Journaling Basics

50+ Journaling Books to Inspire Your Inner Writer

Journaling books can help inspire your practice, not just by providing prompts and techniques, but also by creating a framework for self-discovery and personal growth. They offer a guiding light as you navigate your thoughts and feelings, encouraging you to explore your inner world more deeply. Through the wisdom of authors who have journeyed through their own self-reflection, these books can empower you to transform your journaling from a simple daily activity into a profound medium of personal expression, creativity, and healing.

In this post, we delve into a curated list of 50+ remarkable journaling books. Each of these books on journaling offers unique insights, techniques, or prompts to fuel your journaling practice, turning it into a wellspring of self-discovery, personal transformation, and serene reflection.

Beginner Journaling Books

If you’re new to journaling, having a guiding hand can make all the difference, turning what may seem like a blank-page predicament into a liberating experience of self-discovery. These beginner journaling books are great resources for those who are at the dawn of their journaling journey. These books gently introduce you to the world of journaling, with easy-to-follow techniques, insightful prompts, and encouraging wisdom, all tailored to help you navigate your thoughts, explore your emotions, and uncover your inner narrative.

Effortless Journaling: How to Start a Journal, Make it a Habit, and Find Endless Writing Topics by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

This comprehensive beginner’s guide empowers you to build the transformative habit of journal writing. Scott unpacks the science-backed benefits of journaling so you can learn practical strategies to overcome common roadblocks, such as lack of time, overwhelm, and uncertainty about what to write. With step-by-step guidance, this book helps you establish a consistent journaling routine, providing techniques to make the process effortless and enjoyable.

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

This essential guide by the founder of the bullet journal system, Ryder Carroll, outlines an effective and adaptable method for time management, goal setting, and intentional living. A simple approach requiring only a pen, paper, and a few minutes a day, the bullet journal method has been adopted by millions for its efficacy in enhancing productivity and focus. Carroll’s book goes beyond the basics, helping you avoid common beginner pitfalls and establishing a solid discipline that can be personalized to your unique needs.

Smart Journaling: How to Form Life-Changing Journal Writing Habits that Actually Work for Reaching Any Goal and Getting Your Life on Track by Mackenzie Reed

Explore techniques like bullet journaling and dot journaling to make journaling work for you. With exercises, prompts, and examples, this book provides the tools and guidance to help you gain clarity, focus on what truly matters, and achieve tangible results. Whether you’re starting small or challenging yourself with bigger goals, Smart Journaling is a great guide book on how to combine fun and function for a fulfilling journaling experience.

The Ultimate Guide to Journaling by Hannah Braime

This book is your all-in-one resource for starting and maintaining a journaling practice. Braime breaks down the process of journaling into simple, manageable steps, making it accessible to beginners while also providing valuable insights for more experienced journalers. The book delves into a variety of journaling methods, prompts, and techniques that can be tailored to meet your personal needs and goals. With a warm, encouraging tone, Braime guides you through the process of using journaling as a tool for self-discovery, personal growth, and increased self-awareness.

Journal Writing: How To Start A Journal And Succeed Using Writing Prompts For Clarity, Happiness, Self-Discovery and Getting Better Results by Mackenzie Reed

This helpful book for journaling beginners by Mackenzie Reed guides you through the journaling process and introduces you to the power of journal prompts, providing you with the tools you need to navigate life’s challenges and move onto the next stage of your journey. With practical techniques, helpful insights, and guidance on different journaling approaches, you’ll be empowered to write your way to a brighter future.

Gratitude Journaling Books

In this collection, you’ll find a range of insightful and inspiring reads that will guide you on a journey of cultivating gratitude and embracing a more positive outlook on life. From practical guides to creative prompts, these books offer valuable techniques, personal stories, and exercises to help you harness the power of gratitude and incorporate it into your daily journaling practice. Get ready to discover new perspectives, deepen your appreciation, and cultivate a grateful mindset through the pages of these transformative books.

The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan

Explore the transformative power of gratitude in this inspiring New York Times bestseller. Journey alongside author and journalist Janice Kaplan as she dedicates a year to living gratefully, revolutionizing her relationships, work, and well-being. Through her exploration, she uncovers that one’s perspective can significantly influence their experience of the world. Immerse yourself in Kaplan’s rich journey filled with enlightening advice from psychologists, doctors, and philosophers, combined with her personal anecdotes.

