Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There are no rules

Ok, everybody take a deep breath. And let it out. Good. Now let's talk.

I see a lot of people stressing out online about their planner situation. Believe me, I hear ya, I'm continually stressing out over mine. Why does it have to be so difficult? It doesn't, actually. I think we're doing this to ourselves.

When it comes to planners, there are no rules. Really, there are not. It's just paper. You can use it however you want. You can write in your appointments, or not. You can use it as a journal, or not. You can carry it everywhere with you, which is the best situation, but if you leave your planner on your desk all the time and that works for you then go for it.

There seem to be a lot of new-to-planners folks out there right now. Either they've never used a planner before, or they are coming back to it after using digital. It seems like a lot of these folks search the web for blogs and videos for advice on how to use their planner. After being snowed under with people showing more about how they've decorated their planners than how to use them, planner newbies come up for air feeling frustrated and confused. It's no wonder.

I want to address a few issues about using planners:

1) Let me be clear here: decorating a planner is not using a planner.

I don't want to make anyone angry, but it's the truth. That's great if you like to decorate your planner, but that's not the same as using it to plan. If you have a planner as your creative outlet, that's great! But you should still be able to plan in it (or in a separate planner). Even the most gorgeous planner is useless if it doesn't help you plan your life. So remember not to get sidetracked decorating to the point where you neglect the planning and doing.

2) It takes experimentation to learn what works for you. What works for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa. You have to figure out your own needs, then practice using planners until you find what works for you at that moment (see below!). If you need help finding your perfect planner, these posts will help you determine your needs.

3) The planner that worked for you last year/ month/ week might not work for you this year/ month/ week. It's ok to change planners mid year, mid month or whenever you need to! I know people who use big intensive planners during their busy times of the year, and little pocket planners in the summer or when they aren't so busy.

4) There are no rules on how to use a planner. Yes there are time-management techniques that work for some people, but they might not work for you. Maybe you need a structured planner system, but maybe you don't. Don't look online at people's elaborate systems and think you need to recreate something similar for yourself. Start with your own needs, and figure out your system from there.

5) It's okay to use your planner differently week to week or day to day. Some days are busier than others. Some days you need your planner to crank it out, and other days you might just write your grocery list. That's okay!

The bottom line is, don't take it so seriously. Again, it's just paper. It won't solve all your problems or make you happy or do the dishes for you. You have to do all those things yourself.

So let's all please try to remember there are no planner rules we have to follow. Feel like scribbling out your schedule? Do it. Want to fill your planner with sticky notes? Whatever works for you. Tired of lugging around your big planner? Try a smaller one.

There are no rules! It's YOUR planner, do what you like with it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kick-Ass Project Planner

Here is a wonderful tool for keeping track of your New Year's resolutions (remember those??), projects or goals: The Kick-Ass Project Planner!
This A5 size book was designed by Marieke van Buytene, a creativity coach. It is set up to help you easily track your goals and projects. It's undated so you can start it any time and use it only when you need it with no wasted pages. The book has a soft cover and is very slim, so it's easy to carry with you everywhere.

At the very beginning there is a page to show you how to use the book to keep track of your progress and evaluate your results.

There are pages to list your goals and projects:

There is a year overview page:

Then the meat of the book is the project tracking pages. List your goal tasks at the left, and check them off each day you do them. This gives you an excellent quick visual as to whether you are working your plan. At the end of the month, evaluate your progress in the right column. The book has 12 of these two-page spreads, to get you through an entire year.

I love that you can track every aspect of your life, broken down by categories, in the one book. You can use one heading for Health to track your exercise, water intake and whether you're getting your 5 a day. Another heading can be craft projects, work projects, or how many pages you're writing on your novel every day. Having a box to tick encourages you to do your goal tasks that day, so you don't leave any empty boxes! If you have tasks that don't need to be done every day, you can highlight the boxes on the days you need to do them so you can easily see what needs to be done and what's completed.

At the back of the book there are several pages for notes, evaluating your projects, or anything else you want to write.

The last page has credits and contact info:

Huge thanks to Marieke for sending me this excellent product to review! I'm sorry it took me so long to get this post up!

For more information and to order, see Marieke's website here: http://www.o-pen.nl/en/kick-ass-project-planner/

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 Plannerisms planners update

Hi everyone, I have some bad news about the 2015 Plannerisms planners: due to misprints they have all been pulled from retailers. There was a misprint in the December monthly calendar that throws off the days.

Unfortunately I did not get proofs this year before production, and did not receive samples of the final products so I didn't get my planners until they were already in customers' hands. So, I was unable to prevent this misprint from going to production, and somehow it made it past the Collins proofreading team. Once this problem was brought to the attention of the publisher, the decision was made to pull all copies.

