I don't use Gesso on my pages either. In an earlier post I make my own Gesso. I don't really like it. I know so many art journalers are Gesso, Gesso, Gesso and Moleskin, Moleskin, Moleskin, lol. I don't like either of those items.
That's what is so cool about art jornaling. Just go with it. Love your color pencils use them in your art journal. Want to do encaustic art? Throw it in your art journal. Just want to Gesso the whole thing and stamp a polka dot background? Do it! Your book, your rules, your fun.
I love to Cuttlebug & use my electronic die cutters in my art journal. One of my favorite techniques.
One tip if you are going to use sticky type mediums like Mod Podge, Gel Acrylics, Acrylic Paint (Can get goopy in humid climates) use a piece of wax sheet to cover your page so your journal won't stick together.