The SELF journal – a review

A couple of years ago I came across a special notebook. It is not a notebook of the normal fashion but more a combination of a notebook and a calendar. The reason I got interested in it was that I wanted a tool that helped me focus more on the important things. It was, and is, too easy to get caught up with “being busy being busy” – getting things done but not the important ones.

I have used one notebook already and when I ordered my second I thought it could be fun to do short review of the new one. When my new notebook arrived in the mail I decided to also do a short unboxing movie where I go through in detail how it is setup and also doing some comparisons to to the previous version I had.

Video: The SELF journal – unboxing and walkthrough

It has passed a couple of month since I actually got the book and I have now started to use it. I have completed the first month of the three and it is now time to write down my thoughts about it.

The notebook is of really good quality. The hardcover protects the pages well and even though I’m carrying the book around in my backpack almost every day it still looks really good. The paper is thick and of high quality and gives you a crisp and nice feeling when writing on to them. I use different type of pens all from ballpoints, gel to fountain pens and none bleed through.

The absolute best thing is that it helps you put your goals in focus. It is so easy to get tied up in the craze to do things and complete tasks – but are you actually spending your time and energy on the correct things? While having this notebook and focusing on two to three goals I am able to make tremendous progress on these. Better yet, if you mix your goals and habits to be of work, family and health type you can work towards a healthy work-life balance.

The two things I like the most with this new version is that it has a different setup for the weekly plan compared to the old version. This new version is better and it helps you, on a weekly level, to better align your plan with your goals. The other big change that is really good is that the new version have more than one (three) bookmark – you can have one for your goals, one for the weekly plan and one for the current day.

The drawback with it is that it is pretty heavy. It add on weight to your bag if you decide to carry it around. Since there is very limited note taking space, or freedom pages, you need to carry around an additional notebook for your day-to-day notes. Doubling the weight in your bag. Currently my notebooks has roughly the same weight as my laptop. An interesting idea would be to have the SELF journal as Traveler’s Notebook insert. 30 days per insert and 3 inserts in a package. That would be really appealing to me.

Price is also another huge disadvantage. It’s a notebook that costs around $40. Taking into consideration that you need 3 or 4 of it per year it builds up to a considerable amount of money. This is a consumable and I would opt for a lower price probably as low as half.

When it comes to my recommendation or non recommendation I will probably recommend it to friends and family. Especially once to try it out. I have a bit left in my current notebook and will probably order another one when this is full. It would also be a pretty good gift to my spouse – I hope she is not reading my blog.