Making lists, documenting gratitude and getting stuff done

If I’m honest, I have a thing for stationary. Or maybe just a penchant for writing things down.

Over the years I’ve dabbled in filofaxes, family calendar apps, gratitude journals, planners, actual paper calendars, whiteboards and smartphone storage. The thing is, no one format seems to tick all the boxes and as such I’ve always ended up doing a bit of a mishmash of all of them, with little to no consistency.

Since returning to work in April this year, life has just got a whole new level of crazy. Yes, the three days at the office have filled a hole in my life and I haven’t looked back, but boy has the requirement to plan the living crap out of life become somewhat of a necessity.

Balancing work, the kids social calendars (and our own, obvs), the blogmin, childcare needs, school events, family do’s and life admin has at times over the last month or so felt a little overwhelming and my planner scribbles have gone from looking a little like this…

To occasionally this…

And sometimes this…

Of course a list can take the craziest of brains and restore some kind of calm, and that’s easily achieved, but what’s dropped off the edge of a cliff is the big plans I had to document my gratitude journal and plan in achievable goals for the short and long term; something I had started doing back in January.

The problem, is, when you have a limited amount of time, capturing all of this stuff across multiple places just becomes a little unmanageable. I needed to find a simpler way to bring it all together in one, multifunctional system.

I love the idea of a bullet journal, but again, time is of the essence. There is probably an app solution, but hell the last thing I need is more time glued to my phone.

In all honesty gratitude, affirmations and goal setting had pretty much had to go on the backburner whilst we all adjusted to our new routine, but thanks to a lovely delivery from Mal Paper, I think I have found the perfect solution.

In a simplistic yet gorgeous design, this swedish born product was designed to allow folk like me take the chaos of modern life and declutter our minds. By transferring thoughts to paper, this little book has the power to make things happen.

As well as capturing the practical stuff (book dentist, submit meter reading etc etc etc) the daily goal setter serves a bigger purpose. It encourages you to think ahead both short, medium and long term and capture where you see your future.

As well as being a visionary aid, mal paper asks you to think about the present moment, and what you are thankful for. By noting down the gratitude, you can influence your mood and mental health for the better; happy brain training if you will.

It’s a little odd at first to state the obvious, but in a world where it’s all too easy to focus on the negative, taking time to properly acknowledge the good in your life, well, it feels good.

Whether you specify how much you love cheese, or reflect on your blessings to have your health and that of the ones around you, by lifting up your everyday moments, you start to see them with the wonder they truly deserve.

Something new to me in the daily goal setter is the use of affirmations. Unlike the gratitude section, this is a simple statement of positivity of how you see yourself, your future or a way you’d like to change. By repeating it to yourself and finding a little more confidence in yourself you can turn your mantra into your reality.

Daily, weekly, monthly review

The mal planner is a place you can scribble down your plans and tasks in daily weekly or monthly form. How it differs from other planners however, is that it has an additional step to think about the bigger picture. What is the most important thing you need to do? What did you learn this month? What made it special? Memorable? What could you do differently?

Without overcomplicating it, this is a place to reflect and focus on lessons learnt along the way.

Available in pink, black or grey, the planner includes plenty of motivatonal quotes from inspirational people throughout history, and will last six months if used daily.

I know this one little pink book will now become that one notebook that hops from my handbag to my bedside; from my work bag to my home office, and this time, I feel like this is a journal that will tick all the boxes.

And for that, I am grateful.

x MMT

Disclosure: I was gifted this planner in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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