The Five Minute Gratitude Journal by Intelligent Change

This simple yet powerful gratitude journal is designed to help you cultivate gratitude and positivity in just a few minutes each day. Designed with busy individuals in mind, this journal offers carefully crafted prompts that encourage reflection on the good in your life, helping you focus on the present and foster a sense of fulfillment. With sections for morning and evening entries, The Five Minute Journal can help you start and end your day on a positive note, leading to increased happiness, resilience, and overall well-being.

The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal: Give Thanks, Practice Positivity, Find Joy by Sophia Godkin

This journal offers a simple yet powerful tool to cultivate gratitude and invite well-being into your daily life. With exercises designed to inspire you to notice and appreciate the people, experiences, and blessings that surround you, both big and small, this journal not only helps you build a better habit of gratitude but also explores the psychological and emotional benefits it brings, such as increased happiness and optimism.

The One-Minute Gratitude Journal by Brenda Nathan

With the freedom to record your entries without the pressure of consecutive dates, this journal allows for flexibility and eliminates any guilt associated with missed days. Alongside space for written reflections, the journal also provides pages where you can unleash your creativity and draw something beautiful. Each page features an inspirational quote, offering a source of motivation and inspiration. By writing down three to five things you are grateful for each day, this journal empowers you to transform ordinary moments into blessings and embrace a life filled with appreciation and joy.

The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good by Jeremy Adam Smith, Kira M. Newman, Jason Marsh, and Dacher Keltner

In a world often focused on self-interest, this book presents gratitude as an antidote to fractured relationships and a pathway to personal and collective well-being. Backed by extensive research conducted by the Greater Good Science Center and Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, The Gratitude Project delves into the deep roots of gratitude in human psychology and its profound impact on our brains. This enlightening book features essays from leading positive psychologists and public figures who explore the neuroscience and psychology of gratitude.

Prompted and Guided Journaling Books

From daily prompts that spark creativity to structured exercises that delve into specific themes, these books offer a variety of approaches to help you unlock your inner thoughts, discover new insights, and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself. Whether you are new to journaling or a seasoned writer, these guided journals are here to accompany you on a transformative exploration of self-discovery and self-expression.

The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday

Stoic philosophy, an ancient guiding force for brilliant thinkers, accomplished leaders, and ordinary individuals for over two millennia, now finds a new, refreshing presentation in this journal by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. Having demystified the stoic principles of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus to countless modern readers through their popular works like The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, and The Daily Stoic, the authors now offer a tangible platform for you to reflect, grow, and transform. The journal inspires you each week with a specific Stoic practice, accompanied by thought-provoking quotes that foster deeper contemplation and practical application.

One Question a Day: A Five-Year Journal: A Personal Time Capsule of Questions and Answers by Aimee Chase

This beautifully designed guided journal offers a transformative journey that spans five years, allowing you to capture your thoughts and emotions on the same day each year. Delve into a range of thought-provoking questions, from the ordinary to the profound, as you document your daily experiences. From simple inquiries about your daily routines to contemplative queries on personal growth and change, this journal offers a comprehensive snapshot of your evolving thoughts and feelings over time.

reflect.: a self-reflective journal with mindful prompts & poems by Tiana DeNicola and Sophie Dunne

With its mindful prompts, poignant poems, and insightful exercises, reflect. is divided into seven chapters, each offering a unique perspective and exploration of your inner world. Designed to ignite curiosity and foster self-discovery, this journal invites you to embark on a personal voyage of introspection and growth. There is no rush—this is a journal that encourages you to embrace the present moment and delve deep into the layers of your identity.

