Bullet Journals, Habit Trackers, Daily Planners, and Five Year Diaries. Filofax is a staple in the luxury planner market. Hobonichi is a titan in the international stationery game. And Leuchtturm has a firm foothold in the “BuJo” community. The market is nearly saturated with options for the Analog Administrator, and with so many variables it’s difficult to land on a single system that covers all the bases.
But a new challenger has entered the arena, and its name is the Clear Habit Journal by Baron Fig.
The Clear Habit Journal is a result of collaboration between Baron Fig and author and entrepreneur James Clear. Coming in at $24, this journal incorporates multiple methods and toolkits not previously seen in one product, and boasts that these tools are based on proven science.
The Habit Tracker consists of a simple grid chart numbered along its X-axis and empty boxes down the Y-axis. This table is useful for tracking daily routines, tasks, and goals , marking off each day a task is completed.
It sounds simple but when you have several tasks listed on this grid, it’s very satisfying to see the table fill up. Additionally, it’s very noticeable when you start falling behind on something. Each double-sided page of the habit tracker section is perforated and removable, and there are twelve tables included.
The decision making toolkit is an instructional guide to setting up a page of the journal to help you “make better choices in life and work.” The guide takes you through three phases; Prediction, Decision, and Review and asks you to visualize it in three sections on the page indicated by the (-) marks. This three step process encourages you to consider possible outcomes, expectations, worst case scenarios, etc. about the situation
The toolkit emphasizes the importance of not only planning and observing your own decision making process, but reflecting on the impact and outcome after the fact.
The productivity toolkit contains instructions for creating an Eisenhower Box using the (+) marks found on every page. An Eisenhower Box is a handy little table for ranking situations and responsibilities by levels of urgency and importance. Dwight Eisenhower created this method of organization to help with his busy career, first as a five-star general, then as Commander in Chief. It is certainly a useful method, one I have used in the past, and one I would personally love to see used more often.
Another method outlined in this toolkit is The Ivy Lee Method. This list format consists of writing down all of your daily tasks or objectives at the top of the page, and using the rest of the page for notes and observations. At the end of the day you turn the page, draw a new dividing line, and transfer over any incomplete tasks. Personally I prefer the Eisenhower Box, but to each their own.
Health & Fitness
The health and fitness tracking toolkit is probably the most basic of the four, but still important for any self-improvement journey. The kit consists of templates for tracking workouts and creating a food log through with fairly simple tables. Again, this is a little basic, but effective.
Aside from the tool kits, Baron Fig added a few extra bells and whistles to this notebook. Unlike previous Confidants, the Clear Habit Journal features two thread bookmarks, numbered pages, and a full index. The journal uses the same premium quality paper that is present in all of Baron Fig’s current releases, which is excellent for a wide range of writing instruments, though you wont get quite the same ink characteristics you get from Tomoe River, for example.
Also included is a “One Line Per Day” section at the front of the journal. Intended as a simple and quick format for single line journal entries, this section provides a very top level overview of the month. Personally I’m using this space for motivational quotes, interesting ideas, or other little simple thoughts that grab hold of my mind on any given day. Rather than have a though stuck in my head all day, I try to just give them this little space on the page since they don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Another feature that I absolutely adored in a previous edition has made a return; the elastic enclosure band. Honestly, it’s a simple thing but very noticeable when absent. The little details add up.
One Month In
About one year ago, I started using a Baron Fig Composition Soft Cover Vanguard notebook to catalog my daily moods and feelings as I started taking a prescribed anti-depressant. The practice was helpful, relaxing, and a great reminder to consider what kind of head-space I was in compared to the previous week or month. I’ve used the Clear Habit journal for a similar purpose, as well as attempts at using the included tool kits and I’ve found the book to be a very handy companion so far.
Ultimately, I can’t say that the systems provided by the Clear Habit Journal are “superior” to other tracking systems out there. They all have strengths and weaknesses and at the end of the day it is up to the user to stick with it. Personally I’m finding the toolkits to be useful, and Baron Fig designed a very aesthetically pleasing platform that makes me WANT to come back and keep using them.
At the end of the day, you have to enjoy using something for it to be effective. Baron Fig and James Clear have created an enjoyable product, and one I’ll carry until it’s full.
HUGE thanks to Baron Fig for providing this journal free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions stated are those of the author.
If you enjoyed this review, and want to check out the Baron Fig Clear Habit Journal for yourself, use this affiliate link to get a $10 discount on your order of $20 or more. The Poor Penman does not receive any direct monetary compensation from this link.