Need a 2020 gift guide that fits everyone on your list? Or maybe there’s just someone on your list that you find “hard to shop for”? (We’re betting yes, because we know a few!)
What about journaling supplies?
After all, there is something extraordinarily creative, satisfying, and beautiful about journaling, and it’s accessible for all genders, ages, and interests. And journaling gifts are uniquely thoughtful, so you are sure to look heroic!
The ideas in our 2020 gift guide work well — whether you are buying for family, friends, co-workers, lovers –or for that awkward situation where you think someone might get you a gift but you just aren’t sure, and need to have something handy just in case.
The gifts in our 2020 gift guide for journalers range in price from under $10 to a few that are over $100, giving you a wide range of options. We’ve also broken them out by category so you can speed through and just find exactly what you need.
2020 Gift Guide for Journalers Jump Links
- Specialty Pens
- Markers, Watercolors, and Highlighters
- Washi Tape
- Pen and Pencil Cases
- Ephemera (scraps of paper and memorabilia that people use to enhance journals)
- Books on Journaling
- Additional Accessories
Journals | Our gift guide for journals ranges from romantic to practical, creative to pocket-sized
The Moleskine brand has been around since before Henry David Thoreau. There are five sizes ranging from pocket to A4 (which is about the size of a letter-size sheet of paper), and you can choose between hardcover or softcover, as well as various paper types: lined, gridded, or blank paper; writing or sketch paper. Some of the features that make the Moleskine particularly nice are the elastic band which holds the notebook shut, the ribbon page marker, and a back pocket that allows for stashing smaller pieces of paper. They are quite nice, while still being affordable (under $20).
The Leuchtturm1917 is comparable to the Moleskine, but offers some nice additional amenities such as page numbers, a preprinted index, double bookmarks, and stickers for archiving. The version with dotted pages offers guidelines without being distracting, and the notebook lies flat when open. There are multiple sizes, so as you research gift options, be aware that A5 is the size of a folded sheet of notebook paper and A6 is pocket size.
Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Special Edition
Whitelines notebooks allow for to easily digitizing notes with a smartphone. The Leuchtturm1917 Whitelines Special Edition is a great way to merge the joys of analog journaling with digital backup and sharing features.
Soothi Leather Journals
If you‘re looking for an old world, romantic feel in a your journal, Soothi is the brand. Most of their journals are 5″ x 7″ and — depending on the style — will include features like embossed designs, handmade cotton paper with subtle specks of fiber, stitching, bookmark flaps, and latches. The craftsmanship makes these journals a wonderful gift.
The Traveler’s notebooks are designed to be carried with a passport or in a pocket. What we love about these is that you select a cover, and then customize the inserts that go inside. The paper is luxurious and comes in blank, grid, or lined. There are also pre-printed planner inserts and sketch paper available, along with bands or ties to hold the notebooks closed.
Erin Condren Soft-bound Notebooks
Erin Condren is known for creating beautiful and stylish planners, but she also has a lay-flat soft-bound notebook that can be personalized. The notebook comes with dot grid paper or with classic lines.
The Field Notes brand journals are designed to be pocket sized: 3.5 x 5.5 inches. Though simple in design, the notebooks are quality construction and come in a variety of colors and specialty cover designs. (These make great stocking stuffers.)
Strathmore’s Visual Journal
The Visual Journal is a simple spiral notebook of art paper with a thick cardboard cover. The wildly printed sales cover tears off, revealing a plain, hard, brown cardboard cover underneath. They come with different types of paper — such as watercolor, vellum, drawing, and mixed media, and with the A5 size at less than $8, it is an incredibly affordable option. (Pair it with a portable watercolor palette or Prismacolor pencils for an even better gift!)
Oberon Journal Covers with Journal Inserts
Oberon journals are deluxe embossed refillable leather covers with thick, diary-style, hardcover journal inserts. There are a variety of cover designs and while the initial journal purchase with a cover is expensive (between $50 to $100), the inserts run only $10.
