Saturday, November 21, 2015

Agendio customizable planners

Oh my gosh, you guys. Get ready for this.

So you've probably already seen reviews for on The Well-Appointed Desk and Homemaker's Daily (and if you haven't yet, you should. Go click through the links to check them out. I'll wait. Are you back? Ok good.).

I have to admit I'm annoyed that other bloggers got their posts out before I did on this new planner brand. I don't like to be scooped! ;) But I wanted to take my time to really get to know their system before I posted. is a new planners website where you build every aspect of your planner. You choose the starting month, size, the layout, fonts and colors. But there's WAY more to it than that. Scroll down on their home page to see the overview of their features, then go to Features to see more details. Are you back? Okay good. I'll talk you through the options.

There are lots and lots of templates to choose from. Then within those templates there are lots of options. For example you can choose a weekly format with days as columns, grid, or rows. Would you like monthly pages with that? Cool. Which layout of monthly pages would you like? And would you like your months at the front of the book, at the back, or embedded between the weeks?

What colors would you like? How would you like your days to appear? You can choose it all. Edited to add: If you don't see the exact layout you want, let them know and they can probably create it for you! In the template I chose, I wanted more timed space and less space below the daily column. So they created that for me! They really want to make the perfect planner for you, so let them know what you want.

I chose a vertical weekly layout. In this layout you can choose if you want your days timed, or not. If timed, you can choose what time to start/ end, and if they are timed to the hour or half hour. You can choose which day to start your week. You work shifts and your week starts on Wednesday? No problem!

Then within your weeks there are more things to customize. There are areas called Divisibles where you can create your own labels for whatever: categorized lists, areas to do menu planning, a spot for each person in your family, weekly goals, etc. In the planner I made, I created spaces for all my different work projects, plus personal tasks. Different layouts have different amounts of space for these divisibles, so you can choose a little or a lot of space for your lists. You can have it as one big open space, or divided. It's your choice!

There are other features called Pagelets, which are in various locations around the page. You can decide if you want a month view on the weekly pages, a space for weekly goals, etc. One Pagelet feature I found especially intriguing is the Span which I haven't seen in a weekly planner before. It is on some of the vertical column weekly formats (but not all of them, so look carefully). It allows you to draw across the days so you can see how many projects you are working on at once. Here is their explanation of Spans:

"Span pagelets allow you to plan tasks across many days. See in one view how many tasks require your attention at the same time."

I could go on and on about how to customize the appearance of your planner, but it's kind of like the Matrix: you have to see it for yourself. Start on their home page and scroll all the way down to the bottom so you can see the overview of the features. Then take some time to explore and try different sizes and formats. Be sure to click on every area on the planner pages, because every part is customizable!

Then there is a whole 'nother layer of customization: you can choose holidays, recurring events, and special occasions.

There are national holidays for just about every country in the world, so you can choose holidays for your country, countries where your friends and family live, places you'll be traveling this year, or your dream destinations.

There are also regional and state-specific holidays and observances you can add too.

There are religious holidays for just about every religion too, so you can add your religion's holidays, those of other religions in your area, or none at all.

You can enter recurring events like birthdays and anniversaries. You can enter things that happen once a year, once a month (like checking smoke alarm batteries), every week (like the staff meeting on Mondays or to put out the trash every Wednesday), things that happen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week, or things that happen daily (take meds, exercise).

You can even choose when to start and stop events if they don't happen all year. So for example if you or your family have activities only part of the year (like sports, prep for taxes, family vacations, etc) you can enter those for only the duration when they happen.

All of your events and holidays are stored for the next time you make a planner! So every year, your planner can automatically have all your important dates printed into it. Or you can adjust and change them for your new planner. As you wish!

Again I recommend really taking your time to explore every aspect of these planners because they have so much to offer!

There are also accessories to choose: which color elastic closure strap (color-matched, or black), tear-off corners (or not), pockets, extra notes pages, etc. For you paper geeks out there: the paper is white and 90 gsm.

For all the customizable options you get in these planners, the prices are remarkably reasonable. I really went to town on mine with the largest size and most features and accessories, and it was still only just over 50 bucks. Which is amazing compared to some of these decorative planners out there that run into the $60-70 (or more) dollar range. is based in North America. It does ship internationally, but not to all countries. Go under Shipping on their FAQ page to see the list of countries they currently ship to.

Be sure to check out their Promotions page for sales!  Right now until November 30, 2015 you can get 25% off the cost of any planner! Also you can get a code to create a customized planner PDF. Click here for promotions details.

My planner is being processed now and will ship to the UK, so it will take a couple of weeks to get here. When it arrives I will do a full review and show you all the features I chose.

