Tools I'm Using in the New Year

Tools I'm Using in the New Year

Happy 2019!

With the new year often comes an opportunity to revisit goals, priorities, and intentions for the year ahead; bust out a shiny new planner; or perhaps file away the 2018 notebook and open up a new one for the year ahead.

At any given moment, I typically have a few paper-based tools in rotation for reflection, planning, and capturing notes from meetings and client sessions. In recent weeks, many people have asked for more details about various notebooks, journals, and planners that I’ve mentioned or shared in photos.

So, here is a round-up of the tools I’m using right now.

*Disclaimer: none of these tools are necessary for reflection, visioning, or a happy life. A plain old sheet of paper will also do.

  • The Five Minute Journal - I purchased my first Five Minute Journal several years ago when it first came out. Since, I have purchased many more - for myself, and for others. The idea is simple - 5 minutes per day, to capture a few key aspects of the day. In the morning: gratitude, priorities, and intentions. In the evening: great things that happened throughout the day, and things we could have done differently. The process truly takes only 5 minutes, and I find that this simple practice consistently makes my day better. *Note: many companies have created knock-off versions of this journal, some of which are even called the 5 Minute Journal (talk about things that get my blood boiling!). In these cases, the companies have nearly photocopied the pages of the 5 Minute Journal and created tools that look shockingly similar. If you decide to purchase one, please make sure to get it via the link above, or through the company called Intelligent Change. It is on Amazon, as well - please make sure you get this one (versus the various other knock-off versions that you’ll find when you search - it should be around $24.00, but the price on Amazon has been very funky lately - I would recommend going directly through Intelligent Change if possible).

  • Leuchtturm1917 Notebooks - these notebooks are a bit of an investment, but they are amazing. I previously primarily used Moleskine notebooks, which I still use and love, but the Leuchtturm notebooks are a bit wider, which makes them a perfect fit for someone like me who takes a lot of paper notes and who takes notes that flow all over the page in various, non-linear directions. The company has been around for 100 years, as you may gather from the name, and the details of their notebooks are exceptional - a table of contents at the beginning, numbered pages, and paper that feels oh-so-lovely to write on.

  • Day Designer - this is the paper-based planner I’m using in 2019 and am loving it so far. I still use Google Calendar as my ‘source of truth’ - all of my schedule lives there, and I update it religiously. That said, for the last several years, I’ve found it incredibly helpful and grounding to supplement this with a paper based planner. I use the paper-based planner for morning reflection, to review my morning schedule, and to capture notes and thoughts throughout the day. The Day Designer is intense, and has space to capture most things you could imagine capturing throughout the the day - your schedule, your priorities, and other small things such as gratitude, notes about dinner, or notes about finances. In the past I’ve used the Desire Map Planner, which is also lovely, and decided to switch things up this year.

Okay, those are the 3 main tools in my morning rotation right now! These tools, along with coffee, are my ingredients for a morning that makes me oh-so-happy. For more information on morning routines, you may enjoy checking out these posts:

What about you? Do you incorporate paper-based tools into your daily rhythms?