A Year of Zen: A 52-Week Guided Journal (A Year of Reflections Journal) by Bonnie Myotai Treace

Authored by Zen priest and teacher Bonnie Myotai Treace, sensei, this journal invites both beginners and experienced practitioners to explore the depths of Zen philosophy and practice through a year-long reflection. As you fill the blank spaces of this journal, you’ll develop a mindful daily practice, nurturing a sense of calm, clarity, and purpose. With each entry, you’ll uncover new insights and cultivate a heightened awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal: Inspiring Prompts to Set Intentions and Live with Gratitude All Day by Tanya J. Peterson

This unique journal offers a personal time capsule of questions and answers, guiding you to reflect on your thoughts, experiences, and aspirations over a five-year period. Each day presents a thought-provoking question that invites you to explore different aspects of your life. With just a few minutes of reflection, you can capture your thoughts and insights, creating a record of personal growth and self-discovery. As you progress through the years, you’ll witness the evolution of your answers and gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

Principles: Your Guided Journal (Create Your Own Principles to Get the Work and Life You Want) by Ray Dalio

Empower yourself to create a life of success and fulfillment with this book by the legendary investor and bestselling author of Principles. Building upon the principles-based thinking introduced in his renowned book, this guided reflection journal takes readers on a transformative journey to develop their own set of guiding principles for work and life.

The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment by Barrie Davenport and S. J. Scott

Featuring 365 unique and actionable writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics, this journal provides a seven-day immersion into each theme. Say goodbye to boredom with engaging and fun prompts that cultivate your appreciation for the world around you. With dedicated pages for each prompt, there’s ample writing space for deep reflection and expressing your thoughts. Users praise the detailed prompts that enhance self-reflection and awareness, allowing for a more profound experience.

All are Free to Write: A one-year journal with writing prompts by Sheila Alee

Allee’s All are Free to Write is a one-year journaling guide aimed at nurturing your personal growth and igniting the storyteller within. The book serves as a perfect starting point for those who’ve been meaning to commit their life stories to paper or establish a journaling practice for personal development. This thoughtfully designed volume aligns with the 52-week calendar, incorporating holidays and special events, making your journaling journey all the more personal and relatable.

The Year of You: 365 Journal Writing Prompts for Creative Self-Discovery by Hannah Braime

Braime’s The Year of You serves as a personal invitation to embark on a journey of self-discovery and conscious living through daily journaling. This book eliminates the uncertainty often associated with journaling, offering a specific writing prompt for each day of the year that encourages deep reflection on key aspects of your life. The book structures these prompts according to a thematic focus for each month, covering important areas of life such as Identity, The Past, Fun, Career, Relationships, Growth, Travel and Adventure, Health, and The Future. This approach allows for a comprehensive exploration of one’s self.

Journal Therapy for Calming Anxiety: 366 Prompts to Help Reduce Stress and Create Inner Peace by Kathleen Adams

Find solace from stress and anxiety with this therapeutic journal, designed to guide you through 366 days of self-reflection and mindfulness. With an estimated 40 million American adults dealing with anxiety, seasoned clinical expert Kathleen Adams, LPC, harnesses her 35 years of experience to provide a transformative journaling journey. This year-long journal delivers a powerful tool to understand and manage anxiety, using an approachable sequence of therapeutic writing prompts.

Life Notes: A Guided Journal (for Exploring Your Past, Sharing Your Memories, and Honoring Your Life Story) by Theo Koffler

Life Notes: A Guided Journal provides an accessible and beautifully organized framework to embark on a deeply reflective spiritual journey. Each page prompts introspection and self-exploration, helping you record the uniqueness of your life experiences. This step-by-step guide to personal storytelling is thoughtfully divided into six categories: Self, Values, Relationships, Gratitude, Choices, and Insights. Each section starts with a mindfulness exercise followed by profound questions and inspiring quotes to guide your narrative. More than a diary, this journal aids in creating a lasting legacy of your experiences, insights, and shared humanity.

Tell Your Life Story: The Write Your Own Autobiography Guided Journal by Jeffrey Mason

This journal simplifies the task of documenting your life story with engaging prompts and queries, enabling you to detail the victories, lessons, and significant moments spanning from your childhood to adulthood. With over 200 pages thoughtfully arranged by life stages, this journal provides ample space to write your personal anecdotes, making it easier for you to recall, organize, and outline your life’s journey. By becoming the author of your life story, you create a lasting legacy for your loved ones to cherish.

