I am making some modifications to my journal/planner system again. (You can read about some of my tried and true methods here.) The last six months I have tried a bunch of different planners and journals in various sizes, binding and paper weights. I am looking for the perfect set up. In the end, I have come back to my mod podge system in my standard Moleskine only I am using a blank version instead of the lined for no other reason that I had one on the shelf and not the other. The bindings hold up to the overfilling and abuse for all the wear and tear of my life. The size is right, and I love the stitched binding that allows it to lay flat. A plus for my left-handedness, although I suppose you right handed people would have the same issue. Another reason I love these notebooks is that I can leave my pen in the notebook, use the elastic closure and go.
After creating lovely weekly planner spreads for nine months, I realized I was spending so much time and energy on something that wasn't very meaningful to me and not very functional for my work week. I need something smaller that I can take with me if needed and it needed to be more durable. The coils get bent and are a mangled mess. Also, I don't need my planner to be pretty; I need to be able to quickly write down the activities for the week so I will remember them and I need to place to hold all my lists and jobs to get done. Throw in an occastional meal plan, and I'm happy. I am currently using a Moleskine weekly planner again. I don't know why I don't just stick with what works and feels comfortable. I'm swayed by the creative things people are doing. I want to do beautiful things.
Another thing I thought would work this year is the Powersheets goal system from Lara Casey at Cultivate What Matters. I have been following her system/blog for a little bit and decided to give it a try. Again the spiral binding drove me nuts, so I uncoiled everything and mixed it into my journal. It's not convenient, but I then I can use up some of the washi tape that I've been hoarding. I have a ridiculous amount. I also throw in a printable from Studio Calico here and there.
One thing I have enjoyed about the Powersheets is the questions and reflection. It's well thought out, and I found myself thinking about goals with a little different perspective this year. I haven't felt the rush to go through the first section, so I have the process to be more enjoyable.
This year I did treat myself to tiny little Zink printer. I watched Heidi Swapp do a planner process video one night and really liked the idea of the photo stickers. My sister had the printer and let me borrow it and I was hooked. Not because the quality is great. It's okay and I have no idea how long the photos will last and perhaps the adhesive will eat through my journal, but then I have so many other adhesives from the washi to the glue pen to the sticker paper that the photo adhesive is the least of my worries. I love being able to send two or three images from my phone right to the printer each morning as I write about the previous day. For years I have tried to be consistent at getting photos printed and added without the success I would like.
This little printer lets me add tidbits of our lives to my writing and so far it's my favorite addition to my journal.
Gus came home and was quite animated about the photo stickers and if you know Gus you know that she is not at all interested in paper arts, etc. I teased that I would could make her a photo collage of all her silly face pictures. She didn't think I was serious, but with a few clicks I had simple grid that
This is the first week and I will have to say it's become one of my favorite journaling weeks. I don't know it it's because it's something different or because it incorporates the photos which I love. I adore the idea of something small each day and not feeling like I have to write and write and write. Which some days is very therapeutic and wonderful. I love writing, but I can't do it every day. Perhaps it's overkill because I add much of this on my Instagram account, except it's different here in my journal. Still I am excited to see what my journal will look like at the end of the year.
I used my free planner page download (found here), but found that it didn't really work for Sunday so I just added Sunday in a column on the back of the page. This worked out fine because it allowed me two free pages to write what I wanted.
But then I decided to create a horizontal planner page which allowed for every day, but I haven't loved the format. It's been a struggle fitting things in. I'm have already added 4 more weeks into my journal so I am committed to giving it a solid try before I decide if I'm going back to the vertical format.
I was inspired by Kerri Bradford's documenting process from 2016, which you can see here on her Instagram account. I adore her traveler's notebook and would love for that system to work for me, but it hasn't yet. Still, her process is wonderful to see. I would also recommend Marcy Penner's products. The quality is very good, and her style is very appealing to me. However, I found that the size and binding didn't fit into my style, so I tried to create something similar to incorporate into my workflow.
Please remember the downloads are for personal use only.