Keeping a diary may often be considered old-fashioned, but younger generations, with the help of social media, are beginning to revert to this age-old practice.


It’s not impossible to understand why. In a time that encourages us to scrawl our thoughts across Twitter feeds, journaling encourages you to try writing intimately for yourself.

While the jury is out on whether mindfulness is truly as effective as it is popular, it’s certainly an effective way to lay out your thoughts and memories.

A lot of journals come with lists and activities to complete, with prompts laid out over the course of a year to encourage consistency.

If you’re looking to start journaling, we’ve listed our top picks below. Whether you want to get into planning in depth, be led with challenges and goals, or if you just want somewhere to write, we’ve got you covered.

Intelligent Change: The Five-Minute Journal

intelligent change journal

Gushed over by entrepreneur and podcaster Tim Ferriss, this journal from Intelligent Change encourages five minutes of journaling every day, as a moment to reflect on life and your surroundings.

Each page features inspiring quotes and boxes for gratitude and daily affirmations, with enough pages to last for six months.

There are also boxes for daily highlights, to record the best things that happened throughout your day, as well as end of the day reflection to look back on how the day went. The aim is to pose simple questions that start your day positively, and then provoke focus and reflection in the night.

Intelligent Change argue this method helps to promote gratitude for physical and mental wellbeing, as well as reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. The journal is created from recycled materials and can be purchased in six different colours.

Papier Joy Wellness Journal

papier journal

This journal began doing the rounds on TikTok, becoming a favourite of many a health and wellbeing influencer. It can be personalised with your name and a title to reflect what you want to get out of your journal.

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Papier’s journal provides prompts to help you track your mood, noting down your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. There are also ways to set yourself goals and create habits that build towards reaching your goals.

There are 12-weeks of pages for reflection, with everything from water intake to sleep. There are also options for longer journals, such as the 2023 planner that spans the duration of the year.

On Papier’s website there is a fully interactive online version to flick through before you decide if the journal is right for you.

UrBestSelf The 6-minute Diary

6 minute diary

This journal from UrBestSelf provides a morning and evening routine, both consisting of three minutes apiece. UrbestSelf claim the diary is designed to provide tools and systems to keep you focused, aimed at people who struggle with the consistency of keeping a diary.

To achieve this, there are a number of quotes, a morning and evening routine, a monthly check-in and a section to explain some science behind journaling.

It comes with a bonus eBook titled The Golden Morning Routine, which features inspiration and techniques to build a morning routine that has you ready to tackle your day.

Van Gogh: Café Terrace Journal

van gogh cafe journal

If you’re less interested in prompts and quotes, purely wanting a journal that provides blank paper to write down your thoughts and memories, this journal might be what you’re looking for. It features an iconic print of Van Gogh’s Café Terrace painting from 1891.

The painting is printed on foil, embossed, and stamped to give it depth and texture. There’s also a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps you want to keep, as well as two bookmarkers and a magnetic side flap.

The Little Calm and Happy Planner

the little calm & happy co journal

This smaller planner features exercises to help identify the things that make you happy, a wish list of achievements and ways to develop self-care routines.

The aim is to break down your goals into short and long-term, which is supposed to help you work towards them over the course of twelve months.

There are also blocks and lists for activities that help you feel good, such as hydrating and eating. You can also write down your mentors and key people to draw inspiration from. It’s available in eight colours to choose from, with three bookmark ribbons.

Believe in Yourself Journal

believe in yourself journal

This classic journal uses archival-look paper, with an off-white colour. It includes inspirational questions scattered throughout the pager for hints of motivation to pick you up while you write.


There are 160 pages to fill and there's a panel which folds over with a magnet to keep your notes secure.


Fin Cousins is a digital writer for Our Media’s special interest brands. He works across BBC Science Focus and 220 Triathlon, offering recommendations for the latest tech, innovative gadgets, and state-of-the-art training gear. He also writes about music in his spare time and is an ever-despairing Crystal Palace fan.