You know that using a journal to track habits, plan your days, and get things done is effective, but whenever you sit down in front of yours you get stuck.
That blank page just stares back at you.
So, how do you get from blank paper to something that is artistic and functional?
After all, you can pull off the minimalist version, but what about the beauty that attracted you to this practice in the first place?
How do you pull that off?
Sometimes it’s easier when you can actually “see” it.
Here’s a list of 16 artistic journalers who show their work on Instagram. Follow so you can get inspired to take your journal to the next level:
1. Kim Alvarez (@tinyrayofsunshine)
Kim Alvarez is a Bullet Journal™ pro who creates inspirational content for the official social media sites in addition to her personal practice. Kim’s instagram feed goes deep on layouts for everything you could possibly use your journal for, like day planning, food logs, books you’ve read (and books to read), gratitude journaling and—of course—basic bullet journaling with a little bit of flair.
While Kim’s layouts are beautiful, they are also accessible—even if art isn’t your thing.
2. Stacy S. (@stacysplans)
Stacy S. shares her love of journals and notebooks on instagram. One of the things I love about Stacy’s layouts is the way she integrates photo stickers from a mobile phone printer (like the HP Sprocket).
One of the most fun parts of following Stacy is that she shares her real life notebooks. While her Instagram posts are beautiful, they also feel super authentic.
3. Allycia Lee (@hopedreamjournal)
Allycia Lee shares journal layouts that incorporate watercolor and stickers to add depth and texture to the practice. If your lack of drawing ability frustrates you (or if you simply don’t have the time), Allycia’s layouts can give you a path to beauty and creativity without using a ruler or drawing a doodle.
Allycia’s practice is focused on the heart, and she journals about faith in addition to dayplanning and habit tracking.
4. Emily Coates (@emily_studies)
If you are in school at any level, Emily Coates is the person to follow. Her layouts include dayplanning and the loveliest study notes you’ve ever seen. She elevates the day-to-day of chasing a degree to an art form.
Emily’s website encourages other students to Instagram their studies as a focused practice to get the studying done and to craft more effective study notes.
5. Nicole Annette (@JournalJunky)
While some of Nicole’s Instagram feed is dedicated to journal layouts, for the most part, it is designed to inspire you to start journaling. Her steady stream of placemaking photography punctuated by serene settings, notebooks, and cups of coffee encourages you to just sit down and get to it.
Nicole also features quotes from other journal enthusiasts building the community and connecting us all.
6. Michelle Marie (@seaweedkisses)
Michelle’s journal of choice is her Midori Traveler which she features in standard and passport sizes. The photos are full of texture and a palette of supplies. (Seriously, you can almost smell the ink.) She also posts quick flip videos.
Michelle’s content is rich with inspirational notes to herself—a constant reminder to take the next step with your dreams, no matter where they take you.
7. Helen Colebrook (@Journalwithpurpose)
Helen favors the A5 journals with dots on the pages resulting in articulate layouts that are lovely, while remaining ordered and easy to navigate. Helen’s layouts are a mix of journaling and planning with watercolors, inks, ephemera and sketches added to make journalphile’s hearts melt.
Helen goes deep with artistic craft and collaging to create fresh designs that hint at an earlier time.
8. Rachel Watts (@planning mindfully)
Rachel shows a variety of layouts–both simple and complex–for almost every context in which you can use your journal. With a focus on planning, Rachel shares calendars and to do lists designed to keep you on track, with a healthy dose of art to make it mindful.
9. Dani Hawks (@daniplanibee)
Dani’s Instagram account focuses extensively on planning. She even shows monthly flip throughs to talk about layouts. Her style is a combination of stickers, washi tape and hand lettered headings.
If you want to enhance your off-the-shelf planner and make it more personalized to you, Dani is a great person to follow.
10. Sara @mylittlejournalblog
Sara’s use of handcrafted letters and brush marker craft results in a highly feminine approach to journaling. Many of her pages feature quotes with floral borders. Her calendar layouts include tumbles of soft, watercolor florals on the edges.
Following Sara will make you want to create your own signature header font to bring continuity and beauty to your pages.
11. Lucie (@journalsanctuary)
Lucie is an artist whose journal pages are themed with inspiring women, lyrics to songs, and tumbles of thoughts. The art is the dominant work on the page with words and ideas flowing in the margins.
If you are an artist who wants to leverage your talent more frequently in your journal, Lucie is the person to follow.
12. Jennifer (@journalbydesign)
Jennifer has a great way of maximizing a page while adding artistic headings to navigate the content. She takes an experimental approach to page layouts which produces interesting and visually engaging designs.
Jennifer is a fan of the Hobonichi and has layouts that show it off.
The designs Lars posts are all about hand lettering and beautiful borders. He creates continuity of design by using a contiguous color pallet across pages.
Designs are whimsical and illustrated with brush markers.
14. Kat (@showmeyourplanner)
Kat is the curator of images from a collection of planner and journal artists. She started the #showmeyourplanner hashtag, and her feed has breadth and depth with a variety of designs.
15. Aida (@planneraida)
Aida uses hand-drawn bold graphics and large headings in her planners. Her Instagram feed shows off to-do lists, calendars, habit trackers, and year-in-review designs along with snapshots of stickers and washi tape.
16. Notebook Therapy (@notebook_therapy)
We’ve focused most of our article on individuals. Notebook_therapy is a business account, but their content is just so inspiring. Many of their posts are mini-tutorials, so you not only see the finished product, you see it being created.
Inspired to take your journal to the next level?
The best part about loading up your Instagram feed with design ideas is that you never know exactly what will spark you to start creating.
After all, your journal is just an experiment for you, so you can dabble in watercolors, go wild with stickers, roll out some washi tape, or play with artistic headers.
The best part? There will be no more blank pages staring back at you.
And not only will you start creating more beautiful journal pages, but if you decide to show them off on Instagram, then people will start following you too!
Learn more about visual journaling in our online course:
How to Start (and Keep) a Visual Journal
Want a quick tutorial on how to get started with visual journaling? Subscribe to download the free Quickstart Guide to Visual Journaling!
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