Field Artist 4×4 Watercolor Journal
This pocket Watercolor journal is a beautiful gift for your favorite artist; inspire them to create something new, each and every day.
Find the Field Artist 4×4 Watercolor Journal on Amazon. (We recommend pairing it with Winsor and Newton Cotman Portable Watercolors!)
Specialty Pens | Our gift guide for journalers knows that an awesome pen can make journaling even more enjoyable
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
There is something romantic about writing with a fountain pen and this particular pen creates a wonderful writing experience. It’s also a fantastic “starter” fountain pen for anyone who wants to learn. When ordering, pay attention to the nib size. Medium is our preferred size, but a fine nib creates thinner lines which performs better for those with smaller, more precise handwriting.
Pro-tip: there are some great tutorial videos on YouTube for Lamy fountain pens, which teach everything from how to change the cartridge to how to write with the pen. Add a few helpful links to these in a handwritten (or emailed) card for the beginner on your list, to spice up your gift.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Our favorite feature of this pen is that it’s very thin and subtly triangular, so it will never frustrate the person you gift it to by rolling off a table in the middle of their favorite coffee shop. It also has a deep black ink and draws a fine line, making it a great journaling pen.
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens – 4 Black India Ink Pen Wallet Set – Assorted Nibs Artist Markers
The Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens are a great foundational journaling set. The pack comes with superfine, fine, medium, and brush pens – which allows for a variation in line weight when writing. (Which is great for journalers who want to create headings, subheadings, and body text defined by different types of writing styles.) We particularly like them because they don’t run when you draw something, and then go back to add watercolor.
Sakura Pigma Micron Manga Set
The Sakura Pigma Micron pens are another wonderful foundational pen set. If your journaler is into Manga (Japanese comics), they will love these — and even if they aren’t, these pens have archival quality ink that is also waterproof, which makes them perfect for anyone who uses photos, sketches, or ephemera in their journaling practice. Sakura’s Pigma pens are sized by the millimeter of the nib. They feature dark, wet, black ink that makes text pop.
Tombow MONO Drawing Pen – 3 Pack
The Tombow markers’ water-based pigment ink drawing pens produce smooth, skip-free drawing—and writing with no smudging because the ink dries instantly—which can be a big win for left-handed journalers.
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens
We are obsessed with how perfectly the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens perform in journaling. If you want to pull off brush lettering in an A5 or A6 size journal, these are fantastic. Not only that, but some drawing brush pens are too floppy (which may be great for sketching, but is a nightmare for lettering). The Tombow Fudenosuke has just the right balance of stability and flexibility. We love these markers for creating beautiful headers, quotes, subheads, callout boxes, and sketchnotes.
Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point Gel Impact Pen – White Ink
This gel pen writes easily — and it has white ink! Use it to journal on black paper, create note cards, or write on electrical tape to create interesting headings in your journal.
Papermate InkJoy Pens
This set of gel pens lays down color evenly, moves quickly across the page, and is simply fun to use.
Yasumoto’s Liquid Stylist
Yasumoto’s Liquid Stylist has a dense, smooth flowing ink. If your journaler has a morning pages practice, this might be the best pen for them!
Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens
Pentel Sign Pens are wildly popular for signatures because of their big, sweeping strokes. Fude pens are a type of brush pen, generally used for Japanese calligraphy, but they can be great for journaling too –so when we learned that Pentel makes a Fude touch that is also a Sign Pen, we got really, really excited about it and added it to our list!
Markers, Watercolors, and Highlighters | Our gift guide for journalers includes the tools that take visual journaling to the next level
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers
The Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers are sincerely fun to play with, and our personal favorite for performance and affordability. They are blendable, able to create sweeping strokes, and transform normal journaling pages into works of art. (Note: YouTube videos for ideas on how to use Tombow Dual Brush Pens are addictive. You’ve been warned.)
