It’s just about here. 2018 is about to give way to 2019 and all the New Year hullabaloo that goes with it, like making resolutions, joining a gym (and swearing it won’t just be a monthly donation this time around), and starting a brand new notebook for your analog planning system.
Whether you’re a Bullet Journal®-er or a ZenJo® Master, the question of starting a new notebook is always a consideration at this time of year. There’s something about starting a new notebook that is both exciting and, at the same time, a bit forbidding.
In this post, we’ll take a look at whether transitioning to a new notebook is a good idea, then you can decide what’s best for you.
3 Reasons Why Starting a New Notebook is a Good Idea
1- Your current notebook is nearly full. This is the most obvious reason for beginning a new notebook. Even so, there are decisions to make. Do you opt for a new style of notebook, may a soft cover medium-sized volume over a hardback Leuchtturm1917? Do you forego dotted paper (my personal favorite) and attempt to use a blank notebook that might better accommodate your sketches as well as your narrative-based entries? And, finally, do you change to a new binding type, perhaps using a disc-based notebook or the tried-and-true spiral notebook? Who knew there was so much to consider?
2- You’re adopting a new task management system (like ZenJo). Transitioning from one system to another is a great reason for starting a new notebook. As is the case when transitioning from Bullet Journal® to ZenJo®, there are often differences in the way a notebook should be organized. While some elements are similar, others differ. I’m all for new beginnings and a new system and a fresh notebook can often bring with it new enthusiasm.
3- Starting a new notebook can also mean initiating a stronger commitment to managing your life. Maybe your old notebook was used off and on or sporadically at best. You want to put the past behind you and have a fresh start. If you’re in this spot, a new notebook can be a great idea. A new sense of dedication can make all the difference in moving forward in your life and achieving your goals.
So, I think those are some pretty compelling reasons why starting a new notebook at the beginning of the year might be a great idea. However, let’s look at the flip side of this issue and look at…
3 Reasons Why Starting a New Notebook is NOT a Good Idea
1- Your current notebook is less than half filled. With respect to number 2 above, if you’re not transitioning to a new task management system and your notebook is less than half full, that’s not a good reason for incurring the expense of a new notebook. Also of concern is the amount of migration you might need to achieve to get the new notebook ready. Sometimes we need to just own our lack of perfection, extend some self-forgiveness, and get on with being more regular in using our notebook.
2- You just want something new. Admittedly, I want you to use whatever notebook you think will work best for your situation, however, the minimalist in me objects to just buying a new notebook for the hell of it. That’s the weakest battle with consumerism that exists. I think everything in our lives should have a purpose and duplicating items is a waste of money and space. Besides, what will do with the old one? Chances are it will take up space on your bookshelf and because it’s incomplete, you might become a little bit put off with yourself each time you pick it up or even look at it. Commit to using your notebook to its fullest purpose.
3- You’re bored with it. In my experience (and I can become bored very quickly), it’s not the notebook that causes us to experience boredom, but the mindset with which we approach it. If we have a weak understanding of how to use our system, then the notebook will reflect it. Conversely, if we actively engage with our chosen task management system, regardless of which one it is, we rarely experience boredom. We’re just too engaged to become bored. If this describes where you are with your notebook, re-engage with your chosen system; read up on it, practice it every day, or email the creator and ask questions!
So that’s my take on both great and not-so-great reasons for switching to a new notebook just because the year comes to an end. But what about you? Do you feel differently? If so, please leave a comment below!