Part of what I love about reviewing products is that I often get to sample and see things that I consider purchasing - but then never actually do. Behold the latest example of this - the Ellie Claire 365-Day Devotional Journals.
When I got these journals in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I resisted the urge to dive in right away for a couple of reasons. First - I prefer to start a 365-day journal on the first of the year and second - we were leaving for a Disney trip in two days and I thought I'd better not distract myself from the task of packing.
Even though I prefer to start 365-day journals on the first of the year, I did spot sample a couple of the devotionals for the review purposes and take a good look at these journals. For those of you, like me, who like writing and can appreciate a good writing notebook or journal - you will not be disappointed if you pick one of these up. Why, you ask? Well let me tell you.
To start, the weight of the cover is a good thickness for a paperback journal and is coated with a plastic-vinyl type material. The paper itself handles a good ballpoint pen (my preferred writing implement, I especially like the BIC Velocity series of ballpoint pens) and doesn't seem like it would tear under standard writing; it's thicker than notebook paper and thinner than cardstock - which is exactly what I like in a good journal.
The devotions themselves are well written and succinct. For a busy mom like me who may only have a few minutes per day to set aside for a devotional, the readings are perfect. They offer a tangible framework for the point of the day, the devotional point to reflect on, and a quick verse reading to tie it all together. I've found that these kinds of devotionals readings - whether in an app or in a paper journal - work best for me. Hit me quickly, give me something to think about, and don't make me feel guilty that I don't have a ton of time in the world to sit and read something lengthy.
Last - and this is a small thing - I am one of those people who really likes to have a marker in my journals. I have found that a standard bookmark doesn't work for me in a journal because it always falls out in transit (I often toss journals in my bag) and then I get frustrated. These journals have one of those elastic bookmarks which I absolutely adore and appreciate. It's a feature that is essential for me in a journal or a daily notebook both for keeping my place and for keeping the edges of the pages down.
There are two minor downsides to this journal that you may want to consider. The first is that these journals aren't exactly pocket-sized, so if you're someone who prefers to have something you can fit in a smaller purse or your pocket rather than carry a larger bag (which I do) or sit at home for a few minutes with a cup of your favorite warm beverage - you may want to consider that. I personally find this journal size perfect for my preferences, but I know not everyone is like me. Second, the devotional pages ARE dated. I say this because if you're like me and like to start at the beginning of a notebook or it gives you heart palpitations but you're also the kind of person who likes to start things when you want to start them and not wait for a specific date... then this journal might drive you crazy. They're minor things, but things you may want to consider if you're looking for a devotional journal. Otherwise...
If you're someone like me who has a hectic life and want to make time with little to no excuses for a daily devotional - I highly recommend this journal. I especially recommend it if you - like me - don't want an electronic daily journal that just forces you to have "one more thing/reason" to look at your phone. There are 3 gorgeous styles - all of which are under $20 - and would make a perfect gift for yourself, a gift swap, or a dear friend or loved one who wants to make it a goal to spend more time in devotions in the new year.
Where can you buy them? Amazon and Barnes & Noble both have all 3 versions of this journal available for your purchasing pleasure. If you buy one, comment below and let me know what you think!!
365 Devotions - Peace Begins with Me:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/PeaceonBN
365 Devotions - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/EyesonBN
365 Devotions - The Earth is the Lord's:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/EarthonBN
Disclaimer: One copy of each version of journal was provided to me by the publisher for review. I received no monetary compensation for this review and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving any commission or other compensatory measures for any purchases made through affiliated links in this post. In other words - I got the journals and a deadline to post and that's that, no coercion or begging to say nice things or anything.
Also if you're reading this disclaimer props to you because I've often wondered how many people actually read these things.