During Lockdown 1.0 I entertained myself by sharing an abundance of funny memes on my social media platforms. It started as a distraction for myself as the media was so negative. However, I kept going when I realised it was helping my sanity levels and making other people smile.
One of the popular memes I shared was this one:
As an avid planner fan I laughed out loud at this one, but secretly I knew that not even a global pandemic would stop me buying a diary or journal of some description.
As hilarious as this meme might be, no business owner in their right mind should turn away from using tools to help them plan their content. Not only are some of the planners on the market a wonderful motivational instrument, but some of them are a necessity to maintaining a positive mindset.
Content creation and mental health are at the foundation of my business. Helping SMEs to put together a blog content strategy and share regular, valuable, online content is what I do. Staying sane while running my own business as a single mum of three is also pretty high on the to-do list!
During the summer months, I did something I never thought possible – I went digital with my diary! Yes, the woman with more paper products than a Paperchase shop turned to Google Calendar and colour coded the hell out of her life.
It’s transformed the way I work. A different colour represents each area of my work and home life, so at a glance I can see what’s going on. With the launch of my Power Hours, I was able to link Calendly to my Google calendar, allowing clients to book and reserve a slot in my diary at the click of a button. It’s genius!
At the time, I worried that my beloved journals and planners would become a distant memory. Still, the more personal and professional development I did over the year, the more I realised that every planner has its place in my world.
I thought I’d share some of the planners/journals I’ve looked at, researched, and purchased (some I’ve already started using, and some are ready for 2021 to begin) to show you how important having a plan can be.
Disclosure: I am NOT an affiliate for any of the companies mentioned here, just a fan!
A Journal to Happiness
I received a lovely email from the founder of The Way of the Tortoise, Klaus White, as he wanted to introduce me to the happiness journal. His message landed in my inbox on a quiet day, which meant I had time to explore the link he sent and take a good look around their website. It took me about four minutes to hit the BUY button!!
Please take a look at the website as Klaus and Gal have put a lot of thought and time into creating their journal and complementary resources.
The journal is so much more than somewhere to record your thoughts. The entire product centres on the acronym SHELL because everything you need for your happiness already exists beneath that hard, protective exterior.
S ~ Self-reflect
H ~ Heal
E ~ Emote
L ~ Listen
L ~ Love
The journal is the perfect companion to help you stay focused on your self-development and future. At the beginning of this beautiful hardback book is Part 1, which includes an introduction to the importance of mindset, tips on happiness, visualisation techniques, and habit assessments.
Part 2 includes powerful affirmations, information on mindfulness, gratitude, and nutrition. The main sections of the book are the practical areas of the journal. Each double page spread is divided into your A.M journal and P. M journal. There are prompts to help, as well as a completed example. Every day has a motivational message and daily habits tracker.
“A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life.” ~ Mandy Hale
I’ve used this journal for a few weeks now and it’s the first thing I reach for each morning. It helps put me in the right frame of mind. I love the section ‘Today will be great because…’ as it allows me to start with a positive mindset and build my day from there.
A Journal to Happiness – £25 (Offer: Buy 2 and save £10 plus free UK Shipping)
Awesome Marketing Planner
I’ve bought this planner for the past four years and honestly couldn’t live without it! Created by the fabulous Claire Mitchell from The Girls Mean Business, the Awesome Marketing Planner comes with a private Facebook community to offer support, advice, and additional online workshops and resources.
The physical 2021 planner has sold out (it’s THAT popular) but it’s worth looking at next year if you want a bit more from your business planner. In the meantime, you can purchase the eBook/PDF Printable version from the website.
Why do I love it so much? Aside from the community and courses, the planners offer a mini-marketing class on how to grow your business. Each section is accompanied by a video tutorial from Claire, who walks you through your business vision for the year ahead, your sales train, ideal client, marketing strategy, and much more.
There’s space to track your social media stats, monthly sales, and a week to view calendar, plus weekly Bum Kick emails from Claire to keep you focused all year long.
I’m going to be using my awesome planner a bit differently next year as I no longer need the calendar sections (Google calendar convert!). The marketing aspect is valuable enough to warrant the purchase, and so I plan to use the dairy sections as a professional diary to share my thoughts, ideas, worries, and achievements instead of recording appointment.
Awesome Marketing Planner (eBook PDF System only) – £19.99
Lightbox Originals 100 Words Journal
The 100 Words Journal will appeal to any creative writer. This beautiful journal is a full-colour guide to help you find time to write in your busy schedule. It deals with procrastination, writer’s block, and self-doubt as well as encouraging motivation.
Each page is packed with inspiration, writing tips, and ideas to help you live more creatively. There are daily check-ins to help you stay focused on your writing projects, as well as a review page every ten days that enables you to grow as a writer.
Each journal is made in Britain using responsibly-sourced paper designed to help ensure our forests, and wildlife can thrive for generations to come. They are available in pink or grey and hardbound with premium-quality pages—a joyful purchase for any creative writer.
The Lightbox Originals website is the perfect resource for any writer looking for inspiration and motivation. You’ll find plenty of prompts on the site to accompany your journal.
I’ve pre-ordered my copy, and I already know it’s a journal I’ll often be using.
Writer’s Journal – £29.99
Writer’s Notebook – £19.99
Perfectly Planned 2021
I adore the content Carrie shares on her Female Entrepreneur Association Facebook page and website. For many years I was a member of the FEA and completed lots of courses and workshops so can testify to the quality of the products on offer.
This planner hasn’t made it into my basket this year, but I thought it was worth sharing as I’ve experienced first-hand how helpful Carrie’s marketing tips are.
Similar to the Awesome Marketing Planner, this product comes with an online course. There’s space to plan and review weekly, monthly, and yearly so you stay focused on your business goals.
It’s available in pink, grey, or as a midi version in midnight blue and arrives in beautiful packaging which doubles up as a goal box.
Perfectly Planned 2021 – £59.99
My Pro Planner
The My Pro Planner universe began with two police officer friends who met at the scene of a helicopter crash – I kid you not! In 2013, they were both heavily pregnant and decided to launch a business to help extend their maternity leave.
They started a networking business which then evolved into designing and producing their first planner. The rest, as they say, is history. I bought a Pro Planner a couple of years ago and loved it. The quality is gorgeous, and the inserts are designed for busy entrepreneurs with young families.
For 2021 you can opt for their regular planners in blue or black, or go for their limited edition covers in rose gold or leopard print. Each one contains weekly to-do lists, priorities, gratitude sections, goal setting, calendar plans with 30-minute time slots, and much more.
The girls run Facebook Lives on their page to help you get the most out of your planner and have built a lovely community online.
My Pro Planner – £27 (£30 for the limited edition cover)
I hope you enjoyed this post and want to explore one (or all) of the planners and journals I’ve mentioned. I don’t get a commission, so it’s no skin off my nose if you don’t buy.
I will, however, end with a reminder that planning your year, whether that’s your marketing strategy, blog or social media content, SMART goals, or financial focus has a positive impact on your mindset and future.
Yes, 2020 was hell, but those businesses who had planned and set goals were able to tweak their services and products and survive when so many fell. There’s no trailer available for what 2021 will bring so why not embrace the now, plan for a fantastic future, and be prepared in case the worst does happen.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear about your favourite planners, journals, or calendars. Are you a fan, or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants? Share your thoughts on using gratitude journals, business planners, or specific products for your industry.
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