The past year has been an extremely difficult year for me, and I’m still grappling with its aftermath. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading, and trying to take care of my mental health fore and foremost. Through this journey of middle self-discovery, I stumbled upon a small little item that is having a big impact on my life. It’s so trivial that I contemplated dedicating a whole blog for it. Yet despite its triviality, it has- as a cliché as this might sound- made me a better person.

So, without further ado, here it is: A daily planner.

See, I have always thought of myself as a digital person who prefers apps over a paper planner, a tool that I arrogantly thought of as passé, past its prime. But then I stumbled upon Panda Planner after reading some reviews on line, so I decided to bite the bullet and pay 24 dollars for what looked like a regular moleskin at first glance. I was mistaken. It was much more than that, and this planner has actually changed my life. Long live paper!

The journal is much more than just a place for listing your tasks, it also serves as a self-help guide. What I love about this planner is how it focused me and made me count my daily blessings. From sections like “Today’s wins,” to “Things I’m excited about,” this little journal made me realize that no matter how much sucky the day is, there is always something to celebrate.

I also love how it is divided into early morning and end-of day sections, so that you can assess and reflect. I’m also a sucker for “How’ll improve.” section. God knows, how many things in me I need to improve!

The journal also has undated monthly and weekly sections so that you can look at the bigger picture and do long-term planning.

I have been using this journal for only 23 days now and I’m already a convert. I will be putting my various productive apps on hold for now, and focus on this tiny journal.

Do you use a daily planner? What has been your experience so far?