Thoughtful yet inexpensive gifts: Journals

There are so many occasions every year, for so many people. From Birthdays to Valentine’s Day. From Christmas to Mother’s Day. Finding the right presents for people can be tricky at times and it can also get really expensive, real quickly. At this time of year, I tend to prefer to start saving up after the Christmas and January sales splurge. But then we’re hit by Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter. The cost of a card, gift or perhaps a short trip away definitely add up. So I thought I would share a few of my favourite gifts, which are surprisingly inexpensive and easy to do. There are plenty of different things that could be done so I’m going to break down the posts a little.

Each time, I’ll feature some different thoughtful yet inexpensive gift ideas. Today’s feature is all about journals and basic memory books.

Journal Gifts using prompts

Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not really one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I don’t agree with the concept of having a single day to spoil your partner. As such, I don’t really make any special plans for the day. I hold no expectations for it and am lucky enough to have a partner who agrees with me. So we can relax and ‘do nothing’ together.

However, I do think that sometimes, Valentine’s Day can provide people a nice reminder to treasure their loved ones or provide them with another opportunity to spoil them. This love should not be limited to just your partner. It should include everyone in your life, including yourself. It’s a good reminder to spoil yourself, as well as your family and friends.

So this year, I decided that I am going to do a bit of self-care and self-love in the month of February, in honour of Valentine’s Day – and hopefully, good habits.


A journal is usually a rather private thing. However, it also makes a really great gift for someone. I have put together a few journals as gifts, in the form of ‘this is a keepsake of our time together’ or as a ‘this is how I feel about you’ gift. It’s a lovely keepsake for someone, especially your children.¬†It can be a little daunting just to create a journal on the spot. I do, however, have a few quick suggestions that might help!

1. Use a journal that comes with questions or prompts.

Journal Gifts using promptsThere are a lot of journals out there that contain fun prompts or questions. I have a few journals that I have fallen in love with. “Memories & Milestones” from Paperchase is a journal for yourself that I am currently using. It inspires you to write down the most important memories and things that have made a difference to your life. Personally, I am doing this journal for myself – for the future me to read sometime. However, I think it might also be really fun to share with a partner, child or loved one down the line.

You could fill the book with your own memories that you want to share with them or it could contain your favourite memories that you’ve shared together, so they can see what meant a lot to you. For example, one of the prompts is “What’s your first memory?” and I think it would be interesting to read my partner’s first childhood memory – or his memory of the first time we met.

I’ve got quite a few different journals and books, to be honest. I’m also working through:

  1. My Little Book of Positivity“, which full of writing down the happy moments in life!
  2. A List A Day“, which contains 100 fun lists that I might share with someone one day. Perhaps do a little swap so we can compare lists!
  3. Own Your Story“, which encourages people to write down their story and journal their life now.

The first two are also from Paperchase, whilst the third one is from Kikki K. I have a lot of great journals like this and there’s something quite therapeutic about using them. It gives me a chance to write down some feelings, reflect on my life and also be a bit creative as I can draw or scrapbook in them instead!

2. Use a blank notebook to make your own journal or memory book.

Journal Gifts: Make your own

I started this thing back in school of getting a blank notebook and filling it with memories for a friend’s birthday. On my birthday, my friends did the same for me and it was one of the best gifts I have received to date. I still have the book, like twelve years down the line, and still read it every so often. It is filled with memories, stories, fun little messages and birthday wishes. One of my friends wrote out four memories she had of the two of us. They were mostly from when we first met and I absolutely loved that. They are perhaps my favourite part of the book. The reason for this is because I never really knew how much those moments meant to her until then.

I really adore this sort of thing and they are really simple to make. All it takes is a bit of dedication! You grab a notebook, print out a bunch of photos and write down all of the memories you have with the person. You can even get creative and draw things in the book or decorate it as you’d like. If you want more content, you can ask other friends or family members to add sign the book too. Perhaps they have their own memories or photos to share too.

It’s just a lovely keepsake for someone to read when they are a bit lonely or miss you. It’s very similar to the one above but this one can be a little daunting for people as there are no prompts. However, once you get into it, it’s really fun. Personally, I recommend starting with a thin notebook if you’ve never done it before so you don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge 100 page notebook that you feel like you can’t fill up.

Muji has some simple, thin notebooks that I really like. If you have a Hema near you, that’s also a great store for stationery. I picked the pictured two up from my local store and I love the beautiful foiling on one and motivational quote on the other.

3. Start a journal, together.

I have sort of done this one, a little but I would definitely love to do it more. Currently, I have a notebook that I have started to fill with some memories and photos of a group of friends that I went to school with. I’ve shared with them at times and they’ve added their own things into it too. It has a few pages of funny quotes, stories, a dedicated page to each member of the group and some photos so far! It’s definitely a slowly growing book, which we’ve stopped adding to for a while – mostly because I’ve been busy and forgot.

However, I would like to start a few different journals in a similar manner to this. Perhaps one with my family, some with other friends and one with my partner. It’s always a little bit of a laugh writing down funny quotes or memories into the book and seeing what other people do with it.

You could always “pass it around” the group every so often so people can add their own things into it for one week or one month and then swap it around. It would be like a travelling notebook, around your loved ones!

All you need is to get the journal and grab a pen.

The best part about these different ideas is that all you really need to do is get the journal. Once you’ve decided which of the three you want to do, all you really need is the journal itself and something to write with. The photographs, any additional¬†memorabilia, drawings etc are all optional. You can decorate it, scrapbook in it or paint in it if you wanted to. But they are all optional.

The basic idea is something to write on and something to write with. That’s about it! So start today, start writing a journal for yourself or for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

If you are new to journalling, I highly recommend looking at published journals with prompts as they just make the whole process easier and less daunting. Paperchase have an incredible collection of journals, which they regularly change. As I mentioned before, three of the ones pictured above are from there – and they have some newer ones that are even better now!

So why not start today? Give the gift of a journal to someone, give the gift of a journal to yourself. It is the month of love, after all. Creating journals also forms part of the Stationery Self-Care list! So you’re tackling two birds with one stone here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.