A limited second production run might be possible to fix this issue, I am still waiting for information on that and will let you know. If that does happen, orders will be via direct email with the publisher with payment via PayPal. I will have more info for you next week about this.

In the meantime if you are disappointed with your Plannerisms planner and you ordered it from Collins UK, you can contact them to ask about a refund. Here is their contact page.

I do not handle any of the ordering or returns process so I won't be able to help you, you'll need to contact them directly.

As you might imagine I am extremely disappointed about this. It's obviously not up to my standards, and it's not up to Collins standards either. I'll do everything I can to make sure this doesn't happen again!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Plannerisms planner: set and track your goals!



UPDATE: The 2015 Plannerisms planners are no longer available online or in stores in Singapore. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The Plannerisms planner is designed to help you focus on what's important in YOUR life, and is very flexible so you can use it any way you want/ need to.

The Plannerisms planner is specifically designed to incorporate your goals into your daily schedule. There are pages to break down annual goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals so you can go from the big picture all the way to daily actions. This post has detailed photos of all the planner pages and features.

People have written very nice things about the Plannerisms planners! Click here for customer testimonials and links to posts showing how people use their Plannerisms planners. I love seeing different ways people use their Plannerisms planner! It is designed for flexibility of use, so different people use it in different ways.

I've written several posts on how to use your Plannerisms planner to set and track your goals, and to incorporate your goals into your daily schedule. Click on the links below:

There are loads of Goals pages in the Plannerisms planner: Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly. Here's how to use the Goals pages.

The planner has monthly calendars across two pages, and between each month there's a two-page spread of lined pages for tracking your goals including finances, health, monthly reviews, or to use any way you like. Here's how to use the monthly pages for goal tracking.


The weekly pages are designed with a column to list your daily intentions so you don't have to re-write them every day. Here's how to use the weekly pages.

I've also done some videos on how to use the goal pages, and a general overview of the planner pages too. Click here for links to the vids.

I've had loads of people email and tweet me that they loved their Plannerims planner this year and are getting another one for next year! It warms my heart that something I designed is helping so many people.

Huge thanks to everyone who has ordered a Plannerisms planner, this year and in past years too. I really appreciate it and I hope it helps you achieve everything you desire in the upcoming year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2015 Deafmessanger weekly planner

If you've never seen Deafmessanger's street-art inspired planners and notebooks, you are seriously missing out. These are some of the coolest little books I've ever seen.

Their 2015 Diary/ weekly planner is a nicely portable A6 size so it can go everywhere with you. Check out this cover art:
This is the Bird and...2015 Diary. There are loads of other cover options for the 2015 planner, check them all out here.

The diary comes with an elastic closure strap, red ribbon placemarker and a pencil in a loop so you can get started right away.

The little book is filled with Kucin's art with lots of little bits he's found stuck in there. There's a pocket inside the front cover, made out of a magazine page.

 There is an overview planner with 6 months over two pages:

The weekly planner pages have art on each spread so you never get bored.


Randomly stuck between the pages are quotes, pages of magazines, newspapers, books, maps, anything. You never know what you're going to find in your book.

There are other pages too: People/ Things that made me happy, Favorite places, addresses, and loads of blank pages for notes, art or whatever you want.

The inside of the back of the book has contact info. Be sure to check out www.deafmessanger.com.
Also look at their Facebook page to see lots of photos of their production process, and action shots of their products all around the world.

The back cover has a picture of Kucin's cat, Frida. Love it!

This little book will be your constant companion all year and keep you inspired and feeling great!

Deafmessanger is based in Prague and ships worldwide. You can use XE.com or a similar currency conversion program to see the amounts in your currency.

Huge thanks to Deafmessanger for sending me this wonderful diary as a sample to review. I love it!

WARNING: Deafmessanger products are highly addictive and entirely awesome. Once you get one, you'll want more!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Update: 2015 Plannerisms planners now shipping worldwide!

The 2015 Plannerisms planners are now shipping worldwide from Collins UK! Click here to order!

The most popular covers are already selling very quickly, so order yours now before the color you want runs out!

For any questions about ordering, shipping, delivery etc. please click here to contact the Collins UK team.

See all the cover colors and order here.

Click here for more information on the Plannerisms planners!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 Plannerisms planners now ready to pre-order!

Great news! You can now pre-order your 2015 Plannerisms planners from the Collins UK website for worldwide shipping. Click here for the pre-order page!

At this time I don't know when the planners will actually ship, but I will let you know when I find out. For any questions about ordering, shipping, delivery etc. please contact the Collins UK team.

I recommend pre-ordering the color you want, because the most popular covers go very quickly so make sure you get the one you want!

See all the cover colors and pre-order here.

Click here for more information on the Plannerisms planners!