The 4 Main Journal Paper Types

Today we're going to tackle journaling basics, beginning with paper choice. Do you have a preference, or are you going Russian Roulette style? We're covering the main types: Blank, Dotted, Graphed and Lined.

The 4 Main Journal Paper Types
Top Left Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash; Top Right Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash; Bottom Left Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash; Bottom Right Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash

Which Journal Paper Should I Pick?

Hello Fellow Journalers!🖊️📖

Today we’re going to tackle journaling basics, beginning with paper choice. Do you have a preference, or are you going Russian Roulette style? We’re covering the main types: Blank, Dotted, Graphed and Lined.

Disclaimer: Below is my opinion sprinkled with a sense of humor. Take what I claim with a pound of salt from the Dead Sea.


If you feel a sense of freedom looking at a blank page and the weight of micromanagement looking at the other three, blank pages and notebooks might be your jam. Do you want to draw and doodle all across the page? Go ahead! Want to glue some memorabilia, create your own journal layouts, or mind map your ideas? The blank page is your oyster!

Also, there’s no distraction from your eyes when looking at the blank page. Whatever your mind is creating, the blank page is ready to reflect. You will be in control of how organized, or unorganized, the page will be. For journalers that struggle with spatial awareness and planning, the blank page experience can suffer. Keep in mind if you feel intimidated rather than comforted, best to move one to one of the next three.

Takeaway: Best For The Uninhibited.

a person holding a book with writing on it
Photo by Lindy Maio / Unsplash


Dotted journal pages have lightly printed dots evenly spaced across the page. Form and function from dotted pages blend well here, providing a flexible journaling experience. Perhaps you desire a bit of structure but like maintaining a sense of freedom. You have creative needs, but also are aware of the use of even spacing to create graphs, trackers, and structured layouts. Bullet journaling often thrives on these pages.

Some journalers may find the dots distracting rather than guiding. Also, if you’re not used to creating on a dotted page, you may have to get used to looking at the page and using it as a tool. If what I’ve described isn’t you, keep reading.

Takeaway: Best For The Flexible And Adaptable.

(Curious as to all the ways you can journal? Here's a handy blog post to entertain that tangent.)

The Journaling Word List
This is the word list to end all word lists. It is also a live post, meaning as I discover new words meaningful to journaling, they go here. Struggling to find a new idea for when you journal? Search no more. Feast your eyes on all the names you can possibly think of!

green and white labeled box
Photo by pure julia / Unsplash


Is precision one of your journaling goals? Perhaps you’re creating a tracker, needing accurate proportions for the analysis you envision. Structured layouts thrive well on graph journals, as well as any imagery requiring technicality and detailed efforts.

If you get PTSD looking at the small squares that are perfectly spaced, perhaps flashes of high school math coming back to haunt you🙋‍♀️, I recommend you pick one of the other three. But if you find the lines guiding in all directions calming rather than corset-tight constrictive, give this paper print a try.

Takeaway: Best For Those Who Straighten The Bookshelves In Public

person writing on white paper
Photo by Conscious Design / Unsplash


Is writing in a straight line a task from hell? Maybe lined paper is for you. Familiar and unobtrusively organizing lined paper is a popular choice. Long paragraphs and lists live well here. Text heavy journalers do well with this paper print, as the goal is legible and comprehensible writing that lined paper aids in.

But where does the line between welcome order and keep-away-from-my-eyes-paper-from-hell begin? If you favor visual layouts such as diagrams, sketching, or just dread the monotony of lines, reconsider your choices above.

Takeaway: Best For The Traditionalist.

person writing on white paper
Photo by Eugene Chystiakov / Unsplash

No Paper!

What can you do when you can't decide? Go digital! Writing can be overrated and typing much more efficient.

Want more entertaining banter on the choices above? Reddit is always good for that. 😃

Do you prefer blank, lined, bullet point or graph lined journals?
by u/Longjumping_Ad9992 in Journaling

-A Very Enthusiastic Journaler

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