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The Best Diaries for Recording Your Memories

An open journal with writing on the pages and a pen and card on top of itFor those who like to write to express themselves, keeping a diary is a great way to record memories, thoughts, ideas, secrets, dreams, stories, and feelings. Writing in a diary provides a channel for introspection and can improve mental health, mood, and memory. Diaries come in many shapes, sizes, and formats to appeal to all types of people. Here are some of the best diaries out there.

Purchasing a Diary

Here’s what to know before you buy:

  • Cover: There are hardcover and softcover journals. This will come down to personal preference, but hardcover ones often seem to last longer, and softcover diaries often are more flexible for easy writing on the go.
  • Size: There are slim journals and pocket-sized journals along with the standard size. If you like to take your diary with you, consider a pocket-sized or slim one for easy portability.
  • Lined: Some journals come with wide or college-ruled pages, while others have blank pages or dotted/grid pages for bullet journaling.
  • Pages: Determine if the diary has enough pages for your needs. The more pages it has, the longer it will last you, after all.

Best Leather-Bound: ThoughtSpace Journals Leather Journal with Lined Pages

a leather bound journal on top of a rock outside with moss

This diary is handcrafted from genuine top grain leather and specially designed with artistic hand stitching. The medium-sized journal is easy to carry with you for daily use. Two bookmarks are included, and there are 240 thick pages of natural kraft paper. This diary is suitable for use with a variety of pens.

Best with Lock: CAGIE Lock Diary Leather Locking Journal

a leather journal with a three-digit lock code on the front with a teacup and a pen on the sides of it

This journal can lock to retain your secrets. Each diary has a unique, embossed design and a lock with a three-digit combination option. There are hundreds of passwords available to use. The journal is thick and has 100 sheets (200 pages) of lined paper and seven sheets (14 pages) of blank paper. The front and rear cover have pockets on the inside and can be refilled with paper. It works well with almost any pen, including those with high-volume ink.

Best with Lock

Lock Diary Leather Locking Journal Writing Notebook Vintage Lock Planner Agenda Personal Diary Wine Red

A journal with a three-digit lock that could have hundreds of different combinations.

Best Refillable: MALEDEN Leather Writing Journal Notebook

five leather bound journals in navy, blue, red, black and brown with a compass on the front and a bookmark hanging off the side

This journal contains blank pages, perfect for drawing maps, sketching ideas, or pasting in photos. The pages can easily be removed and refilled. The cover is made from high-quality leather, which is soft and durable for travel. This diary works well with any pen or pencil.

Best Set: Amazon Basics Bonded Leather Journal, Assorted Colors, 5-Pack

an overview shot of five notebooks, one opened and the others with striped and dotted covers

This five-pack of journals includes bonded leather hardcover journals perfect for note-taking, journaling, to-do lists, and more. The rounded edge cardboard cover has printed art paper and comes in a variety of covers. Each notebook has 80 blank lined sheets, and the paper is wood-free. It contains an integrated bookmark, an elastic band closure, and an interior pocket for storing small items like business cards and receipts.

Best Set

Amazon Basics Bonded Leather Journal, Assorted Colors, 5-Pack

A five-pack of diaries in different colors and patterns.

Also Great: Peter Pauper Press Celestial Journal

a celestial-patterned notebook with gilded gold edge pages

This celestial Peter Pauper Press journal is a beautiful reproduction of a gold-tooled book binding created by the Henry T. Wood bindery of London in 1933. The unique cover features iridescent highlights, gold foil treatments against a cerulean blue background. This diary features gilded page edging, a ribbon bookmark, and 160 lightly lined pages. The paper is acid-free archival and takes to both pens and pencils.

Also Great

Celestial Journal (Diary, Notebook)

A classic diary with a celestial pattern and gorgeous gold foiling on the cover and page edges.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »

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