Alternative Diaries To Ease You Into 2019

I don’t know when it happened but all of a sudden all of these new and different diaries started popping up out of nowhere and at a price. It’s no surprise that I discovered most of these through Instagram but it’s nice to know there is a range of other options out there that aren’t papier or Filo Fax.

People start fresh and anew every day but there’s something about January 1st is always the day people want to put 100% into starting something new or accomplishing something for the year simply because one or two numbers change at the end of the date. Be that as it may, I am one of those people…

Although I may never finish all of my goals or do something I promised myself I would (like everybody else on this planet) one thing I always do without fail is but a planner. I may not be completing every single goal and target but at least I’m writing them down and I’m aware of what I’m trying to achieve.

I’ve decided that my 2019 will start in February since I feel like I had too many things to finish from 2018 this month… To reassure my mental, even more, there’s still Chinese and Korean New Year on the 5th February 2019 to celebrate the beginning of something new as well as the actuality that 267 years the ‘New Year’ as the western world knows it began on January first for the first time. Before that, the beginning of the year was March 25th. So as Biggie Smalls once rapped, ”If you don’t know, now you know.’

The Dear Diary: For the self-improver £29.50

I was never really too concerned about the aesthetic of a diary until I was on and Instagram deep dive. I was liking photo after photo and hopping from account to account until I found myself on the accounts of various businesses of various diaries.

After a couple of weeks of looking, I went with the Dear Diary because it is based around self-improvement and gratitude as well as organising yourself on a daily basis. It’s motivating but not overbearing and so far has helped me organise my thoughts clearly.

I personally like having prompts on a page for where to write things. For example, a daily to-do list one area and events coming up on the day in another area. Everything has its place and you know where to go straight away.

The Dear Diary comes in three different colours, black, blue and pink and also has another black diary which is minimal with a simpler layout. It has a weekly layout starting from Jan-Dec and has 304 pages. it’s A5 with a hardback faux leather cover.


  • Focuses on gratitude
  • Weekly Spread, monthly spread, and yearly spread
  • Weekly reflections
  • Weekly quotes


  • There isn’t plenty of space to write throughout the week
  • It’s on the expensive end

CEO of my life: For balancing everything £46.00

I originally wanted this diary but after a long conversation with my purse, not for £46. It was far too close to the £50 mark for paper and a push in the right direction, a bit like university. I suppose if it’s used every day and it’s helping you with your life then maybe at the end of the year it was worth the money. However, after lots of looking and many deliberations there cheaper diaries that more or less give you a similar experience.

The CEO of my life planner focuses on most if not all aspects of your personal and public life. For example,

  • Business and career
  • Home and family
  • Health and fitness
  • Yourself

Similar to the Dear Diary it focuses on positivity and gratitude but there are more a few differences. It’s A5 with 490 pages (ring binder) or 544 pages (bound) There is a page for every day starting from 5 am until 11pm with one line to write what you’re doing for those hours or hour. Alongside your daily agenda are goals for the day split into the 4 sections as listed above. There is also a monthly and weekly view, finance and budget planning, habit tracking, and dividers so you can easily access any month you need. So, there’s a lot going on.

CEO of my life comes in 7 different colours and designs and in 2 styles. The planers begin from Jan-Dev but undated planners are also available.


  • Daily core section planning
  • Daily planning
  • Daily mantras
  • UK/USA dates and holidays
  • Contact page


  • It’s expensive…very expensive

CGD planner AKA Getting Stuff Done: Concise and simple £28.00

The CGD planner is a lot more simple than the previous two diaries. It is comprised of 288 pages daily pages. It isn’t dated and there is a small corner where you can write the day every day. So I suppose if you decide to waste the day away in bed and being a slob, you can pretend it never happened.

