Like most of you, picking a yearly planner is such a difficult decision to make. There are tons of planners out there which makes it so hard to pick THE one.
For many years, I have maintained at least two planners every year – one for my personal to dos and appointments and the other for my office tasks, meetings, etc. I have used many kinds of planners – from girly and creative BDJ Planners to overhyped planners from different coffee shops. Coffee Bean’s The Giving Journals have always owned a special place in my heart. I have been using their planners for 5 years now.
I can give you 10 reasons why.
1. CAUSE – Let’s start this countdown with a big one – the reason for its existence! It was 2009 when CBTL launched the 1st edition of their Giving Journal. The proceeds of which are used to support causes like helping street children, empowering women with livelihood skills, fight against animal cruelty, etc. How can you not love that?
2. SIMPLICITY / MINIMALISM – I used to love very girly and very Pink planners. I think most of us went through that phase or it may not be just a phase to some of us and that is totally okay. Over the years, I have learned to love more simple and clean-looking planners.
Don’t be so impressed! My planners don’t stay clean the entire year. I scribble and doodle and make a lot of mistakes on my planners a LOT so I am telling you, a 7-day old hair looks way cleaner than my few-week old planner.Circling back to my original story, I just love how clean and professional this planner look. It is just perfect for folks like me who loves minimalism but it could also awaken the artist in you! Its simplicity may just pull your creative self out and push you to add some colors or stickers or whatever to this planner. Here are some pictures I grabbed from CBTL’s IG showing you what you can do with this planner to make it look more artsy fartsy and fun.
3. INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES, MESSAGES AND STORIES – One of the things I love about this journal is the effort they put in to add inspirational quotes, messages or stories in it. There are tons of beautiful stories and messages you can read all over the journal that could truly inspire you to go after your dream or be a better version of yourself or just lift your spirit up after a not-so-good day in school or at work. In the past, whenever I feel down, I would close my eyes and pick a page on my journal and read the message on it. It has never failed to make me feel better.
4.THANK YOU JAR! – One of the highlights of this year’s journal is the Thank You Jar! Correct me, if I am wrong but I think this is the 1st time they have added something like this. I strongly feel that this is an amazing addition to the journal because it makes you list down what you are grateful for. You can do it monthly or do it whenever you feel like it. What I plan to do is, each day, I will write a word in the jar that symbolizes what I am grateful for that day.For example, Last January 1, I wrote Family. I was feeling grateful for my old family whom I’ve spent many spent many happy years and the new family I gained this year. I even added an alarm on my phone that I labeled “TY Jar” so I don’t forget to think about my daily blessings and say a little thank you for them. But that’s just me. Like what I would always say, you do you! You don’t need to copy me. You do what works best for you.
5.SPACE – Every plannerholic will tell you, this space this planner provides is outstanding! There are notes pages and the weekly pages give you a lot of space to write down your daily To Dos and appointments. Plus, there are monthly summaries before each month starts. I will talk more about than in the next bullet. Some notes pages even have light grids on it so you can be more creative and do bullet journaling. It’s amazing! I just love that I have a lot of space to write down my thoughts and what nots.
6.MONTHLY SUMMARY / MONTH VIEW – I honestly just made that name up. I have no idea what they’re called so let’s just call it monthly summary or month view but it is the 1st page you’ll see after the month name. It is very similar to the month at a glance section from last year’s journal ( So, I guess, that is its name huh?) but has more mini sections now. I think it is brilliant that they provided a section where you can kind of plan your month – list your priorities, write down action plans for your relationships, financial, etc. and list your monthly trips. At the same time, you can flip back to this page and see if you have accomplished those goals, write down your realizations and learnings for the month and even draw or insert a picture of your favorite memory of the month.
7.VISUALS – Looking at the pictures of the 10 different journals they have launched is very nostalgic. Seeing the pictures of the people and organizations they have helped makes me feel extra prouder to be a part of this cause by owning and using this journal for 5 years now. I always look at these pictures every time I feel down or depressed because I couldn’t get the things I want. They are effective reminders that I am blessed and I should be grateful for the things I have.
8.STICKERS and COUPONS – As always, CBTL includes stickers and coupons you can use this year. The stickers are way more colorful than the previous years’ but I have to say, I am a little underwhelmed by the stickers. I wish there are more relevant stickers like last year’s. Each coupon will tell you the month they are valid on. The breakfast / food coupons are not my favorite but the free coffee/drink or free upsize coupons excite me. Like last year, you also get Wing Stop coupons which I think is pretty cool. I hope they partner with more brands in the future so you can get freebies other than free drinks and chicken wings. 🙂
9. JOURNEY ROAD MAP – This section is a perfect way to challenge or inspire yourself to give more this year. This roadmap contains a monthly challenge like donate old clothes or do volunteer work. Little things but could make a lot of difference to someone’s life. I know it’s not gonna be easy but I will do my very best to think of myself less and think about how I can help others more this year.
10. LETTER TO END THE YEAR – Let’s end this list with another favorite addition for this year’s journal is the letter to end the year section. Call me cheesy or something but I’d love to write a letter to my future self. I will share my learnings for the year, remind her of our goals and tell her what not to do next year. Sounds crazy but it should be fun!
Those are 10 things I love about my CBTL 2018 Planner. I wanna do a quick shout out to my friends, Fort for drinking a dozen cups of coffee to redeem this for me and Karla for bringing this all the way to Texas. Because of you two, I’m spending another year with my favorite planner.
I also wanna quickly show you guys another 2018 planner I bought for my blogs and vids. I got this one from a local store in Texas for $14.99 (plus tax LOL). This is one of the cutest planners I have ever seen. This doesn’t have a lot of space for writing so I mainly use this for scheduling my days for blogging, filming, editing, publishing, posting, etc. I also love that I get to use some of the pages of this planner as decorations for my flatlays. 🙂
So, now tell me! What is your planner for 2018? What do you love about it? Let’s talk in the comment section below.
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