Gratitude journals, productivity journals and blank notebooks. If you’re on a personal development journey, you’ve likely heard these three journals discussed interchangeably. You may have even assumed that they are one and the same thing, but listen carefully, they all serve a unique purpose.

To put it simply, a gratitude journal brings you into the present moment, a blank journal may bring you into the past, and a productivity journal brings you into the future.

Let’s learn a little more about the differences between these VIJs (that’s very important journals if you didn’t know.)

A Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is a dedicated space to record everything you are grateful for in your life. It makes the practice of gratitude incredibly simple and straightforward and provides a permanent record of what you’re grateful for all in the one place, which is handy when you want to look back and reflect or need an instant pick-me-up.

Most gratitude journals offer a guided experience. Unlike blank notebooks, they typically provide prompts and encourage you to jot down a list of what you’re most grateful for. This can be handy for beginners, particularly if you don’t know what to write or are unsure where to start.

While a productivity journal encourages you to make plans for the future, a gratitude journal brings your attention into the now. It inspires you to focus on and appreciate the beauty of the present moment without caveats.

The Head Plan Gratitude Journal includes prompts that were carefully selected by a qualified life coach and designed to make gratitude a quick, easy, and rewarding practice. You’re encouraged to complete a gratitude check-in first thing in the morning and last thing at night to start and end your day in the best way possible. 

Using a gratitude journal

A pro tip: Set aside just five minutes in the morning to consider and record what you’re most grateful for and what you’re looking forward to in the day ahead. This simple act can transform the next 24 hours.

A Blank Notebook

A blank notebook can be whatever you want it to be. You might use it as a place to brain dump your most inspired thoughts and ideas, a space to make lists, or somewhere to free-write about what you’re feeling.

Free-writing is an uninhabited journaling style that involves grabbing a blank notebook and writing out what’s on your mind without judgement or hesitation. It allows you to get your inner world out on paper and release what no longer serves you.

Scientifically speaking, it’s recognised as a therapeutic practice and has lots of mental health benefits, proven to aid stress relief, reduce anxiety, and improve problem-solving and decision-making skills. 

The blank pages of a notebook are perfect for free-writing because they give you adequate space to work through complicated emotions, identify limiting behaviours, untangle stories from your past, and, most importantly, create action plans for overcoming these obstacles.

The process is incredibly simple: you only need to grab a pen and begin scribbling down what comes to mind with complete honesty.

Using a blank notebook

A pro tip: Turn to your notebook anytime you feel lost or confused. Getting your thoughts out on paper can be incredibly cathartic, so set aside 20 minutes to free-write about your feelings. It’ll help you see things more clearly – and you might be surprised at what comes up.

A Productivity Journal

Consider this your ultimate goal-setting companion. While a blank notebook can be used to work through messy emotions, a productivity journal is focused on helping you move forward and get stuff done. It empowers you to prioritise your most important tasks each and every day and to set your goals in motion.

The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal is pretty unique because it motivates you to take daily action steps towards your goals and build a structure for your day. Doing this keeps you focused on your priorities and ensures you aren’t pulled off course by outside distractions. It also empowers you to say no when others overstep your boundaries.

Put simply, a productivity journal, when used consistently, makes your success inevitable, rather than something left up to chance. It empowers you to use your time wisely, become more efficient, and achieve your goals without burnout.

Using The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal

A pro tip: When planning your daily tasks and dos, make sure to refer back to the long-term and short-term goal pages to ensure your daily actions align with your big-vision goals.

Gratitude journals, productivity journals, and blank notebooks all play a vital role in your health and wellness journey, and just like using all the products in a skincare line can improve their efficacy, you’ll get the most benefit when you use them in tandem.