Friday, November 24, 2017

2018 Momentum Planners by Productive Flourishing


Photo: Productive Flourishing

Way back in the day, I reviewed Charlie Gilkey's Productivity Flourishing Momentum Planners. A lot has changed since then! And some things have stayed the same, specifically how awesome these printable planners are. They are now even more awesome, because now they are fillable! More on that in a sec.

The Momentum Planners aren't your typical appointment books (although they do keep track of appointments too). They are designed to get you to think about What Needs To Be Done. They start you thinking about the big picture, then they get you to narrow your actions down to what needs done on the quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily levels. This gets you to create a roadmap so you know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it.

The Momentum Planners are available to purchase online for instant download so you can get started immediately on your road to maximum productivity. For only $12 you get the entire year of annual goals pages, quarterly goals, Monthly Action Planners, Weekly Action Planners, and Daily Action planners.

When you buy the Momentum Planners, you get not only the planners themselves but also loads of support from Charlie himself with productivity emails, how-tos, podcasts, and access to the entire Productivity Flourishing community online.

Here's how the planners work. See below for sample pages:

Product image: Productive Flourishing

You can get a quick overview of the planners with some insight into how they were designed here. Click on the links in the descriptions below for Charlie's brief tutorials on how to use each type of planner.

Start by getting an overview of your annual goals using the Annual Momentum Planner. This gets you to think about what you want to accomplish over the course of the year.

Next, break these big goals down into Quarterly goals. (The Annual and Quarterly Momentum planners are only available in the purchased planners bundle.) Then think about what you can accomplish each month.

The Monthly Momentum Planners will get you to think in more detail about what you can get done in the upcoming month, working around events and other projects.

The Weekly Momentum Planner breaks down your week and lets you see what you've got going on, when you'll have time to work, and what your main projects/ deliverables are.

The Daily Momentum Planner breaks down each day with plenty of space to write your scheduled events, projects, and tasks. The untimed daily schedule has 8 hours broken down into 15 minute increments so you can decide when you are going to work on what. You can use these 8 hours in any way throughout the day: 2 or 3 hours of productive work in the morning, another 2 in the afternoon, maybe a couple of hours in the evening to work on your side gig. Most people have about 8 hours a day of actual productive work; this setup helps you maximize that.

I won't go into too much more detail about how to use the planners.  Click the links above for lots more descriptions of the details. There's loads of advice and help on how to use them to best work for you. To get started, see Charlie's Quick Overview of the Momentum Planners.

You can get the monthly, weekly and daily planners for free each month near the end of the month on Productive Flourishing. But if you don't want to wait for them to come out each month, I recommend buying the entire year to download all at once. This has the huge advantage that you get all the planners for the entire year (with the annual and quarterly planners too) ready to use right away. There's no waiting for shipping. You get your planners and start using them immediately.

You can print each planner page out as you need it, or print them ahead of time and hole-punch them to fit in a binder. Or, you can print the pages and have them spiral-bound into monthly or quarterly books to be extra organized.

Due to popular demand, the Momentum Planners are now fillable! Now you can type in your times, tasks, events, and goals, and print them directly onto the pages. This is great for people who like to keep it neat. But a word of advice: don't be precious with your planner pages. Don't be afraid to write on them, erase, and change things up. Life comes at you fast, and your day will rarely go exactly as you planned. These planners allow you to keep up with everything in real time, record emergent tasks as they come at you, and work everything into your plan.

Another great thing about the planners being fillable is you can type up an outline or game plan for each project, then cut and paste each step into the appropriate week or day's Action planner. This will keep you on track with your timeline and your next actions built right into your planner.

I want to take a minute to personally thank Charlie for all the planning, goal-setting, and life inspiration and encouragement over the years, both directly and through his website and planners. Charlie is an all around great guy, productivity guru, entrepreneur coach, and life guide for Creative Giants. Spend some time on his website Productive Flourishing for loads of help and inspiration.

Thank you to Productive Flourishing to providing me with the entire 2018 Momentum Planners download for free as thanks for this updated review. I have purchased the planner bundles myself many times over the years and they are more than worth every penny. Really, for just one dollar a month, you get a hugely valuable product and loads of resources to help you maximize your productivity and creative output.

Friday, November 10, 2017

WeekDate 2018 planner: Only Write It Once!

WeekDate planners have a brilliant Only Write It Once format that allows you to write your weekly and monthly recurring events only once, keeping everything visible in front of you all the time. Nothing gets forgotten, you avoid double-bookings, and you don't have to write your repeating events over and over again throughout your planner!

