Planners, Journals, Notebooks, etc.

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Today I thought I’d tell you a little bit about one of my favorite little nooks of the house. I start and end every day at this beautiful hand crafted writing desk I bought myself a couple years ago after a successful craft fair venture. My table is tucked in a corner of my sewing room and it’s my favorite space to sit down and get centered.

One of my goals for the year is to become more balanced, and all the books at this table have been awesome tools in getting me started. Granted I’ve only been using a lot of them successfully for the last ten days, but it’s been going so well I don’t think I’ll have a problem continuing throughout the year.

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Finding a perfect planner has always been a huge struggle. I’m a little bit obsessed with the hunt, though. Last summer I finally settled on one that felt like the perfect fit for what I needed it for: Bloom Daily Planners. All of the designs are really pretty and they come in various formats. I love the spiral binding so they’ll lay flat. My favorite feature is how it shows a week at a time. I’m much better at planning out my weeks when I can easily see what’s on the agenda for every day and space out my to do lists. I usually take a look on Sundays at what absolutely needs to be done and then add in smaller things each morning that I feel like I can accomplish. I use the empty spaces at the bottom of the page to plan out dinners. I’m not great at filling in the extra sections, but each week has a spot for goals and your main focus for the week. Sometimes I add those in, but most of the time I really use this planner as a spot for my to do’s.

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At the start of 2017 I really wanted an additional planner or guided journal that would help me stay focused on my aspiration to be more balanced this year. I stumbled across The Dailygreatness website and their awesome selection of yearly planners. It was really hard to decide which one to get because they all looked great. But I settled on the most all encompassing journal. I’ve only been using it since the start of the year, but I absolutely love it. Each morning you answer a couple of questions about your intentions for the day, a short gratitude list, or various other small journal prompts. You also fill in four “I AM” statements. One of mine every morning has been “I AM worth taking care of.” Writing it on a daily basis has helped me remember every day to make better eating choices and find time for exercise.

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At the end of the day you’re supposed to go back to the planner and answer the questions after reflecting on your day. It makes me think about what I did right and what I could do better with. All of the questions are very positive focused and it’s given me a better attitude about myself and how I spend my time. There’s also the obvious section for planning your days, though most of mine are left blank. I have very few actual commitments throughout the week besides school pick up and drop off! But it’s nice to have the space when needed. If I wasn’t using the other planner for to do lists, I’d probably add those in here. But I do really like the weekly format from Bloom. In addition to Dailygreatness’s daily pages, there are also quarterly goal worksheets, and more extensive journal pages. I haven’t had a lot of time to work through those yet. The only downside of this journal is that it goes on a six week format. The seventh day is for overall reflection and planning for the following week.

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I’ve enjoyed my Dailygreatness planner so much that I gave in and also ordered their Wellness journal. I haven’t started it yet because I just got it yesterday and want to start at the beginning of the week. But the obvious focus on this journal is taking care of your overall wellbeing. It has journal space for thoughts on your body and health. It has an area to record your daily workouts. And a big section on meal planning. I’m hoping to really use this to keep track of what I eat every day. Hopefully planning out my meals ahead of time, so I don’t succumb to binging on junk food when I feel most hungry. The snacks and meals will already be planned out for me in my journal.

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I’ve always been obsessed with pretty notebooks. Always. Last year I jumped on the bullet journal craze, but I just couldn’t get into finding a way to organize my entire life in a single plain looking notebook. So I’ve strayed from the idea a bit, but kind of consider this pile of flowery goodness my own version of the bullet journal. Each notebook has its own purpose and is ready and waiting for when I need to use it. I have blogging ideas in one, a list of happiness tips in another, and Annie ideas in another. The rest are blank and waiting for their purpose!

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I love the idea of a five year journal. Which is why I’ve picked up three of them in the last few years! I’ve been really bad in the past with writing in them consistently, but now that it’s part of my nightly rituals, I’m hoping to stick with it. The Q&A a Day book is my favorite because it’s really fun to look back and see how I answered each prompt differently in years past. I use the One Line a Day book to try and write a brutally honest sentence about my day. I want to remember what made me the most happy that day, or what brought me down. I use The Happiness Project for Mothers journal to write something about one or both of my kids. Usually something funny one of them said, but occasionally I write about a struggle we had that day. Besides these short and fun journals that I write in each night, I also have a regular journal that ideally I’d fill up daily. My hand starts to hurt far too often, though, so it’s more of a once a week thing.

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And finally, I like to keep a few fun extra books at my desk to fill out when I’m feeling especially bored or contemplative. I really, really like journals, guys. 🙂 These are new for this year because I wanted fresh inspiration at my fingertips. They both look like a lot of fun, though!

And besides all my various planners and journals, I also keep my Bible and a devotional book at my desk to read in the mornings. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s really been such a better way to start my day than wasting time on my computer each morning. I feel so much more focused and ready to tackle anything, after 10-15 minutes of planning and intention each morning. It’s also really great spending those few minutes at the end of the day reflecting on how everything worked out.

I’d love to hear about any special journals or tools you use to keep on top of your life!

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Author: Amy Noe

I'm a maker, a writer, a reader, a wife, and a mom. I love pursuing my creative passions!

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