My 2023 Reading Journal: Set-Up

Recently on TikTok, I have seen a lot of videos of people on BookTok creating reading journals. Personally, written journals have always been difficult for me because you really have to commit to a layout once you start writing or gluing onto a page. However, I wanted to track my reading in a way that allowed me to be a little more creative rather than just stats on Goodreads and StoryGraph. As a result, I decided that I wanted to make my own reading journal using the GoodNotes app on my iPad.

Typically, I have used GoodNotes to write down ideas. I wasn’t super familiar with all of the tools and I wasn’t sure how people created such beautiful notebook pages. Before I started my digital reading journal, I watched many TikToks to see example book journals that people created digitally and on paper. Also, I watched videos on different tools in GoodNotes.

Finally, I decided to buy a few different digital supplies on Etsy to make it easier to layout my pages. While there are several digital book journal templates on Etsy, I wanted a little more freedom to make my own layouts. I will include links to all of the resources which I have used to create my reading journal at the end of my post.

Below, I have included a slideshow with some of my “set-up” pages for 2023.

Cover Page

When I was first creating my journal, I was deciding between two different themes. I decided to go with a bright, modern preppy theme. I created the cover for my journal using Stoney Clover-esque letters, which is clip art from Teachers Pay Teachers which I bought earlier in the year to use for my classroom. The binding on the side is a free image from Canva. The jean background is a free image from Pixabay. The Smiley Face Clip art was one of my purchases from Etsy. All of the images feature a pink background, which does not appear on my Goodnote (I uploaded the images to Canva to get a more rectangular image to post to my TikTok).

My Year in Books

The first page of my reading journal is a “My Year in Books” bookshelf. This was a popular design which I noticed when browsing TikTok for inspiration. On my bookshelf, I included 36 books, as this is my yearly reading goal. I figure that since my reading journal is digital, I can always copy and add a new page if I read more than 36 books. In addition to drawing the books, I added clip art of funs objects.


The next page of my reading journal is my goals page. All of these goals are taken from my Reading Goals for 2023 blog post. This page took awhile for me to figure out a layout that I liked. All of the images on this page are taken from different purchases which I made on Etsy. As you can see, I have started to fill out some of the sections which reflect my reading for the year so far. I like that this is a page that I will constantly be revising all year long.

24 Books to Read Before 2024

This page was inspired by my blog post, 24 Books to Read Before 2024. This page was also difficult for me to plan out. Since it was a list, I wanted to find a way to make it more visually interesting. I decided to separate the books into different categories and give each category a different color of the rainbow. I’m hoping this list will motivate me to read the books on my list.

Book Ratings of 2023

A page for book ratings was another popular design which I saw on TikTok. When creating this page, I made a “sample” page which I will be able to duplicate as I read more books. This way, I will have a template as I continue to read, rather than continuously make the page from scratch. I like the Book Ratings page, as it gives me a quick overview of my feelings towards books which I have read in 2023.

Overall, I am happy with my reading journal so far. Recently, I have been wanting to be more creative and this journal has provided the perfect outlet. If you would like to keep up with my reading journal throughout the year, I will keep making monthly posts to document my progress. Additionally, I will post about my reading journal on my BookTok, BeautyandtheBeanBoots.

Do you have a reading journal? How do you like to keep track of your reading?

What I Use for My Reading Journal: