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How to get into journaling as a hobby

We could all probably use a little bit of mindfulness. From diet and exercise to new fitness goals and general creative mindfulness, a journal helps keep users in touch with the inner thoughts they otherwise might not notice. And whether you're an adult who wants to try journaling or a parent who wants your kids to take it up, there are lots of choices to make.

In this article: Moleskine Hard Cover Lined A5 JournalFeela Dotted A5 Notebook Set and Pilot G-2 Retractable Pens 4-Color Pack.

Journaling is for everyone

Don't assume that journaling is reserved for writers and intense planners. There's no right or wrong way to do it, though an excellent journal to write in elevates the final result. Writers who simply want to say what's on their minds more will likely want lined journals without extra words, graphics and prompts, while those who want a guided experience may benefit from all three.

Self-help and fitness journals blur the line between a journal and a planner. These are for people who just want to track progress and jot down a few thoughts.

Of course, some people might not want prompts, lines or dots. Pencil and ballpoint-pen artists can make anything work, but those who want to take it to the next level with watercolors or markers need a visual journal with paper made specifically for artists.

What to know about journals

Now that you know what kind of journaling you want, it's time to pick the right journal. You'll want paper that's thick enough to take graphite or ink, but thin enough to carry around, especially if you're traveling.

A hardcover journal will withstand your bag or backpack, while a paperback will often take up far less space. Want to fold the front cover to the back while you write? Get a wire-bound notebook for maximum flexibility. Want to use both sides for writing or art? Get a book-bound journal.

People looking to journal with a quill or fountain pen like their favorite classic writers need thick paper that won't bleed through, though you can be flexible on what kind of ink.

Acid-free paper will last longer and preserve your thoughts, though people jotting temporary notes can save money by buying bulk journals that may not stand the test of time.

What to buy for journaling

Moleskine Hardcover Lined A5 Journal

Moleskine is, perhaps, the biggest name in high-end journals and journaling supplies. This journal is filled with quality paper and made to lug around without crumpling and bending.  Want something smaller and without lines? There are plenty of other Moleskine journals to choose from.

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Moleskine Hard Cover XL Lined Notebook

This offers the same Moleskine quality with more space. While any size will do, larger journals work well for writers, note-takers and doodlers alike, as more surface area means more opportunity to discover your style.

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Paperage Blank A5 Journal

Blank journals such as this are, perhaps, the ideal way to destigmatize journaling and get that ink on paper. This one allows complete freedom whether you are writing, sketching, planning or a combination of the three. Multimedia journalers should start with a book like this.

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Peter Pauper Press Tree of Life Vegan Leather Journal

Sometimes, a classical-looking journal such as this helps you feel like those characters you see in books and movies. Peter Pauper's embossed vegan journals are an affordable, aesthetically satisfying way to pick up the habit.

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Feela Dotted A5 Notebook Set

A dotted journal gives you guidance and structure for lettering and art alike, and through practice, the included fineliners can help you capture a visually interesting color-coded style.

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 Strathmore 5.5-by-8-Inch Visual Watercolor Journal

This thick watercolor paper isn't just ideal for visual travel journals and art therapy. Traditional journal keepers who want the old-school feel of fountain pens, dip pens or feather quills will love the way the ink sticks to the surface without bleeding.

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Gelly Roll 5-Pack

Gelly Roll is, in many opinions, the best of the major gel-pen makers. It offers vibrant opaque colors that dry quickly with minimal smudging, and with five colors to choose from it's great for writers, sketch journalists and organizers alike.

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Pilot G-2 Retractable Pens 4-Color Pack

Pilot consistently makes some of the best affordable ballpoint pens on the market, and its iconic G-2 line has been a favorite of writers and students forever. Pilot's gel-based pen ink lays down evenly with friction and dries quickly to avoid smudging. Want something beyond the traditional blue, red, green and black? Pilot has plenty of artistic colors, too.

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Zebra Fountain Pen Pack

Zebra makes affordable pens of all sizes, but its line of disposable fountain pens is, perhaps, its most interesting idea yet. The fountain ink stays in the chamber and flows well on paper. Just make sure your paper is thick enough hold your pen's free-flowing ink.

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Vangoal Feather Quill Set

Want to journal the way the people did before ballpoint pens and electronics? This classic-looking quill looks great on a shelf and improves your mindfulness while you write. After all, dipping pens in ink gives your mind more time to process and self-edit what you write.

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Bradley Geiser writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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