity for young people.

Buy now from Papier

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