P. Claire Dodson
January 15, 2017 10:17 am
Kdonmuang/Shutterstock

Bullet journals are all the rage right now, but even if you can’t get your life together enough to put in that kind of work, journals and diaries for writing, scribbling, and random thoughts are still pretty useful —and fun. Plus, journaling has been proven to help your mental and physical health, reducing stress and aiding in recovery after trauma (or a bad Tinder date).

So whether you’re a writer, artist, productivity pro, or you just like to jot things down, there’s a perfect pad waiting for you to unleash your creativity. Here are nine journals for you to try out this year.

1 Whatcha Thinkin Bout by Ban.do, $14

Ban.do is beloved for its high-energy pop colors and motivational phrases. The lined notebook also comes with adorable stickers to decorate your work.

2Observer’s Notebook: Trees by Princeton Architectural Press, $15

This notebook is set up to embrace your inner tree-leaf examiner, but if that’s not your thing, use the varied page formats to take notes, make wish lists, and keep track of major events. It’s sturdy, beautifully bound and looks like something that would have belonged to Moonrise Kingdom’s Suzy Bishop.

3 Traveler’s Notebook by Midori, $42

If you’re into the vintage look and willing to shell out a little more upfront, the Traveler’s Notebook is a worthwhile investment. The worn leather only looks better with age and wear, and you definitely should wear it out —the pages are refillable, and most people (as per Instagram) stuff it with postcards and mementos to make it a true travelogue.

4Field Notes Original Graph, $9.95

The classic Field Notes brand is relatively inexpensive, and the small, thin nature of the notebooks makes it easier to use them for day-to-day writings and things you want to remember. Channel your inner Harriet the Spy and get out into the world.

5Classic Wire-bound Notebooks by Clairefontaine, $8

Clairefontaine notebooks are widely regarded as one of the best notebooks on the market because of their ridiculously smooth, high-quality paper. These wire-bound pads are a game-changer for spiral notebooks.

6Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebooks, $20

If your New Year’s Resolution is to finally get into bullet journaling, start with what’s considered the ultimate bullet journal: this model from Leuchtturm1917. It comes with a built-in table of contents, dot graph paper, and page numbers so you can get to organizing.

7Grids & Guides Notebook by Princeton Architectural Press, $14

If you’re a visual thinker, this is the journal for you. Sketch out designs, create idea maps, and try your hand at infographics with this pad from Princeton Architectural Press. It comes with many different layouts perfect for building your geometric dreams.

8Comp notebook by Aron Fay, $19

If you’re still attached to your beloved grade school composition books, check out this redesigned version available through Kickstarter. The new design is a fresh, minimalist take on the classic, with everything you adore about the original in a prettier, higher-quality package.

9Passport Pair of Pocket Notebooks by Rifle Paper Company, $10

The passport-sized, travel-themed notebooks are the perfect thing to get you thinking about the future as well as celebrating where you are now. Plan your next big adventure on these pages, wether it’s at home or far away.

No matter where you decide to write or draw your inner most thoughts and to-do lists, a journal is a must-have for those long winter days.

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