Journals: Picking the Perfect Writing Tool

Compass Plays are so flexible and open, you can invent anything using them. Many people are enjoy doing Plays in their personal journals or sketchbooks with their favorite pens, markers or pencils. There is no right way to do the Plays, other than to do them. Finding the perfect storytelling tool, however, can be challenging to say the least.

To help make that challenge more fun, here are a few creative resources that I think are pretty awesome and worth checking out.


I first came across Moleskine journals in a local bookstore and I instantly fell in love. The quality of the paper, line spacing, density of the cover, and elegance of the journal was something I'd not found to date. What I loved most about these journals is they LAY FLAT. That alone was enough to make me twirl with excitement in the aisle of that Barnes and Noble.

Mod Notebooks

Mod Notebooks, on the other hand, takes the Moleskine quality and adds sexy technology to it: they will not only send you a notebook to fill with your dreams, drawings and desires, but you can mail it back to them and they'll digitize it. Very cool!

Knock Knock

Knock Knock is a fun website that sells gifts and books that make you laugh and make life easier. They have a variety of journals with quotes and inspiration that can also act as prompts for writing.


For those who prefer to do their writing and inspiration tracking online, check out Penzu. This is an online and mobile (for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android) application that marries the visual interest of an actual journal with the portability and efficiency of online computer-entry.

I use Google Docs as well to record some of my thoughts when I find myself without my journal. Sometimes I'll awaken with a start and grab my iPhone to record a marvelous insight that pops into my head. Because I don't have to scramble for the light, a pen and my journal, it's often a lot easier.

But that's the great thing: it's all about personal preferences and how you want to record your latest thoughts and inspirations, as well as your Plays. Penzu is fun, and offers a free alternative to the Pro version, which in my opinion is still relatively cheap at $19/year. That way all of your journal entries are accessible from any online device, and are stored safely out of harms way.

Mixed Up

If you would really like to take your journal into a totally expressive, all-out creative place, here are a few great reads that will inspire using a journal as a personal visual journey into all that you desire.

Mixed media, where you use more than one creative tool such as watercolor and markers, acrylic paint with pen and ink, decoupage and charcoal pencil with a little sand for texture, is another fun way to do your Compass Plays.


What Works for You?

If you have journals, sketchbooks, awesome pens, apps, technology or other creative tools that you love to use for your Compass Plays or any creative brainstorming work, let us know. Post your favorites and reviews to our Facebook page. Tell us what tools you love to use to get inspired and create!


Terry Pappy is CEO of Better3, creator of Compass Playbook and author of award-winning books on creativity. What she says about Compass: "It's a fun resource that helps people achieve their dreams using creativity—simply by telling a new story." Terry uses humor and straight-talk to inspire breakthroughs in creativity for audiences around the globe.