Recollections released a variety of mini journals back when they released their personal sized leather-ish planners. I picked up the pink Inspiration Journal booklet because it was pink and matched my mint planner and since they were made to fit in the planner, it worked out perfect. This journal booklet was the start of what is now my goal planner. If you want more details about the set up on my goal planner, I go more into detail over here —> Goal Planning
However in that post I didn’t go into detail of how I was using the journal booklet. So I thought I would use this post to go through how I am using it, why I am liking it, and why you might consider picking one up.
Although the colour (I can’t resist pink and gold) was originally what attracted me to this mini journal I will admit they could make it any colour now and I would repurchase it (by the way these retail fro $7.99 Canadian, but I am sure I probably paid less then that since I would have used a Michaels coupon) Also the colour of the cover could make little difference to you since if you wanted, these pages can easily be pulled out of their binding to go in a planner on their own. I so far have kept it in it’s binding. I like to be able to take the booklet out of my planner. You could even take the booklet with you on the go if you didn’t want to take your whole planner. This would be helpful for some of the other journals they offer like the meal planning one.
Just in case this is your first time seeing the journal booklet I will go into detail of how the pages are set up. For those of you more visual (photos of each page are below) There are 8 different journal pages for the month with prompts on each page. These 8 pages repeat throughout the book. As soon as you open the cover you are at the beginning of the booklet, there is no welcome page or other information. The first page is the Monthly Insights page. It has a space at the top for your to write the month and colour lined blocking going down the page for spaces to write. The second page shares three different writing prompts firstly a list of 10 things you want to during the month. The second is what you challenge yourself to and thirdly what you can improve on. The third page is another list of ten but this time it is a list of your ten things you are grateful for. Page four is the only page I find out logical sequence (at least for me) with the top portion of the page being a space to write your thought for the month and the bottom what you have learned over the month. Page seven and eight which are titled ‘Reasons to Be’ give you topics (Happy, Excited, Thoughtful, Energized, Creative, Healthy, Imaginative and Compassionate) with a list of six underneath each topic. In the back of the book you have a pages that are in list form for Ideas and Dreams.
I have used a journal on and off throughout my life. I really enjoy writing down my thoughts and feelings while giving myself the time to reflect. However I never seem to give myself the time to journal. I have been reading a quote that seems to be popping up everywhere lately, “I can do anything, but not everything” This quote can be taken many ways in life, but I think it also speaks to hobbies. I have a lot of hobbies which include writing, however having a lot of hobbies means I can’t do them all, all the time. That is one of the reasons I like this journal notebook. It is quick but at the same time makes me pause and reflect. I like opening it at the beginning of the month to write down on the second page some of the things I would like to do that month. I also write down what I want to challenge myself on and what I can improve on from the previous month. If I were building this booklet myself I would put this as the first page. Throughout the month I will write down insights and write in things I am grateful for. I also do this with the reasons to be pages. I come back at the end of the month or when I am filling out the next month to finish up anything else I want to add in. I never push myself to completely fill out all the pages, but I find once I start reading the prompts and filling out the pages more and more comes out. The last page I fill out is the Thought for the Month and What I Learned This Month. I sit down and look back through my Happy Planner on what I have done that month and what I wanted to achieve. That is the reason I feel like that page should be the last.
I love this journaling booklet because not only is it a quick way to reflect on the month but it gives you the writing prompts. For those who have never journaled before and don’t know where to start, this would be a booklet that would guide you through writing. I would like to create inserts that would takes some of these prompts and put them into a weekly format.
Although I really do like this booklet there are a couple things that confused me about the book and makes me feel like it was not fully thought out before it was put together. Even though I would prefer the pages in a different order, I know that is just personal preference and that other people would be fine with the order. I mentioned how the booklet repeats the same eight pages, which makes sense since you fill out each of the eight pages monthly. What doesn’t make sense to me that there are 11 months worth of pages. 11? Why Recollections decided to not include 12 to make it a full year makes no sense to me. Another reason this makes no sense to me is at the back of the book after your last full set of eight pages is a page that is the same as the first page for each month, the Monthly Insight page but when you turn that page you have the pages of Ideas & Dreams.
The Ideas & Dreams pages open up so they are across from each other, so the only thing I can think is that the Recollections Designers wanted to have these pages parallel so they needed to put something on the prior page. However the last page of the book has the Ideas page all on its own. Out of the whole booklet this design flaw is the only element that really bothers me. At first I thought it was because there wasn’t enough pages left in the book to do the twelfth month, but even if they had made the twelfth month there still would have been four back to back pages of Ideas & Dreams.
The last element that confuses me about this booklet is on the Reasons To Be pages at the bottom of the second page of them there is a spot that says ‘Total’ and I have no clue what you are suppose to be totaling up. Are you adding up the Reason To Be…so you can compare each month how many you have. If anyone knows the reasons why there is this space can you comment below, because every time I look at it, it makes me wonder.
I would suggest this booklet to anyone who is wanting to try reflective journaling but doesn’t know where to start, or those who want to add a reflective space to their planning process. I think this booklet works wonderfully in my goal planner because it gives me a space to reflect on my goals in each category monthly.
I have inserted the link to the Michaels website that shows this booklet and the others available from Recollections. I have linked the US site because I find it easier to navigate but remember the prices on the site will be in US.
Click here to see the booklets –>http://www.michaels.com/inspiration–journal-by-recollections/10477944.html#pmpt=qualifying&sz=24&start=87
Comment below if you are using any of the Recollections Journal Booklets and if you have any recommendations for me to try out.