Do you love a fresh new planner? Love to color code, tab, itemize and micromanage your whole goddamn life, whenever possible? Me too.
Sometimes I wish it was literally my job to just make lists, cross things off, plan and schedule all of life’s minutia, and do it again the next day. (Not really, I tried something similar to that job once and it was not The Answer.)
But I do find it so satisfying to put things in colorful boxes.
That’s why a little over 3 months ago I bit the bullet and bought a fancy new day planner, complete with daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual pages. It’s the first time I’ve invested more than about $10 in a planner. I’m frugal AF, so this is kind of a big deal.
Because I’m the type of person who literally Googles “best tweezers” before committing my hard-earned $8 to pluck unruly hairs in weird places, I spent an inordinate amount of time combing through the Google search results for things like “best journals for bloggers” and “best journals for entrepreneurs” and “best journals for goal setting.”
As I side note, I read a while back that “best _____” is a very 90’s way to search the Internet. Apparently, I am an excellent ambassador for my generation. I want the best and I know how to search for it. Message me if you want tips.
Thank God for the Interwebs.
Luckily, I did all that work for us and really did find The Best. Or did I? This post is an honest review of my last 3+ months with the Daily Greatness Yoga Journal.
Despite all my searching for The Best goal-setting planner, which is what I wanted in order to help get my shit together this year, I ended up grabbing myself a Daily Greatness (5% off referral link) Yoga Journal. It was between the Yoga Journal and their Business Planning Journal, but the Yoga Journal won out for a few reasons.
First, yoga is more to the core of what I’m about and my spiritual life seems like a better place to put my energy, considering that’s where I probably need the most help. I spend enough time thinking about marketing strategies and business and optimization. Plus, the Yoga Journal is also a full-service day planner, so it’s effectively a business planner if I make it one. But I don’t.
Second, the Daily Greatness Yoga Journal focuses on mindset and overall wellness, as opposed to “crushing goals” and waking up at 5AM to “crush it” and hitting self-imposed deadlines to “crush it.” I don’t really want to “crush it” any more than I already am (ha!). I kind of want to just chill the fuck out and find a little more balance. Why else would I spend $50 on a fucking woo-woo planner? I need help!
I appreciate the intention behind the Yoga Journal because mindfulness is what I aim to cultivate in my life. Compared to where I’d like to be in this arena, I currently have very little of it, despite my efforts to do things like yoga and meditation on a regular basis. Developing a daily yoga practice is work, no matter how much I enjoy the process. Establishing a daily meditation practice is even harder (but there’s an app for that). This journal aims to help me do just that.
After waiting 5 days for delivery (I ordered on a Friday), my journal finally arrived!
Those 5 days of waiting were stressful because if it didn’t arrive 3 days later on Monday, I wouldn’t get to start using it until an entire week later, meaning I’d have to wait almost 2 whole weeks after ordering it to even use it. The thing is undated, but there was no way in Hell I was going to start the journal on a Wednesday or Thursday or a fucking weekend! Who does that?
Luckily, the journal had enough bullshit fluff–I mean, mindful intention-setting–before the actual planner part, so I had plenty to do with it before I officially began to use it the following Monday.
It’s now been 3+ months since I’ve had it, and I think it’s about time to break down my experience using it, in excruciatingly honest and sometimes painful detail. Actually, maybe I will spare you most of the detail and just give you a high-level overview of the thing. I’m going to give you the type of review I wish I’d read before buying it.
Before I begin: the journal is beautiful. It’s full color and very book-like. Not the best thing to carry in a purse or bag, which was a serious bummer in my opinion, but the quality couldn’t be denied. It even had 2 of those ribbon bookmarks, which came in handy to mark the week page and the current day page.
The planner starts with a handful of pages meant to inspire you and get you ready to use it. It included section titles like “Attuning to your inner landscape,” and “What’s your dharma?” It also outlined the idea of a “Conscious Life Blueprint,” and then goes into detail on how to use every section. I find these pages kind of useful, but also kind of boring. I don’t really buy into flowery language.
The planner, which I think I’ll start calling a book from here on out, is broken into 4 sections, meant to last you an entire year. You can start whenever, but obviously, Monday, preferably one that falls on the 1st of a month, is the only rational day to really start anything. Each section is the same, with weekly, daily and then a 90-day check-in.
Ok, I’m getting bored explaining what you can just Google. Go find the product description if it interests you. This is not a sponsored post and I owe this journal nothing.
Let’s just focus on my experience using it.