If you are tired of constantly feeling like you are behind, or things are slipping through the cracks, this is the planner for you. WeekDate also makes a great gift for busy people!

To see more about how the Only Write It Once method works, click here.

I'm a long-time fan of WeekDate because I think this system is excellent.

Many thanks to WeekDate for providing this planner as a sample to review! All opinions are my own.

Every year there is a variety of cover options for the WeekDate planners. This year I went for the gorgeous Passion cover of course, because purple! You can see all the cover color and design options here.


The WeekDate weekly planner is slightly larger than a checkbook and very slim and light so it's easy to carry with you everywhere, so you can plan on the go and never be without your schedule.

The WeekDate planner folds out to give you plenty of space to write. You get to see two weeks of your schedule pages at once so you can easily see what is coming up!


The top section is for your monthly recurring events. For example if you have something on the first Friday of each month, or the last Thursday, this is where you write it. Color coding on the weekly schedule pages lets you easily see which week of the month you're in.


The dated pages are where you write daily specifics like appointments, tasks and one-time events.

The bottom section is where you write your weekly recurring events. You can write everything here like your weekly staff meetings, your kids' activity schedules, which day to put out the garbage vs recycling (on odd weeks vs even weeks), reminders to wash water bottles or do home chores, etc. Everything that happens on the same day each week gets written here, so you don't have to write it over and over each week. Write these in pencil so you can change them when needed.


At the left of the bottom section is where you write things that happen on the same day each month, like paying your credit card bill on the 1st or submitting monthly invoices on the 30th.

To see what you need to do each day you just look up and down that day's column to see it all at once!

There are loads of other features in this planner too. Each month there is a monthly overview page and a page for notes and goals.


Another feature I love is the Time Tracker. You bubble in each day as it passes to see your progress throughout the year. You can also use this to track days you've exercised, written pages of your novel/ thesis, No Spend Days, etc. It gives you a quick glance of the entire year.


There are also annual overview calendars of the current and next year.


The WeekDate pencils are the best, and are the most-stolen pencils in our house!


This portable and convenient planning system does a great job of simplifying scheduling and lets you stay on top of everything you have going on!

You can find WeekDate planners at WeekDate.com.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Agendio.com new website!



Agendio.com has the most customizable planners and planner insert pages I have ever seen. You get to choose absolutely everything about your planner: Which month to start, which day of the week your planner starts with (for example you could even have your weeks start on Wednesdays if you want!), customized lists, add your own events and holidays, on and on.

Agendio recently rolled out their new website, and it looks great! Scroll down the main page to get an overview of everything they have to offer, then when you are ready you can click on Menu in the top right corner to find everything you need.

Agendio also has gift e-cards now! You can purchase credit toward a customized Agendio product, and send it to anyone (via email) as a gift.  This is a wonderful way to give a customized planner as a gift while letting the recipient create their own planner to best suit their needs.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Start at Features and Options. You'll start at the Basics, then keep scrolling to see all the customization options. There are tons! This is a great way to start thinking about what you want to include in your planner. Keep on scrolling through all the Organizational, Design, and Content features so you can get a good idea of all the options.

Agendio has some new extra pages you can add like monthly or weekly trackers, goals pages, budget pages, etc. They also have tables that you can customize and add your own labels.



You can see how the customizer works here. Scroll through to see how you choose which type of product you want (planner, inserts, or notebook), which size, which layouts (daily, weekly, monthly), formats, customization, personalization, extra pages, etc. The Preview option lets you see what your planner will look like page by page so you can make any adjustments before you hit Purchase.

I customized a new planner, which is on its way to me and should be here in early December. I will be sure to post a full review when it arrives!

One of the new features I got in my new planner is their Personal-Year planner, which you can start any day of the year (such as your birthday). It has special pages to track goals, intentions, etc all year, monthly or weekly.  I think this would be a great way to track your goals and personal progress all year. Another great use for this type of planner would be for new parents to track their baby's growth and development all year. It would be a great way to record all those milestones and firsts!

I have created and reviewed Agendio planners and Filofax inserts before, you can click here and scroll down to see my reviews here on Plannerisms, and click here and scroll down to see my inserts reviews on Philofaxy for more information on how the customization works and to see planners I have created.

I recommend taking your time to go through all the options and see what you can do. The possibilities are endless. After you have chosen your planner format, you can do things like adjusting the line spacing wider or narrower, shading the background of specific areas of your pages, adding circle or square checkboxes (or not), choosing your fonts, colors, add tabs, on and on. You can label your list spaces, make your daily schedule start and end at the times you choose, and add your own events and holidays.



