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My Tarot Workbook (bigger pic at bottom)
I talked about tarot journaling earlier in the Reading for One series but this Step Six* article is about a different kind of tarot journaling - one that encourages "active learning" by way of a workbook.

Active learning has been shown to be more effective than many passive learning techniques (like learning by rote) because it allows us to participate in the process of learning.  And I find that active learning works especially well for me.

Workbooks are the perfect tool for active learning because they allow us to participate with the material we're working with in multiple ways.  To amp up our degree of participation, we can even create our very own personalized Tarot Workbook. 

There are, of course, some perfectly fine pre-made or published tarot workbooks out there (our local tarot circle is currently working with one by Brigid Bishop, for example, and I have Mary Greer's "Tarot for Yourself Workbook" on my too-work-with list) but I still feel that putting together your own workbook has some definite advantages over pre-made.

Personalized Tarot Workbook Advantages
  1. Designing or embellishing your own workbook is a creative activity that helps form a link between your intuitive / creative right brain self and the workbook you make.
  2. Making you own workbook puts your energy into the project facilitating spiritual resonance and energetic alignment.
  3. When you make your own workbook you can make it completely your own, organizing it however you like and decorating in a way that reflects your personality and style of reading.
  4. When you make your own workbook you can take advantage of the many cool online tarot journal freebies we'll talk about below.
  5. A personalized workbook can be created out of an ordinary three ring binder that allows you to add and remove pages (or images) whenever you choose and takes away that fear of messing up a print version.
The Binder

My tarot workbook is sturdy loose leaf binder (a Staples Better Binder to be exact) that has a clear plastic sheet that overlies the front cover.  To me the plastic sheet is a nice touch because it makes it easy for me to give my workbook a personalized cover - and allows me to easily change that cover whenever I want.  (Lots of binders have plastic sheets overlying the front cover.  I like the Better Binder because it's sturdy and has a little window that makes a nice custom spine - but any binder with the plastic overlay will do!)

Cover 2: Last Event Plus Newspaper Write Up
The Cover

You can make your own cover in a variety of ways.  All involve slipping an image or several images or other paper under the plastic sleeve.  You can make your own custom title (spine) by printing "Tarot Workbook" in your favorite font and inserting it into the window in the Better Binder or plastic sleeve provided in other binders.

Your cover can be designed from a printed image or news clipping or photograph that you associate with the cards.  For me, right now, that image (above and below) is the sheet I used as a sign at my last psychic fair because I enjoyed that fair and want to do more like it.

You can also take a blank piece of paper and create a collage of images (or articles) you associate with the cards.  This makes your cover completely your own and creates a strong energetic resonance between you and your workbook.  My first cover (above right) was created this way.

You might choose to put your Card of the Day under the plastic sleeve or include a printed pic of an especially meaningful, or most recent, card reading.

You can rotate or reuse covers.  I like to keep the different cover sheets I've made inside my workbook in inexpensive three hole plastic sheet protectors.  That way I don't lose them - or their energy - and I can put them back in the featured cover position whenever I want.

If you like you can put your extra or alternate cover sheets at the beginning of different sections.

After you've done your cover, you'll want to think about the inside of your book.

Card of the Day Chart (Template from Corrine's Website)
Workbook Content and Pages

I use dividers to organize the different sections and like the ones have pockets for printouts or articles or even a temporary home for my Card of the Day.

My dividers are labeled Today's Card (Card of the Day didn't fit), Majors, Minors, Three Card (readings), Celtic Cross (readings), Symbology, Layouts and Notes.

My workbook pages consist of some lined paper (I write on legal pads then tear the perforated papers out) plus templates from two tarot websites.  The first is a the Goodreads page associated with Corine Kenner's book Tarot Journaling (which is a great book for anyone who journals on tarot!).  The second is a pdf from a site called Tarot Study.

The templates these sites offer (links provided below) can be printed and punched and put directly into your workbook.  And I've included links for everything featured here at the end of the article.

I use Corrine's templates for my Today's Card section (Card of the Day Chart Template and One Card Template), as well as my Celtic Cross and Three Card sections (Celtic Cross and Three Card Templates).

I use the Tarot Study Template as a record for all the cards which I am currently working through at a rate of about two or three cards a week.  (This is the first time I've systematically wrote on the cards  in forty plus years of reading tarot!)  The Tarot Study Template fills my Majors and Minors sections.  And the printable Tarot Study Intro has found a home in my Notes section because I love the suggestions it offers on tarot workbooking.

The other sections of my workbook are filled with lined paper but I hope to include drawings of some of the symbols I work with as well.  If you don't like to draw, consider using printouts or magazine clippings.

My  Typical Celtic Cross Reading - with plenty of extra cards!
Use of the Workbook

Doing a Today's Card entry (which I draw at random) in addition to recording my readings AND working through the deck card by card is a lot of journaling and does include some double work.

But I enjoy using different prompts and appreciate that the Tarot Study template includes black and white images of each of the cards (RWS) which can be colored with pencil or markers.

So why, after years of reading and journaling on the cards, have I decided to make a workbook?

Because it's my opinion that when you get to the point (with anything really) where you began to feel that you've learned everything there is to know - it's time to move on to something new.  Luckily I don't think I'll ever get to that point with reading Tarot and I hope that you don't get to it either!

And also because I think that this personalized Tarot Workbook article makes a nice addition to the "Tarot for One" free ebook series (get your free PDF version by signing up for my mail list here).

Next week, in what will probably be our final online installment of "Tarot for One," we'll be making tarot jewelry - something I haven't done before but am really looking forward to!

So here is the info I promised - the link to the Tarot Journal PDF template from

And the link for the resources that complement Corrine Kenner's book Tarot Journaling:

Plus MORE pics of my ever evolving tarot workbook which really has been a true labor of love!

Larger Pic of my Workbook  (current cover)
Another Shot of Current Cover (these are my event prices btw - phone and home readings are less! Info
Worksheet Template from Tarot Studies Site
Page 1 of Corrine's Celtic Cross Template
Colorful Pocket for Odds and Ends
A Recent AND Meaningful Reading - this pic is already printed and in its own plastic cover sheet!
Large Pic of Collage  Style Cover - Event Notice, My Card, News Clipping, Memorabilia, Etc.
Recent Reading Style Cover (would also work as a page)
My Reading Space (in case you were interested)

* Step Six is Explore Creative Tarot Activities and Crafts and consists of several posts including last weeks post on decoupaging a box for your cards.  Please check back for Tarot Jewelry!  For more on the entire "Reading for One" series please see my About post or get your free pdf (when available) by signing up for my email list.

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  1. You are so generous to share your work with us, Barbara. Thank you. I had been journalling about my Tarot in my diary, along with other entries, and only recently decided to create a separate Tarot journal, which is working well for me. But I love the idea of your workbook, which will not be private, as my journal is, but something I can share (if it seems appropriate). Thank you so much for the idea, and for sharing your own workbook, generous soul! Blessings. Tosca

    1. Thank you so much for the blessings, Tosca, and your lovely feedback!

      I did the same thing with my personal journal / diary not long ago when I decided a dedicated journal for tarot was called for. It's better though it is quickly becoming my only journal because so many other things sneak in there!

      I'm glad you liked the workbook idea. I actually hadn't thought of it that way - as something I could share with others - but you're right, I definitely could. I will share it at tarot circle next week, if we have time.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the series and so appreciate your comments!!!


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