Eco-Friendly Notebook, Journals and Day Planners for 2017

Three years of notes, product requirements, project to-do lists in multiple notebooks and planners.

As 2016 winds down, it's time to start planning for 2017.  One of the goals I have for 2017 is to be more present with journaling, with making goals, with writing, with reflection. The best way to do that is to make sure you have a nice, effective journal or planner that you want to take out everyday. I've been searching for a new one for the upcoming year. I've always loved organization and carried my Trapper Keeper for four years in high school with specific tabs for each subject. Yes nerd I know! I was one of those kids that couldn't wait to get home after the first day of school so that I could create a color coded class schedule along with other notes and helpful tips for me for the year. Fast forward many years later, I love a good planner and notebook. I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to stock good quality planners at my desk at work.  y co-workers even grabbed some for me when they went to conferences.  

Lately, I've been obsessed with these journals, notebooks, planners and dreambooks that have really good layouts.  At this point, I don't just want a standard notebook, I want a combination of all 4.  A notebook for random ideas, a journal with prompts on what to write, a planner that keeps my to-do lists in check and a dreambook to keep me motivated with all of the things I want to accomplish.  As my notebook for 2016 still has a few pages left, I started doing some research so that I could grab a 2017 version ahead of time.  This time around, I wanted to look for a planner and notebook combination that was eco-friendly and environmentally conscious.  Perhaps a notebook with recycled paper or one made of recycled materials with no plastic or one made in the USA. 

In no particular order, here's the list of eco-friendly planners and notebooks for 2017.  I have not selected which one I like best, but there's definitely something for everyone on this list.  Comment below if you have used any of these or if I missed one, let me know.

This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosures for details.

Scroll all the way down for which planner I ended up using and my six month update. Yes, I'm writing this particular line in June. Time flies, but a planner can really help with productivity.

 

 

Ink + Volt - The 2017 Volt Planner

This company appeared on my IG feed so I must reach some part of their audience criteria.  First of all, black cover.  That's what drew me to them.  I'm not that colorful of a person and hence don't want a planner like that.  The layouts look like I could be productive as ish. Perhaps, it will have too many prompts, but I think that's the point.  The price seems a little expensive at around $40-$45.  There is a lower cost alternative but it only lasts 6 months so options abound.  Available directly on their site.

Layout image from inkandvolt.com.

Specs:

  • Binding: Hand sown, lay flat binding
  • Cover: Vegan cover material
  • Ink: Printed with soy based inks
  • Layout: Yearly, Monthly, Weekly Goals, Inspiration, Journaling Prompt, Weekly Outlook Planning
  • Measurements: 6x8.5 inches
  • Number of Pages: 272 bound pages
  • Paper Type: High quality, ink proof, acid free paper that is Rainforest friendly
  • Page Markers: Two
  • Made in: USA
 
Image sourced from yourfreedomplanner.com.

Image sourced from yourfreedomplanner.com.

I found this with the layouts and prompts that I was looking for.  It's printed on 100% recycled paper.  The layouts look to be well defined.  There's not a lot of customization for this though.  Runs around $36 and can be found on Amazon.

 

Specs:

  • Binding: no indicated, appears to be wire binding
  • Cover: no indicated
  • Ink: no indicated
  • Layout: Yearly, Monthly, Weekly Goals, Reflection
  • Measurements: 6x8.5 inches
  • Number of Pages: varies
  • Paper Type: 100% recycled paper
  • Page Markers: no indicated
  • Made in: no indicated
 
 
Image sourced from houseofdolittle.com.

Image sourced from houseofdolittle.com.

These planners are very on the traditional side.  Basically a monthly and weekly planner with some extra space to write notes on.  Very straightforward and has less of the bells and whistles as some of the newer planners/journals.  Price is reasonable at $20 and above.  Available direct, via Amazon and certain retailers.

Specs:

  • Binding: Strong wire binding firmly keeps the planner intact throughout the year. The wire is 90% recycled.
  • Cover: 50% recycled
  • Ink: Soy inks
  • Layout: Agenda/calendar on a monthly, weekly basis with half hour increments
  • Measurement: 5" x 8"
  • Number of Pages: 
  • Paper Type: Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled FSC certified paper 
  • Page Markers:
  • Made in: USA
 

Layout from maydesign.com.  This is a sample of the customizeable inside pages. This one is for health & fitness tracking.

These are cute planners.  You can customize the front cover, have your initials on it or add your favorite quote.  You can select from a range of colorful, muted or simple covers along with the inside.  You can choose from blank pages, to lined, to dotted to graph. The inside can be customized to be either an agenda planner, a gratitude journal, a baby journal, health & fitness tracker and so much more.  So definitely lots of options here and it looks very pretty.  My only challenge while playing around with the customization is that you can't seem to add multiple page types.  It would be nice to have different page designs for the various things I want to track.  Costs at around $23 and above for something that is customized.