The Self-Discovery Journal: 52 Weeks of Reflection, Inspiration, and Growth by Yana Lechtman

Structured around weekly quotes and prompts, this guided journal encourages a deep and honest exploration of your relationship with yourself and your surroundings. As the prompts unfold sequentially, you will discover essential aspects of your inner self, your actions, and your deepest desires. The journal takes you through four progressive stages of growth – cultivating self-awareness, aligning actions with values, discovering purpose, and fostering self-love and mindfulness. Peppered with inspiring quotes from profound thinkers, this beautifully designed journal provides the perfect platform for a transformative exploration of self over 52 weeks.

I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal by The Mindfulness Project

This compelling guide invites you to train your attention to focus on the here and now, freeing you from anxieties about the past and future. Filled with stimulating mindfulness exercises, meditation practices, coloring pages, and habit-challenging activities, the book guides you in observing, exploring, and cultivating a new awareness of your senses, thoughts, and emotions. The book not only inspires you to approach the world with increased curiosity but also sparks your creativity. Through everyday mindfulness, this creatively designed and illustrated book encourages you to truly live in the moment and enjoy a more serene life.

The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day by Lisa Tener

Authored by the award-winning book coach, Lisa Tener, this journal guides you to spark new ideas, overcome procrastination, inject life into current or stagnant projects, write without self-criticism, and gain confidence in your writing skills. Its unique features include engaging digital content like inspiring videos, audio meditations, visualizations, and access to a supportive journaling community via QR codes, which makes journaling not just easy but also fun and invigorating. With added planning pages for consistency and proven advice to inspire unexpected breakthroughs, this journal is a powerful tool for any writer, whether you’re seeking fresh ideas or well on your way to creating your masterpiece.

Journaling Books: A Deeper Dive

These books explore various aspects of journaling, offering insights, techniques, and guidance to help you unlock the full potential of this transformative practice. From exploring different journaling methods and styles to discovering the therapeutic benefits of journaling, these books offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to deepen your journaling practice. Whether you are seeking to express your thoughts and emotions, cultivate mindfulness, or embark on a journey of self-exploration, these books will provide you with the tools and guidance to take your journaling to new depths.

Leaving A Trace: On Keeping a Journal – The Art of Transforming a Life into Stories by Alexandra Johnson

Leaving A Trace offers a rich, literary guide to journaling, with practical advice on how to transform this intimate record into something more permanent, like a memoir or a novel. This hands-on guide provides narrative advice and tailored exercises to suit both beginners and seasoned diarists. For novices, Johnson presents effective ways to overcome initial inhibitions, kickstart the journaling process, and maintain momentum. For those well-acquainted with journaling, the book suggests fresh perspectives, teaching readers how to spark creativity with brainstorming exercises, recognize patterns in existing journal entries, and structure their raw material into compelling narratives.

The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose by Eric Maisel and Lynda Monk

This comprehensive guide offers an array of journaling techniques and insights from top experts in the field, equipping readers with the tools they need to cultivate personal growth, healing, and creativity through the art of journaling. Whether you’re seeking personal growth, healing, or a deeper connection to your creative spirit, The Great Book of Journaling is your guide to unlocking the transformative potential of journal writing.

Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth – Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life by Kathleen Adams

In this groundbreaking guide first published in 1990, a renowned expert in journal therapy presents a potent tool for personal transformation—your own journal. Recognizing the extraordinary powers of journal writing, this book furnishes specific techniques for journaling to accomplish various personal goals. Whether you seek to work through complex problems, heal relationships, delve into the subconscious, interpret dreams, discover your subpersonalities, recover from grief, or overcome childhood traumas, Journal to the Self offers chapters designed to guide you on these paths.

Eternity’s Sunrise: A Way of Keeping a Diary by Marion Milner

In this thought-provoking book, Milner invites readers into her personal world, where even the simplest objects or experiences hold profound meaning. From a carved duck to a sprig of asphodel, from her travels in Greece, Kashmir, and Israel to encounters with circus clowns and captivating paintings, each moment becomes a bead in the tapestry of her diary. By asking herself the question, “What is the most important thing that happened yesterday?” she uncovers the warmth and glow within each bead.

