Whether returning to the office or pencilling in personal goals for the year ahead, 2022 represents more than just a new calendar year. It’s a time to celebrate and turn over a new page – but will you be writing in a diary or a journal? …
Although many social appointments were cancelled in 2021 and diary pages remained resolutely blank, it may come as surprise to learn that our collective love of stationery remained undiminished.
Posh London stationers Smythson, for example, noted an uptick in sales during the peak of the pandemic. “Customers felt the need to reach out to others and to do so in a more personal way. We also saw our larger notebooks grow in popularity, as people rediscovered pastimes such as journaling and sketching,” says Alexandre Viratham, PR manager. Smythson’s bestselling diary, he says, is its Soho style – at roughly A5 size it’s a perfect all-rounder style to slip in your bag or keep on your desk.
This trend is reflected at Papier which also specialises in monogrammed stationery, diaries and notebooks and is on track to sell almost a quarter of a million diaries before the end of January – inviting many to discover the transformative powers of putting pen to paper. “We have seen an increase in journaling and lots of our customers are using our wellness journals alongside their notebooks and diaries. Last Christmas we sold 25,000 wellness journals and expect to sell nearly four times as many in January this year. Our wellness and gratitude journals have become best-sellers following the wellbeing awareness boom among the younger generations,” explains Holly Chapman, Global Head of PR for the brand.
In Ireland, journaling experts include Denise Kenny Byrne whose guided journal The Head Plan has created a thriving Instagram community (@theheadplan); by downloading the app participants can learn techniques for journaling, manifesting and meditation.
“A diary is a record of events; a daily log. Writing in a journal adds another layer, which is an exploration of your thoughts, feelings and crucially, your options,” says Maria Burke, founder of Waywords Journals (@waywordsjournals). “Diary writing has evolved into journaling for many and the benefits such as clarity of thought, decreased anxiety, ability to cope with burnout and stress are evidenced and well-known now. In my business journaling workshops, I help people with tips to make journaling easier and more effective, as well as journaling-quick-wins to ease overwhelm, form habits that make your life better and achieve your goals and dreams.”
More than a practical belonging, a diary collects your experiences and captures a snapshot of your character – scribbles, smudges, doodles and all …
Emotional health advisor and Instagram agony aunty Roxie Nafousi says positive results are guaranteed while working through her twelve-week course (to self-love and empowerment) in tandem with The Journal (@roxienafousi).
This sounds tempting, however my bedside table is already cluttered as a result of my reading material and various notebooks. I alternate between a desk diary and private diary (usually a red A5 notebook from Carolina Herrera – a habit I’ve maintained for the last 20 years) and, when I remember, I do try to maintain a gratitude diary and have noted the benefits. I can’t wait to hang my fabulous floral 2022 calendar by Irish artist Carolyn Duffy (@carolineduffydesigns).
Like my colleague, Sarah Halliwell, I am resistant to all forms of digital diaries. “The digital-versus-paper diary debate rages on in our house. Being old-school, it’s always been paper for me, preferably a Smythson Panama, so neat and portable but incredibly hard-wearing, with featherlight, silver-edged pages,” says Sarah. “I alternate with the larger, cheaper Moleskine’s Weekly Notebook, hard or softback, which has room for notes too. And as a back-up, to keep an eye on days going by, we have a graphic calendar on the wall – ideally, MoMA’s Jumping Point Calendar (€49.95, from store.moma.org), or the Stendig calendar (from the very efficient www.stendigcalendars.com), both of which double as artworks.”
More than a practical belonging, a diary collects your experiences and captures a snapshot of your character – scribbles, smudges, doodles and all. Here’s some of my favourite new journals and diaries for 2022. Remember to pick up a copy of THE GLOSS & The Mix for some recommendations on inspiring literary diaries, out on January 7.
Paperblank Blue Velvet 2022 Diary, €24.99, at Eason.
The National Gallery of Ireland Diary 2022, €20 at Dubray.
Portobello Diary in Nile blue, £215stg, Smythson.
Poetry Diary 2022, Faber, €13.70 at Raven Books.
The Homekeeper’s Diary 2022, Francis Brennan, Gill Books, €12.99 at Dunnes Stores.
Pressed Blooms Diary 2022 by Mother of Pearl, £23.99, Papier.
The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal, €35, The Head Plan.
Reflections Guided Bullet Journal, €25, Waywards Journals.
Main featured image via Smythson.
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