Page Per Day Challenge: dated or undated book?

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I’m really excited about our Page Per Day Challenge! I’ve already heard from several people who are joining the group. We will be using a page for every day in a planner or notebook to record our days and our year. You can read the introductory post here. This is the second post in the series.

In this post we will start to think about which type of book to use all year for our one page per day journal/ record book/ diary/ sketchbook etc. A dated day per page planner? Or an undated notebook? (We’ll talk about sizes and other features in later posts. Today we’re just deciding dated vs. undated.) As I wrote in my recent Daily Journaling post, I have used both as my daily book, and I like both, for opposite reasons. Below I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each.

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Journal 21 day per page planner

Dated Day Per Page Planner: There are some definite advantages to using a dated book as your daily record. Having the days already dated and formatted reduces the friction of use, meaning some of the work is already done for you. Anything that makes using your book easier makes it more likely you will use it consistently. As I wrote in my Blank Journal Or Dated Diary post, many people find it easier to write consistently every day in a dated book. The dated page that is designated to TODAY, and today only, prompts you to write, draw, or stick in something, anything each day. If you are concerned about being able to stay consistent, you might prefer a dated book. The year I used one, it got me into the daily journaling habit very successfully.

Something else you can do in a dated book that you can’t really do in an undated one is Journaling Prompts To Your Future Self (which you can read all about in this post). I enjoyed doing future prompts in my dated book. Another advantage of using a dated book is you can use it as your planner as well as your daily record. This is convenient (everything in one book) and a great way to record your entire life: appointments, lists, planning ahead, and what you did, memories, quotes etc. all on the same page.

Of course one advantage of using a dated book is that your entire year will fit in one book. If you use notebooks, you’ll go through several in a year. I love the idea of using the same book all year, carrying my book with me everywhere and having it be my constant companion throughout the year.

Some people worry about what to do if they want to write more than one page in a day, or where they will write their lists. Part of the charm of a dated book is being able to write overflow on other days’ pages. You can write “continued on Feb 3rd” to find the rest of your entry. This lets you use pages when you didn’t fill the day. I also like the idea of writing your lists and short notes directly onto the day’s page, and indexing by date (rather than page number).

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Habana notebook

Undated Notebook: There are also advantages to using an undated notebook. Since you’ll be going through several notebooks in a year, you can choose which notebook will suit a particular time of year. For example for summer you might choose a pocket size notebook to take everywhere with you when traveling and out and about. In the winter you can choose a larger notebook when you’ll have more time to write and draw during the dark evenings.

The obvious advantage of an undated notebook is there are no limits to how many pages you can use in a day. If you need to spill over into the next page (or three) it’s no big deal. I will warn you though: daily journaling must be limited in some way. If you try to write or do a lot every day, you will burn out quickly and are likely to abandon your book. So if you do go the undated route, you’ll need to impose some kinds of limits on yourself.

I still haven’t decided if I will use a dated day per page planner or undated notebooks for this challenge. For the past two years I’ve been using notebooks, but I might be ready to change it up and go back to a dated diary.

Next week I’ll do posts on choosing which day per page planner or notebooks to use. If you are still having trouble deciding by then, those posts will help you. And if you’ve made your choice of which type of book to use, those posts will help you narrow down specifically which will be the best fit for you. The bottom line is, you should use whichever book you will enjoy using, because when you like the book you are more likely to want to use it every day.

Meanwhile come and join our Facebook group for Page Per Day Challengers!

**You can find all the Page Per Day Challenge posts in the Categories pull-down menu at the right, choose Page Per Day Challenge.

2 thoughts on “Page Per Day Challenge: dated or undated book?

  1. Well, I decided to experiment this year – 3 Moleskines with self drawn daily planners or simply a Journal 21 and Space 24 with no lining in required at all? We will see! Ordered my 21 and 24 today so can start filling them in for 2016 well ahead of schedule. And the challenge will be to use the 21 every day in 2016 – I’m up for it!

  2. Dated for me, a Daily 21 for the last 3 years, I’ve not ordered my 2016 one yet. Something to do this month. Bought in France, it is in 6 languages but English and then French so it works well for me. I tend to ignore the hourly notes on the lines and just write on the pages like a lined note book.

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