The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity by Tristine Rainer

This book is a classic guide to journaling that remains as relevant today as when it was first published in 2004. Moving beyond traditional notions of diary writing, The New Diary presents journaling as a dynamic tool for self-discovery, creativity, and personal growth. This guide is perfect for both seasoned journal writers and those new to the practice. Rainer rejects the idea of a “right” way to keep a diary and instead offers a myriad of approaches for leveraging your journal to meet your unique needs. This book positions the diary as a space to clarify goals, visualize the future, and focus energies; a tool to unleash your intuition and imagination; and a workbook for delving into dreams, past experiences, and present realities.

Journalution: Journal Writing to Awaken Your Inner Voice, Heal Your Life, and Manifest Your Dreams by Sandy Grason

Grason’s Journalution offers an immersive journey into the healing and transformative power of journaling. Drawing inspiration from the writing guidance of Julia Cameron and the emotional nurturance of Shakti Gawain, this book provides a comprehensive exploration of how to use journaling to navigate through difficult experiences, express emotions, resolve past hurts, and even organize your life and set future goals.

The Healing Power of Writing: A Therapist’s Guide to Using Journaling With Clients by Susan Borkin

This invaluable resource is tailored specifically for mental health professionals, providing them with detailed guidance on how to incorporate therapeutic journaling into their practice. The Healing Power of Writing is packed with real-life case studies, step-by-step exercises, and practical guidelines.

Legendary Journals

These journals not only provide a unique perspective on historical and personal events, but they can also serve as a source of inspiration for your own journaling practice.

Remarkable Diaries: The World’s Greatest Diaries, Journals, Notebooks, & Letters by Kate Williams

This comprehensive collection takes you on a captivating journey through history, offering glimpses into the private musings of some of the world’s most intriguing figures. From the personal reflections of Virginia Woolf to the wartime entries of Anne Frank, “Remarkable Diaries” presents a diverse range of voices and experiences, reminding us of the power and intimacy of journaling. While not a traditional guide to journaling, Remarkable Diaries offers an inspirational anthology that exemplifies the art of diary keeping. Reading these real-life entries can evoke a sense of connection and deepen your understanding of the human experience, enriching your own journaling practice. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned journaler, this book is a treasure trove of inspiration.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This profound and poignant diary offers a firsthand account of the horrors of the Holocaust through the eyes of a Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam. Anne’s thoughtful reflections and observations about life, adolescence, and hope amidst despair make her diary a powerful testament to the human spirit.

The Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath

Hailed as a genuine literary event, Plath’s journals offer an intimate and unfiltered glimpse into her thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Through Plath’s unguarded reflections, readers gain fresh insights into her frequent desperation as well as the remarkable courage with which she confronted her challenges. These journals are a testament to Plath’s unyielding spirit and serve as a valuable resource for understanding her complex life and her influential literary legacy.

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf

Spanning the years from 1918 to 1941, Virginia Woolf’s diary entries reveal her innermost musings, concerns, and reflections as she crafted her literary masterpieces. Comprising twenty-six volumes, these diaries provide unprecedented insight into the mind of a genius. Readers will encounter her exercises in the craft of writing, observations on locations, events, and people that inspired scenes in her fiction, and reflections on the works of other writers. Through her diary, Woolf shares her meticulous preparations, creative practices, studies, and the emotional landscapes she traversed while shaping literary history.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

These famous journals document the courageous journey of exploration across the American continent in the early 19th century. Their detailed descriptions of the landscapes, native peoples, and flora and fauna they encountered along the way offer a fascinating historical record.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys

Pepys was an administrator of the navy of England and a Member of Parliament who kept a detailed personal diary from 1660 to 1669. His accounts provide an eyewitness report of important events of the time, such as the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London, making his diary an important document of historical significance.

The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

This diary chronicles the transformative expedition of a young medical student as he traverses the landscapes of Latin America in 1952, accompanied by his friend Alberto Granado. On a vintage Norton motorcycle, they embark on an adventure that will forever change their lives. Capturing the essence of youthful idealism and a boundless belief in the potential for justice, peace, and happiness, Guevara’s account resonates with the exuberance and joy of discovery. It paints a vivid portrait of the continent and its people, offering an intimate glimpse into the challenges and triumphs they encountered along the way.

