Backstory for those who haven't been following the saga:
For years I struggled to journal. Finally in 2013 I had great success with a dated day per page diary. The dated page prompted me to write SOMETHING every day, or else the page would be wasted. So I got in the habit of capturing details every day. It was grand.
But I struggled a bit with the book. It was heavy in my bag, and sometimes a page per day felt limiting.
About this time last year I busted into a notebook/ Bullet Journal instead, and enjoyed the freedom. But for some reason day per page diaries have a charm that pulls me back. I just like them.
Now that I've been using a notebook/ Bullet Journal for almost a year, I can evaluate the pros and cons of each system. Get ready for some serious geekdom:
Dated Day Per Page Book:
- I love the aesthetics of the chunky book.
- Superior archiving and easier to find things in one book all year.
- Captures a snapshot of my day. Easier to flip through and see one page/ day at a time.
- Easier to see trends over the entire year like when flowers bloomed, leaves turned etc.
- Edited to add: I like the progression through the book as the progression of the year.
- I like the content of DPP diaries (maps, conversions, etc).
- Having a dated page per day makes me fill in as much as I can about the day, which sometimes causes me to write MORE. I don’t like empty spaces.
- Can fill in things on days ahead of time, like what to bring along to places.
- Kids can draw pictures and borders on upcoming days for a nice surprise when I arrive at that date.
- Timed lines help me map out my day better…
- …but I tend to become a slave to it, looking at it all day to see what I should be doing at any giving moment.
- Content tends to be more businesslike, simple log book with less depth.
- Limited to one page per day. Have to make choices about what is worthy of being written on each day’s page.
- Heavier book.
- No space for lists and non day specific items.
Plain Notebook/ Bullet Journal:
- Can be whatever I need it to be at that moment, even different day to day.
- Kids do drawings on the pages without restrictions.
- More FUN/ in-depth content.
- Lighter book.
- I get to use several books per year, a new book every 3-4 months which helps satisfy my urge to use new books.
- More space to stick things in, although I hardly ever do.
- Doesn’t have the content of dated DPP diaries.
- Several books each year means relevant lists must be copied over or lost.
- Have to dig out old books to look up past information.
- Harder to find things in pages.
- Despite having unlimited space, sometimes I actually write LESS because I don’t feel the pressure to fill the page.
I like both, for opposite reasons. The structure and content of day per page diaries vs. the freedom of undated notebooks.
So what I'm trying out now is pre-dating two weeks of day-on-two-pages in my notebook/ Bullet Journal. That way I have a good compromise: I can fill things in ahead of time, and having two pages already designated for each day encourages me to write more.
Which do you like better? Dated daily pages (like Hobonichi etc.), or a notebook/ Bullet Journal? Why?