Journaling is such passion of mine. As time goes on journaling has played a bigger and bigger role within my life as well. With that being said, in my mind there are 5 things to consider that make a good journal. (And I am talking about a good old fashioned physical journal here, not the computer ones.)
When deciding on a new journal here are the 7 things that I consider when picking one out.
What is the purpose in getting and using this journal? Is it for diary or journaling purposes, ideas, random writing, or for goals. I currently have two different journals, one for my goals and one for journaling purposes. I am very specific about the ways that I want my journaling journals and significantly less specific about my goal journal and what I wanted for that.
What kind of cover do I want? Plain or patterned? Solid color or multi-colored? Hard or soft? Do I want a quote? Do I want it to be basic and literally have the word journal on it? I prefer a hardcover journal always over a soft cover one. A thick hard cover that makes me feel like I can write in it as hard as I want, and that won’t get damaged if I am taking it from place to place. In my experience I do actually take my journal around with me, and I can’t have it getting ruined in my purse because I chose a soft cover over a hard one. As far as all of the other stuff, I’ve never really thought about the other stuff. Although I do hate the basic ones that just say journal on it, and I think that some of the more ornate ones can be a little bit too much. I'm writing about my life in 2019, I'm not some princess from the 1500s or something.
Another thing to consider is line style. Do you want the little dot type that people use for bullet journaling, a wide rule, or a college rule? All are important factors and can be make or break moments for me. I hate the little dots, if a potential journal passed in every category for me but then I opened it to see little dots, I wouldn't buy it. It would not be the journal for me. In the past, that is how I felt about wide ruled as well, but lately, if a potential journal meets all of the other things that I like, I’ll still get it. My favorite is a good old fashioned college rule, but that seems to be something that is a rarity in journals lately, and I’m not sure why.
Size is almost equal to line style on the scale of importance for me. Do you want a smaller journal? A bigger journal? A huge journal? After All they do come in all shapes and sizes. Personally, I always like the medium sized to large sized journals better. Something that in a moment of frantic scribbling I won’t be stuck flipping through pages endlessly. Enough space to be able to tell the story that I want to tell.
Thickness of paper
Another key thing in a journal for me is the thickness of the paper. Paper thickness can be make or break as well, and it could be that a journal that started off as good, isn't good when it comes to writing in it. Then it’s just another empty book or half empty book or a book with one thing written in it until it gets tossed to the side. I enjoy a somewhat thick paper that allows me to write with different types of pens and not bleed through the pages. Or worse, write through the pages. But not a page that is so thick and chunky that while can feel pretty luxurious, means that there aren’t more than 20 pages in the journal itself.
Number of pages
I like a journal with more pages than less. It’s more bang for my buck, and helps me to have the same journal and last longer. Sometimes, I have a journal until I fill it up, but sometimes I like to switch it up in between years or every couple of months. Having the options of space there makes it better. A journal with less pages is fine, but it's not as convenient. Now I will use a less filled journal if all of my other requirements are made. This one has some wiggle room as long as the page count is not anything crazy low.
At the end of the day, while all of these other qualities are important, the most important factor for me when it comes to a journal is the overall feeling. I can make all sorts of allowances on things, if it feels right. I know that sounds crazy that a journal can feel right or not, but I assume it's like the feeling that you supposedly get with a wedding dress, it just feels right. As with all things that feel right, all of the other things can just fall by the wayside. Or perhaps I am too much of a Cancer and I somehow have convinced myself of all this.