Disclaimer: I received no incentive from the maker for this post.
I've tried them all in a quest for the holy grail of dated, daily journals.
Why Is It So Hard To Make A Solid, Affordable One-Year Journal?
One-year, one-day-per-page journals are challenging to design and manufacture. The high page count means higher raw materials costs. And higher labor costs as printing, cutting, cover construction and binding costs are higher.
When picking up a high page count book, one doesn't think about the complex manufacturing process undertaken to arrive at the finished product.
Moleskine's paper quality and weight has diminished. At 70 gsm (grams per square meter), most gel pens bleed through the page. Complaints began years ago when Notebook Stories expressed disappointment with fountain pen bleedthrough. It's not just Moleskine.
As journal manufacturers seek cost reductions, paper quality is usually the first sacrifice. It's the second largest cost component in the manufacturing process. (The first is labor.)
Another challenge is the reduced number of paper manufacturers. Prior to COVID-19, paper mills were struggling. COVID-19 was a near death blow to the industry. Several mills shuttered, leaving commercial printers and paper merchants scrambling to source supply.
The gravity of the situation is akin to going to the grocery store to buy bread and finding six loaves remaining on the shelves.
Take what you can get. Make do. Figure it out.
So Just Go Digital!
If you're sensing the collective human mind is malfunctioning, you're right.
If you haven't read those three books, for the sake of your mental health, buy them, read them and implement a mere 25% of the suggestions. You'll be better off for it.
Apps like Day One are great for those who want a digital solution. But there's a large and growing number of us who work with and in digital quite enough.
We want and need singular focus, tactile, analog tools.
Pen and paper. Nothing more and nothing less.
The Best One-Year Journal Money Can Buy: The Everyday Journal
From the jump, it's clear Drew Miller, STWD's founder, put tremendous thought and care into the design.
This journal is so minimal in its design that it provides a perfect balance between structure and flexibility.
The star is the 100 gsm (grams per square meter), bright white paper with subtle ruling. I tested over twenty different pens from ballpoint to gel to fine tip Sharpies. There was no bleedthrough except for the fine tip Sharpie. That's expected.
The gray cover is more than durable. As with any journal made from paper and cloth, don't drop it in water. The Everyday Journal holds up to normal, day-to-day handling.
The elastic band closure is just the right length and tension. It snaps into place without twisting. That's a minor annoyance with other journals. But annoyances are... well... annoying.
Each page is dated and lined. That's it.
That's the beauty of this journal. It doesn't force its structure on you.
Use it for your daily needs. Daily journaling? Sure. Task lists? Go ahead. Minimalist bullet journaling? It works.
As of December 18, 2022, a single Everyday Journal is $28.00.
Compared to the myriad of other inferior choices, this is astonishing. It's even more astonishing that all shipments $25 or more receive free shipping.
I bought 12 Everyday Journals last year. Is that enough of an endorsement?
I'm finishing my first in a couple of weeks. It looks as new as it did when I first unboxed it.
For less than $30 USD, you're supporting a small business and buying the highest quality one-year, daily journal you will find anywhere.
Start your year off right. One page at a time.