I’m one of those geeky people who gets excited when the school year is starting because of all the supplies. Pens, pencils, paper notebooks, binders, tabs, post it’s, etc. You better believe I had a whole board on Pinterest on home notebooking at one point.

So I love office supplies and the promise of organization even though I’m hardly able to find my debit card most of the time.

In my love of office supplies I’ve also tried every planner or calendar set up I could. So when I was getting into the 5 second rule I knew I HAD to get the planner and since it was sold out that made me want it even more.

I went to the local Barnes and Noble where they had one copy left, with a ripped cover – but who cares, I didn’t have to wait like everyone who purchased it online.

I dove right in and started using it the next day. But after three weeks I lost interest. Here my review of the planner.

The Good: Each day has two sheets, and it isn’t numbered so there is no problem if you skip a day.

There are encouraging quotes about courage throughout, which adds a bit of happiness to the day.

I really enjoyed the gratitude section. It helped me get past the first things you think of like a healthy family, good job, etc. I started writing about the small things I enjoyed and was grateful for each day instead, like that we all got to have dinner together, our family came over to play pool, and I was able to finish a book I enjoyed.

The most important tasks section was great, I think just about every modern journal has this section and it makes you focus on the items you must get done each day.

At the top of each day, you write the time and place you are starting your day. This is great for travelers, and I liked trying to beat my time, since I’m a late to bed, late to rise person.

And at the bottom there is a place to plan when you’ll stop working, which is important for me because I like to just keep going, but it drives the kids nuts.

On the second page of each day there is a Brain Dump area, to stash all the thoughts you have while going through the day.

I enjoyed using it for 3 weeks and loved to brain dump area, I needed that for when I’m working, of course, that means I had to keep the journal handy as well.

The Bad: The following sections I didn’t enjoy using. They seemed fun/interesting at first but then I realized they weren’t beneficial for me.

How I feel today tank? section The novelty wore off after the first couple of days. I know how I feel. Most days I felt Fine/Good and I’m OK with that.

I feel this way because? section
For this question, I think everyone knows how they feel, and I’m not sure I want to write it out each time or that writing it out adds to my day at all, when I need to get started on work.

To feel more energized? section Who says I’m not energized enough? Why are we assuming we need to feel more energized?

This project matters to me because? section
 My answers for this were always because I need to work, because we need the money, because I like to spend time with family, etc. I would assume others feel similarly.

One small action to move forward section This feels self-explanatory with the tasks section.

The confidence corner? section I didn’t find the challenges useful and they took up a lot of journal space. I think this could have been used by having people choose their own courageous challenge each day. Or making up a new section altogether.

The bookmark snapped off all the time. I would put the bookmark in the area, but it seemed to lose its elasticity and snap off to the back.

Overall, some of the journal sections started to feel redundant.

The Summary
I’ve had a hard time finding a journal I love. From BestSelf to One Task to Panda Planner to Five Minute Journal none of them did it for me. I don’t fit into a box well, and I dislike wasting a section of a journal.

My Solution

I do like journals so I’ve come up with a solution. I take the areas I like and write my own. I bought the executive size Rocketbook Everlast erasable notebook with extra pretty pens and I write up my journal there. I open a new page draw a few lines and include:

  • Things I need to get done
  • Notes section
  • Gratitude section that I fill each day
  • A Log section where I keep track of how I’m spending my time as suggested by Darius Foroux
  • When I start & intend to stop working for the day
  • And a place to check off my statement of demands for the Think & Grow Rich action guide.

I think if Mel Robbins had focused more on the routine she uses for her mornings, as covered in The 5 Second Rule, and wrote the journal for her readers, ie people who need to get crap done, it would have been a better purchase for me. I did learn from using it though and for that I am glad I purchased it.

What journals have you tried? Did you like them?

If you loved The 5 Second Rule like I did, join our book club where we read books like this all the time and work to implement what we learn with action guides.

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