My 2019 Journals and Notebooks

As I’ve previously written, one of the things that didn’t work for me in 2018 has been planners. Once again, I’ve fallen into the bullet journal trap trying to do what other people were doing without actually considering my own needs. I’ve finally managed to find my own way only in November, after reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, and I’m going to keep using this method in 2019. I also use Google Calendar for events and appointments. But let’s take a look at my 2018 journals.

2018 Journals

In 2018, I ended up using 2 Leuchtturm notebooks with dotted pages (+ a Traveler’s Notebook blank insert for collaging and memory keeping). The black one was my personal stream of consciousness journal, while the blue one ended up being my bullet journal. I like that they match, but what didn’t work for me was that they were too similar (even the color!), also I’m not a fan of dots when it comes to personal journaling because I tend to write faster and bigger when I dump my thoughts on paper. I prefer lined paper. Also, the page numbers were totally useless since I tend to not use the index for my private journal.

The blue notebook worked well for bullet journaling, but I ended up smudging my fountain pen ink a lot. Leuchtturm paper is better than Moleskine paper, but the ink of my Lamy Safari fountain pen still takes too much time to dry than an average ballpoint pen and it isn’t a great thing for a notebook used for planning since I often have to quickly flip through pages when the ink is still wet.

Planner Graveyard

Sadly, I also have a planner graveyard for 2018.

Molang Diary. I started the year with this undated weekly planner that I bought on Amazon for less than 5€ and I was very excited about it because it looked cute and was cheap. Unfortunately, having to write the dates myself month after month in advance quickly became incredibly tedious. Also, I got bored by all the cute bunnies and flowers after a couple of weeks. It turns out that I prefer plain and minimal pages.

Pocket Daily Moleskine. In May, I decided to get this planner to replace the previous one because it was 50% off on Amazon. It worked well for the rest of 2018, but I ended up completely ignoring it in November and December when I revamped my bullet journal practice.

2019 Journals

For 2019 I decided to completely ditch premade planners (for now, at least) and just go with a cheaper black notebook for my bullet journal. The brand is called Lemome and it can be easily found on Amazon. It has fewer pages than a Leuchtturm but the paper is way thicker and I’ve noticed that the ink of my fountain pen dries quicker. Such a big improvement for me. Also, since the paper quality is better, I can use markers and highlighters.

I’m going to keep using my Traveler’s Notebook with DIY inserts for collaging and memory keeping. This is a great analog way for me to relax while listening to podcasts or well-known movies (like Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings). I’m happy I’ve rediscovered my love for paper crafting this past year.

Finally, for my private journal, I’m going to use this cute light purple notebook (with lined thick paper) by the Italian brand Legami that a friend of mine has gifted me for Christmas. I was planning to get a good old lined Moleskine, but then I received this beautiful gift and I’m so excited about using it!

Stay tuned because I’m going to share my digital planning tools in an upcoming blog post!

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9 thoughts on “My 2019 Journals and Notebooks”

  1. Hey Alice, have you ever considered the Rocketbook system? It’s an erasable ink “paper” that can be scanned into most digital tools like Evernote and Google Drive. For me it solves the problems of looking up past notes and is completely reusable, with a wipe of a wet paper towel. I love it but still struggle with physical writing (I hate my messy jots)

    1. I’ve heard of it in the past and I’ve seen the detailed review made by Thomas Frank, but I really like writing on actual paper (not a glossy one) and using my fountain pen. I use an index in my journal, so once it’s finished I take a photo of it so I know the notes contained in my journal.

  2. Planner graveyards are totally a thing. It took years until I found one I really liked, now I’m in my 2nd year of using planners from the company Fringe. I need ones with a lot of daily space because I use it for everything – appointments, to-do list, reminders, stuff for my daughter, etc. Love this post!

  3. Pre-made planners are something I have never gotten used to, except for when I was in elementary school (our school provided us with a diary where we can write which tests or homework are due when). Bullet journaling worked out for me for a little bit but I abandoned that too when I went on maternity leave. I have a blank Leuchtturm notebook and I still don’t know what to do with it. Hehe!

    1. I know what you mean. One of the things I never stopped using is Google Calendar, it’s basically my backup for appointments and events.

  4. I ended give up the paper bullet journal, using Notion as a more powerful replacement.
    Yet I like using paper so I’m looking for a way to use notebook somehow. I really like your collage and memory keeping, maybe I’ll do something similar… Thanks 🙂

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