There’s also a little section atop of each page where you can write a quote of the day in. If you can be arsed looking for one and doing that every day, I honestly commend you. I personally like the idea of having a ‘wise’ quote already there. It’s like my destiny (along with a hundred thousand other people) is aligning for me. So when the week comes beginning Monday 19th of August and my Dear Diary tells me and my million other Dear Diary siblings to ‘‘Forget the mistake, remember the lesson’, I’m sure we will all remember our drunk nights out and people we wish we never even set eyes upon and reflect dearly.

Anyway, there are also daily meal planners, shopping lists, water trackers and self-care.


  • It has a simple layout
  • Very user-friendly
  • Vegan friendly leather, if that’s what you’re into


  • It’s bland AF
  • Not a lot of variety in colour

Circle Planner: An allrounder £30

I think if I had found this before The Deary Diary, I would have gone with this one because it’s minimal but there are enough sections to keep a variety of thoughts, events, goals etc in the appropriate place.

The circle planner has habit trackers, monthly overviews, weeks spread across two pages with 30-minute time slots, list areas for shopping or dumping thoughts, finance trackers and so much more.

Similar to the Dear Diary it has a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly planner but unlike the other planners mentioned the circle planner wants to reduce stress, traveling and bucket lists besides setting goals and time management.


  • Range of colours
  • Lots of focus in a range of areas without being too overbearing
  • Focuses on stress reduction


  • As usual, It ain’t cheap!

The Happiness Planner £44/ undated £34: Mindfulness

The Happiness Planner is designed as a binder and as you may or may not have been able to tell by the title, it is designed to help you reach happiness, I guess?

It contains a year overview of 2019 and 2020 for those of you who are super ahead and has ‘Road to happiness map.’ The Happiness Planner also acts as a journal to note down emotions, memories, and milestones. There are more sections and prompts than usual compared to the previously mentioned diaries such as:

  • Your Happiness Roadmap
  • 2019/2020 Calendar Overview (Sunday start)
  • Monthly Overviews
  • Monthly Work & Personal Goal-Setting
  • 365 Daily pages | January – December 2019
  • Daily Quotes* (revised)
  • Daily Intention Setting
  • Daily Schedule & To-Do List
  • Daily Exercise and Meal Plans
  • Daily Reflections and Positive Thinking
  • Daily Gratitude
  • Daily Notes
  • Monthly Reflections
  • End-of-Year Reflections


  • It puts your happiness and mental health first (to some extent)
  • It’s filled with guidance and exercises
  • It focuses on personal values
  • It asks a range of questions to help you understand more about yourself


  • Once and again, have you seen the price of this thing?
  • Quite thick and heavy

Made To Plan £21, It’s personal

Made to plan is one of the cheapest and most flexible of planners. You can have your name or initials printed on the cover and come to think of it I don’t think you have a choice so I hope for your sake if you like this planner that you love your name. On top of it already having a personal touch you can choose the commencing month and the layout. You can also choose the layout of the diary. You have the options of:

  • A horizontal weekly layout
  • A weekly layout on one page with notes on the other
  • A weekly morning to evening layout spread across two pages
  • A weekly hourly layout spread across two pages
  • A week layout on one page with dots on another (like a bullet journal)

It’s 263 pages with monthly layouts, 8 schedule pages and a section for contacts.


  • Reasonably priced (in comparison to the others)
  • Choice in how it looks
  • It’s simple


  • I don’t think there are any

As much as I love diaries and discovering these innovative and alternative ones I do have to admit that it sounds like someone got a hot idea with diaries after reading the Secret, the Power and the Magic by Rhonda Byrne and ‘manifested’ it into something of their own which then started this knock-on effect of diaries with the target of achieving your goals which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s great. Yet, whatever happened to just write goals down anyway? Achieving goals seems to be far more seductive when someone who has already achieved theirs is telling you to do the same but at a price, of course. BUT, that’s none of my business because I’m buying into it.

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Avid Reader, Casual Comic Book Collector, Fashion and Beauty Fanatic, Food, Wine and Whisky Enthusiast, Freelance Photographer, Language Devotee, Polymath

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