All of your information is saved year after year, so if you want to reprint your same planner it's already in there. Or if you want to create a different planner using your saved events and holidays, you can have those automatically added to your new planner. You can also have different holiday and events lists, so for example if you want to create a planner for someone else, you can have a list of their holidays and events specifically for their planner too.

Agendio has a referral program that works like this:

If you have never registered with Agendio before, please click through this link to see the information on the planner I made and register at Agendio. Then if you order a planner from Agendio, I will receive a discount on my next planner (which I will inevitably order, because customizing my own planner is very addictive!). It doesn't cost you anything at all, and I will get a discount on my next planner. Thank you!!!

I recommend Agendio planners to people all the time. If standard planners just aren't doing it for you, a customized planner just might be what you need!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Moleskine 2018 Pro weekly planner

First of all I want to apologize for the very poor quality of these photos. I don't have much time but I wanted to get this info out there. I took the photos on my phone in poor lighting and loaded them up real quick.

The Moleskine Pro planners lineup has changed a bit for 2018. Below I talk about the Extra Large version, and further down I talk about the Large one.

Gone is the Action Planner. Now the only version of the Extra Large Pro planner has pages between each week for lists and notes like the Taskmaster did. Personally I think this makes the planner extremely useful for busy people and it's wonderful to have so much space to track tasks and projects each week!

The 2018 XL Pro also has excellent pages for annual goals, monthly goals and tasks, and something very exciting: a page with an index for each week! I tried to take a photo of it but it didn't turn out in the bad lighting today. It's a page that says Weekly Contents with a line per week and the weeks numbered, so you can index the main events or things to remember each week.

Here are some photos. The week is a standard vertical timed weekly, timed from 7 am to 8pm with lines every half hour. Saturday and Sunday are not timed.



In between each week there are pages for notes, tracking projects and tasks. The left page says Notes. The right page has Projects and Status at the top, and Tasks at the bottom.



There are also monthly pages, I love these! The right page says Monthly Projects and Goals at the top, and This Month's Focus at the bottom.



In the back of the planner there are several blank pages for notes, some of which are perforated if you want to tear them out. There are also perforated list pages. Personally I don't find the lists as useful as I use sticky notes for things like that,  but even if you don't remove them from the book they are convenient list pages.

Again I apologize for the crappiness of the photos but hopefully you get the idea. If you have any questions about this planner let me know and I'll be happy to answer them!

I tried to find out if the Large size Pro planner has pages in between each week like the XL has. I posted the question to Moleskine on their Facebook page, and they just sent me the link to the product page which I had already seen and which does not say if the Large and A4 versions of this planner have pages between the weeks. I found this page on the Jenni Bick website which says the XL has 264 pages, Large has 168 and A4 has 160 so if that is correct that would mean no pages between the weeks. I have asked Moleskine for a confirmation but have not received a reply from them yet.

(Update: Moleskine replied on Facebook to say I need to ask this question on the Contact form on their website:  https://us.moleskine.com/contact-us  However I was unable to, because the pull-down menus didn't work for me, and anyway I found it very intrusive that they asked for my phone number. I don't need them harvesting all of my data, so I left it. Then I ended up ordering the Large size one after all, because if it does in fact have pages between the weeks it will be so perfect! I don't think it does, but curiosity got the better of me. I'll report back after I have received it.)

UPDATE: I have received the Large Pro 2018 that I ordered and I am VERY happy to report it DOES INDEED have a two-page spread for lists and notes between each week! It also has the same annual goals page, weekly contents page, monthly pages, etc. All the content is exactly the same in the L and XL. There is no page count on the label, and I haven't counted the pages by hand, but the number must be the same in the L and XL because they both have all the same pages. Anyway, I am thrilled that there is a full two page spread every week for tracking projects, tasks, and notes! Well done Moleskine!!!

So if you liked the Taskmaster, I think you will like this planner even better with the monthly and goals pages. If you are very busy with a full schedule, lots of tasks, tracking projects and goals, then I think you will love this planner! It crams a lot in while still being portable and a reasonable size.

Please note: I am not affiliated with Moleskine in any way, and I paid for these planners with my own money. I am happy to answer any questions about these specific planners but if you want more info you'll need to contact Moleskine directly. I just wanted to put this info out there for anyone else who was confused like I was!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Deafmessanger 2018 diaries

Due to popular demand, Deafmessanger now has a new larger diary for 2018! The Small A6 one is still there, and has been joined by the Big size that is slightly smaller than A5. I think they will be very popular!


