I have always found the blank page of a notebook so very daunting. Everyone always talks about the virtues of keeping a journal, but I sit down to write and simply have no idea where to start. I was always that kid in school who couldn’t cope with an open topic essay or a vague assignment. I’d worry about the length or if I’d chosen a “good” topic or if everyone else got what we were supposed to do except me. I need parameters so I can focus on the task rather than the details of it.
That’s why I find guided journals so helpful. They take me out of my head and instead give me something specific to reflect on rather than my mind wandering wildly from topic to topic. These kinds of journals often have prompts I’d have never even thought about before! Things about my self-care, my memories, and my goals.
And there’s such a variety of topics you can find a guided journal on! Self-care, anxiety, and reflection, sure. But, also, your life goals, your workplace, even your financial situation! Some even have you actually making art and getting creative on their pages.
If you want to see if they’re a good fit for you, check out these eight best guided journals to get you started!
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel
If you’re looking for a way to step away from your day with something reflective and beautiful, Start Where You Are is a great choice. It’s full of vibrant hand lettered quotes, open-ended questions, and prompts on a variety of things to get your reflection energy flowing and leave the chaos of the day behind you.
Journal of Radical Permission: A Daily Guide to Following Your Soul’s Calling by adrienne maree brown and Sonya Renee Taylor
If self-doubt and uncertainty are getting in the way of finding your purpose, pick up Journal of Radical Permission. Through prompts that bring you back to your body and your internal self, you’ll explore what curiosity, surrender, grace, and satisfaction mean to you. The real you.
The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal: Give Thanks, Practice Positivity, Find Joy by Sophia Godkin, PhD
For those with a packed schedule or a short attention span, The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal is perfect. By taking a handful of minutes to answer a quick question that will get you reflecting and more conscious of what you’re grateful for. You can start your day with a prompt while you drink your coffee to wind down at the end of the day with a short scribble.
Burn After Writing by Sharon Jones
Sometimes journaling can feel vulnerable to prying eyes or an imagined audience but Burn After Writing is designed to be burned once you’re finished so your personal thoughts stay only your own. Inside, you’ll find a wide variety of questions about your everything from your dreams to your secrets to the bucket list you’ve never gotten around to writing.
The Next Right Thing Guided Journal: A Decision-Making Companion by Emily P. Freeman
We make decisions from the moment we wake up to the moment we close our eyes. What to wear, what to say, where to eat, who to love. The Next Right Thing Guided Journal based on Freeman’s book The Next Right Thing is here to help get rid of the decision fatigue of the world and land on what’s right for you.
Part of You, Not All of You: Shared Wisdom and Guided Journaling for Life with Chronic Illness by Jenneh Rishe
Living with chronic illness can be scary, chaotic, and exhausting. Part of You, Not All of You understands the doctor’s visits, symptoms, and emotional weight of dealing with medical issues is heavy. Full of plenty of space for your own reflection and words from others who are chronically ill, this guided journal will remind you you’re not alone.
Principles: Your Guided Journal (Create Your Own Principles to Get the Work and Life You Want) by Ray Dalio
Investor Ray Dalio took his ideas in Principles and put them into a journal to help you act on his advice. You’ll work through identifying your strengths, weaknesses, mistakes, and successes and develop a plan to achieve what you want most despite what’s getting in your way.
Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking by Emily K. Neburger
Sometimes it’s hard to dedicate time to creativity in the modern world. Journal Sparks is a great way to add that into your life in little, daily ways. On the pages, prompts will ask you to make a visual map, use stickers, or create little characters, all as a way to relieve stress and get you into the creating mood.
In the mood for more journals? Check out these book journals or these new bullet journals!