A notebook can serve as a journal, but can a journal serve as a notebook? After all, both are nothing more than a collection of bound pages. What’s the difference?
In my mind, the difference is intention.
When I purchase a notebook, it’s usually for a class or seminar. A journal or diary on the other hand is intended for recording something specific – like my thoughts on a day, my aspirations, travel experiences, the details of my workout, eating habits, dreams, ideas for my next book, etc.
I find there is something really quite relaxing about journaling. Like coloring, it allows us to take a few quiet moments to collect, reflect, and distill our thoughts before committing them to words on paper. It calms us to think of our day anecdotally or as a series of connected scenes. What happened today that is worth recording? Why is it important? How did I react to something unexpected? What actions or interactions were important today? Did I reach my goals?
No matter what information you record in your journal, it’s your information. It’s personal, so why not create a custom journal?
It’s pretty simple to layout pages with writing prompts, lists of daily exercises, fitness or spiritual goals, appointments, or other experiences or feelings you wish to track. Once you’ve got it right, duplicate the page until you have the desired number of pages. You can also design your own cover from your favorite photos and choose from paperback, hardcover and coil bindings.
Just remember to create the pages in the same dimensions as the journal you wish to print. Also, the total number of pages should be divisible by four.
Why adapt to something you find on a shelf that’s sort of close to what you want when you can easily create something that’s perfect for you?
Here’s a quick tutorial to help you create your custom journal.