My not very scientific measurements of the two are: Big: 7 3/8 inches tall and 5 1/4 inches wide; Small: 6 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide. Both sizes are very lightweight and easy to carry around.

Both sizes come with a variety of cover artwork. They sell out quickly every year so don't wait! You can see all the Small diaries here and the Big diaries here. As each cover style sells out they disappear from the website, so what you see is what is left.

The diaries are all handmade in Prague by artist Kucin. I absolutely love the style of his artwork. The art is stenciled and spray painted. In every book there are loads of added items that he has found like old maps or pages from ledger books, post cards and photos, and cutouts from magazines. These items are upcycled or recycled, and come from all over the world. Kucin finds them everywhere: flea markets, sales, and things that have been thrown away or given away. You never know what you will find in your book, and each book is unique.


The colored page edges are a nice contrast. Each diary comes with a pencil so you can get started right away and always keep your pencil with your diary. There is also a ribbon pagemarker, and an elastic strap to keep everything contained.

Inside the front cover there is a pocket made from cards, magazine clippings, or pictures. Each one is unique. This pocket is a great place to keep little slips of paper, reminder notes, receipts, cards, etc.


There are month overview pages with six months across a two page spread. This gives you a great overview of your year and lets you see important days, events, deadlines, holidays, travel, and the big picture of your year.


Below is a week spread. Each two-page spread has a full week Monday to Sunday with equal space for each day. Every week is different with a new picture or quote or something stuck in. This keeps your diary interesting all year. You never know what you will find when you turn the page! The weekly pages are perfect for planning ahead, writing memories or notes, and/ or keeping as a journal.


Here is a cool map that was stuck into the book, and a quote. I love all the surprises I find in the books!


New this year! There are stickers to label the lined and blank pages in the back of the book to customize them as you like. There are also stickers to mark special days in your diary pages.


Inside the back cover is the contact info for Deafmessanger.com, and more cool pictures.


Deafmessanger diaries and notebooks represent so much of what is meaningful and important to me: art, self expression, memory, history, and the importance of tangible things in this increasingly digital world. The books are engaging while being quiet, allowing you the headspace to think and express yourself on the pages. They give you the freedom to write your plans and memories, and a quiet space to reflect.

Deafmessanger notebooks and diaries make great gifts. They ship worldwide! You can contact them to ask about international shipping rates. You can convert the prices to your currency at XE.com or a similar conversion site.

You can see all the Deafmessanger diaries, notebooks, bags, posters, and puzzles at Deafmessanger.com.

Be sure to follow Deafmessanger on Facebook to see how they create their artwork! You can read their blog here for news and updates.

Also be sure to follow them on Instagram @deafmessanger

You can see my previous posts featuring Deafmessanger diaries and notebooks here, scroll down to see them all!

Many thanks to Kucin for sending me these diaries as samples to review! I love them!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

WeekDate Academic 2017-2018 planner

I feel really bad it has taken me SO LONG to get this post up! The wonderful folks at WeekDate sent me this fantastic academic year planner and I've been meaning to get this post done for weeks! It's been a crazy start to the school year, to say the least. Anyway, my apologies it has taken me so long!

The academic year WeekDate planner allows you to write all your recurring events only once, so you don't have to write them week after week in your planner. Then when something changes (which it ALWAYS does, doesn't it?!) you just change it once and you are done! No more flipping page to page, erasing or whiting-out what you've written when a recurring event changes. I'll walk you through the book and show you how it works.

The WeekDate academic year planner is A5 size, slim and VERY lightweight so it's easy to take with you everywhere in your bag. The chipboard cover provides a sturdy writing surface no matter where you are.


Under the chipboard cover is the colorful cover. This year I went with the blue Uncomplicated cover, because I would LOVE this year to be uncomplicated! (Although to be honest, so far it has been anything but!!) You can see all the cover colors here.


When you open the cover, this is what you see. There's a place to write your personal information. Also you can see the far right of the cover folds out to give you a place for information you need to keep at hand throughout the year, goals reminders, a dashboard for sticky notes, or however you like to use this space. It then folds in to mark your current page.


Here is the meat of the planner. The pages have the weeks printed August-July, with the days as vertical columns and an extra column at the right to write tasks and reminders.


Below the weekly pages is another space that has Monday through Sunday. This space is actually the inside of that blue cover you saw before. This area stays visible when you turn the weekly pages.

This allows you to write your recurring events in the space below the weeks, where you will see it all the time even when you turn the weekly pages. Below you can see an example of how to use this space.



I don't know how well you can see what I've written, but I've divided each day's space into AM/ PM/ Evening. You could just as easily use the three divisions for yourself and family members, personal/ work, or any other way you like.

