10 Guided Journals for Organized Self-Improvement

amazon / istock
amazon / istock

The blank pages of a new journal can be intimidating. Fend off a creativity block with books that are full of prompts and activities, designed to help you practice mindfulness and stretch your creativity. Here are a few journals that will guide you through a project you can reflect on for years to come.

1. JOURNAL SPARKS: FIRE UP YOUR CREATIVITY WITH SPONTANEOUS ART, WILD WRITING, AND INVENTIVE THINKING; $12


Emily K. Neuburger encourages thinking outside the box with this journal. The book’s 60 writing prompts and projects promise to spark creativity and the use of imagination. This vibrant journal is suited for people of all ages who want to record the inner workings of their minds by artistic means.

Find It: Amazon

2. BEST OF SUMMER YEARBOOK AND JOURNAL; $10


Help your little one get the most out of the warmer season with this journal of art projects and activities. Though it's aimed toward children, this diary gets everyone involved in completing projects and filling in the funny prompts, and features activities that will last the whole summer.

Find It: Amazon

3. DRAW EVERY DAY, DRAW EVERY WAY: SKETCH, PAINT, AND DOODLE THROUGH ONE CREATIVE YEAR; $12


Colorful and creative, this journal acts as a canvas for a year’s worth of drawing prompts. All 365 pages, divided up into themed months, offer tutorials on how to best utilize the different types of paper. The journal also features tips on the best pens and pencils to use for any aspiring artist.

Find It: Amazon

4. Q&A A DAY: 5-YEAR JOURNAL; $14


Have you ever wondered how much you’ve changed over time? Here’s an opportunity to take stock. Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal offers a question for every day of the year. Revisit and answer the questions each year as you build something that you’ll be able to reflect on over the years.

Find It: Amazon

5. WRECK THIS JOURNAL; $10


Keri Smith’s journal presents unconventional instructions: Destroy the pages. Mistakes are celebrated in this book through prompts like poking holes through pages and painting with coffee—all of which result in a messy masterpiece.

Find It: Amazon

6. 1 PAGE AT A TIME: A DAILY CREATIVE COMPANION; $10


With its simple formula and 365 witty prompts, this journal invites readers to remember the past, record the present, and dream about the future. By the the time you finish, you'll be an archive of memories from the year.

Find It: Amazon

7. FINISH THIS BOOK; $10


This book may be authored by Keri Smith, but the reader is the one who does the real storytelling. Smith’s journal offers puzzles and storytelling opportunities for anyone who likes a good mystery. Complete instructions in the spy-manual looking pages as the story unfolds.

Find It: Amazon

8. I LOVE SCIENCE: A JOURNAL FOR SELF-DISCOVERY AND BIG IDEAS; $10


Mindfulness through discovery, that's the idea behind this journal. Its pages feature detailed infographics, quotes from famous female scientists, and plenty of room for the journaling of thoughts and experiments.

Find It: Amazon

9. ADULT-ISH: RECORD YOUR HIGHS AND LOWS ON THE ROAD TO THE REAL WORLD; $15


Christina Vanko’s journal is a good fit for anyone who’s about to start living on their own. Featuring doodles and prompts, each page provides a space for young adults to record the trials, triumphs, and firsts of living independently. Once the book is filled, the author will be able to relive how they got to the place where they are now.

Find It: Amazon

10. WHAT'S YOUR COLOR STORY? A GUIDED JOURNAL COLORING BOOK TO SPARK YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY AND IGNITE YOUR LOVE OF COLOR; $8


Think like an artist: Acting as a coloring book and a journal, this book explores the reader’s relationship with color. Fill the pages and explore thoughts and feelings across the whole spectrum.

Find It: Amazon

11. JANE-A-DAY 5 YEAR JOURNAL; $17

This journal is a must-have for any Jane Austen fan. The pages within the regal cover are prompted with an Austen quote for every day of the year. Reflect on the work of your favorite author as you fill out this book.

Find It: ThinkGeek

Learn Travel Blogging, Novel Writing, Editing, and More With This $30 Creative Writing Course Bundle

Centre of Excellence
Centre of Excellence

It seems like everyone is a writer lately, from personal blog posts to lengthy Instagram captions. How can your unique ideas stand out from the clutter? These highly reviewed courses in writing for travel blogs, novel writing, and even self-publishing are currently discounted and will teach you just that. The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle is offering 10 courses for $29.99, which are broken down into 422 bite-sized lessons to make learning manageable and enjoyable.

Access your inner poet or fiction writer and learn to create compelling works of literature from home. Turn that passion into a business through courses that teach the basics of setting up, hosting, and building a blog. Then, the social media, design, and SEO lessons will help distinguish your blog.