Copic Marker Sets
Experienced journalers can be as partial to brands as people are to Mac vs PC or Coke vs Pepsi, and Copic markers have a loyal following. Copic also makes a wide variety of markers and drawing pens, so you can help your allegient journaler widen their set. Be aware, though: Copic are top of the line and pricey. A 12-piece set is around $50 dollars and more comprehensive sets land closer to $300.
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens — Shades of Gray
Having a set of gray pens allows you to add dimension to your journal. The simplest of doodles given a quick gray shadow ups the game, and using gray lines for page separators, underlining, or callout boxes can really make the black ink on the page pop. The best part? Your favorite journaler isn’t likely to already have a set of gray pens.
Faber-Castel Pitt Artist Brush Pens (24 Pack), Multicolor
We’ve already revealed that we are fans of the Faber-Castel Pitt Artist Pens, but did you know they also come in a 24-color multipack? If your journaler is also a fan of Pitt Artist Pens, this set might blow their mind!
Metallic Calligraphy Brush Marker Pens – Set of 10 Colors
If your favorite journaler already has a set of brush pens, consider purchasing a set with metallic ink. It’s nice to have the option to make a journal blingy on occasion.
Pilot FriXion ColorSticks Erasable Gel Ink Stick Pens
If erasing things is important to the journaler in your life, Pilot makes erasable gel pens. Normally this isn’t a feature we think is important, but we’ve observed that the “undo” option can help people feel more free to try things on a page.
Marvy Le Pen, 0.3 mm Micro Fine Tip, Assorted Colors
These pens are sleek and stylish–and they deliver a fine line of color. For journalers, they are great because their slim profile makes it easy to carry along.
Zebra Pen Mildliner, Double Ended Highlighter, Broad and Fine Tips, Assorted Colors
Highlighters are wonderful for note-taking, reading, underlining, and color-coding. This set comes with quick drying ink in subtle hues, and is double ended with broad and fine tips.
Stabilo BOSS Original Highlighter, Pastels – 6-color Set
These highlighters are satisfying to use because of their short, chunky style. Also, though we didn’t test this claim, you can apparently leave the cap off for 4 hours without it drying out — which could be a big win for late night journalers and students!
Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors
We are in love with the Winsor and Newton 12-Color portable watercolor palette. It is so easy to throw in a bag, and the brush holds water. You truly can take it anywhere and the quality of the paints makes it super fun to use.
Pencils | Because many people prefer them over pens and markers.
Palomino Blackwing 602-12 Count
The slogan for the Palomino Blackwing is “half the pressure, twice the speed” — and they aren’t kidding. We also like that they are flat, so they don’t roll away when you pause to collect your thoughts.
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
Once you’ve used them, you’ll know why they are worth the extra money. The pencils lay down a lot of color on the paper and unlike markers, won’t bleed through the page. These are artist quality — and light years ahead of the drug store version of colored pencils.
Derwent Watercolored Pencils
Watercolor pencils allow you to lightly color, then ‘melt’ and blend the color with water. If you have a journaler in your life who uses colored pencils in their practice, these can be a fun twist.
Stencils | Our gift guide for journalers helps people get what they need in their journal–fast!
Westcott Letter Stenciling Guides
This is our favorite letter stencil because it comes in a single font and four sizes. It’s simple, practical and has a reasonable price!
Darice Calligraphy Font Upper and Lower Case Alphabet Stencil, 2 inch
This is another great letter stencil in a different font. If you want a consistent look for headers in your journal, this set is great.
A5 Monthly Calendar Stencils from Imbusybeingawesome
We are raving fans of this stencil for Bullet Journalists. There are two versions in the pack–one that will let you set up your monthly calendar across 2 pages, and one that will fit the month all on one page. The boxes are big enough to be truly functional, and we love the speed it gains us in setting up our journals!
