Notebooks, journals, and planners are a big part of my life. Mostly because I love using my fountain pens and paper is the only thing they work well on. So if I can use paper over something digital, I’ll take it. Even if it’ll take me longer. If possible, I’d do everything analog.
Powered By Books, run by Ana Reis, has several journals and planners to help me organize my life. When she asked for people who wanted to review them, I signed up immediately. She was kind enough to send me three copies free of charge. I’m going to do a total overview of these notebooks today and follow up later with a more in-depth review of each type as I use them.
Ana has made gorgeous covers for all of her journals and planner and there’s something for everyone. She asked me to pick a design for each of the three journals I’d receive and I had difficulty picking one. They’re all just so beautiful! I ended up going with the floral design for the blog planner, the female warrior for the gaming journal, and the witch for the reading journal.
They’re printed by Amazon in the area you’re located in. Mine were printed in Poland since they came from Amazon DE. This is to keep shipping times as short as possible but that also means someone in the US might have a different quality notebook. I’m already familiar with their quality since the author copies I ordered from my books come from the same printer. The only difference is the paper. My books use the creme, Ana went for the white, which makes sense. I’m really satisfied with the printer. The cover is nice and sturdy, but still bendable which is essential for a notebook. The pages are pretty thick as well.
I tested my most used pens in the back of the notebook to see how well the paper handles it. Since the fountain pen is my favourite writing tool, this is a deal-breaker. If it doesn’t handle the ink well, I’ll stop using the notebook. I used a few I inked up now with different nibs and inks with different properties. For a more complete test, I added a few more markers but I don’t have all the ones other planner fanatics use. But so far, I’m pleased. Just one of my fountain pens had a bit of ghosting, no real feathering, and both the shimmer and the sheen were visible. I don’t think the paper is sharpie resistant though, so I’d hold off on that one.
The blog planner is the largest of the three, with a size close to A4 but not quite. I think this is necessary because to really plan your posts, you need writing space. The gamer’s journal is close to B5. It’s a bit wider which allows for enough space for two columns of trophies/achievements. Most of those have silly long names, so more space is welcome. The reading journal is A5 size and the smallest of the three. I love the A5 size and it’s perfect for a reading journal since it’s closer to the size of a book.
Now, let’s have a closer look at the notebooks.
The Blog Planner
I’m almost ashamed to say that I have nothing organized for my blog, nothing. Even my content calendar is largely forgotten and catching dust. I really hope that this planner will help me in the right direction so I grow my blog even more. All I’m doing now is trying to come up with a topic every week to write before Friday. When the post goes live, it’ll publish to Twitter and that’s it. I don’t spend a lot of time on my blog or promoting it. Maybe I can change my habits with this planner and grow my blog.
It starts with a mission statement and stats overview, which I’ll probably not use so much. Then you have a monthly calendar overview for the whole year. It’s dated and starts with January, so I’ll start using it properly next year. After the monthly overviews, you have a large space to brainstorm post ideas and assign them to categories. The small checkmark at the beginning helps to keep track of which ideas you’ve already used.
The real planner section starts now. There are series planner, post planner, and newsletter planner pages. The pages include all the important information you’ll need for posts with good SEO, like meta-description, tags, keywords, promotion channels. I don’t write my posts with SEO in mind, and this will help me to think about implementing small things that’ll help my posts to be more visible in search engines.
The Reading Journal
I’m going to use this one for next year. I have no ambition to read another 100 books, but if that’s going to happen, it happens. But I want to fill this one up completely, even if it takes me longer than a year.
The notebook has undated monthly planners which make it easier to use whenever. I rarely plan my reading since I’m a mood reader. The big exception is when I do book tours. If you do more ARCs or request a lot on Netgalley, it might be useful to keep track of release or archive dates. The reading log is a key element in my opinion. This is where you keep track of all the books you’ve read with a rating. This is a quick overview. After this log, you have more than enough space to review the books in more depth. There’re social media icons at the bottom as an indication where you shared your thoughts, but I can totally see people using this as a private reading journal. Just something to write some notes in as you read without sharing it with others.
The Gaming Journal
Most of the time, my gaming barely has any direction. So using a journal to track everything, I might more sense of accomplishment. Seeing my progress and how much I’m doing will help. I think this journal will really help people who try to conquer their backlog. After the monthly planner pages and the game collection log, you have more than enough space to keep track of the games you played. Every section has space to write down basic information, star ratings per element (characters, stories, graphics, soundtrack, etc), positive and negative points, and a whole pages for notes. The two following pages have space to write down all of the trophies or achievements you’ve managed to get. Since I’m still trying to clean my Steam library and finish more games, this is perfect. I’m going to keep this near my PC and just fill it out as I’m playing.
The Potions Master Notebook
A recipe book disguised as a potions notebook. It’s perfect for the season and I know a few of you will be very interested. I really like the cover design but it’s the layout that blew me away. It looks so good! I don’t know how practical it is but it fits the theme to a tee.
The RPG Campaign Notebook
If you play tabletop RPGs, this notebook might be for you. Whether you’re a player or a Dungeon Master, having a notebook to track progress is a great reminder for when you’re preparing for your next session and a nice way to look back on your journey.
Essential TV Show Tracker and Planner
If you’re a binger or someone who forgets where they stopped watching a show to binge something else, this notebook is perfect. I watch a lot of Netflix shows and I’m so glad it remembers where I stopped watching. But sometimes I forget that I’m halfway through a show. Having a notebook to keep track of the series is a good idea. Especially when you watch multiple series across multiple services, or even old school television.
I’m going to use all of these soon and write a full review early next year. For now, I can say they’re great gifts for your planner loving friends.
Which of these notebooks are you interested in? Do you have notebooks for these purposes? Or do you use a digital alternative?