Find Your Journal, Find Your Zen.

I just got a new journal. As my Mom always tells people, ruining the surprise, I like to hide my own journals among the books on my shelves instead of my underwear drawer, or below my pillow, or in-between the box spring and my mattress.  In fact, my youngest and chunkiest cat, Fromage, likes to hide in that section of the bed, so a journal just wouldn’t be appropriate in her nook.  Thus, most journals that I purchase have to look like books, or at least inconspicuously blend in.  I like to think of myself as “writing the mysteries of my life.”

I know, I know, I’m no Sylvia Plath.

No, Doris Lessing.

No secret Judith Shakespeare, in a city street scape penning away secret plays that I’m unable to write because I’m a woman. (Thanks, VA Woolf).

I have a few favorite journal shops and I was told that I should share them via Instagram.

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Iconic Planner @ The Journal Shop

Iconic Planner @ The Journal Shop

Iconic Planner

I love these because they’re delicate and they make me feel like somehow, somewhere, America can have a chance at competing with the Japanese when it comes to journaling.  Japan did, after all, invent Hello Kitty – the queen of journaling after Lisa Frank.  I realize that this is a planner and not a journal, but I think planners can be journals.  It’s better than spending $50 at Kikki.K by buying a 365

Iconic Stitch Journals

Iconic Stitch Journals

day journal.  Just do your journaling by day in a planner with a cute paisley print.  They also have the cutest stitch journals. To the left is my favorite little bear stitch journal, but they have paisley prints and penguins as well.  I might have actually just bought the penguin one because I can’t look at journals and not immediately want to be the first to flex the spine. The “Essay Book” is another option from Iconic.  I have three of these just sitting on my extra bookshelf and I find them a little too small and a little too thick to lay flat.  I definitely need a journal that lays flat so I can drag my hand across the page as I write and not use my writing hand to keep the book open.  It’s just a pet peeve of mine.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.41.11 PM The Red Loft Bindery

The Red Loft Bindery Journal

The Red Loft Bindery Journal

I bought my first recycled book journal in Asheville at a place called The Findery which ended up closing (and basically ruining my life when I tried to go again last time I was there and it was abandoned.  I had to eat a very large hamburger to get over it.  I’m a sad eater).  Since then, I have scoured Etsy for a shop that doesn’t ruin the binding of the original book, or even tamper with the binding, and still creates a perfectly manicured journal.  I have finally found that in The Red Loft

Inside Cover

Inside Cover

Bindery. And I messaged the woman who runs it, Lauren, after buying my first journal a few days ago (shipping is only two days) and she’s currently revamping her studio in order to add more refurbished books to journals. However, please buy out her stock. Her bindings are so worth it and she puts old fashioned print in the back & front inside covers which makes each book even more meaningful to the owner.

 

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Bibliographica

My Bibliographica journal.

My Bibliographica journal.

These. Are. Pricey.

I actually do hide this one in my sock drawer because it still smells like the slaughtered cattle it was made from. So serious. Louise is from New Zealand so the shipping can be a little intense if you’re traveling the journal all the way to the US, but it’s probably good luck if you let your journal vacation before it’s even in your hands.  My bibliographic journal is a “medium” version and I loved it because it has this hard ass brown leather mixed with this dainty lace.  I thought it represented the cow girl that I always dreamt of being as a child.  (I do have a cow girl

This one to the left is known as "The Aqua Book"

This one to the left is known as “The Aqua Book”

Christmas ornament for the one time I made the mistake of telling my Mom that I wanted to be a cow girl).  It’s got beautifully sheared-edged sheets of paper, over 300 pages and the inside covers have the same beautiful stationary that I mentioned The Red Loft Bindery has.  The artistry and time spent on each of these journals makes them well worth the price.  I will admit, it won’t stay open when flat, but it makes me feel like I’m a Victorian bustled women when I carry it in a satchel.  I just became even more hipster, didn’t I? The best part about Bibliographica is that she names each of her journals.  Mine is called “The Novelist,” fitting, right?

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Eternal Leather Goods

My Eternal Leather Goods dori

My Eternal Leather Goods dori

Let’s just be honest, there’s a HUGE fad with Midori right now.  Whole Youtube accounts are dedicated to decorating your newest Fauxdori, or how to set up your Jendori.  They come in seven thousand colors, prints, and sizes.  Some dori in plastic, some in leather, and some fabric.  I have a fabric dori with polka dots that I love, but it doesn’t hold up as well as my Midori from Eternal Leather Goods.  That Herman Oak is something and Colin monogrammed it so the Southern girl in my squealed a little bit to hold it in my hands.  Colin has great reviews on Etsy and although it takes a while with shipping from Hong Kong, it’s well worth the wait.  I carry this dori everywhere because it fits in almost any purse.  I use it as my thought journal.  Whenever I have a random thought that doesn’t need to be generated into a list (Moleskine) then I put it in my dori. I know that we have phones for this with “notes,” but I just can’t make the technological crossover.

I just got really obsessive compulsive there for a second.