12 Pack Stencils for A5 Journals
This pack includes stencils for letters, the days of the week, call out boxes, and other elements especially sized for A4 journals (which are about the same size as half a sheet of notebook paper).
Drawing Stencil Set
If the idea of creating artwork feels intimidating, consider getting your journaler started with a drawing stencil set. This one has over 300 images.
11 Piece Geometric Drawing Template Measuring Ruler
This set is thicker than most and covers all the major shapes. If precision matters to your journaler, this could be a great win.
Washi Tapes | Our gift guide for journalers would be incomplete without that thin patterned masking tape that journalers love
40 Rolls of Solid Color Washi Tape 3mm by leebee
This is a good basic starter set for washi because it has all the colors.
52 Rolls of Patterned Washi Tape 3mm by leebee
At the low price of $7 and next day shipping with Amazon Prime, this set of washi tape is a great bargain –and the patterns are just so cute! Plus, the thin 3mm size is fun to play with.
Agutape 48 Rolls of Patterned Washi Tape 3mm Set
Another great patterned set is this collection by Agutape.
24 Rolls of 15mm Washi Tape with Scenes by Kovano
This set of wide washi tape features nature scenes. It’s an interesting twist on the usual patterns.
Mudder Washi Masking Tape 15mm Gold Pattern Collection, Pack of 6 (Color Set 4)
If gold is your journaler’s jam, then this set is perfect with patterns in gold and white.
Glitter Gold Foil on Pastels 15mm Washi Tape Set (6 Rolls) by Building Chrissy
This set has gold prints on pastel colored tape; it’s lighthearted and fun.
Stickers | Quick, easy ways to add visuals to journals and planners
Gorgeous Planner Stickers – 974 by Zicoto
We really like the color pallet of this set, and the stickers range from appointment reminders to beach and spa day flags. With almost 1,000 stickers, there is enough variety to find something that works for any given day.
Vladi Creative Planner Stickers – 12 Sheets / 630+ Stickers Value Pack
This set includes weekly planner stickers and seasonal stickers. We like the way the stickers are grouped by sheet to make things easy to find.
Student Planner Stickers – School and College Planner Stickers – Set of 12 Sheets
With stickers for finals and quizzes, this set is specialized for students. (If you are out of school, it just gives you bad flashbacks.)
me & my BIG ideas The Happy Planner Themed Stickers – Good Vibes Theme
This multi-color & rose gold foil pack with over 340 Stickers is filled with reminders and encouragement.
Carpe Diem by Simple Stories Seasons Sticker Tablet
This planner sticker set is themed by month; we love it!
Essentials Mom’s Planner Stickers by Peter Pauper Press
This set of 575 stickers are tailored to mom-life, and includes everything from “last day of school” to “coffee with friends.”
Wheel habit tracker stickers for A5 Journals – Stickers Swiss Made
Habit trackers are wildly popular for bullet journalists, but they can be a pain to draw. These stickers by Stickers Swiss Made dispel the hassle.
Retro Travel Stickers
If the journaler in your life maintains a travel journal, this set of retro travel stickers will create a stylized look for their journal.
Pen and Pencil Cases | Our gift guide for journalers includes ways to make the journaling experience more portable
One of the easiest ways to keep your pen with your journal is to use a pen loop. It’s an elastic loop which sticks out of the journal, and adheres to the back via a tab with peel & stick adhesive.
Kokuyo NeoCritz Transformer Pencil Case
The Kokuyo NeoCritz Transformer Pencil Case works like a standard zipper pencil case, except that you can stand it on its end and fold the sides down so that it fans out all of your pencils making them easy to get to.
Cigarette Case for Crayons
When Cathy first started carrying crayons in her purse, the cardboard box they came in didn’t hold up, resulting in a lot of broken crayon sadness. Then, she discovered cigarette cases. They come in a variety of styles and are the perfect size for carrying crayons! This slim design is her personal favorite.
