Pretty Journals for Writing, Reflecting and Expressing

A picture of Murasaki Shikibu, a famous Japanese female writer, sitting at her writing desk.
A picture of Murasaki Shikibu, a famous Japanese female writer, sitting at her writing desk. | Source

Journals Can Be Used For Many Different Purposes

I have always loved writing in a journal. I usually have more than one going at once and have filled up dozens over the year. Buying a new journal is an exciting event for me. I love to examine the covers, to feel the pages in my hand, and to imagine my thoughts penned on the clean pages.

Journal writing is the kind of writing you don't share with others -- it is to help you discover yourself and others. As a teenage girl, my diary often felt the burden of my latest crush and my deepest disappointments.

As a teacher, I shared my love of journals with my class, usually buying them each a journal at the beginning of the year: a place where they could write freely, and express themselves on a regular basis.

Journals, notebooks, diaires -- whatever you want to call them -- can be used for a variety of purposes. Carry one in your purse to jot down gift ideas, record a special event, journal your food and exercise. They are also a wonderful place to capture impressions of your life. Many women like to keep a gratitude journal and others like to journal their prayers and answers in a beautiful notebook.

For this article, I want to share some of my best journal finds for women with you. These are diaries for the girl in us: delicious little books perfect for your most precious thoughts or for your most meaningful doodles. These are pretty journals -- luscious to write in, and a delight to be seen with. Enjoy!


Eccolo Journal

Eccolo Essential Collection 5 x 7 Inches Lined Journal, Cherry Blossoms
Eccolo Essential Collection 5 x 7 Inches Lined Journal, Cherry Blossoms

This lovely pink design with a tree features a stunning asymmetrical design.

 

Italian Leather Journal

Eccolo Made in Italy 6 x 8 Inches Refillable Romance Journal, Red Heart
Eccolo Made in Italy 6 x 8 Inches Refillable Romance Journal, Red Heart

This fine-looking leather-look cover is heavy and thick. This book brings back the class into journal writing!

 

Leather Journals

I have had a couple of leather journals over the years and I really appreciated them. A leather bound book is soft to touch and feels comfortable to write in.

The leather looks very attractive. There is something about a leather book that makes you think of elegance and substance. And this material is very sturdy and is likely to last for the long haul. I really adore the leather journals I have shown here.

  1. Eccolo Leather Journals: Eccolo has produced several beautiful leather journals. These are all of the same sturdy construction but feature different designs and colours. The 256 heavy stock pages are lined, and made from acid-free paper. These journals are very attractive and easy to carry around in a purse or bag. At 5"x7" or 6"x8", these journals are not for writing essays but they are nice for jotting down ideas, some poetry lines or anything relatively short. For under $20, these would make a lovely gift for your favourite female or a nice gift for yourself.
  2. Italian Leather Journals. This is a more upscale product line that also creates a journals. These books are more heavy and feature a very thick ornate cover with handcrafted stitching. If you are a lover of old books, these books have a romantic, old-fashioned look. A wonderful feature of these products are that the notebook can be replaced after you have filled the pages. Please be aware that the leather is not genuine leather but it is still very beautiful. The price point for the Italian Journals are around $30 and they would make a lovely gift for someone who likes something with an old-fashioned touch.



Peter Pauper Press Journal

Orchid Journal (Magnetic Closure) (Diary, Notebook)
Orchid Journal (Magnetic Closure) (Diary, Notebook)

This lovely book features a light, airy design and gold edging.

 

Punch Studios Notebook

Punch Studio, Journal with Magnetic Flap Clasp Closure - Belle France
Punch Studio, Journal with Magnetic Flap Clasp Closure - Belle France

This journal features a Parisian scene with bold roses and the Tower of Eiffel. Very fresh!

 

Magnetic Closure Notebooks

Do you remember writing in your diary about that boy that you liked, but being afraid that someone might find out? The traditional image of a diary is that is under lock and key, all of the writer's secrets kept safe and secure. Therefore, journals that come with a magnetic closure are keeping that tradition alive. The magnetic closure is also nice because it keeps the pages from being ruined by a spill or crinkling.

