7 Quality Journals for Chronicling Your Dreams and Schemes

No one's hacking into this analogue archive.

best writing journals 2018
Rifle Paper Co.

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There are countless varieties of journals out there — where do you even start? We picked seven top-quality hard- and soft-covers that turn a blank page into a creative opportunity.

1 Minimalism Art Classic Notebook Journal
$15.95

Best Standard-Sized Journal

If you're a journal geek, A5 is pretty much the platonic ideal of notebook sizes. At 5.8 by 8.3 inches, it's perfectly portable, though large enough to comfortably write in. We happen to like this 192-page, ruled model a lot, as its 100gsm weight paper is slightly thicker than the ISO-based industry standard of 80gsm. It includes a bookmark ribbon and an elastic closure, and it's available in six vibrant shades. 

More: 100 Essentials for Organizing Your Entire Life

2 Designworks Ink Twin Wire-Bound Journal
$14.29

Best Wire-Bound Journal

When it comes to prolonged periods of writing longhand, wire- or spiral-bound journals are the best to use, simply because you can fold over the page or lay them flat as you work. This ruled pick is a stylistic step up from the spiral-bound notebooks used for note-taking in class, as each page lets you circle the month and date, and even jot down a "subject" at the very top, so you can track your thoughts over the course of time.

3 Rifle Paper Co. Lively Floral Stitched Lined Notebooks
$16.98

Best Journal Set

Voracious writers know that just one journal will never do. This vivacious set of three slim softcover notebooks from Rifle Paper Co. can be designated for work, home, and passion-project use, each cover detailed with a different botanical colorway.

4 Wanderings Leather Notebook Journal
$25.99

Best Leather Journal

This leather-covered notebook is truly a worthwhile investment piece, because users can continually swap out and add proprietary refill inserts as the notebook fills up! (It holds up to three of these notebook-like inserts at a time.) The rugged leather exterior is meant to age and wear to a rugged patina, protecting the pages of the 90gsm paper tucked inside. Slip your pen inside the elastic binding, and you're good to go!

With over 800 reviews and a five-star rating on Amazon, users love this "forever notebook" for its elegant, old-world appearance and incredible tanned-leather smell.

5 Moleskine Two-Go Notebook
$19.95

Best Journal-Sketchbook Combo

Don't limit your self-expression to one medium! This dual-layout Moleskine notebook is formatted with blank pages on the left side and lined paper on the right, so you can simultaneously scrawl and sketch when the mood strikes. Other features include double bookmarks, a hard cotton-canvas cover, a substantial 100gsm paper weight, and an interior envelope for stuffing in loose bits and bobs.

6 Personal Secret Leather Refillable Binder Journal With Combination Lock
$29.98

Best Journal With Lock

Does leaving your nocturnal scribblings out on your nightstand make you feel a bit ... vulnerable? Opt for a locked journal to keep your secrets safe. Set your own combination, and then unlatch it to open it up. This imitation-leather journal is set up in a binder format, so the center binding can open and close to add refill pages, and it even includes a pen holder, so you'll always have something to write with on hand. Users note that the lock does take some getting used to, but it works very well.

7 Paper Source Grey Snap Journal
$16.95

Best Snap-Closure Journal

There's something really satisfying about snapping a journal closed after wrapping up a long, cathartic entry. This journal features a smooth, pebbled cover and snap enclosure on the outside, and a pen holder, bookmark, and 96 lined pages inside.