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?

Friday, July 28, 2017

2018 Plannerisms planners are now available!

Great news! The 2018 Plannerisms planners are now available to order!

Click here for ordering info.

To see lots of photos of the Plannerisms planners and how they work, click here!

For more tips on how to use the various features in the Plannerisms planners, click here!

Huge thanks to everyone who has purchased Plannerisms planners over the years, I hope it is helping you set and reach your goals!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What would your Ideal Plannner look like?

Hey everybody! I know it's been a long time! I've been busy.

This is a topic I think about often, of course: the Ideal Planner.

In reality, it's different for everyone. One person's Ideal Planner is not ideal for someone else, and vice versa. But I'm curious to hear what you desire in a planner.

I feel like I've seen just about every planner format out there. And seems like we could do better, right? Surely there's a planner layout that will help you do everything you need and want to do.

Do you want a planner that can incorporate priorities, goals, tracking, etc? Or do you just want something simple that you can use in different ways?

What would your ideal planner look like?

Please post a comment!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Agendio A5 Filofax pages

After I used the Agendio A5 Filofax pages I reviewed on Philofaxy for awhile, I realized I needed to see my days in more detail. So I ordered up these weekly pages with timed daily columns (click on photos for a better/ larger view):

This is weekly format Model number 12227.

As with everything Agendio, the pages are fully customizable. I chose the times 8 am to 7:30 pm to the half hour, but I could have started with any hour and/or done hourly increments if I wanted. I chose a different color theme for each month, which I really enjoy. I love the bright white, smooth 90 gsm paper. (My photos don't do these pages justice at all. The paper is very white and the colors are very nice!)

I chose which country's holidays to add (US and UK because I'm American living in Britain, and Iceland just for fun).

I also added my own events like birthdays, special days, when I'm due to write Free For All Fridays on Philofaxy, when my dog is due for vaccines and when my parking pass is due to expire, bills due, when I need to submit invoices, etc. (Click for larger view.)

At the right of the page I customized the lists area to have task lists for Personal and Work, and a colored area at the top right for my weekly goals. The color changes each month according to that month's color theme, which is so appealing.

I use the space below the daily columns to write in my blog posts planning. This is a great way to keep the posts schedule visible and not mixed into the rest of my day.

I feel like I have achieved Planner Nirvana at last! These pages are very appealing to look at and use due to the colors and the high quality paper. The layout keeps my days very organized, and I can see at a glance what I have going on and when I have time in my schedule to fit in work, volunteering, school events, etc.

Agendio has a new feature where you can preview your planner before you order it! It's a great way to see exactly what your planner is going to look like before you order it.

There are many things I love about Agendio planners: the enormous variety of formats (weekly, weekly + monthly, weekly + daily, daily + monthly, etc) and layouts (daily columns, daily rows, grid), sizes and types (bound planners or looseleaf refills). I can design the page to be exactly how I want it to be, with my own sections and labels.

Another thing I love is the peace of mind knowing all my important dates and events are already in the planner. I don't have to worry about forgetting anything, because everything is already printed into the correct dates. I have chosen exactly which holidays I want printed, so everything in my planner is relevant to me. And all of my events are saved, so when I'm ready to order next year's planner, all the holidays and recurring events will automatically go into my new 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 purchased this planner with my own money. I am not affiliated with Agendio, I'm just a very happy customer!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Agendio 2017 planner with new features!

Early last month I did a post featuring some of the new features of Agendio custom planners ( I created a planner on their website with lots of the new features so I could show them to you!

Here are some of the new features:

Spiral binding, which allows the planner to be thicker. This accommodates their new page-per-day planners, and planners with added extra pages (more on that in a minute).

Elastic closure accessory with your choice of metal charm, or plain. I chose the celtic knot! The elastic is not attached to the book, so you can use it year after year.

Custom cover, allowing you to choose your cover's design and color. You can also add your name, initials, year, etc.

I'll walk you through the planner I created. I chose the weekly planner with monthly pages, with two notes pages after each month. You can choose to have the monthly pages embedded in the weeks, at the front of the book, or at the back. I chose to have the monthly pages all together at the front of the book.

This planner is the medium size, with the Model number 32116 weekly layout.

The paper in this weekly planner is pure white, 105 gsm paper which is excellent with any pen.

I apologize for the quality of these photos! It's hard to get good light this time of year. Trust me when I tell you these pages look much better in real life. You can click on the photos for a larger view.

You choose which month to start your planner. I chose a January start. The first two-page spread is the current and future year, starting with your starting month.

You can choose extra pages to go before your planner pages. I chose a couple of pages of Contacts, which I did not take a photo of for some reason. Anyway, I find it convenient to have a place at the beginning of my planner for frequently-called numbers.

Next I have my monthly pages. Look at those nice big day spaces!

There are lots of things to customize on the monthly pages. I kept it pretty basic, but there are loads of options you can add.

Another new feature I love is that you can choose colors for your planner pages. You can have the same color throughout, or choose a different color every month. I chose a different color each month. I love that the colors are pretty without being obtrusive in any way.

Between each monthly spread I chose Notes pages. You can choose which types of pages you want: lined, blank, dot grid, Budget, etc. I added custom titles. Between each month I have a lined page for Personal notes and goals, and a dot grid page for Work notes and goals.