You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine by Yeva Skalietska

Through the poignant pages of her diary, Yeva recounts her harrowing journey as a young survivor of the war in Ukraine, offering a compelling narrative of resilience, hope, and the indomitable spirit of the human heart. Yeva’s diary offers an intimate and firsthand account of the impact of war on a young girl’s life, as well as the strength and determination that emerge from such experiences. Her story serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring power of hope, even in the darkest of times.

The Diary of Anaïs Nin by Anaïs Nin

The Diary of Anaïs Nin is a literary memoir like no other, offering a unique glimpse into the life and mind of a remarkable woman. With its mesmerizing narrative, it has captivated readers and critics alike, hailed for its lyrical beauty and profound impact on the literary landscape. hrough her lyrical prose and unparalleled storytelling, Nin’s diary becomes an immersive experience that transports readers into her innermost thoughts and experiences.

Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton

In this brave and deeply revealing memoir, Sarton invites readers into her private realm as she navigates the complexities of her inner and outer worlds. Journal of a Solitude is a poignant and introspective meditation on the power of creativity, the interconnectedness of nature, and the bravery required to embrace solitude. It is a work that uplifts and offers catharsis, carrying readers along on Sarton’s pilgrimage inward.

The Hidden Writer: Diaries and the Creative Life by Alexandra Johnson

This captivating book delves into the intimate realm of literary figures and their personal journals, exploring how these diaries have served as a tool for navigating the complexities of a creative existence. With insightful analysis and rich storytelling, this book offers a profound exploration of the diary as a literary form and its evolution within the context of creative life.

Speciality Journaling Books

Journaling is a versatile practice that can be adapted to suit various interests and passions. In this list, we have gathered a selection of books that delve into the unique and captivating worlds of art journaling and nature journaling, providing inspiration, techniques, and guidance for creating visually stunning and meaningful journal entries.

Art Journaling

Art journaling is a vibrant and expressive form of journaling that combines visual elements with written words. Here are some books that can guide and inspire you in this practice:

Creative Journaling: A Guide to Over 100 Techniques and Ideas for Amazing Dot Grid, Junk, Mixed-Media, and Travel Pages by Renee Day

Unleash your creativity and organization skills with this visually stunning guide packed with over 100 techniques and ideas for dot grid, junk, mixed-media, and travel pages. From crafting vibrant layouts to making your own washi tape and tabs, author Renee Day takes you on an artistic journey with step-by-step photos and instructions. Discover how to personalize your journals using acrylic paint, brush pens, stencils, stamps, and more, as you transform everyday planning into a work of art.

No Excuses Art Journaling: Making Time for Creativity by Gina Rossi Armfield

This invigorating guidebook that turns common reasons for not engaging with an art journal into opportunities for artistic exploration. This insightful book offers a foolproof method for art journaling, using an everyday item—a day planner—as your creative outlet. Inside this handy guide, you’ll encounter adaptable daily, weekly, and monthly prompts that can be seamlessly integrated into your busy schedule. Armfield guides you through exciting and straightforward techniques that include sketching, watercolor painting, collage-making, and more, allowing you to record your personal journey while expressing your artistic side.

Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler

This book is a treasure trove of creative inspiration for anyone passionate about art journaling. Scott and Modler, both seasoned educators and artists, present 365 prompts — one for each day of the year — to spark your creativity and keep your artistic juices flowing. Each prompt is thoughtfully designed to challenge your perceptions, stir your imagination, and push your artistic boundaries. The book also includes detailed tutorials on a variety of artistic techniques, from collage and doodling to mixed media and more. Whether you’re an experienced art journaler or just starting to explore this exciting form of self-expression, “Journal Fodder 365” offers a year’s worth of inspiration to fuel your journey of artistic discovery.

Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking by Emily K. Neubruger

This stimulating book by award-winning author Emily K. Neuburger is an enthralling guide that invites you to delve into the rewarding world of journaling. By employing a captivating blend of words, drawings, collage, and observation-based list-making, Neuburger ignites your imagination and fuels your creative spirit with 60 interactive writing prompts and practical art instructions that challenge you to fill a blank page in a novel and exciting way. Every turn of the page welcomes a new approach to journaling – from crafting a visual map of your daily life to transforming arbitrary splotches into whimsical characters for a light-hearted tale.

Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal by Samantha Dion Baker

By acclaimed artist Samantha Dion Baker, this book is a captivating invitation to embark on your own illustrated journaling journey. With her distinctive creative process, Baker has garnered a large following on Instagram, where she shares her daily life through her “sketch journal” in a contemporary and vibrant style. Whether you are an experienced artist seeking fresh inspiration or a budding creative longing to begin, “Draw Your Day” provides the perfect blend of instruction, encouragement, and practical tips to help you unleash your creativity.

The Art Journal Workshop: Break Through, Explore, and Make it Your Own by Traci Bunkers

Step by step, Bunkers takes you on a journey into the world of art journaling, making it accessible and enticing. With stunning illustrations and clear instructions, she breaks down the entire process of creating a visual journal, from start to finish. You’ll learn various techniques using different media such as paint, photographs, and collage. Journaling prompts and exercises accompany each step, encouraging you to delve deeper into your thoughts and experiences.

Nature Journaling

Keeping a Nature Journal: Deepen Your Connection with the Natural World All Around You by Clare Walker Leslie

Leslie shares her expertise and passion for nature observation and journaling, providing step-by-step drawing techniques that make it easy for anyone to capture the beauty of the natural world. Drawing from her own journals, which span over 40 years, she showcases her own observations and experiences as a source of inspiration. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a novice, this book will guide you in developing your ability to see and witness the wonders of nature.

Travel Journaling

The Art of the Travel Journal: Chronicle Your Life with Drawing, Painting, Lettering, and Mixed Media – Document Your Adventures, Wherever They Take You by Abbey Sy

The Art of the Travel Journal is a comprehensive guide that invites you to embark on a creative journey of documenting your adventures through drawing, painting, lettering, and mixed media. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner, this book provides techniques, ideas, and inspiration for creating a one-of-a-kind travel journal that captures the essence of your explorations. Author Abbey Sy shares step-by-step instructions, tips, and composition ideas to bring your journal pages to life with sketches, lettering, color palettes, and mementos.

Essential Writing Books

Journaling, essentially, is about writing. These books delve into the art and practice of writing, offering guidance, inspiration, and techniques to help you unlock the power of writing in your personal journaling journey. From prompts and exercises to methods for deepening self-reflection and creative expression, these books illuminate the transformative potential of putting pen to paper.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

In this classic book, Anne Lamott serves as a warm and hilarious guide through the often daunting world of writing. With wisdom passed down from her own father, Lamott shares valuable advice that sparks creativity and offers guidance for navigating the writing process. Through relatable anecdotes and heartfelt insights, she encourages readers to tackle their writing projects one step at a time, just as her father advised his overwhelmed younger brother. From overcoming self-doubt and writer’s block to finding inspiration and embracing the messiness of life, Lamott’s words resonate with both aspiring and seasoned writers. Renowned for her superb writing advice, Lamott’s book has garnered praise for its humor, helpfulness, and thought-provoking nature.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

With millions of copies sold and countless creatives inspired, “The Artist’s Way” offers a revolutionary program for personal renewal and self-discovery. Cameron’s unique approach gently guides readers to recognize and overcome creative roadblocks, fostering a deeper connection with their inner artist and a reinvigorated sense of purpose. At the heart of Cameron’s method are the Morning Pages and the Artist Date: a daily writing ritual of stream of consciousness writing, and a dedicated time to nurture your creative spirit. These foundational tools, paired with a wealth of exercises, activities, and prompts, empower readers to explore their creativity deeply and authentically.

The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore

This book transcends the traditional “how to write” paradigm, presenting an exploration of writing as a spiritual and mindful practice. Dinty W. Moore, an esteemed writing coach and teacher, offers thoughtful reflections on the creative process, the origins of writing and creativity, and the role of mindfulness in the work of a writer. This book is replete with bite-sized essays, framed around inspiring quotes from celebrated writers and thinkers. The Mindful Writer goes beyond merely teaching good writing habits; it encourages growth as a person and dedicates attention to living a life intertwined with writing.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Celebrating thirty years as a staple in the writer’s library, Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones skillfully combines insight, humor, and practicality to inspire writers and aspiring writers to explore their craft more deeply and authentically. Goldberg offers a treasure trove of advice on myriad aspects of writing, from harnessing the power of first thoughts and mastering the art of deep listening, to enlivening sentences with dynamic verbs and overcoming crippling doubts. The book emphasizes the significance of writing as a practice that can bring forth a deeper understanding and appreciation of one’s life. Goldberg’s work is more than just a handbook—it’s a creative companion that promises to motivate all who write, or yearn to.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

