Moments Journal: An Update

Since last I wrote about the Moments Journal some things have changed, so it's time to bring you up to date. If you haven’t read the other posts so far, here are the links as a reminder: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.

Don't panic, the journal is still happening, but it's evolved from where it was and now feels a great deal closer to becoming a real life hold in your hands paper creation. I've made some tweaks myself as I've continued to use the process, and am also grateful for the feedback of several lovely testers you gave me really valuable thoughts about how they found using it and adjustments they'd prefer to make it even better.

Its purpose as a values-led tool for mindfulness and manifestation and as an evidence journal to help you savour experiences and support mindset shifts has become clearer, and I want to make sure that is reflected in the final product.

So let me get you up to speed on the changes so far, and later I'd love to get your opinions on a few things too.

Firstly there's the size and format. I had originally conceived the journal as an A5 sized book with each daily layout across a double page spread, but based on feedback and after researching different options for printing and binding, I'm now working on a single page layout to fit an 8 x 10 inch book. Although people liked the A5 size, some felt that having two pages to fill each day was too much and a little bit daunting. If you think about it, a double page spread at A5 is the same as a single A4 sheet, and most of my testers were clear that an A4 book would feel too big.

So I've found a printing service that offers the 8 x 10 inch size, which is mid-way between the other two and has allowed me to redesign the layout so that each day's moments will fit on a single page without being either too cramped or with too much space to fill, but still has the feel of a smaller book overall.

 Size comparison - A5 on top, 8x10 in the middle, A4 underneath

Size comparison - A5 on top, 8x10 in the middle, A4 underneath

This also means I can afford to be more generous with the number of pages in the journal altogether - where a 90 day journal at A5 size with double page spreads would have been 180 pages (plus the extras I haven't talked about yet), and therefore quite thick, with single pages I can now look at offering a 365 day option for anyone wanting to keep a whole year's worth of moments in one place. I still need to work out the final costs and pricing but I hope they'll be much more reasonable than the version I was working on before.

The other thing to note with the change of size and format is a rethink on the binding. Here my testers were divided - some loved the idea of a wiro/spiral binding that would let them fold the book back on itself, but others weren't keen and worried that the wire would get in the way of their hand while they were writing. With the new size format and the printing company I'm keen to use there is no option for a spiral binding, instead the journals would have a glued spine like a paperback book but this still seems to be of good quality and fairly durable, I think you’d still be able to fold the book open without risk of the pages falling out.

Cover options are still to be decided - there's the possibility of a glossy soft cover, or matte finish hardback version - and I’m debating whether to stick with my branded rainbow image or offer a plain colour instead. The final binding and cover will also have a bearing on the selling price, with the hardcover being a little bit more expensive.

 Softcover vs Hardcover binding

Softcover vs Hardcover binding

In terms of the content of the journal, as well as the changes to the daily layout, I'm also removing the 'Releasing Moments' pages as these have turned out to be superfluous. I haven't ended up using them myself, and neither did my testers - I think if you're the kind of person who has a releasing practice you'll probably have your own rituals and ways of doing this, so having it as part of a journal isn't really necessary.

What I'm looking at instead is including a few pages, either dotted throughout or at the end of the journal, for creating a longer list of particular kinds of moments - so for instance a list of all the colourful moments you've noticed throughout a month, if colour isn't one of your 'normal' moments that you include in your daily pages. I think these would be a lovely way to compile evidence that you're perhaps not looking for every day, but still feels important and nice to acknowledge.

 Example Page Layout

Example Page Layout

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I also still intend to include a few completely blank pages at the end of the journal for notes, doodles, brainstorming, mind maps, or whatever you want to use them for, but there won't be as many as I originally thought - again, it has the potential to make things more complicated than they need to be, and most people have other notebooks or journals for that kind of thing.

I've been working on rewriting the introductory guidance notes too. In case you haven't noticed, I have a tendency to be a bit wordy on occasions, and even I could see that the first few pages of instructions about how to use the journal were too long. So I've done my best to cut things down and distil them as clearly and concisely as I can, giving enough explanation and possibilities to get you started, but not holding your hand too much as I do want it to be a journal that you can use intuitively and adapt to suit yourself.

On that note, I'm going to be including fewer pre-titled categories of moments to fill in each day, just three that I think are the most important as a starting point, and also possibly leaving all the boxes untitled after the first month or so - that way you can decide if you want to keep using them or work with your own moments labels.

We’re getting a lot closer to the journal being a final product ready for sale, and once I’ve decided on these last few elements it hopefully won’t be too much longer before you’ll be able to buy and start using it - I find this part equally terrifying and exciting!

Now I want to turn things over to you.

Based on what I've told you here, and what you may have seen in the previous blog posts or on my Instagram feed, I'd love to get your thoughts on a few questions. If you'd be willing to fill in the completely anonymous survey below I'd be so grateful for your feedback - thank you. 

Would you be more likely to buy a journal with enough pages for 30, 90 or 365 days?
Would you be more likely to buy a journal in A5 size, or the slightly bigger 8x10?
Do you prefer soft cover or hardback journals?
Would you like a plain cover or one with a colourful photo or design?
Do you have a set of values/things that are important in your life, or a guiding word or desired feelings?
If I ran a crowdfunding campaign to launch the Moments Journal, what kind of extra rewards would you be interested in?