In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of paper. I spend my days reviewing books and stationery, and I also spent years studying the media and, in particular, print journalism.
I can’t get enough of the beautiful magazines and stunning journals which are available on the high street, which goes some way to explaining my long-standing love of Breathe magazine and its sister publications. It combines my love of magazines, journals and self-care, offering me the opportunity to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of working mum life, put down my phone, and pick up a pen for a period of reflection. And I feel so much better for it.
If you’ve just stumbled across this blog for the first time, and have never heard of Breathe magazine, take a look at some past reviews listed at the end of this post, and pop to your nearest newsagent to swoon over one in the flesh. It doesn’t just look good, it smells and feels good too (I’m not the only one who feels this way about magazines, right?!).
Breathe is now 16 issues in, with a handful of special editions, including their new journal: a 52-week planner*. I was sent a copy just as I finished my current blog planner, so it was the perfect tool to help plan my upcoming content. Normally, when I receive a new journal or planner, I like to wait until the new year to start using it, but this really was perfect timing.
I love that it’s undated, so it was handy for me to start with my November content. It also makes it a great Christmas gift. While there are prompts throughout, it’s fairly generic, so you can use it as a general life planner, for goals, work or play. The key thing is that it helps you to plan but also reflect on your progress, something which, as I noted in my recent goals post, I often struggle with.
The Breathe planner has a fold-out cover for noting key dates, as well as a spread with an overview of 2019 and 2020 dates.
Each week’s spread has a ‘weekly reflection’ section, so at the start of the planner there’s a spread of prompts, plus space to note your own areas of reflection. As I started ticking off my favourites, I noticed that I’m more drawn to focusing on the positives and my own development.
There are then two spreads to encourage you to think about what you want to achieve over the next year. As I’d planned to use this journal solely for blog scheduling, my goals focused on how I want to grow my blog but also improve my work/life balance.
At the start of each section, there’s an overview for the month with space for notes. I’ve decided to use this to note key blog stats for the month, as well as think about the things I’m looking forward to and keep an eye on my ever-growing TBR. It’s way too long for a single column so I’ve restricted it to my library loans for now.
Each week then gets its own spread, with space for a daily to do, plus a tracker, weekly reflection and additional notes. There are enough sections for me to note what book I plan to read that week, my blog schedule, essential blog admin, and more.
I typically don’t get a lot of time to just have a quiet night and watch TV, so I thought it would interesting to start noting what I watch each week. I’m not one for habit tracking in my bullet journal but I’ve started tracking my approximate sleep to note any patterns. My sleep is always very interrupted, as Jenson comes in with us for most of the night, and I’m more likely to sleep longer in the first half of the week due to being exhausted with travelling for work.
At the end of each section, there’s another notes page for additional reflection.
I’m a few weeks in now and the Breathe planner has proved to be a fantastic organisation tool; I’m already up to the middle of February with blog content (planned – I’m so not ahead with scheduling). When my year is up, there’s a handy review section too, plus a couple of dot grid spreads for doodling and further notes.
She’s a beauty, ain’t she? I also love the look of this stunning new journal series, released just in time for Christmas.
You can find out more about past issues, where to buy and how to subscribe on the Breathe website.
*I was sent this planner for review purposes and all thoughts are my own