  1. Peter Pauper Press produces some very lovely looking notebooks featuring the magnetic-closure. These little books are so sweet and really look like the diary from our girlhood. They are so pretty to carry around, and at under $15, they are not a big investment. The only caution with this product is that there tends to be a bleed when using certain types of pens.
  2. Punch Studio has a very fresh, modern feel to their products. They make two journals with the magnetic closure, both with gorgeous, bold graphics. These books are a bit less thick than some of the other choices with 100 lined pages.

My Heart Prayer Journal

This lovely book has creative suggestions based on themes such as joy and peace.
This lovely book has creative suggestions based on themes such as joy and peace. | Source

Structured Prayer Journal

The Pray! Prayer Journal: Daily Steps toward Praying God's Heart (Living the Questions)
The Pray! Prayer Journal: Daily Steps toward Praying God's Heart (Living the Questions)

This book features regular prayer suggestions, including praying for your family, your congregation and your world. It also contains a lot of advice about how to be more effective in your prayer life.

 

Prayer Journals

I was introduced to the idea of a prayer journal several years ago. The idea is to write down your prayers, with a date, and then write down the date that your prayers were answered. This is an effective way of increasing your faith and seeing how God is working.

Any notebook can be used as a prayer journal but I have selected some beautiful journals made specifically for keeping track of your prayers.

  1. Structured Prayer Journals are designed with a structure for your prayers. These journals include some guidance from the author as to who to pray for, as well as organizers to keep things in order. These journals are a good choice for someone who is looking for some ideas to structure their prayer life. Check and see if these structures work for you and your walk.
  2. Blank Prayer Journals are journals that feature an inspirational verse on the cover but do not have an inherent structure to aid in your prayers. Although any journal will work fine for keeping track of your prayers, a lovely verse or prayer quote will inspire you when you pick up the book and it is a good reminder of what the book is for.

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude: A Journal
Gratitude: A Journal

This lovely journal features many quotes on gratitude, as well as suggestions for what to be grateful for daily.

 

Gratitude Journals

I was introduced to the idea of gratitude journals several years ago by a colleague who was going through a difficult time in her marriage. "But I always remind myself of what I have to be grateful for," she told me. Gratitude journals are books in which you write down daily, the things for which you are grateful. The practice of daily practicing gratitude is good for your health and your well-being. Being thankful helps us to cope with life and make the best of what we have been given.

I have selected some of the prettiest gratitude journals for your viewing pleasure. Any notebook will work as a gratitude journal but these ones are designed to give you some structure in your journey to cultivating gratefulness.

More Beautiful Journals

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a three-piece set that features beautiful artwork. Gorgeous wild flowers grace the cover of this notebook. A Van Gogh painting graces the cover of this lovely book. This journal is also in leather and features a lovely pink inside cover, with a nice cloth bookmark. This lovely journal is based on the song, "I Hope You Dance." So inspirational!
This is a three-piece set that features beautiful artwork.
This is a three-piece set that features beautiful artwork. | Source
Gorgeous wild flowers grace the cover of this notebook.
Gorgeous wild flowers grace the cover of this notebook. | Source
A Van Gogh painting graces the cover of this lovely book.
A Van Gogh painting graces the cover of this lovely book. | Source
This journal is also in leather and features a lovely pink inside cover, with a nice cloth bookmark.
This journal is also in leather and features a lovely pink inside cover, with a nice cloth bookmark. | Source
This lovely journal is based on the song, "I Hope You Dance." So inspirational!
This lovely journal is based on the song, "I Hope You Dance." So inspirational! | Source
Almond Blossom Journal (Notebook, Diary)
Almond Blossom Journal (Notebook, Diary)

This lovely journal features a Van Gogh painting.

 

More Pretty Journals

Finally, I am going to showcase more of the prettiest journals that I found. These are all books that I would love to receive as a gift, and would be proud to give as a gift.

Whether you are thinking of getting a new journal for yourself or as a lovely gift, it is nice to know there are more options than a boring scribbler! There are so many beautiful options out there that the hardest part is deciding which one you like best.

And whatever book you choose, I encourage you to write. Journals can be such a source of joy: they are a place in this world that is yours, to use as you please.

Just as I bought my students their own little journals, I would love for everyone to have their own beautiful place to write, pray, record, express, reflect. Enjoy!

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Comments 15 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What a beautiful hub. The writer in us always needs a journal, but sometimes the journals are so beautiful we don't want to write in them! These are precious objects, often gifted by others...I write mostly on scrap paper, throw the papers into folders, and just admire the beautifully crafted journals I've received as gifts or have bought for myself.

