If you are striving to be more creative but aren’t quite sure how to unlock your potential, a creativity journal might be an excellent place to start.
This post reviews some of the best creative thinking journals on the market to help keep the creative spark lit.
Photo courtesy of Pilgrim Soul
A creativity journal differs from a traditional journal in that it’s much more than just pages in a notebook.
While journaling is an effective tool for improving your mental health, a creativity journal can not only boost your mood, but can inspire a wellspring of creative output.
It’s easy to get into creative ruts from time to time, and much like exercising, getting back into it can be challenging. No one likes showing up to the gym for the first leg day in a year.
Similarly, getting into the habit of journaling can be difficult at first. But, using a creativity journal is like turbo-charged journaling. Instead of simply doing squats for an hour, it’s like a CrossFit class. (Okay, admittedly, that doesn’t sound fun to everyone)!
A creativity journal contains writing prompts, thought puzzles, games, and drawing or doodling exercises.
It might ask you to freestyle rap about ducks across one page and then prompt you to think of 10 cat names that start with the letter ‘B’ on the next page.
Sometimes they are silly, sometimes serious, but all to inspire out-of-the-box creative thinking.
Cannabis is to creativity like gasoline is to an engine. Gasoline coats the engine’s cylinders and propels your car forward.
Cannabis alters blood flow in the brain, allowing neurons to fire freely in the frontal lobe, the space where divergent thinking and creativity are born.
All too often, our minds are overrun with to-do lists, stress, worry, or over-stimulation, and all of this outside noise makes it difficult to think clearly.
When your brain is sorting through chaotic thoughts, the frontal lobes cannot relax into a mellow state where inspired ideas come alive.
When stoned, you can sharpen your focus on one task at a time.
Photo by Joshua Resnick / Adobe Stock Photo
There are plenty of types of creative journals out there. Some are geared towards brain games that might improve critical thinking and strategy.
Others are more ideal for artists looking to expand their repertoire and break into a new medium.
Sometimes, even when you intend for your creativity session, you may find yourself inspired in new ways.
When looking for the best creative thinking journal, the most important thing is to choose one that you’ll actually use. If you know you won’t use writing prompts, don’t choose a journal full of writing prompts.
Instead, seek out something that interests you, which also feels challenging.
Do you like to draw freehand and just see what comes up? Or, do you prefer to color in the lines of pre-designed art?
Whatever you choose, have fun with it and let your mind wander.
Sometimes I like to get really, really high. Not at the grocery store (or my cart is full of potato chips) or while hanging out at my mom’s house, but usually in the evenings after winding down from work.
My weed of choice is often edibles because I like the slow come-up and extended duration. Plus, the solid night of sleep can’t be beat.
About 30 minutes after I sink my teeth into a weed gummy, I feel warm and fuzzy and ready to be entertained.
Enter: the creativity journal.
I recently tested out three of the top-rated creativity journals and documented my reviews:
Pilgrim Soul knocked it out of the park with this notebook.
It contains over 50 exercises of some of the most creative prompts I’ve ever encountered. Aesthetically, they put a lot of effort into the book’s design.
A hardcover, elastic strap to keep the pages closed, and a silk ribbon to hold its place give the book a polished look and feel.
The Pilgrim Soul Creative Thinking Journal is divided into four categories – Imagination, Focus, Awareness, and Intention.
The activities are amazingly fun.
Some of my favorites were creating birds by adding feet and beaks to random squiggles, and coming up with band names from a prompt like: “Cuban American pop rock band from Florida with a flamboyantly dressed female lead singer.”
Naturally, I went with Spice Glamm.
There’s not much to dislike about this creativity journal. However, I will say that some of the exercises were difficult!
Probably because I got lost in high thoughts.
For example, one activity is called ‘Yes to Everything.’ The prompt is to write a list of 10 things that I never say yes to that I will say yes to in a given week.
I just kept thinking about how many extended car warranties I’d be buying!
Wreck This Journal is a hilariously good time. Less thought and more action than the Pilgrim Soul journal, I felt like I was playing an all ‘dare’ version of Truth or Dare.
Every page contains completely random instructions that sometimes require a bit of planning, such as where you’ll go to follow the prompt: “Climb Up High, Drop The Journal”…and retrieve it.
This book is outrageous! I appreciate the creativity that went into making this journal.
One minute you’re pouring coffee on the page and painting with it, and the next minute you’re mailing yourself the book after kicking around on the floorboard of your car.
I loved the comedic theme of the whole experience.
I like rules. I want to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ because I understood the assignment. So Wreck This Journal was a little chaotic for me.
That said, I knew what I was getting into when I read the warning: “You may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in” written on the first page.
The Stoner Activity Book looks like a coloring book and includes many pages to color pot leaves, bongs, and stoned cartoon characters.
It also has weed-themed crossword puzzles, word searches, and mazes.
Of all the journals, this one was the most relaxing. Not to say all the exercises were mindless, but they were simpler.
I didn’t expend as much brain power as I did with Pilgrim Soul, but I also wasn’t asked to rip out a page and throw it through the washing machine like Wreck This Journal.
Overall, I liked the coloring pages and enjoyed the mazes, sudoku, and ‘How High Am I’ quizzes.
If you’re looking for more than just stress relief and relaxation, you might opt for something a bit more challenging.
A creativity journal is a great way to inspire divergent thinking and access new lines of thought, all while strengthening your brain’s ability to stimulate creativity.
But, more importantly, it’s fun!
And we can always use a bit more fun and joy in our daily lives.
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