2021 Journal Setup

5 min readDec 30, 2020


Three or four years ago, I got into journaling. Though more and more journal writing benefits are being discovered almost every day, it is a rather difficult habit to start and maintain. I started thinking of journaling as documenting a summary of my day. Just the highlights that if I looked back on that page for that day, two or more years from now, these are the things I would want to remember happening that day, and they’d be a form of memorable content. In a way, journaling got better after the fact and it started becoming a part of my life.

Each year, I go through a few different journals and switch it up a little depending on my journaling needs or goals for that year. I categorize my journaling into three categories.

1. Daily planner

2. Guided journals

3. Goals planner

Below are my choices for 2021

Daily Planner.

The Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5.

I have had my eyes on this journal/ planner for some years now but resisted getting it because, although it seems minimal, it comes off as an advanced journal to me. And I wanted to be comfortable first with journaling for me to start using the Hobonichi, and I feel ready to ultimately utilize it come 2021.

Let’s dive into some elements of what makes this planner special.

First, this is a Japanese daily planner known for its minimal and functional design. And while it may look like an ordinary planner at first glance, it’s stated that using an Hobonichi Techo reveals the thoughtful details that make it such a beloved daily companion. Alrighty then.

It has durable stitch binding that helps the Hobonichi withstand daily use while allowing it to lay completely flat on your desk. And lets you write with comfort wherever you go.

It has lightly graded pages that are friendly to the eyes. There is a spread of the calendar year, yearly indexes, and monthly spreads. And each page features the date, a timeline, and the current moon face. On every left page is the day’s quote, and the right page features a mini monthly calendar. Sunday’s are indicated in red to signal the beginning of a new week.

Though all the above sound great, my favorite is that the pages are printed on Tomoe River Paper. This incredibly thin paper which helps keep the Techo compact. The entire book contains over 400 pages and weighs only 7.3 ounces. Tomoe River Paper is bleed-resistant and great for almost any pen, including fountain pens. Please believe me when I say that this is an incredibly thought-through product with impeccable quality and simple design. You can tell that they were very intentional while making this.

Guided Journals.

The 5 Second Journal.

The 5-second journal is my favorite guided journal by Mel Robbins. It’s the journal that helped keep me grounded in this habit of journaling daily. Sitting down and knowing what to write can be a tad intimidating for a mass number of folks out there. Staring at a blank page supposedly having to pour out your thoughts is not a thing of the norm, and that’s where guided journals come into play to help with this bit.

A guided journal is a collection of prompts, exercises, and activities that help you dive deeper into your feelings, goals, and ideas. The journals are basically filled with thoughtful and inspiring passages that motivate the reader to write or draw or do something specifically related to the page’s concepts. On my quest to try out different ones, The 5-second journal came into play. Here are a few things about this Jornal

You first start by recording the time and place that years from now, you’ll remember that moment.

It has this fuel like concept that you use to assess your energy level to get present, and just next to it, you are prompted to describe your energy level to get clarity.

There is an area where you jot down your top project and a description just below it on why you choose this project. My favorite is the gratitude bit, where you are forced to tap into what you’re grateful for. It takes less than 5 minutes in the morning to fill it out and get a start on your day feeling grounded.

Goals Planner.

Ink + Volt

A goals planner is one that I have been slowly luring myself into since when it has come to goals, I usually rely on digital apps mostly. Still, I wanted to try another direction of having a journal/planner solely dedicated to this purpose. I do believe that a goals planner gives you a sense of purpose and destination.

So let’s see what’s going on with the Ink + Volt

They state that this planner has a tried-and-true goal planning system, including the following layouts and exercises;

1. Visualize & create a roadmap for the future

2. Build a timeline & set goals

3. Monthly calendars

4. 30-day challenges

5. Weekly planning

6. Accomplishments & reflection

Looking at all six of these, I am excited to dive deeper into most of them more than the others, for example, the 30- day challenges, Weekly planning, Building a timeline, and setting goals. My biggest challenge with setting goals is that I usually want to be as careful with it as possible because I do not want to overwhelm myself and give it all up. So I can’t wait to maximize this planner’s value in the best possible way that I can.

In conclusion, let 2021 be the year you try out journaling, start small and see your way up. No pressure

Let’s do this again soon! Thanks for reading





I’m either on a quest to doing more of the things that make me happy or creating habits that contribute to my personal development. souncool.io