I LOVE planners and journals. I have a bunch. But as you mentioned, sticking to it has always been the problem. I would get discouraged with dated planners when I would forget to use them and have blank, “wasted” pages and then I would just quit, telling myself I can never get organized, I’ll never remember to check my planner, etc.
Enter the bullet journal. I use the Scribles That Matter brand which I bought on Amazon and I use a Leuchtturm for work. What makes these planners so great is they have numbered pages with a table of contents so I can remember where I wrote down important pages.
I write my journal as I go and you can make it whatever works for you. I always do a monthly calendar (which I keep synced with my iPhone calendar by checking them against each other on Sundays). I got some cute little mood stickers to stick on the calendar to track if I’m having a particularly bad or good day.
I added one of those cell phone stick on pockets to the back of mine to keep a small stack of stickies in. When random things pop in my head, I just write it on the sticky and stick it to the front until I open my notebook next.
Some days I make pretty and intricate full of lots of things to track and some days it’s just a messy to-do list. In the front I have trackers for finances and other goals. Sometimes I update it, sometimes I don’t. I keep running “lookup lists” of random things I wanna look up online and then one day a week I look all those things up. It keeps me from getting sucked into too many internet rabbit holes.
What I love is that it’s just so flexible! My biggest challenge now isn’t using the planner regularly, it’s just to not get down on myself if I forget to use it for a day or two.
It’s taken a few months for me to fall into what works best for me (for now) but I’ve never used a journal for so long.
I took some pics to give you an idea of what a non-Pinterest bullet journal looks like but I have to upload them to the internet somewhere to post them here 🙁 I’ll try and see if I can do that later if you’re interested.