The best journals and notebooks to buy for beginners and pros in 2021

journals personal development Jan 07, 2021

No matter where you are in your journaling practice, make progress with these journals

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Mindset Mamas may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

This post will benefit you if you want to journal but aren’t sure which journal or notebook is best for you to buy.



Updated for 2021

This likely isn’t news to you but journaling is one of the best ways to help you find clarity. It allows you to discover more about yourself and opens your mind to new ideas and opportunities. And, oh yeah, journaling is a great stress reliever, too! 

Why is journaling so helpful?

Getting your thoughts on paper—no matter how messy they may be—allows you to release them from your mind, giving you room to focus your attention elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if they are positive or negative. Moving internal thoughts and feelings to a notebook or journal helps creativity flow and those gloomy thoughts go.

But if you’re like so many busy moms, you haven’t written in a journal for years. It’s last on your priority list, right? Now is the time to change that, and reading this is the first step to getting started. Honestly, journaling is one of the easiest things you’ll do all day. All you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and 10 minutes. Pretty soon you’ll go from beginner to pro. 

There are no rules for journaling, especially when you’re a beginner. But if you’re stuck, here are two ways to get started:

Use journal prompts

Journal prompts are perfect for beginners because they serve as a jumping-off point. Prompts can guide you when you just don’t know what to write about or how to get started. Stressing out about putting pen to paper defeats the purpose of journaling in the first place. Instead, grab a list of journal prompts (we have a free list you can download below), pick one that feels good to you, and simply answer the question or finish the sentence.



Try a brain dump

Brain dumping is incredibly easy, yet a lot of people find it intimidating. Rather than just letting their thoughts flow, they overthink what they’re supposed to be thinking. That sounds confusing, right? All you have to do for a journaling brain dump is write down whatever thoughts, feelings, or emotions come to mind. Your paper should look like you’re talking out loud to yourself. Think of a brain dump as writing down your stream of consciousness. 

What’s the best journal or notebook to buy?

Because there are many different ways to journal, I want to offer you a few of the best journals and notebooks. All of them are available on Amazon. Simply click on the name of the journal or the image and you’ll be taken to the product to purchase.

Each one will work as a journal for beginners and those who have been practicing for a while.

The best journal if you need something to guide you…

Try Michelle Obama’s Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice if journaling scares you a little bit. Allow this book to prompt your thoughts instead of staring at a blank sheet of paper and wondering where to begin. This is one of the best journals for beginners. It offers quotes, lessons, and questions to ask yourself as you learn more about who you are now and who you’re meant to become.

The best journal if you want to be inspired every time you write…


The Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
will keep you feeling inspired and motivated every time you pick it up. From quotes to beautiful (and lively) imagery, you can’t help but feel good when you write in this journal. It also offers prompts which is perfect for beginners and keeps you from feeling stuck in your own mind.

The best journal if you want to organize your thoughts by topic or themes…


Paper Junkie’s Kraft 12-pack Notebooks
not only provide a touch of happiness to your day, but they also allow for an organized journaling experience. If you’re a little more Type A than B and want to keep topics such as big ideas, forgiveness, goals, courage, parenting, etc. separate, try this set of notebooks.

The best journal if you have a lot to write…


Sometimes you just have a lot on your mind. If you don’t want one day’s journal entry to take up 10 pages, consider a larger notebook with lots of room for your thoughts. Remember those notebooks you used in high school and the endless notes you had to take. Yep, there’s an option just like that today, but strictly for moms. This cute
Mama Bear 8.5” x 11” journal by Gotcha Covered Notebook may be just what you’re looking for.

The best journal if you prefer a spiral-bound notebook...


If you’re like me I prefer to sit on the couch while I journal. The flexibility of a spiral-bound notebook works well for me when I’m not sitting at my desk to write (which is hardly ever). Journaling should be relaxing, and having a journal that adapts to where I am is helpful. Check out Lang’s
Love Where You Go Spiral Journal by LoriLynn Simms.

The best journal if you want a book of blank pages…


Not everyone writes in uniform straight lines anymore. Are you a doodler? Your journal entries might be all over the place (literally) and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t matter what your journaling looks like—the goal is to somehow get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Here’s a
classic journal with blank pages by Minimalist Art for the creatives who prefer to be outside the lines.

If you’ve been wanting to start journaling, a new year is the perfect time. Writing can be very therapeutic and effortless once you begin. Watch your worries slip away as you journal your thoughts in one of these notebooks for every personality type.

Have a journal that you love? Leave a note in the comments or send one to me directly so we can post it for other moms to see.


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