The new year is right around the corner and I’m excited to share some of my must-have planners and journals for 2018. The excitement for the new year is finally hitting me! Part of my excitement is seeing all the new journals I have and how I plan to utilize them to get my life together. I’m not sure about you guys but I’m a journal junkie. I love journals. I collect them. There’s just something about having a journal for different areas of my life that I truly enjoy.
This year, however, I am working on reducing the number of journals I keep. While I want to increase productivity and focus on meaningfulness, I also do not want to overdo it with journalling and planing this coming year. It’ll suck to accumulate so many journals, spend more time planning and less time executing set goals. So for 2018, I am limiting the number of journals I keep to six. I’ll share the purpose of each one from top to bottom in the picture above.
My little special one
This journal is so dear to my heart. I started keeping the contents of this journal since 2012 and will continue to keep it until a particular day- I’m not sure when. I can’t share the content yet until I feel a conviction to do so. It’s pretty much a collection of letters and little notes that keep me in check in a particular area of my life. I may share what this journal is about sometime in the coming year because I believe it will inspire other people. But if there’s a particular area you are wanting to focus on, then this will be a good idea for you to keep. You could write letters to yourself to encourage yourself through whatever stage in life you’re currently going through.
I keep a regular weekly planner in my bag which I pretty much try to carry everywhere. It is my ‘plan dumping spot’. I dump everything in it as they come up before I take the time to write them out neatly in my bullet journal. I am a perfectionist and love my bullet journal and other planners to as clean and simple as possible. This general planner is like a rough draft. That is why I carry it everywhere. It’s small and easy to fit in any bag to carry around. After 2018, I will be eliminating this planner and using the note app on my phone which also does the job for me.
Prayer / Gratitude Journal
I started keeping a prayer journal in 2013. It’s one of the best decisions I made for myself. I think I read about keeping a prayer journal from a blog (I can’t really remember what blog that was) but it really made sense to me. One of my favorite things about a prayer journal is being able to look back at some prayers and see which ones got a yes from God and which ones got a NO. It’s really great to look back at some of my heart cries month later. You see the growth you’ve made based on the kind of prayers you prayed. I love seeing a pattern in my words to God and honestly, how I nag him :(. One of the coolest thing with my prayer journal is when I randomly scanned through the journal one day only to find that I had the exact same words of prayer 6 months ago. Exact same words. This was something that has been pressing on my heart and it was very neat to see that I was still laying it at the alter the same way it was pressing. How incredible!
Also, often times, we forget to thank God for the things He’s done for us. Sometimes we forget those “answered prayer”, it’s good to go back and see them again and say “thank you!” Plus you can also see those ones God said No to and just be grateful that he didn’t say yes to some of our desires. For anyone looking to develop a heart of gratitude, grow spiritually and learn to pray, I definitely recommend a prayer journal of some sort. you don’t have to fill in it every day- few times a week/month is just fine.
If you’re not a Christian, you could consider doing a Gratitude Journal for this one. Write down things you’re grateful for multiple times a week. This would help you in days when you’re discouraged and need some encouragement.
This one is so important to me. Up until last year, I’ve been one of those who never kept a planner. I tend to take life as it comes. I’ve soon realized that one of the main reasons why I procrastinate is because I’m not very disciplined with my plans and priorities. I started researching about bullet journalling last year but only implemented it this year.
One of my biggest struggles with planner hunting was finding one that really worked for me. I am yet to find a planner that gives me “the spark” I need. With bullet journal, I am able to customize it the way I want. I can make the layout different from week to week which is great.
The bullet journal I’m keeping this year will be to plan my monthly, weekly and daily tasks as well as document and track blog-related goals. I’m hoping that by creating a system for my blog, I can be more consistent with creating the kind of contents I want both for the blog and for social media. It’ll be nice to track progress as well with this bullet journal and see just how far I’ve come within the next 12 months.
Bible Study/Sermon Journal
My goal for 2018 is to read the entire Bible at least one time while studying a good portion of it in depth. This journal will help me stay on track and document things that speak to me as I study. I know there are people who keep two separate journals in this category but often times I take sermon notes with my phone and then come home and study it by myself so it’s almost repetitive. So this helps as I tend to use the sermon notes as a cross-reference while studying on my own.
Self Development Journal
This one is new to me. My goal for this journal is to use it as a tool to grow as a person. While 2017 was monumental in my journey to simplicity, 2018 will focus on me getting to know myself, work on my self-confidence and truly fall in love with my self. With this journal, I hope to document daily or every other according to specific prompts. I’ll use prompts to probe myself, write my thoughts and write down defining quotes that make a difference to me. Definitely will share more about this later on the blog.
That’s about it! Is anyone else in love with journaling and planning like I am? What journals do you keep? Are you changing anything in how to set and execute goals in the coming year? Do share in the comment section!
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