9 books to build a journal writing habit

9 books to build a journal writing habit

In Reading Lists by Molly Hurford

9 books to build a journal writing habit

From reducing stress and anxiety to finding inspiration and improving writing and communication skills, journaling offers numerous benefits. Bullet journaling helps you get super organized, a gratitude journal aims to help you feel happier, and free-writing can sharpen those writing skills. Of course, chronicling your day is also a good reason to put pen to paper. Whether you're trying to spark creativity, increase productivity, get more insight into your own hopes and dreams, or get into a writing habit, these books will get you on the path to journaling.

Bullet journaling can be incredibly useful, but it's also easy to get derailed by fun pens and markers and forget that the purpose is to get organized. Creating a gorgeous day planner is just the by-product. Compton’s advice on how to do both provides a year's worth of daily exercises to help you get organized for good. 

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Dot journaling is another name for bullet journaling and can be a myriad of different things to different people. Gonzalez’s approach is very goal-oriented, helping you gain a better idea of your big-picture aspirations, then thinking through how to translate them into actionable items. She brings in advice from experts in the productivity field to help explain some of her tips, including Ryder Carrol, Daniel Pink, Rory Vaden, and Stephen Covey. She also includes lists of simple routines as well as journal spread examples.

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If your idea of a journal is more about a beautiful work of art than a utilitarian notebook to write in, the 1,000 motifs in Journal with Purpose will come in handy. Colebrook shares ways to make your journal reflect your personality. It helps give you that fun boost before diving into the organizational side of bullet journaling — and for some, a journal that looks good is easier to use than one that's hastily scrawled together. 

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If you find a blank page to be intimidating, this book of journaling prompts will help you break through writer's block. It includes a prompt-a-day for a year, covering different areas of life — from identity, health, and relationships to money, career, and the future. While prompts are a great way to get started, you'll likely find more to muse on beyond each daily thought starter. 

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Journaling has been around for a long time — as evidenced by this 35th anniversary edition of The Creative Journal. Capacchione shares not only prompts, but also journaling methods and exercises to help you unlock creativity across all areas of your life. She helps readers/writers understand how to put past and current relationships into context by taking inventory of health, family, and life goals. Fun fact: This book encourages readers to try writing with your non-dominant hand.

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If you need more than a prompt to get started, consider this book that combines layout ideas alongside writing prompts. Journaling expert Helen Colebrook shares ways to arrange your journal to help you organize your life and spark creativity. Many of us struggle to 'just start writing,' but when you can create a habit tracker and use a writing prompt about that habit, you might find it easier to get going. She also includes tips on increasing creativity, like adding watercolors to your journal. 

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By now, most of us know that gratitude — and gratitude journaling — can have a positive impact on your life as a whole. These 52 weekly prompts will remind you that life’s about the large and small things we should be grateful for. If you've struggled with thinking of things to be grateful for, these prompts will push you in the right direction. 

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If you identify as an introvert, this book has all the prompts you need to embrace a life of introspection and self-love. Fellow introvert and author Michaela Chung’s daybook includes 365 days of journaling prompts, quotes, and short essays that help you reflect on exactly what makes you tick ... and help you get through the more social seasons of the year. 

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If you're a mom to a young girl (or a recalcitrant teen), this book of writing prompts and essays from a mother/daughter team who've done this dual journaling exercise for years is a great quick read. The Jacobs provide insight into how mothers can broach topics like school and crushes, and how to authentically share past experiences and feelings with their daughters to better understand each other.

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About the Author: Molly Hurford

Molly is a writer and bookworm in love with all things wellness related. When not playing outside, she’s writing or podcasting about being outside and healthy habits for The Consummate Athlete. She also writes books, including the Shred Girls series. In her spare time, she runs, rides bikes, and hikes with her mini-dachshund and husband.
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