Think of your favorite Kickstarter campaign. A cool piece of tech, a stylish watch, EDC tool, etc. Rarely do you stop at a campaign and it speaks to you personally.

That’s what the Mind Journal does to me. Created by Ollie Aplin, the journal is meant to get you to write. The goal is to bring journaling to guys, but I don’t think Ollie would be upset if the women of the world dusted off old journals.

Unlike most products or campaigns, it’s the story here that resonates. Ollie began to keep a journal after suffering from crippling anxiety, panic attacks and headaches. What’s the rationale for a journal?

You can be you without the fear of being judged. He talks about his inability to convey his real emotions verbally to another out of fear of being perceived as weak or have them judge him.

Trust me, I get where Ollie is coming from. I’ve never met the guy, but who knows, the world is a tiny place. Since age four, I’ve battled stuttering. I wasn’t one of the types that grew out of it. I’d say that was bad luck, but stuttering has shaped who I am.

When Ollie speaks of not being able to verbally tell someone what he thinks or feels, I understand that. Years of speech therapy without a solution. Devices that didn’t work. Clinical trials.

Imagine not being able to say what you want. Or developing the knack for having multiple conversation paths to navigate words I could not say. A glass half full moment? I still can’t deal with a drive-thru box. It’s one way to ensure you don’t eat garbage food.

And then the bridge words. It’s damn near comical when mine became ‘like’ (hey, Southern CA stereotype) or ‘and stuff.’ Not sure why ‘and stuff’ decided to pop up but you find the humor in it.

For Ollie, his answer through the anxiety was writing.

Mine? A mix of books and writing. I get on here and cover the latest and greatest gadgets, tech, watches, science. The list is endless. Alex and I own the site, and we get to have fun with it.

But you came to read about one incredibly well-designed journal. And Ollie pulled out all the stops when it comes to a bespoke journal.

Mind Journal

It’s based on the idea of therapeutic writing. You know Ollie’s story and now a piece of mine. He credits the work of Professor Karen Pine (University of Hertfordshire). She talks about the parts of the brain activated by writing and why it is beneficial to guys.

Also, he has a Flipboard collection of articles on the benefits of journaling.

The Mind Journal is the answer to two major problems. Most don’t feel like writing, and you have no clue what to write. The beauty of a journal is you get to write whatever you want.


Each Mind Journal is built around a series of prompts, tasks or questions. It’s designed to get you putting pen to paper.

Ollie even created a manual for those wanting to read the instructions. Brother, the only time I’m reading a manual is when I have dismantled an appliance and have no clue how to put it back together.

Each question is open-ended. It’s designed to get your mind working and the pen moving. For beginners to keeping a journal, the initial questions are kept short. As you progress, the Mind Journal allows more pages and free-flowing thoughts.

Mind Journal Design

It’s not something you’ll be grabbing from an office supply store. Here are the specs:

  • 150mm x 210mm (Large A5)
  • 100% Italian made recycled, acid-free and ink proof ivory paper (100gsm)
  • 176 ruled pages allowing for approximately six weeks of writing (if writing every day)
  • Soft, smooth man-made leather journal cover with debossed logo on the back
  • Durable, water resistant and crush proof cover
  • Industrial grade loose black band for easy fastening

The Mind Journal will be made in Italy by family-run bookbinders that specialize in custom journals. The case and instruction manual? Custom packaging design firm in the UK.


Mind Journal Kickstarter

Priced in British Pounds, the US pricing breaks down to $42 for one journal. A double pack is $83, and a five-pack is $208. Market fluctuations will move the prices a few pennies, but the Pounds to Dollars is as stable as the currency market gets.

Ship dates for the Mind Journal are set for June 2016. The funding goal for the Mind Journal is $24,000. $22,000 has been raised with 22 days remaining in the campaign.

It’s rare you find a product that has a story that personally impacts you. It’s not a stylish watch or a must-have gadget. And I’m a self-admitted ‘likes shiny things’ person.

This? I know the power of being able to write what you think. That act alone is enough to push you through to verbalizing what you truly care about.

Learn more about the Mind Journal on its campaign page.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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