I’m not sure where I first heard about the Change Journal. Probably on one of the many stationery store social media feeds that I follow.
It’s a journal by LEUCHTTURM1917 that was originally produced in German, with an English edition being released in 2019.
Designed by Tim Jaudszims, it’s a guided journal that gives you 24 ideas to try out to see if they help you improve your productivity and organisation. Some of the ideas include gratitude, digital detox, single-tasking, reading, and decluttering.
Testing out ideas is one of my favourite things, as you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, and I’m a sucker for gorgeous stationery, so finding a beautiful notebook whose sole purpose is to let you experiment with new things is my idea of heaven! I was never not going to get a copy.
In the introduction, Tim says:
“When you’re incredibly lazy and yet as full of ideas as I am, at some point you start searching for tricks to make your life a little easier. Like how to get more done in the same amount of time. No, hold on! How to get even more things done in less time! A fine idea but no matter how hard I tried I failed at it.”
Tim Jaudszims, Change Journal Founder
Hmmm, sound familiar?
Tim observes that he used to try and keep journals in beautiful notebooks, like the LEUCHTTURM1917 journals, but he always lost the motivation after the first few pages. And his handwriting kind of wrecked the beauty of these fine books. I can totally relate. He decided to design his own journal that allows you to try out 24 different ideas for a week at a time (I refuse to call them “hacks”), with a brief explanation of the technique and then a week’s worth of daily templates to record your experiences.
Each chapter also has a review page where you can go over what you learned during the week and decide if you want to continue using the idea or if it didn’t work for you. The website has downloadable templates you can print if you want to keep doing it.
You can work through the chapters in any order you want. The instructions say to flick through the journal and start with the chapter that looks the most interesting or that appears easiest to you. The only rule that Tim wants you to follow is that once you start a chapter, you need to stick with it for the whole week. He says using the journal should only take a few minutes a day so even if you hate the idea, it shouldn’t be too much of a chore to do the work each day and then, after the week, you never have to do it again. Basically, you just have to start.
So after buying the book about six months ago and sitting it on the shelf, occasionally getting it out to flick through it and thinking how beautiful it was, I think that if ever there was a good time, it’s now. A new year, a new list of 21 things to do this year and an empty book, with 24 weeks worth of mini-challenges to do. If I start now, I’ll be finished by the end of June. Actually, there’s really only 23 challenges I need to do, as the first one is to drink more water. This is something I have already made a priority, and it doesn’t actually have its own template in the journal. Rather, each of the other 23 challenges has space to record your daily water intake, so I’m going to continue to aim for around 2.5 litres a day of actual water and record that in this book.
There’s a couple of others that I don’t think are going to work for me as weekly challenges, so I’m going to find different ways to do them as I get to them. The first one is the chapter called “clarity”, which sort of relates to the work I’ve been doing with the Unravel Your Year workbook and includes stuff that I might do over the course of a week, a month or even a year . . . or perhaps just one day. I started filling out this chapter as I was working on Unravel Your Year 2021, so this one is a work in progress rather than a weekly challenge.