Once you perfect your writing, the next challenge is getting that writing seen. While the bundle includes lessons in social media and SEO, it also includes a self-publishing course to take things into your own hands to see your work in bookshops. You’ll learn to keep creative control and royalties with lessons on the basics of production, printing, proofreading, distribution, and marketing efforts. The course bundle also includes lessons in freelance writing that teach how to make a career working from home.

If you’re more of an artistic writer, the calligraphy course will perfect your classical calligraphy scripts to confidently shape the thick and thin strokes of each letter. While it can definitely be a therapeutic hobby, it’s also a great side-hustle. Create your own designs and make some extra cash selling them as wedding placards or wall art.

Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.

 

The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle - $29.99

See Deal

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

6 Amazing Facts About Sally Ride

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

You know Sally Ride as the first American woman to travel into space. But here are six things you might not know about the groundbreaking astronaut, who was born on May 26, 1951.

1. Sally Ride proved there is such thing as a stupid question.

When Sally Ride made her first space flight in 1983, she was both the first American woman and the youngest American to make the journey to the final frontier. Both of those distinctions show just how qualified and devoted Ride was to her career, but they also opened her up to a slew of absurd questions from the media.

Journalist Michael Ryan recounted some of the sillier questions that had been posed to Ride in a June 1983 profile for People. Among the highlights:

Q: “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?”
A: “There’s no evidence of that.”

Q: “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?”
A: “How come nobody ever asks (a male fellow astronaut) those questions?"

Forget going into space; Ride’s most impressive achievement might have been maintaining her composure in the face of such offensive questions.

2. Had she taken Billie Jean King's advice, Sally Ride might have been a professional tennis player.

When Ride was growing up near Los Angeles, she played more than a little tennis, and she was seriously good at it. She was a nationally ranked juniors player, and by the time she turned 18 in 1969, she was ranked 18th in the whole country. Tennis legend Billie Jean King personally encouraged Ride to turn pro, but she went to Swarthmore instead before eventually transferring to Stanford to finish her undergrad work, a master’s, and a PhD in physics.

King didn’t forget about the young tennis prodigy she had encouraged, though. In 1984 an interviewer playfully asked the tennis star who she’d take to the moon with her, to which King replied, “Tom Selleck, my family, and Sally Ride to get us all back.”

3. Home economics was not Sally Ride's best subject.

After retiring from space flight, Ride became a vocal advocate for math and science education, particularly for girls. In 2001 she founded Sally Ride Science, a San Diego-based company that creates fun and interesting opportunities for elementary and middle school students to learn about math and science.

Though Ride was an iconic female scientist who earned her doctorate in physics, just like so many other youngsters, she did hit some academic road bumps when she was growing up. In a 2006 interview with USA Today, Ride revealed her weakest subject in school: a seventh-grade home economics class that all girls had to take. As Ride put it, "Can you imagine having to cook and eat tuna casserole at 8 a.m.?"

4. Sally Ride had a strong tie to the Challenger.

Ride’s two space flights were aboard the doomed shuttle Challenger, and she was eight months deep into her training program for a third flight aboard the shuttle when it tragically exploded in 1986. Ride learned of that disaster at the worst possible time: she was on a plane when the pilot announced the news.

Ride later told AARP the Magazine that when she heard the midflight announcement, she got out her NASA badge and went to the cockpit so she could listen to radio reports about the fallen shuttle. The disaster meant that Ride wouldn’t make it back into space, but the personal toll was tough to swallow, too. Four of the lost members of Challenger’s crew had been in Ride’s astronaut training class.

5. Sally Ride had no interest in cashing in on her worldwide fame.

A 2003 profile in The New York Times called Ride one of the most famous women on Earth after her two space flights, and it was hard to argue with that statement. Ride could easily have cashed in on the slew of endorsements, movie deals, and ghostwritten book offers that came her way, but she passed on most opportunities to turn a quick buck.

Ride later made a few forays into publishing and endorsements, though. She wrote or co-wrote more than a half-dozen children’s books on scientific themes, including To Space and Back, and in 2009 she appeared in a print ad for Louis Vuitton. Even appearing in an ad wasn’t an effort to pad her bank account, though; the ad featured an Annie Leibovitz photo of Ride with fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell gazing at the moon and stars. According to a spokesperson, all three astronauts donated a “significant portion” of their modeling fees to Al Gore’s Climate Project.

6. Sally Ride was the first openly LGBTQ astronaut.

Ride passed away on July 23, 2012, at the age of 61, following a long (and very private) battle with pancreatic cancer. While Ride's brief marriage to fellow astronaut Steve Hawley was widely known to the public (they were married from 1982 to 1987), it wasn't until her death that Ride's longtime relationship with Tam O'Shaughnessy—a childhood friend and science writer—was made public. Which meant that even in death, Ride was still changing the world, as she is the world's first openly LGBTQ astronaut.