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
    ~$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
    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
    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)
    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)
    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
    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
    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. 😊