Bullet Journal, Iconic Weekly Archive, Risotto Quaderno or Hightide Pouch Diary: What Planner Should I use in 2024?
I can’t believe it’s been almost six months since I decided to take a break from bullet journaling and switch to an Iconic Undated Weekly Archive Planner for the last six months of 2023! You can read a little more about the reasoning behind my choice to take a break from bullet journaling here, as well as my initial impressions of the Weekly Archive.
This week also marks three years since I started bullet journaling which seems like an excellent opportunity to reflect on my experience and decide which planner to use in 2024. I’m notoriously thorough when making decisions like this, so I thought I’d take you through my thought process…
Things to Consider When Choosing a Planner or Journal
Are you trying to decide which planner or journal system to use for 2024? Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:
- What are you using your planner or journal for? (e.g. work, family plans, studying, hobbies, longform journaling etc)
- How much time do you have to set up your journal at the start of the year/month/week?
- What sort of spreads do you use to plan? Do you need monthly, weekly and daily spreads? What about additional pages to track goals and habits?
- Would you prefer to build your spreads from scratch, or use a pre-printed planner?
- Where will you be using your journal? Will it live on your desk or does it need to be small and light enough to carry around with you?
- Do you like to decorate your journal or do you prefer to keep it minimal?
- Do you use your journal consistently every week, or do you stop and start?
- Will one type of journal meet your needs, or would a combination suit you better?
Having gone through these questions myself, I’m currently considering a few different planner options for next year:
- Returning to bullet journaling in an Archer & Olive A5 Dot Grid Journal
- Bullet journaling in a smaller dot grid journal such as a Bruynzeel Bullet Journal
- A new Weekly Archive
- A Weekly Archive for keeping track of appointments, birthdays and deadlines, supplemented with a Risotto Quaderno for more in-depth planning on my freelance days
- A Hightide Pouch Diary - brand new to the Supply Store!
Let’s look at all of my options in a little more detail…
Should I return to Bullet Journaling for 2024?
While I was excited to try something new for the second half of 2023, I fully expected to be hankering to get back to my trusty bullet journal for January 2024. However, after a six month break from creating all of my own spreads from scratch, I’m not so sure. As I mentioned in this blog post, I’ve been using some of the time I’ve saved to work on my sewing planner. It’s been a wonderful way to feel connected to my hobby and the online sewing community when I’ve not had the time or energy to actually sew. Because there’s no “deadline” for writing up my projects, I’ve been journaling when I’ve been inspired to, rather than having to create my monthly or weekly spreads in time to start using them!
If you’re considering starting your first bullet journal, this blog post covers the basics and is jam-packed with tips and FAQs. If you’re currently using a bullet journal but have fallen out of love with it, you might want to check out my Keep Going with Bullet Journaling blog post before throwing in the towel! If I decide to return to bullet journaling in 2024, I’ll be going for a much more minimalist approach, drawing inspiration from my aforementioned Keep Going blog post and these weekly spreads.
I absolutely adore the gorgeous designs of the Archer & Olive dot grid journals and they’re all I’ve ever used for bullet journaling *but* now that I’ll need to take my BuJo out and about with me two days a week, I’m considering downsizing to a Bruynzeel Bullet Journal for 2024. Bruynzeel’s dot grid journals have slightly fewer pages than an A&O (128 vs 160), 140gsm paper as opposed to 160gsm and they’re 15mm narrower, all of which makes them almost half the weight of an Archer & Olive A5 dot grid journal!
Should I stick to an Iconic Undated Weekly Archive Planner for 2024?
I’ve been using my Weekly Archive since July and my initial observations about the pros and cons vs bullet journaling were pretty much spot on:
Pros of Using a Weekly Archive vs Bullet Journaling
- A lot speedier to set up than a bullet journal
- Smaller and lighter to carry around
- Less wasted paper if you don’t need much space to plan
- Undated spreads mean no wasted pages if you don’t use it for a week or two*
*With that said, I never go a week without using my planner, so this is less of a concern for me personally!
Cons of Using a Weekly Archive vs Bullet Journaling
- Not as customisable as a bullet journal
- Less planning space than a bullet journal
- Monthly view pages are at the start of the planner rather than at the start of each month
- Monthly view pages start on a Sunday, weekly pages start on a Monday
- Thinner paper compared to an Archer & Olive dot grid journal
While I’ve loved using the Weekly Archive for the last six months and it’s pretty much ticked all of my boxes, I could do with a little more planning space on my two freelance days.
Should I add a Risotto Studio Quaderno to my Journal Plans in 2024?
If I were to continue using a Weekly Archive in 2024, I think I’d supplement it with a Risotto Quaderno to plan out my freelance days in more detail. Risotto Studio’s unique range of jotters are designed and printed in Glasgow, and feature 20 risograph-printed pages. They’re a great way to try out a variety of different spread styles without having to commit to using one format for several months!
The Risotto Quaderno No 9 Day Planner features an hourly breakdown with space for priorities and notes, although I don’t often need to plan my day with this level of precision.
The Risotto Quaderno No 10 Journal includes a daily to do list, mood tracker, good deed for the day, five priorities as well as space for drawing and thoughts. As with all Risotto notebooks, it’s undated and could be used as and when I need to organise a particularly jampacked freelance day or plan out a project in more detail.
You could use one alongside a monthly planner such as the Hightide Monthly Pouch Diary, or why not combine two or more Risotto jotters to create your dream custom planning set up, a la our Featured Maker, Georgie?
Should I try a Hightide Pouch Diary for the first time in 2024?
The Hightide Pouch Diaries are made in Japan and brand new to Nikki’s Supply Store this month! They feature durable waterproof PVC covers which are great for taking them out and about. They’re available in weekly (green) or monthly (lilac) formats and the clear pocket on the front can be used to customise your planner or keep hold of important tickets etc.
The Hightide Pouch Diary is almost twice the size of the Weekly Archive and has a lot more space to write on both the monthly and weekly layouts. However, it doesn’t have as many blank pages at the back, which is worth bearing in mind if you like to add a lot of your own spreads.
If I were to go for a Hightide, I think I’d use a Paperways Mini Notebook to create my freelance timesheets and trackers. I haven’t tried it for size, but it may even slot into the front pocket, or the back cover.
I thought it would be cruel to bring you along on this decision-making journey with me and not let you know which option I went for! Drumroll please…
I am excited to announce that I’ll be trying out a Hightide Weekly Pouch Diary for 2024! I love the size, the waterproof cover (not that I’m clumsy or anything) the larger weekly spreads, and I’m not exactly mad about the fact that dark green cover matches the new sketchbook I’ll be starting soon too!
As it starts in October 2023, I’m planning to start using it in December so I can give you a little update on how I’m getting on with it soon. I’ll be sharing more about my 2024 set up process later in December, so make sure you grab yours now if you’d like to join me on this new adventure as numbers are super limited!
f you’ve been inspired to try any of the journaling or planner suggestions in this blog, we’d love to see! Please tag @nikkissupplystore and #NikkisSupplyStore on Instagram, where you can find heaps more journaling and stationery inspiration. You can also follow me, @joy.margot, for more craft content and pictures of my cat, Juniper.