I started off really excited. Very motivated. It really felt like, after having gone through the preliminary “life blueprint” and “life mission statement” and “what do you desire?” sections that this journal was going to set me free and be The Thing I needed to find inner balance and wisdom.
Sure, I don’t buy into flowery language and woo-woo sentimentality, but what if…what if this time I did!? I am very opened minded this way. It felt like, holy shit, where has this thing been all my life?
Each morning, you start by answering 3 questions. First, you write about something you’re grateful for. Second, you write out your “top 3 inspired actions for the day.” Third, you fill out 3 “I am” statements, which serve as your intentions or mindset. All very good stuff.
At the end of the day, you answer another 4 questions. Here are some example questions that you might answer on any given day:
“What did I notice about my yoga practice today?”
“What did I learn today?”
“After today, what behavior do I want to upgrade?”
“What strengths did I use today?”
“What did I enjoy about today?”
“What yoga pose would I like to perfect?”
“What did I do really well today?”
There are a handful of questions that continually pop up again and again, and after 3+ months of using the thing I started to feel both exhausted and resentful that my book kept insinuating that I need to “upgrade my behavior” and “adopt a new mindset.” Fuck you, book, my mindset is fine!
The first time I came across the question, “what would I do today if it was my last?”, I had to pause and really thinking about it. After concluding that if today really were my last, then I’d have no time to do anything fun because it’s already after 10AM and I’m stuck at home without the car and there is no way I’d waste 90 minutes getting into the City, especially because I don’t even like the City, I came up with something along the lines of “I’d pick my battles and enjoy the moment.” That felt good. That mentality carried me through the day and it stands out as probably the highlight of the entire experience of using it.
But then the book asked me the question again, like 2 weeks later! I’d still pick my battles and live in the moment, fuck, what more do you want from me? Nothing has changed. I’m still stuck on a hill in Hayward, California without a car or enough time to plan anything cool. Plus, isn’t this question a bit trite?
The book continues like this, for days and weeks and months. For an entire year, you cycle through the same set of questions. I found it very tedious and monotonous by about month 2, which is why I stopped using it shortly after my first 90-day check-in.
The 90-day check-in. This is where you assess how your previous 90-day goals turned out, if at all. The 90-day check-in asks you to evaluate your life all over again, set new goals, and learn from your experiences thus far. Great in theory, but in practice the 90 days fell on the weekend of my period and I didn’t give two shits about how I’d failed at my 90-day goal of meditating every day. I’d meditated more than I have in the past, but if I were to get real with myself and answer the question of whether I’d succeeded, the answer would be no.
I did my best to fill out the 90-day check-in, but I’d lost all interest at this point. Asking me to formulate 4 new goals was too much. I didn’t have 4 new goals. In fact, I don’t really have any goals that I’m that laser-focused on (besides my manifestation list, which I’ve got covered). I’m just trying to get through each day and hopefully have some yoga, some meditation, and some gratitude in there at some point. Those are more ongoing-process-oriented and less milestone-I-achieved-my-goal-oriented.
Self-inquiry is important and I appreciated how this journal encourages that growth mindset, but ultimately it felt like overkill. By the end, filling out the journal felt more like a chore and less like anything beneficial to my personal development. So I threw it away in a garbage can at terminal D12 in Dallas, Texas. Boy, that felt good!
- Undated! This means you can buy it whenever and start with YOUR day 1. No waiting until January or July (when most planner start)
- Beautiful It really was a pretty piece of garbage
- High quality I probably should have recycled that gorgeous paper
- Goal-oriented This is perfect for people who are very laser-focused on achieving goals in all realms of life
- Holistic The journal covered all facets of life, from spirituality to health to finance to relationships to community, and encouraged you to really think deeply about what you wanted in each area
- Pay for shipping costs extra an $8, which felt super lame considering I already dropped $50 on a stack of bound paper
- Not on Amazon, meaning no 2-day shipping. Waiting 5 days was hard. I was that excited.
- Heavy and big This was a big downer if you’re like me and like to carry your planner everywhere
- Repetitive It kept asking the same questions, again and again
- Tedious After a while, using it felt like a -going-through-the-motions chore
Want to buy one?
Buy directly from their website- the Amazon price is criminal. They’re a bit pricey at $49.95 + S/H, but you can use this link to get 5% off. They sent me that code right after I bought my journal, and I get 10% back when you use it. However, when I bought my journal there was a 20% off sale at the website itself, so see if that’s going on before using my 5%.