With a big journaling challenge ahead, I figured I'd share the necessary tools. Thing is, we don't need big expensive tools. A notebook and a pen is really all you need, and even the notebook isn't absolute. A few sheets of paper and something to bind them works just as well. A few of the links here (all the amazon ones) are affiliate links. You know the drill, if you buy something I get a little extra.
If you are anything like me and the other journal nerds I know and love, you might want a bit more, just for fun. Now I love using the Tsuki notebooks from Notebook Therapy. They are good quality bullet journals (so grids, not lines) and I find they don't bleed with any of the pens I use. If you like blank, they do have a few options, but not many lines.
If you want something winter themed, you can find some really cute ones. Many are thinner, which might be better off for one off challenges, like #21DaysWinterSolstice. If you need simple, they have the marble composition ones in winter themes, like this adorable snowy buildings one. I love composition books, and don't use them nearly enough. When I traveled over the summer, I bought these little notebooks for myself and the kids to journal about our experiences. They worked well, and I liked that they were relatively inexpensive for an entire pack of them. I've also used this type of journal before, and I enjoyed it, although the little metal clip on the side would often get in my way. It wasn't a huge deal- I loved how this made me feel like I was writing in something extra special. You can get handmade journals on Etsy and other places, just be prepared to pay for them. Handmade is a lot of work- I know, I've made small scrap journals before and just small ones took days! But if you want that handmade feel, go for it! There is something magical feeling about them. Heck, there's something magical about journals and notebooks anyways!
As for pens, I'm really picky about the feel of my pens. I have a love affair with Pilot VBall - they are roller ball with thick ink and I just love the way they feel as I write. They dry fast too, so I rarely smear the ink unless I'm not paying attention. The only real downside is that I go through the ink really fast! I also love micron PN's. I like micron pens, but for some reason, I love the feel of the PN over any other size. I think it's the way it flows- it's smoother than the other sizes. You can also look into gelly roll pens- sakura is a trusted brand in my experience. They come in all sort of colors too. And they work really well if you have paper that isn't white. One of my favorite notebooks is all black (Aesthetically, so pleasing and works so well for shadow work!)
One of the things I'm currently learning to do is combine my pen and intention with these cool looking pens. You can fill the pens with herbs, tiny scraps of paper and even tiny gems, and set a magical intention. I have a set on order and I can't wait to get them to see how the ink flows (because that's important to me!) If it flows well, I'm going to be over the moon. It's just such a cool idea.
Stickers and Washi aren't needed, but let me tell you- I love adding flair. I think stickers and washi just give journals a personal touch. It also, at least in my experience, brings back a little joy from childhood when I'd hoard stickers and put them everywhere. It's just fun. You can get seasonal stickers and washi from Notebook Therapy, as well as The Washi Tape Shop, Etsy and Michaels. Etsy is a really good resource too, since you can support a lot of smaller businesses and individuals! Some sticker artists are so creative and you can find stickers for almost anything you want! I thought this washi tape and these stickers from Amazon was cute as well- if your need is speed.
So really, while an inexpensive notebook and pen is all you need, you can have some fun and get awesome items to enhance your journaling. Necessary? Absolutely not. Simple is great- but you are welcome (and I encourage) to explore, to express yourself and even to treat yourself to something that can become an intimate habit. Journaling is so integral to my spiritual experience and a way I empower myself. I write about my day, my thoughts, and I explore my feelings and what is going on in my life that needs work, and what I express gratitude and joy for. It is ultimately a power tool for my spiritual growth, and for that, I like celebrate with goodies.
I'm really excited to get started on this journaling project. Already, just planning it has helped my mood and I feel a bit more joy and seasonal happiness. And I really hope it helps anyone else who wants that connection with the season and with spirit.