The Journal Geek Chooses ONE

Excuse me while I geek out in the corner over here… for those of you who don’t know YET, I LOVE journals.  I love everything about them.  I love the selection and buying process so much!  It makes me feel intelligent and already organized as if the magic has begun working in my life. 

I recently started a journal hunt and have concluded the hunt with 4 journals that are the final 4.  I am going to share with you what I like about each one.  I will tell you that selecting the “one” has been more difficult than I had imagined. This is exactly why I’m writing this post. So you don’t have to torture yourself too.

I’m not looking to looking to replace my every day and monthly calendar.  I use my “Happy Calendar” and I have nothing but great things to say.  I love the layout itself and if thats not enticing enough, the bells and whistles you can add on as well as the stickers!!!! The stickers make the pages so fun and creative and bring that side out of me every time I glance at it.

Push Journal- Chalene Johnson

I was so excited to receive this journal in the mail.  It is a 90 day system so you receive 3/30 day journals.  There is also a painless “how to use” the Push journal which will only contribute you to maximizing the system. She begins the set up by having you answer specific questions to narrow down what areas in your life need the most attention/ personal growth. This is great because it helps you design very specific goals that the push journal will help you track your daily progress as you strive to achieve them. There are also daily water intake and food logs throughout.  Chalene’s “thing” is fitness so this layout makes sense being she represents it.

The EVO journal:

This journal caught my eye because the format is based on science around how the brain organizes information and productivity.  There are 4 categories and you take a quiz to find your brain type.  From there after finding out I was an “Explorer” brain type, I ordered the Explorer journal. I am impressed by the layout as well. There are 4 months of monthly calendar pages for your month at a glance view.  Weekly plan and weekly review.  The plan captures personal and professional “to do’s” and identifies you top 3 focus goals for the week. The review asks questions on more of an emotional level than I was expecting for a productivity journal.  This area has space for you to write your favorite memories for the week and asks what you learned from the week. I like this so much that I will be encompassing these questions into what journal I do choose to move forward with. The final daily tracker is lacking in the productivity and goal attaining tracking.  It asks for you to list your top 3 priorities and has 3 blanks to enter times and descriptions for moving, afternoon and evening. I personally would leverage these as break out sessions but the where do you track your progress for accountability? At the bottom of the page it asks you to rate the “flow” of your day….

The Mastery Journal:

This came highly recommended with great ratings as well and I can see why.  This is a true productivity tracker. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Master the Mundane” you will find it in this journal.  The entire journal is full of basically the same page with a few others for extra tracking here and there. The journal is built into activity/ breakout sessions and then of course rating those breakout sessions. A breakout session is where the work begins. Fingers to computer, ear to phone and ideas flowing. You set your “focus time”goal which I love as well as your “refresh time” before the next breakout session begins. It is recommended that 2 breakout sessions happen before noon and 2 after as well.  This journal is so simple its silly.

Lastly, The Most Powerful Planner was on the desk for review. This is structured with the same “tracking” page as most. On the left page there are questions such as how are you feeling today, why, how you can feel more energized, what your top project is, why your project matters, what you’re grateful for and what time today you will stop working. On the right side there is an hour by hour daily time planner where you can write appointments and time blocks as well as “brain dump”. My challenge with this journal is the substance of content. How valuable are these questions and how do I feel about such a lack or tracking for accountability. For me and my recommendation would be to have a journal that comes full circle between the balance of priorities, productivity and tracking these steps daily.

So here comes the inner dialogue….. I gravitate to structure, mastering the mundane and mental and visual goal and priority setting.  With all of this should also come the daily accountability tracker. Now, after reviewing the 4 journals I appreciate the deeper emotional questions the the EVO offered so that is one more category that I am looking to encompass in my next journal.

Now, that being said I am going with the most structured, get down to business journal I reviewed. I’ve selected the Master Journal. I ultimately selected this journal because of where I am in my life right this very moment. I am launching something new and exciting and making a major career shift. This will evolve so much of ME and MY work. I love just thinking about it. I ofter wonder like many when I look at my daily, over zealous “to do” list, where did the day go and why did I not get more done… then I feel like a loser and a “to do” list and time management failure.  This will help me so much being able to say and track that I had 4 working, break out sessions per day.  All broken down to how I prefer them.  Are they 30 min long with 12 minutes Refresh Time? It’s time to decide by doing it. I will keep you all updated in the next few weeks as to how this is working for me. Please let me know if you have a journal you love and is your “go to”. If i haven’t heard of it yet I will definitely check it out now that we all know about how I feel about journals.



Keely Nations