For me, there's a conflict between using these beautiful writing media as either useful or collectible items.

A dear friend of mine writes only in leather-bound journals with no lines on the pages. If another kind of journal comes her way as a gift, she's likely to put it away in a drawer where it never records her thoughts.

Looking forward to reading what others have to say about this.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Sally, you have touched upon a very interesting point. I know what you mean: there is sometimes a reluctance to actually use these books for the purpose for which they were intended. But I think it's good to do so, for it allows us to take part in beauty and nourish our hearts. It's kind of like leaving the good china in the cupboard your whole life, when it's meant to be enjoyed.

I love your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing. Take care!


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

What a clever idea - to give your students journals! That would help in their education and development in many, many ways! I like your analogy of the good china in the cupboard. I have a beautiful journal I was given, and I'm almost afraid to touch it. Time to get it out and use it!

Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I love journals I have always wrote down my thoughts and years later go look at what I wrote. and I love all different kinds of journals..this is a great hub.

Thank you for sharing'

Blessing to you

Debbie


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Marcy, thank you! The students loved getting their own journals and it did help to motivate them to write when it was an attractive book that they appreciated. I hope you get that journal out of the closet and take advantage of it. Thanks for the votes and take care!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Deborah, that's awesome! I am glad you could relate; I love all kinds of journals, too. Take care and thank you so much for your kind words!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

This is both beautiful and interesting. Beautiful because I think writing our thoughts is a wonderful process, and interesting because there are so many different ways to do that. One commenter taked about the books being too beautiful to use...yeah...she is right. My problem is I get them as gifts, I buy for myself and they are so pretty. I do use them, partly because they are beautiful...I have so many that it is hard to use them all. LOL

My favorite, of all time, was a journal that looked like something from a couple of centuries ago.... distressed leather with wonderful paper and a string tie. I loved it. I loved writing in it. Have not found another like it.

Wonderful hub prairieprincess. Voted up and awesome


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Dee, perhaps it is that our thoughts do seem worthy of such beauty and we hesitate to sully these works of art with our flawed humanity?

It is interesting how people have such deep and intense feelings about these beautiful books. I am a bit surprised, very pleasantly, that others share this longing relationship with beautiful journals.

That journal that you mention sounds amazing. Thanks so much for coming and making your comment! Take care.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi PP, Your presentation in this article is truly awesome as well as the marketing strategy. Really great job. Over the years, most of my "journals" have been steno note pads. I have a box filled with probably two dozen of them written on both sides of each page. So, they are not very "pretty" but I've kept them even though I have not looked back. It's funny because recently I have put "note pads" on my shopping list. I am scheduled to do jury duty and I wanted to buy myself something nice to write in while I may have so much time just sitting there.


Cassandra Goduti profile image

Cassandra Goduti 4 years ago from Guilford, Connecticut

The journals are beautiful. I have always loved using journals for holding different things. I can't go without my writing. It is for that reason alone that someone usually needs to have a journal.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I really enjoy looking at beautiful journals, and they provide such a beautiful keepsake when you are finished with them. I need to get over my "its too pretty to mess up with my writing" block.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@SS, thanks for your kind words. Yes, even if they're not "pretty," they are still records of you, your life, your thoughts, your growth. That is the important thing. That's cool that you are looking at getting some more notebooks for yourself.

Jury duty! That should be interesting! You can also get some nice ones at the Dollar Store sometimes, too! Have an awesome day!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Cassandra, this is another sign that we are writers, right? You always have to have somewhere to write. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked the selection. Have a wonderful day!

@Millionare, I loved your article on journal writing, too. Yes, the pretty ones are ones to treasure, aren't they? There really is something about a very attractive book that makes it seem more noble, somehow. Have a great day and thanks for the comment!


leatherjournals profile image

leatherjournals 4 years ago

What a great hub! I really like the idea about gratitude journals. I'm definitely going to give that a try. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life, and a gratitude journal can really help to keep a person grounded and aware of the multitude of things we should be very thankful for on a daily basis. Thanks!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Leather Journals, it is a very good strategy for staying grateful. I know I am blessed with a husband that is grateful for everything and I have learned a lot through him. It's nice to "meet" you on Hubpages and welcome! I look forward to reading your articles.

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