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Let’s talk about journals. Some people love them—they write pages and pages every night forever. Others, not so much. Basically for some, journaling feels like torture.

Even as a professional writer, as someone who writes books for kids as my job, I fall into the in-between category. Let me tell you why.

Here’s my journal. 

I’m on my third book, and I started writing in my One Line a Day in 2011, when my now 12-year-old daughter was a little over one. I wanted a way to just record things that happen in my life, mostly so I won’t forget them. Some days, my journal becomes a list of things I’m grateful for. Other days, it’s a list of complaints. There are even times where I simply write UGH across the five lines, and go to bed. That’s okay. I love keeping a record of my days, of the funny things my kids say, of amazing meals I eat, accomplishments, gripes, worries, sadness, all of it. And the best part is being able to look back and read the previous year’s entry on that particular day. I highly recommend a One Line a Day if you want to write some stuff down, but don’t have the energy for long entries.


I love this journal because it’s actually three things in one. A squishy, a pencil case (+ pencil), and a notebook! How awesome, right? You can tuck your favorite pens and pencils in the little pouch, and keep everything nice and neat for when you’re ready to write. The lines on the pages are wide to allow for all handwriting sizes, and there’s even a spot at the top of the page for the date, so you’ll always remember to include it. Also, it’s so cheerful and pretty and I love the colors. It’s super lightweight so ideal to carry around with you, for any time inspiration strikes!


This one cracked me up. I mean, haven’t we all said that to ourselves before? I think the answer is yes. I love this one because the inside has pages for places to visit, new things to try, and a gratitude log. There are also to-do list pages and then the rest is blanked-lined pages for whatever your heart wants to express. 


Sometimes we can lean toward catastrophic thinking, but what if we could lean the other way, too? And consider the possibility that whatever we’re worried about will turn out okay? It’s hard to do when we feel overwhelmed and stressed, but this journal may help us all accomplish it. The inside pages are lined and the journal is very light and easy to throw in your bag and carry around. Plus it’s part of Denik’s Art Can Change The World mission - one of their products that helps fund education projects worldwide. They say on their website, “When you snag one of our notebooks, we’re one step closer to changing a student’s life forever.” I mean, win-win, right? 


A little more interactive than the others, this is a brilliant idea! Answer the same question every day for three years, and see how your answers and feelings change. Then look back on it in five years or ten years, and have a visit with your past selves. This is a wonderful way to remember things you may have otherwise forgotten.


More specific and more grandma focused:  buy this for your Bubbie, Nana, Grandma, Mema, Yaya or Savta for her next birthday or Mother’s Day and she will be THRILLED. A fabulous format to inspire conversation plus a beautiful space to record your family’s story, this book is guaranteed to be a keepsake for generations to come. 

Whether you’re a committed journaler, someone who can’t be bothered, or somewhere in between, there are options out there for you! Pick up a pen or pencil, and whichever type feels right, and try it out. You may surprise yourself (in a good way) in the process! 

About the Writer

Lisa Greenwald is the author of more than 20 novels for tweens and teens including the TBH & Friendship List series. She lives in New York City with her husband, two daughters and a mini bernedoodle named Kibbitz. She writes in her One Line a Day, Five Year Memory Book every night before bed.

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