CreooGo Canvas Pencil Wraps
CreooGo makes pencil wraps in a variety of designs that hold up to 72 pencils. What we love most is that you can see exactly what you have by rolling it out. Plus, with the variety of designs, you are bound to find one with just the right look for the journaler in your life. Keep in mind, though – these are just cases; they do not come with pencils.
Easthill Big Capacity Pencil Pen Case
This folio style pencil case by Easthill is great because it is about the same size as a typical journal, making it easy to stack the two together.
Cosmos Hard Shell Pen Pencil Case
What we love about the Cosmos Hard Shell Pen/Pencil Case is the sleek, minimalist design.
Ephemera | Our gift guide for journalers includes packages of prints for artsy journalers who like collage.
FaCraft Vintage Ephemera 50 PCS
This pack is reminiscent of the 1800s. If the journaler in your life is a romantic, this set will make their heart smile.
Tim Holtz Idea-ology – Botanicals Set
This pack has 83 dye-cut pieces, and includes animals, phrases, and flowers. It can be used with paints and inks, and the elements range in size from 3/8″ to 3″ in height.
Tim Holtz Idea-ology – Emporium Set
This pack of 70 die cut elements has such a cool vibe. It’s comprised of vintage ads, cards, tickets, brochures, and more. .
Life’s a Journey Ephemera & Journaling Cards – Graphic 45
This set of 4×6 and 3×4 cards are transportation themed, with encouraging phrases.
Ilopa Journals Vintage Ephemera
Ilopa Journals makes sets of Ephemera for papercrafters that work brilliantly with mixed media journaling.
Books on Journaling | Our gift guide for journalers includes amazing reads to inspire
The Simple Guide to Visual Journaling (even if you aren’t an artist) by Cathy Hutchison
This colorful book is designed to get people from zero to visual journaling quickly. This book is geared for people who aren’t artists (yet). It teaches the basics on page layouts, pictograms, ideagrams and gives instructions on how to use the techniques.
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
The Bullet Journal method is a game-changer for people living fast-paced lives who want to get organized and feel more connected to their lives. (We are big fans of this one. Even if the bullet journaler in your life has been journaling for awhile, this book has things to teach them.)
The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde
Our favorite aspect of this book is that it is written in Sketchnotes. (Also, Mike Rohde was the one who coined the term.) While the book’s targeted audience is people who scribe talks on whiteboards, it also serves as a great coach for journalers who want to use sketchnotes.
The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown
This book is a guide to awakening your imagination using visual language. Sunni Brown will inspire any journaler to go beyond numbers and language to creative insights.
Words to Live By – Dawn Nicole Waarner
This is a great tutorial on hand-lettering, with pages full of colorful doodles and ideas for making things visually interesting.
Praying in Color – Sybil MacBeth
If praying in words is difficult for you, this book teaches a technique of thinking about someone or something and simply doodling about it while focusing your attention.
A few more journaling accessories in our gift guide for journalers that are simply cool…
Magnetic Ruler by Nakabayashi
This magnetic ruler by Nakabayashi is such a great journaling accessory. It folds over a page like a bookmark and creates a large straight edge when laying out pages.
Midori Multi Aluminum Fold-Up Ruler
We asked in our favorite Facebook groups what awesome tools we left off and heard about this ruler. If you are into habit tracking and want more than just a straight edge, this ruler can easily help you grid a page, and the fold means you get the length you want while still being able to stash it in a pencil case.
HP Sprocket Photo Printer
The HP Sprocket Photo printer lets you favorite journaler print 2×3 stickers from their phone. It connects via bluetooth and is incredibly portable. What could be better than adding their own photos to their journal in seconds?!
Did this gift guide for journalers spark ideas?
With all of these ideas, you might just make 2020 the year of journaling for everyone on your list!
Now, after all this shopping, you deserve a break.
Maybe you can take a few minutes and just doodle in the margins!