Here is where you write your recurring events like after school activities, clubs, classes, meetings, etc. Use pencil so if something changes you can update it easily. I even put routine tasks like printing the school lunch menu and washing water bottles every Sunday evening. At the bottom of Wednesday's column I wrote ODD: Trash/ EVEN: Recycling so I can see which weeks to put out which thing, without having to write it over and over again in my calendar!

So the idea is, your recurring events go at the bottom which is always visible, and your one-off scheduled events (like a dentist appointment, meeting, study session, etc) go on your weekly pages along with tasks, errands, etc.

Then you just look down your daily column to see what you've got going on each day. The wonderful thing is, even when you look ahead several weeks (like making the next dentist appointment, for example) you don't have to try to think of what you've got going on that week and possibly double-book; you can see right there what is already planned, so you can plan around those events. Genius!

You can also write reminders to yourself in your weekly pages of when it will be time to update the set schedule. For example when volleyball ends in November, I can write on that week's page "Last volleyball" so I know to erase that from the recurring schedule. In the spring I can write when softball starts, so I know to enter those times into the schedule.

There are lots of other features in the planner too. Every month there is a month grid calendar to give you the overview of the entire month, along with a page for notes, reminders, goals, events planning (like birthday parties or travel), etc.


Here's a feature I love: the Time Tracker. You can bubble in each day as it passes. I like to circle important days in red to see a countdown until the big day. You could also use this as a habit tracker: for example bubble in each day you exercise so you can see when you are keeping up your good habits and when you are slacking off!


There are also year overview calendars for 2017 and 2018.


And there are several notes pages in the back. Also every planner comes with a pencil and they are the BEST PENCILS! I have several I have collected over the years, and they are the most-stolen pencils in our house!

WeekDate is a small business run by Kay Odell, who basically runs the whole show herself! The planners are all printed in the USA.

For more information on WeekDate planners, and to order, see WeekDate.com.

Also don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

Thanks again so much to Kay for this amazing planner!

Photos published with permission from WeekDate.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Guest review: Wall Street Journal planner and notebook

Reader Steve S. recently contacted me to ask if I had ever reviewed the Wall Street Journal planner and/ or notebook. I had to admit I hadn't heard of either of these. He very kindly offered to review these products! Here is his review:

"Productivity Planner: Goals & Daily Schedule" and "Productive Meetings: Notes & Actions" are two new planning tools in the Wall St. Journal Collection. These A5 books (8.31 in. x 5.71 in. x 0.77 in., 1.05 lb.) are $30 each. I find them only in WSJ(US) and not in Europe. They are hard-bound, dark blue, "feel like suede," and do not lie flat when open. They are fitted with burgundy ribbon place markers and gray elastic closures. The paper is "off-white," and the printing alternates between "light-charcoal" and "medium-charcoal," which makes them unamenable to reproduction here. WSJ has designed these books to accompany "Extreme Productivity" by Robert Pozen with forewards by that author and bullet points appropriate to each book. The books were printed by brandbook, Frankfurt a/M, Germany.

"Productivity Planner: Goals & Daily Schedules" is intended to apply the principles set forth in "Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours" by Robert Pozen. Pages are unnumbered.

The heart of the book is a 208-page undated calendar. The calendar takes the form of a week on four pages. The first page (verso) has Monday on top and Tuesday at bottom. The 12 lines for each day have three columns for time, name of appointment, and purpose. Page 2 recto is Wednesday-Thursday, page 3 verso is Friday-Saturday, and page 4 recto is Sunday-Carry over to Next Week.

At the beginning of the book are two pages for yearly goals: personal left, professional right; each divided into high-priority top, low-priority bottom. There follow 25 pages of monthly objectives, likewise personal and professional right and left, high and low priority top and bottom.
The second book is "Productive Meetings: Notes & Actions." Pages are numbered I - v, and 1 -244. Index pages are i - v. Meetings are divided into short meetings, one page; and large meetings, a two page spread.

Short meetings pages (1 - 109) have space for date, subject, attendees, MY purpose (my emphasis), issues discussed, decisions made, next steps (when and by whom).

Large meetings pages (112 - 217) are the same, except that "Issues Discussed" and "Decisions Made" have boxes for "By Whom" and "By When" for each.
The paper for the end leaves ("If Found, Return to") is 150 gsm. That for the remaining pages of the books is 100 gsm. Also, the covers of the books are embossed with the titles in bronze, not copper.
Many thanks for this excellent review Steve! Has anyone else ever used either of these books and can comment on them?