I am loathe to take credit for any of these ideas. I just pulled the most useful things from a variety of Internet sources and honed them through two years of use. For @merryjennifer and anyone else who's interested.
  1. Book: Leuchtturm 1917, size medium, dotted
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    ~$19 on Amazon. 5.75 x 8.25 inch size means I can write a decent amount on a page but it's not so small I lose it. It feels substantial. I prefer the dotted pages because the guidelines are there but not super obvious. Whether or not it's this book/brand, having an index and numbered pages is essential.
  2. Pen: Sharpie fine tip, black
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    I may actually change for 2017. I get a little bleed through that I'm not crazy about. I know some people do colors but I don't have time for that.
  3. Optional lifesaving accessory: pen holster
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    I need the consistency of everything being written in the same ink. I also lose pens frequently. I also won't write the things I need to if I have to look for a pen. Honestly, I think having the pen attached to the book has been a huge part of how I've stuck with this for 2 years. It's from a company called Quiver.
  4. The rest of the list is for the interior of the book:
  5. Index
    I index my idea pages (see below) and any other pages that I add through the year that I'd like to be able find again quickly (notes from doctor's appointments or meetings I attend, etc). I was surprised at how much I appreciate this feature.
  6. Idea pages
    Self-explanatory. Examples of my pages include: gift ideas, meal ideas, date nights, house projects, art projects I'd like to try, etc etc.
  7. Weekly pages (left side)
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    This side is for tasks I need to get done in a particular week, phone calls or emails I have to make/send, and my week to chore list (which pretty much never gets done). It's my messiest type of page, since I cross off and add all week. Ideally, I would look at this page every morning and pick what I'm going to get done.
  8. Weekly pages (right side)
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    This side is my schedule for the week. The larger space is for appointments or things that have a set time. The smaller side (labeled as such) is for errands because if I don't schedule them, I will procrastinate.
  9. Monthly calendar pages
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    I like grouping all of my calendar pages at the back of the journal (as opposed to adding one each time a new month starts). Then I can flip through and see the year at a a glance. Helps with long-term planning.
  10. Next year's calendar
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    It took me two years to realize that I needed to leave a space for future dates (weddings, appointments scheduled far in advance). This page is the last spread in the book, just after the monthly calendar pages.
  11. And a random bonus doodle because I like it. 😊
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