more than a dozen planners each year! I have learned a valuable lesson from my switching-around experiences.
In most things in life, consistency is key. It's certainly true for parenting: you have to discipline your kids in the same way consistently so they can learn cause and effect. It's also true for fitness: how much more slim and fit would I be right now if I'd exercised most days for the past 3 years?
And not surprisingly, consistency is key when creating a journal, diary or logbook. Ever since my post on diaries etc. I've been thinking a lot about what I want from my planner and journal. It's true I like to use my planner to plan and as a record of what I've done, in the form of a detailed logbook. But over the years I've gone back and forth over whether I want to combine my journal and planner into one book or keep them separate (and if so what format for each?).
We all know I flit from planner to planner, but in the past 2 years I've also had a journal breakdown.
Above you can see a photo of my large Moleskine daily planners that I've been using as journals for the past 4 years now. (You can click here to read my post about it with more details).
In 2008 and 2009 I was very consistent in writing in my journals, and managed to write almost every day. Now when I look back through these journals, they paint a very accurate picture of what my life was like at the time, moving from Moscow to Albania with small children. I was good about writing cute things my kids said and did. Even the stressful stuff is gratifying to read now, knowing I managed to get through it with my sanity (mostly) intact.
Then in 2010 I stopped writing in my journal around March or so, because I was so stressed out all the time and I didn't want to fill my journal with constant bitching. But the result was that by not writing anything I missed out on capturing my kids' cute sayings, and the fun things we did. That makes me sad.
A few months ago I thought maybe I should switch to a non-dated blank notebook for my journal. I wrote in it for a few days, tried to catch up on past events, then put it down because it was turning into a non-chronological mess.
I haven't written in this year's daily Moleskine at all, because two weeks into this year we discovered that we were leaving Scotland, and I couldn't bear to write anything. Again, this makes me sad because I missed out on capturing all the wonderful things we were able to do while we were there.
This morning I decided to compare my journals and make a final decision on what to use, then use it.
After looking through both the dated daily and undated blank journals, I've decided to get back into the large dated day per page Moleskine as my journal. While thumbing through the pages, I enjoy seeing each day on its own page. The progress through the day per page book mirrors my own progress through the year. Each book, like each year, has a beginning and an end.
Another thing I love about the day per page is that I can go back and fill in empty days. This is my new project: I will refer to my planners and back-fill empty days, so that I can re-create the consistency of having written most days. I remember this and last year well enough (with the help of my planners) to write what we did each day. There are some specifics that are lost, but I'll be able to fill in most things. That way when I read through my journals (now, and years from now), I won't have months missing at a time.
I've already ordered the 2012 Moleskine large day per page planner, which I plan to use as my journal next year. We'll see how long I can maintain the consistency!