In this part memoir, part master class, the legendary Stephen King reveals the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. The book begins with a captivating account of his journey to becoming a published author, providing a rare glimpse into his life and the incidents that influenced his storytelling. The second part is a practical, no-nonsense guide to the craft of writing, where King shares his wisdom about the art and craft of creating compelling narratives. He discusses everything from developing plot and character, to the importance of a strong vocabulary and grammar, and even how to handle rejection. While not a traditional guide to journaling, On Writing is invaluable for anyone who wants to express themselves more effectively through writing, making it a useful resource for both novice and seasoned journalers alike.

Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

In her acclaimed national bestseller, Still Writing, novelist and memoirist Dani Shapiro provides a personal and profound exploration of the creative life. Combining elements of memoir, reflections on the artistic process, and practical advice on craft, Shapiro extends her hard-earned insights and guidance to writers everywhere, encouraging resilience and persistence on the creative journey. Over a decade since its first release, Still Writing has firmly established itself as a fundamental resource in creative writing curricula, a beacon for budding writers, and most importantly, an essential manual for the modern scribe.

Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within by Janet Conner

An invaluable guidebook for spiritual exploration, Writing Down Your Soul illustrates the power of writing as a transformative tool for accessing the divine Voice within. As a writer, poet, and spiritual explorer, Janet Conner discovered this transformative process during a personal crisis, using the act of writing as a bridge to the theta brain wave state, where the conscious and subconscious mind intersect. A must-read not just for writers seeking another guide to their craft, but for anyone seeking a deeper, more meaningful connection with their inner selves, Writing Down Your Soul offers a unique pathway to personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.

Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma & Emotional Upheaval by James W. Pennebaker

This book, authored by a leading psychologist and researcher in the field of expressive emotions therapy (EET), provides a series of guided writing exercises designed to explore and process difficult experiences.Each chapter begins with an introduction that outlines the purpose and structure of the journal exercise, empowering readers to engage in self-reflection and emotional exploration. The book encourages readers to complete the exercises directly in its pages, providing ample space for personal expression. By revisiting their own words, readers gain insights and clarity, fostering a sense of understanding and control over their experiences.

Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives by Louise Desalva

Drawing from twenty years of research, acclaimed author and teacher Louise DeSalvo unveils the profound healing potential of writing. With insight and humor, DeSalvo explores how renowned writers such as Virginia Woolf, Henry Miller, Audre Lorde, and Isabel Allende have undergone personal transformations through the writing process. By delving into their journeys, readers gain inspiration and guidance to embark on their own healing writing practice.

Wrapping Up: Books on Journaling to Guide Your Journey

With this extensive list of 50+ journaling books, you now have a treasure trove of resources to support and inspire your journal writing. Whether you’re seeking journal prompts and exercises, exploring specific journaling techniques, or looking for guidance on topics like gratitude, self-discovery, or creativity, we hope you find a book here to suit your needs. These books on journaling offer invaluable insights, practical tips, and the wisdom of experienced journalers and writers who have walked the path before you. May these books ignite your creativity, deepen your self-reflection, and guide you towards a life of clarity, growth, and self-discovery. Happy journaling!

About the Author

Kristen Webb Wright is the author of three books on journaling. With a passion for writing and self-reflection, Kristen uses her experience with journaling to help others discover the benefits of documenting their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In her role at Day One, she helps to promote the power of journaling so people from all walks of life can experience the transformative power of journaling.

Photo of author and journaling expert, Kristen Webb Wright

Start a Journal Today in
the Day One Journal App

With compelling prompts and journaling reminders, Day One makes keeping a journal enjoyable as well as easy. Download the Day One app for free today and start writing. 

Journal from here, there, everywhere.

Download the Day One journal app for free on iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Journal from here there and everywhere mobile devices image.