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Our Journal Guide

The idea of intentional, mindful living is not about ditching your phone completely but rather acknowledging that technology has its place. It's about connecting to your emotions, enjoying the journey, and creating experiences not dependent on electronic devices. The perfect tool for this will be your personal journal. It’s a way to empower your thoughts in a way that no smartphone can. It's important to have a journal you're comfortable with and that you enjoy using. We'll guide you through the selection process as we cover the features unique to our Rustico journals and notebooks.  


Refillable vs. Non-refillable

Are you looking to fill a family keepsake or do you need something you can use over and over again? This is the difference between a journal and a notebook. Our refillable journals let you replace the pages within. Hand-sewn and glued journals are meant to be saved after they are filled. Journals are a permanent account crafted for your stories, thoughts, and place for reflection. Notebooks are refillable and fantastic for endless notetaking, to-do lists, recipes, reminders and more. Once you determine how you will use your next journal or notebook, you can determine if you want one with pages permanently sewn or glued in vs a refillable one.  

Paper Color

The majority of our journals and notebooks are offered in our classic #70 cream colored paper, which is off-white. However, we also carry thick black pages. These black pages make a fantastic canvas for photo albums. They also work for adventurous journalers that experiment with a variety of pens and paints. Check out our photo albums to see for yourself.


Machine Sewn vs Handsew

We offer two types of sewing for our journals: hand-sewn and machine sewn. Your selection depends on preference. Do you like the more unique and old look of a hand-sewn version or a more consistent, subtle machine stitched journal? We craft many of each style and know that there are lots of reasons people have their personal preference.



Are you after a journal built for big ideas? Maybe convenience is what you’re after. Whether you demand something you can fit in your pocket or purse or something that sits at home; choose from our wide collection of small, medium, or large journals and notebooks. Our journals vary in size as small as 3” to nearly 11”. The Epiphany Journal is an example of a small journal while the Big Idea Album is one of our larger ones. 


Writing vs Art

Perhaps you’re not looking to write at all. You draw, sketch, or paint. Over the years we’ve built up our line of art journals which come with either #70 or #140 lb paper. Check out our new Watercolor Art Journals for artists that prefer paper that can take thicker mediums.


Type of Closure

When it comes to closing and securing your journal, you’ve got plenty of options. See our full line of closures in the picture below. A Stud closure is a simple loop through a brass rivet, similar to the one found on your jean pants. It’s minimal and noninvasive. Buckle closure is a fan-favorite because of its simplistic design and convenience. Flap tie closure is for old souls who enjoy an antiquated design and function, it’s also ideal for people who collage and frequently add to journals. The Snap offers a robust, secure closure that holds the pages stiffly in place. Elastic is a minimal yet strong piece. As you shop our journals you’ll find that each one is available in some, but not all of the closures listed above.

On the pages

Are you the structure and order type or does a blank page speak to you? Lucky for you, we have both and also offer a third hybrid option. Blank pages are great for the creative artists who want to have the freedom to write, doodle, or scrapbook as they please, whereas lined pages provide a structured layout for those looking to write. If you find yourself in the middle, our third option, dot-grid pages may be just for you. Dot-grid is a great option for those who want to write but also draw or sketch. The dots are all symmetrically distanced from one another to provide a scaled template for your imagination.


Leather Color

Rustico carries 8 classic, top-grain leather colors. Select from more traditional leather tones such as Buckskin, Saddle, or Dark Brown. We also make colors like Stone, Burgundy, Ocean, Charcoal, and Black which offer a sophisticated, but striking look. Keep in mind that along with the natural leather characteristics, the leather tends to pick up marks from being taken everywhere. This gives it a personal touch and over time becomes as unique as you.

Our Rustico journals are designed to last and ready to be broken in. But that’s for you to do. So explore, leave your mark, and write down experiences that you’ll remember long after any text message or social media post. You can learn more about personalizing any journal or notebook here



Next: What to Write in Your Love Diary 

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