Next are my weekly pages. Again there are loads of custom options you can choose, I kept it pretty simple. On the right page you can divide those list spaces smaller and add more titles if you like. I created one list for Personal and one for Work. You can choose your line spacing, if you want square or round check boxes or none, solid or dotted lines, etc.You can also choose a fill color if you want. I used the fill color in the Goals boxes at the top.

You can choose exactly which holidays to print in your day spaces, or none. You can choose holidays for any country in the world. You can choose all the holidays for that country, or just some. You can also choose which religious holidays you want, and moon phases, or none.

You can also add events and activities to your day spaces. I added all kinds of things. Many of them have personal information that I didn't want to show, but below you can see some of the things in my day spaces: blog posts, whether it's Trash or Recycling day (I mark out the one it's not. This keeps me from rewriting "Trash" and "Recycling" week after week.), holidays, days of note, etc.

I added all kinds of things to my day spaces. I realized it was easier to type in the days my kids have no school than to flip through my planner pages and write them in by hand, so I have all the No School days pre-printed in the days. I added things like when it's time to submit monthly invoices, paying bills, when insurance payments are due, when my dog is due for vaccines, and annual events in addition to the usual birthdays and anniversaries. Agendio saves your important dates so you don't have to type them in year after year, they can automatically be printed in your next planner.

After my weekly pages I have several extra pages, another new feature. I added some lined pages for Personal notes:

I customized a Budget page to create a Giveaways Tracker for the blog:

I customized another Budget page to have a page to record my credit card payments.

I chose other options like perforated tear-off corners, and pockets in the back.

I'm very excited by all of these new options! Agendio allows you to truly create exactly the planner you want, with additional custom pages and loads of customizable features.

Create your planner at!

I received this planner for free in exchange for a review. I chose all the custom features myself. I am not affiliated with Agendio in any way. My personal opinion: I am extremely impressed with the quality of these products and with the numerous custom options.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Personal Planner 2017 winner!

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Personal Planner 2017 giveaway! I'm happy to announce the winner is:

Judy H!

After her name was selected as the winner, I noticed she has a blog so I went to check it out...and discovered her house burned down last month! How horrible! She and her family got out fine but some of her pets did not, and it looks like they lost everything. They are in temporary housing now until their house can be rebuilt.

I know a planner is a drop in the ocean compared to everything she has lost, but I hope it lifts her spirits a little! And I hope the planner will be useful in helping her rebuild, physically and emotionally, this year.

Congratulations Judy!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Personal Planner 2017

Recently, added A4 size planners to their planners lineup due to popular demand! I was very excited about these new big planners, so of course I had to order one up to experience it for myself.

Personal Planners are customizable. You can choose your cover, add your name, and add personal dates like birthdays and anniversaries in the day spaces. You can also choose which month to start your planner, so you can start a new planner any time of the year!

It's fun to choose your cover (or load your own photo to add) and customize your planner. It's easy to create your planner, and there are loads of options to add.

I'll walk you through the planner I created and show you which options I chose.

First let me say, they are not joking when they call this planner the Big A4. The page size is huge of course, and in addition to that the 140g paper is thicker than most paper, so the planner itself is big and thick. It might not be something you want to carry with you everywhere, but it's perfect for work. I think teachers and homeschoolers would especially like this size, especially if you add the optional teacher pages at the back. (I didn't get them so I can't show you photos, but you can find them in the Back Pages options.)

The cover I chose is one of their Swedish design themes. When you are on the page to choose your cover, look above the cover you are designing and choose the Design Theme tab to see the selection.

They come out with new cover designs and themes all the time. They recently came out with new quotes covers, new colors, etc.

This is what the cover looks like with the protective plastic cover on. I chose the white elastic closure, they have lots of colors to choose from.

Here is the cover without the plastic cover, I love this design with the reindeer and the Northern Lights!

Each planner also comes with a page of colorful stickers!

I chose monthly calendars as one of my page options. Please note, you'll find the monthly pages option in Back Pages, but the monthly pages are embedded within the weeks, not placed at the back of the book.

Each month has a different label color.

Not the best photo, sorry, but here you can see the colored areas on the page edges to show each month, so you can easily flip to the month you are looking for.

There are several weekly formats to choose from, and within each weekly format you can choose lined or not, timed or not, and to add daily details like weather, workouts, work time, etc.  I chose this weekly layout, with times.

Here you can see the day space, which is timed from 7am to 7pm.

You can choose which country's holidays to add, and your own special dates like birthdays and anniversaries. They save your information, so subsequent planners you order already have your special dates!

At the bottoms of the pages are Modules that you can customize to add lines, grid, graphs, to-do lists, menu plans, etc. On the left page I added menu and lines:

On the right page I added a module to track my exercise.

One of the Back Pages options I chose was the following year's overview calendars so I can plan the following year:

 I also added maps in the back pages, because I like maps!

And I added a bunch of lined pages in the back for notes. Other Back Pages options are grid pages, Sudoku, coloring book pages, dot grid, music pages, Teacher pages (class list, test results, absences, phone list, and schedule), etc.

This giveaway is now closed.