Specs:

  • Binding: Individually stitched down the spine for an eco-friendly binding solution
  • Cover: Soft canvas covers that are resilient, durable and water-resistant.  Made from part post-consumer waste recycled paper
  • Ink: not indicated
  • Layout: Varies. Can be customized which adjusts price.
  • Measurement: 5" x 8"
  • Number of Pages: 80 pages, but varies depending on layout
  • Paper Type: not indicated
  • Page Markers: none
  • Made in: USA (Handmade)
 

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The Dreamtree - The Rituals for Living Dreambook + Planner

I really love this concept of a dreambook.  It's very lovely and allows you to really think outside of your day-to-day, yet still allow you to jot down what needs to be done on a daily basis.  We all get many ideas during the day and this notebook allows you to capitalize and save those ideas.  Costs around $48.

Image sourced from dream.vision

  • Binding: Lay-flat binding
  • Cover: Debossed and durable soft cover .
  • Ink: not indicated
  • Layout: Dreambook, ideas, agenda/calendar on a monthly, weekly increments
  • Measurement: 7'x10"
  • Number of Pages: 261
  • Paper Type: 70lb paper that won't bleed through
  • Page Markers:
  • Made in: USA
 
 
Image from at-a-glance.com.  Planner and agenda layout.

Image from at-a-glance.com.  Planner and agenda layout.

From the makers of Mead and Five-Star, this particular planner is made of 30% recycled paper. It is the standard planner with calendars, daily to-dos and a place for notes. Nothing too fancy about this.  The design looks clean and has a little pocket for business cards and such.  I wish it had more of an interesting layout. It's around $44. Available direct, via Amazon and certain retailers.

Specs:

  • Binding: Wirebound design
  • Cover: Black, suedelike planner cover has a soft feel and is very durable.
  • Ink: not indicated
  • Layout: Agenda/calendar on a monthly, weekly basis with half hour increments
  • Measurement: 6 5/8" X 8 3/4"
  • Number of Pages: 
  • Paper Type: Printed on high quality paper containing 30% post-consumer recycled material
  • Page Markers: none
  • Made in: not indicated
  •  
 
 
Image from etsy.com.  Store: Paper & Lattice

Image from etsy.com.  Store: Paper & Lattice

I found this on a quick search in Etsy.  I love to see handmade and unique designs and supporting small artisans.  Starts at around $30.99 and more with customization.

Specs:

  • Binding: Open bound spine
  • Cover: Can be customized in term of color
  • Ink: not indicated
  • Layout: Week to view
  • Measurement: A6
  • Number of Pages: not indicated
  • Paper Type: Eco-friendly (no post-consumer percentage indicated)
  • Page Markers: not indicated
  • Made in: UK (made to order)
 

Image courtesy of dolphinblue..com

This particular monthly planner is very traditional in it's design.  It's made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper so an excellent eco-friendly choice.  Priced at $31.

Specs:

  • Binding: Open bound spine
  • Cover: Black, suede-like cover
  • Ink: Soy Ink
  • Layout: Daily/monthly format planner
  • Measurement: 7"x10"
  • Number of Pages: not indicated
  • Paper Type: 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • Page Markers: not indicated
  • Made in: USA
 

Passion Planner - 2017 Dated Classic Birds & Bees Black

I'm including Passion Planner in here as it is a very on trend planner, but have not found it to be made in an eco-friendly way.  I love their layouts so wish it was made with the environment in mind.  They also work with a lot of charities to give planners for free to those in need.  In addition, their layouts are available as PDFs so you have a chance to try it out first.  Let them know I referred you using cat[at]thedosomethingproject[dot]com.

 

One Last Thing

Don't forget to recycle your notebooks, journals or planners.  Make sure you separate the binding from the paper.  Paper and cardboard can be easily recycled.  If your old notebook has a plastic coating, this may be a bit tough.  See if you can remove the plastic coating from the cardboard.  Some other covers may be hard to recycle so keep this in mind when purchasing.   Also, you'll need to remove any spiral binding before throwing out your notebooks and planners.  I have yet come across a company that will take back used notebooks and planners for recycle so may be good to start asking.

 
 

June Update

We are 6 months into the year now. I've been using my Ink & Volt Planner as my husband ended up gifting it for me for the holidays. Perhaps, I was giving hints somehow.

Here are the reasons I am happy with it: durability, thick paper which allows me to use a fairly heavy pen and there has never been any staining or bleed throughs. I love that it has two bookmarks. There is a section for monthly challenges which fits well into my monthly projects.

A few things I wish it had. More blank spaces during the months. I realize it's a planner, but I read a few books during the month and like to take notes so it would be nice to have extra pages for these notes. I've been using the weekly pages to enter my notes. I have not been doing the writing prompts as much as I would like so not sure how to make this more prominent. It is very thick so a bit clunky to take everywhere. Perhaps next time I might invest in a 6 month one that is a bit smaller but still has the room to write. (Update posted on June 15, 2017).

 

Let's be connect on Instagram where I share other tips on how to live a more eco-friendly life: thedosomethingprjct

 

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