Why are paper diaries still so popular?

‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.’  – Oscar Wilde

We rely so heavily on our computers, tablets and phones with apps and reminders that buzz these days, that you’d think we’d forgotten entirely about our reliable friend; the paper diary. But it seems that’s not the case. Paper diaries have not only survived into the digital era, they have continued to thrive.

You don’t have to be a literary great like the famous diarists Samuel Pepys, Anne Frank, Virginia Woolf or Lewis Carrol to put a diary to good use these days. Paper diaries have been updated for the 21st Century and what were once blank pages are now printed in an assortment of useful layouts which tell us what to write, where, and when. Whether it be for keeping you on schedule for meetings, organising your daily task list or simply reflecting on and noting down events of the day, keeping a handwritten diary has never been easier.

The increasing popularity of paper diaries is undeniable, with sales of paper journals leaping from 23 million pounds in 2011 to nearly 38.8 million in 2016. This rise is reflected in the world of social media, with gratitude journals and personalised diaries regularly popping up on Instagram feeds, parading stylishly next to artisan cups of coffee.

Yes, paper diaries are definitely a must-have stationery item in 2019 – but why are they still so popular?


1 Paper diaries keep you productive.

If you’re a busy professional with multiple responsibilities then you need an efficient way to plan your week ahead, and noting things down in a paper diary is an excellent way to do this. A diary will keep all of your engagements organised in one book, which you can carry with you to meetings or events to ensure you stay on top of everything.

Furthermore, studies have shown that the physical act of handwriting can have positive effects on memory retention – so you’re less likely to forget that meeting you had scheduled, and much more likely to remember an important piece of feedback you noted in your diary whilst speaking to your manager.

Amongst the many diary options available, the Bullet Journal, in particular, has risen in popularity due to its structured format and Rapid Logging that makes daily task-setting a simpler, speedier matter. The Bullet journaling system has become so popular that well-known brands such as Leuchtturm1917 have even made their own version.

Whether you require a strict, codified technique or a more relaxed traditional weekly planner, you can be certain that a paper diary will help you achieve your professional and personal goals.



2 Journaling is good for mental health and wellbeing.

A diary needn’t be reserved only for reminders and daily tasks, it can offer a therapeutic place for you to write your thoughts and feelings where nobody else can see them – especially if you opt for daily format paper diaries which give you a whole page per day to write as freely as you like.

With almost 1.8 million work sickness notes being related to a mental illness between 2016 and 2018, maintaining your mental health and looking after your wellbeing have become a priority for many.

Keeping a journal can have great psychological benefits; keeping you motivated, positive and focussed on the future. It can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression and can improve self-confidence. Journaling has also been shown to bring physical benefits, such as better sleep, faster wound recovery, a stronger immune system and a higher I.Q.




3 They’re a hit with the stars!

Many current high profile celebrities love paper diaries. From actors and singers to social media influencers, many have spoken about how diaries have enriched their lives in some way. The five-minute journal is a particularly popular technique amongst the stars, who claim it’s honest, self-reflective method helps them stay grounded whilst living in the public eye. For these pressure-burdened icons, journaling reminds them not to take their lifestyle, envied by many, for granted.

Actress Emma Watson is definitely a fan and an advocate for the old-school paper diary – she keeps multiple journals; one for yoga, one for dreams, one for acting and even one to record nuggets of advice people have given her and the things she’s grateful for, claiming to be “a big believer in the transformative practice of gratitude”. Meanwhile, in the world of social media influencers, a well-composed image is often enough of a driver for millions of followers to get up from their sofas and into the nearest stationery outlet, ready to make their contribution to today’s booming paper diary and journal sales.

paper diaries Emma Watson

Paper diaries are in the spotlight – if it works for Lady Gaga and Jennifer Aniston, it can work for you, too.


Paper diaries make an ideal gift.

So there you have it, paper diaries are alive and well in the 21stCentury. Promoting productivity, mental wellbeing and an on-trend return to the simpler things in life.

Personalised corporate diaries are always a gift well-received by employees or clients alike; customised with your logo or brand information, recipients will be reminded of your company every day for an entire year!

Take a look at our new 2020 paper diaries now – they sell out fast – don’t miss out!