How To Journal For Success- Tips For The Whole Family

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We are huge believers in journaling. Each one of us in the family has their own goals and style, but one thing we all agree on is that the right notebook makes all the difference. This is especially true for the kids. A notebook that inspires them to be creative and makes them feel special because it is customized just for them is the best way to foster a love of journaling. We are so excited to be partnering with a company we adore, Gotcha Covered Notebooks to share with you How To Journal For Success- Tips For The Whole Family.


Since I can remember, I have always kept a notebook by my side. I consider it one of the main tools that has helped me succeed in both family life and my work. It is a creative outlet to doodle in while I am making important decisions, a to-do list of what I need to get done, a place to drop ideas, and where my goals and plans go. I would be lost without my notebook!

I have used everything from a generic pad of paper to a customized notebook, and I have learned that having something that excites you even to look at, is the best notebook to use. There is something about writing in a notebook that has your name on it, and that features your favorite colors or a visual reminder of a happy memory, to make your journaling time even better.


I’ve found the same when it comes to journaling for the whole family. The right notebook makes all the difference, and that is why we are in love with these adorable Gotcha Covered Notebooks. They are customizable down to the very essence of them. From the size, shape, color, and paper included inside them. I’ve never seen a notebook that works so well for all of us and encourages us all to succeed. 

If your family has been writing in notebooks for years, or is just looking into the idea of journaling, here are our best tips for success.


Tip 1. Purchase a notebook that excites the user.

For Ashley, she uses two separate ones. She has one that she keeps in her exercise bag where she records every workout she does. She keeps this one separate from her main one because she often leaves it with her coaches. 


Gotcha Notebooks has 11 different paper types, and for her exercise notebook, she has the fitness tracker pages. On her main journaling notebook, she has lined paper. This allows her to use this notebook in more than one way. 

Here is what a normal journal entry page looks like for her:

  • Daily to-do list.
  • Exercise goals for the day, and another spot where she jots down notes on her weekly progress.
  • Food journal. She is very dedicated to making sure she is eating healthy food.
  • Fitness goals.
  • Schoolwork that needs to be completed for the day.
  • A place to write down her thoughts and bigger goals.


Tip 2. Teens need an outlet that is all their own to do whatever they like.

A journal is just that. We encourage Maddie to write out her thoughts, goals, plans and anything else she likes in her journal, but we also make a point of never looking at it unless she specifically brings it to us to see. I love that she has this safe place for her thoughts, and I can also tell that she is using it because she is so on top of life. Her work is always completed, and she is never left doing anything at the last minute and stressing out about it. 


Tip 3. Start kids early with journaling. 

For Emmy, journaling is a large part of her life. When we are at home, she loves to draw pictures and write short stories in her notebook.  When we are traveling, her notebook is for her schoolwork. Each day she writes a few sentences about our day, and then draws an elaborate picture. These are now cherished keepsakes for us, and we love to look back through them as if they are detailed personal photos that she took with her own eyes. We have found that she remembers so much more about our trips if she takes the time to journal about them. 

Kids her age can also benefit from starting to use a journal in a more mature manner. We encourage her to write down the school work that she has to do each day, and to check it off as she does it to encourage her to keep up her good school habits. She also writes out places she wants to go and things she wants to see. I think having a notebook shaped like a heart with her name and bright colored candy on it, has helped keep her focused on journaling too. 


Tip 4. Journal with your family. 

Let your kids see how you are using your journal and the direct results you are getting from this tool. It isn’t often that Pete gets this excited for a product, but even he loved his new Gotcha Covered Notebook. The quality of the notebook itself was a big factor in this. He takes his notebook with him everywhere, and he needs to make sure it can stand up to all the wear. Gotcha Covered Notebooks do. He also really enjoyed the cover since travel is so much a part of his life.



I am the driving force of our family journaling because I’ve been doing it forever.  This also makes me a pro at reviewing different notebooks, and I loved these from the moment I saw them. Being able to hop on the Gotcha Covered Notebook website and customize the notebooks for all of us is just the beginning of why I loved them. They are beautifully bound and made to last, but the customization options are what thrills me. I know what a special gift a notebook made just for you can feel like, and I love that they too feel the same way. They want to help you make all the special kids, and adults in your life feel loved. These notebooks do that over and over again! 


My last tip is to add a favorite quote to the back of your journals, or something else that gives you an immediate boost of motivation. Maddie LOVES Harry Potter, so her notebook has a special quote from the book. Pete, Ashley, and Emmy all have quotes too. I have characters of my whole family and one of my favorite beach scenes on the back of mine. It is exactly what I need to see as I work into the night….especially on busy days!




Do you journal too?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • These look like great notebooks. I need to start another journal it has been a couple years since I kept one.

  • These are such cool little notebooks. I have so many notebooks laying around the house with notes and lists and everything.

  • I always have a notebook in my bag and on my desk. It’s good to have something to write your thoughts on. I completely agree with what you said, giving the kids a notebook that inspires them makes them want to write more. I love the customized notebooks, they’re so adorable!

  • I would love to get this year started by having both of my kids journaling! I think it would be a wonderful way for them to collect their thoughts and just have a place that is all their own. And having cute notebook like the one you share in your post would be the perfect inspiration!

  • Those are really nice journals! I want to get my girls in to journaling when they get a little older. I think it will be great for them. I’ve always loved to write, so I hope they will to.

  • I just bought the Five Minute Journal and have been using it for almost 2 weeks. It really forces you to think, but I love the idea of a freeform journal as well. Love the Gotcha Notebooks.

  • Great journaling tips. I’ve been a journal keeper since I was a teen and it has helped me through many life trials. It’s also a great way to stay organized.

  • I love that you encourage your kids to journal, my dad liked us to do it on vacations to jot down what we learned every day. I counted 17 diaries from my first one in 1st grade through college (most of college was about boys) – who am I kidding, so was high school. Who know where journaling can take them creatively but also help relieve any stress and allow them go have time for reflection.

  • These are great tips. I have been journaling for years. My daughter not so much. Shes always says I don’t know what to write.

  • I love all the different styles of these notebooks. I remember journaling when I was young before it was even called journaling. I will have to see about getting these for my family.

  • I love journaling so this is a great idea. I love having my kids do it too, what a great way to be creative and get their writing in too!

  • I have been keeping a journal since i was a little girl. It is a form of therapy for me. I like to go back and read threw the ones from when I was a teenager.

  • These look like great notebooks. I will have to pick one out to start writing in. It is a great way to practice your handwriting.

  • I love journaling! I can’t wait for my daughter to be a tad bit older so she can start journaling too!

  • Oh I love this! I use to journal all the time and you just brought back a ton of memories. I’ve got to get my children to start doing this.

  • Those are pretty covered notebooks! I was so into journaling when I was a teen and yes, it was my outlet. It stopped when I started working.

  • Keeping a journal is a wonderful habit/hobby. We are in the middle of a 5-year trip around the world, and if we didn’t have our journal to remember the amazing places we’ve been and people we’ve met….well it would just not be the same.

  • This is awesome! I love having notebooks around and the kids definitely should have one that inspires them to write as well. It’s good practice and it keeps their mind clear too. I love the designs and I think it’s perfect for kids and the rest of the family.

  • I very much agree that a right notebook makes a huge difference in kids as it could inspire them to be creative anytime. The Gotcha Notebooks sounds amazing and these journal tips are quiet great as well for an entire family

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