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  • Writer's pictureHelen Colebrook

My Top 10 Journaling Books

Journaling Books
Journaling Books

Finding Inspiration

I often get asked where I find inspiration for my journal and whether I can recommend any great books that cover this topic. My journaling ideas come from a wide range of sources, such as being outside in nature, walking around art galleries and antiques shops, along with the huge array of posts on social media. My colour schemes can sometimes be inspired by a planting arrangement that I've seen in someones garden, or even a postcard that I've picked up.

So, I think that inspiration can be found anywhere when you take the time to look around you. However, books will always be one of my favourite sources to refer to. I love knowing they are there to flick through, as a ready source of inspiration for years to come. I've built up my collection over a period of time and I am really happy to share my current favourites with you.

Each of the images below are on a slider, so that you can click on the right arrow to have a peek inside.

Bullet Journals

"The Bullet Journal Method"by Ryder Carroll

If you are looking to get started with a Bullet Journal, then there is no better place to begin than with a book written by the creator of this method of journaling. This book guides you through every part of the methodolgy, including the daily log, monthly log, future log, symbols and migration. You will also learn a lot about Ryder's reasons for coming up with this system and some great ideas to get the most out of your planning routine.

You won't get ispiration for pretty layouts, as despite this being what you are most likely to see on social media, the bullet journal method is actually all about simplicity. I found it really interesting to go back to the roots of the process and decide how I best wanted to use the methodology to suit my own needs.

You can find this book listed by Cult Pens here and on Amazon here.

"How to Bullet Plan" by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

This is a really great guide to using your bullet journal, with lots of ideas for different layouts and pages you might want to include in your own. This book covers everything from weekly and daily spreads, habit trackers, health and fitness spreads, chore spreads and making your bullet journal your own. If you're looking for inspiration for your layouts and spreads, this will help point you in the right direction.

You can find this book listed by Cult Pens here and on Amazon here.

Creative Journals

"The ABCs of Journaling" by Abbey Sy

I've followed Abbey Sy on social media for a long time and love her use of illustrations and font styles, which really bring her journal pages to life. This book guides you through different types of topics that you could write about in your own journals, along with ideas for using embellishments and different font styles. You also get a good look inside Abbey's travel journals which is inspirational in itself.

You can find out more about this book on Abbey Sy's website here.

"Draw Your Day" by Samantha Dion Baker

If you have ever been interested in starting your own sketch journal, then this is an absolutely lovely book to get you started. Samantha is someone else that I have followed on Instagram for a long time, so I was really excited when her book came out. It's jam-packed full of beautifully illustrated pages, along with lots of help to get you started. I also really love the fact that there are ideas for topics that you might want to sketch in your journals, such as typography and signage, nature, food and drinks.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

"How to Make a Journal of Your Life"by D. Price

This great little book was first published in 1999 and was one of the first journaling books that I bought. It may be small in size, but it's full of ideas that have stood the test of time. It talks about being more observant, making notes in your book, including sketches, adding photos and sticking in things that you find. It really opened my eyes to all of the different types of things that I could journal about, that would in turn help improve my experience of every day life.

You can find this book on Amazon here.

"Everyday Matters" by Danny Gregory

I'm a huge fan of Danny's illustration style and this book is such a pleasure to look through. This book is not a guide to creating an illustrated journal, but is actually his own illustrated journal that you get to read through. The journal starts by describing the turmoil in his life, following his wife falling onto the train tracks and being seriously injured. It was during this period that he turned to drawing the life going on around him. It feels something of an honour to get such a personal glimpse into someone else's life.

You can find this book listed on Amazon here.

Reflective Journaling

"Journal to the Self" by Kathleen Adams, M.A.

If you are looking at taking your journaling to a deeper level, then this book will help you find lots of new ideas and methods for writing. It covers topics such as stream of consciousness, captured moments, clustering, unsent letters, dreams, along with dealing with grief and childhood wounds. It's a fascinating read.

You can find this book listed on Amazon here.

Art Journals

"Paint, Play, Explore" by Rae Missigman

This book is as beautiful inside as you would expect from the cover. It shows you lots of different techniques for creating your own mark in your artwork or journal. It guides you through the different tools and techniques that you can use to create striking mixed media pieces. The colour schemes alone often lead me to flicking through this book for some inspiration for my own journal.

You can find this book listed on Amazon here.

"The Art Journal Workshop" by Traci Bunkers

This bright and colourful book gives lots of ideas for self-expression and art journaling techniques, along with a DVD showing how the projects were created. If you are interested in starting a visual journal using mixed media techniques, then this will be a great book to get you started.

You can find this book listed on Amazon here.

Creative Inspiration

"Craft a Life you Love" by Amy Tangerine

Whilst this book isn't strictly speaking about journaling, it is all about giving yourself permission to spend time doing something you love everyday. Plus, Amy Tangerine is a huge name in the creative journaling and planning world. If you ever struggle to give yourself the time to create, this book will help give you a good nudge in the right direction. It talks about the importance of giving yourself time to be creative and expressive, which brings about all sorts of other benefits in your life.

You can find this book listed on Amazon here.

(Some of these links contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.)


I really hope you've found it useful to hear about my favourite journaling books. Whilst I love social media and use it frequently for inspiration, to me, nothing will ever beat the pleasure of having a book by my side whilst creating in my own journal. I find it so peaceful to remove myself from all the digital distractions for a while.

I would love to know if you have any favourite journaling books that I haven't mentioned. I'm always looking to add some new ones to my over-flowing bookshelves :)

Until next time, wishing you lots of fun with your own journaling journey, Helen x

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