I have a journal for everything.  Stacks of post its for reminders. Post it tags for favorites. I can’t seem to keep a doodle/art journal though.  I need words, WORDS I TELL YOU.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.36.09 PMThe Green Room

The only spiral notebook in my journals list and the only notebook I will use for school is a Green Room notebook. The only place I know where to find these journals is at Target.  Don’t be swayed by the Moleskine section, or the feel of a baby blue twelve dollar Cambridge notebook, it’s enticing, but it’s just not the same.  The Green Room is my ride or die notebook.  The college rule is perfectly separated.  The lines aren’t too dark because they’re just a row of light Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.36.22 PMbrown dots, typically.  The special section between the header and the beginning of the lines is perfect for dates and titles.  The paper, oh, the paper.  It’s a fine art of journal making and eco friendly goodness.

I do not like journals with titles.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 8.36.38 PMI do have a “My Dysfunctions” journal that I adore, but that’s it.

If it has a title, it’s not for me.  And Green Room understands me, but they’re also branching out into titled journals.  So, if that’s for you, head to your nearest Target, which you obviously hit up on a regular basis, and go to the Green Room journal section.  I use the spirals for school and the skinny dippys for funsies.

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One journal that I’ve found to be really popular and I just can’t get on board with is the May Designs journals.  Most of them come monogrammed for an extra four or five dollars (I can’t remember), but they’re skinny, and a little bit too flimsy.  They don’t lay open on a desk and they don’t have enough pages to really get into your flow of journaling.  I need the first twenty pages to sound like a seventh grade girl that “shoots the shit” with herself.  After that, I’m actually journaling.  I now use my May Designs for grocery lists, but I don’t think I’ll buy another one.  The prints are FAB-U-LOUS, the journals just aren’t what I’m looking for in an intimate partner.

To the doodlers, scar facers, dribblers & scribblers, find your journal; find your zen.

13 thoughts on “Find Your Journal, Find Your Zen.

  1. ncontreras83 says:

    Thanks for sharing the journal shop. They look totes adorable. I actually really love May Design but I agree that as a journal, they are just too thin. They tend to get me though with their lovely designs and sales.

    I keep my journals in shoeboxes.

    • Cassie says:

      The Journal Shop is wonderful! I have a bunch of May Designs journals but I can’t decide what to do with them? They don’t work as journals and I’m not too into fitness to track that. I use a moleskine to record book quotes I love. Hmph. Just not sure. That’s an awesome place to keep them! I keep letters in shoe boxes!

      • ncontreras83 says:

        I buy those big decorative boxes at Michaels to store letters and other items. Like drawings n such from my sisters. I have used one May Design as a journal and I currently use one for as my worship notebook. Like when we are up for worship, what songs for what week, the order, what songs to try, etc… what I love about the May Design is that I can avoid the monogram and instead have a quote or verse or phrase. My worship notebook has on the cover, As Deep Cries Out to Deep. That’s one of the reasons why I love them. I think they are good for notes or keeping quotes, etc. My Rhodia, which are a whole other set of notebooks that I love, is almost out. I use it for book list keeping. I’ll probably use a May Design For that once this one finishes. My Design are very similar to Moleskine. But Moleskine have a few perks that May Design Doesn’t. Another brand I love is paperchase.

      • Cassie says:

        I haven’t seen Paperchase, I’m going to look them up. I do have a May Design with a quote maybe I’ll use it for school notes during the day, I love the quote you chose for your worship notebook. How pretty! I find it so interesting how people choose journals and journal spaces.

      • ncontreras83 says:

        I think people underestimate the power journaling has. Or how having a notebook for a particular thing can be so rewarding. So I get super excited when people talk about it. It’s like being on the subway and seeing someone read a book, a physical paperback, my heart just flutters.

      • Cassie says:

        Yes! I completely, absolutely agree. I LOVE finishing an entire journal. It’s rare for me to use every page so I’m trying really hard to do that more. I’m a three fourths of the journal journaler and then I want something fancy!

      • ncontreras83 says:

        Then you must get one of those overly expense but ooo so lovely leather bound journals with wrap tie string. Also Paper Blanks! Good hardcover sturdy journals usually very pretty.

      • ncontreras83 says:

        Haha this year I’ve been rocking my journaling. But sometimes, not so much. I had one journal that I started then stoppedthem tried to go back to bit couldn’t, really because I had realized I didn’t want to document that time of my life. And sometimes it’s because love just happens and you don’t have time to write it all down or to sit n write.

      • Cassie says:

        Ah! That’s so interesting!! That we think we’re pouring out the truth on the page but really we can choose what truths to share or show. I have never actually thought about it that way.

  2. Leah says:

    Thanks for sharing your favorites! I used to be really good about journaling, and I’ve been trying to get back into it over the last few months. I’ve had good luck with Decomposition Notebooks in the past (although I think they were wider-ruled than I really prefer), and I’m in love with my giant hardcover Moleskin. I like large pages that give me room for my writing to sprawl out; no cramped pages, please!

    • Cassie says:

      I’ve seen those and always liked the outside, but I can’t do a wide ruled page. I end up writing to fill the space of the line and it just looks ridiculous. I agree so so so much with the no cramped pages. I don’t want to feel like I’m twisting different ways just to get my words to fit, girl, you are so right.

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