For those of you who use a Filofax, Franklin Covey, Day-Timer or other ring binder planner, get ready! On Nov 28th they will have available planner refill pages for these! You can sign up for an email notification when they are ready. I will explore those and do a post about them on Philofaxy.

All images copyright and used with permission.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Plannerisms winners, and feedback

Huge thanks to everyone to participated in the giveaway! We had a great turnout, and I'm really happy so many people are interested.

I won't name the three winners for privacy reasons, but they have already been sent their email notifications. Congratulations to the winners!

I've had loads of feedback on the photos of the planner pages and the covers. Thanks very much to everyone for your input. I've had lots of great suggestions, some are possible and some are not. I've had lots of conflicting input too: some people want a feature one way, other people want it the opposite way.

That is why I've tried to make the Plannerisms planners as much of a blank slate as possible, with a flexible structure that doesn't box you in. One example is the untimed columns. Most people have said they like the untimed columns, but some people have requested them to be timed. But starting with what time? And ending when? Timed to the hour, or half hour? Some people will want the times earlier, some later. There's no way to please everyone. So the day columns will be untimed, so you can write your times in if you want.

I've also had some negativity, which is hard to take. This is my fourth year putting the Plannerisms planners out into the world. Every year I feel like I really put myself out there. Every year there are difficulties. And every year I feel like it's a miracle I've been able to get these published at all. I realize that I can't make everyone happy all the time. But I think, if given the chance, these planners will work really well for most people. They will help you set and track your goals, and incorporate them into your daily actions. That is the purpose of the Plannerisms planners, and I hope people like them.

Some people have requested information on how to use the planners to be put into the actual planners themselves. There would be too much content taking up too much space in the book, so it will all be here on The website is listed on the inside front page of the planners so you can access information on how to use the goals pages, how to do half-year and annual reviews, different ways to use the weekly pages, etc. I'll have top tabs here on the blog so all the how-to-use info will be easy to find.

One change we are definitely making is to lighten the shaded column. Everyone agreed on that!

The main topic of debate right now is whether to keep the daily columns separated only by a small gap as they are now, or to add faint lines between the daily columns. I drew lines in pencil on a weekly page to let you see what that would look like. I'm running a poll at the top of the sidebar, please let me know your preference and we will go with the majority vote. My tendency is to leave it open, and people who want lines can easily draw them in. Let me know which you prefer!

The columns as they are now: no vertical lines

The columns as they could be: with vertical lines

Thanks again everyone for all of your support! I really, truly appreciate it.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2016 Plannerisms planners first look!

Here is the first look at the 2016 Plannerisms planners!

These are the first-run samples. We plan to have them ready to ship the first week of December!

The 2016 Plannerisms planners are published by X17, a German company that makes planner and notes booklets that fit into gorgeous covers. Their products are top quality, and I am extremely happy to be working with them on the new Plannerisms planners!

The 2016 Plannerisms planners will be available to ship worldwide. We are working on getting stock to for USA customers and hope to have that ready in time for orders. Meanwhile all stock will be available to ship from Germany to locations worldwide. I don't have the shipping price info yet but I will let you know when I do.

Just like in years past the 2016 Plannerisms planners will have month on two page grid calendars with notes pages between each month; weekly pages with space to write lists and goals; pages to write Annual, Quarterly and Monthly goals, and more. The weekly pages have holidays printed for the US and European countries, and moon phases

The 2016 Plannerisms planners are in three booklets that fit into a cover, held by elastics. The Plannerisms set will also come with a notes booklet with dotted, numbered pages. This allows you the flexibility to add notes, sketches, contacts or anything you need, and when that booklet fills up you can replace it. Each cover holds four booklets, allowing you to keep your entire year of monthly and weekly pages plus notes together in your book. Here is a video that shows how the booklets go in the cover.

The benefit of using booklets in a cover is you have the flexibility of being able to change out notes pages, insert your new planner pages in the new year, and remove used pages similar to a ring binder but without the weight and bulk of the metal rings. Here is my Plannerisms planner with my A5 Finsbury leather Filofax. You can see how much smaller the Plannerisms planner is, but with equivalent writing space on the pages.

The other advantage is there are no rings to get in the way of your writing, so you can easily write to the middle of the page.

The cover is amazing:  the spine is square-ish, and the edges of the booklets do not hang out of the side. It is very neat and tidy.

And it lies flat! No self-closing that happens with many other leather covers.

More on the covers in a minute! First, let me tell you all about the Plannerisms planners themselves. 

The three Plannerisms booklets consist of 1) month on two pages calendars with notes pages between, Annual and Quarterly Goals 2) Weekly pages January-June, and 3) Weekly pages July-December.

The booklets measure 142 by 210 mm, so the overall size of the book is A5. The paper is Munken Lynx, which is a natural white, 80 gsm. It's all of the highest quality. I absolutely love the clean, elegant design.

The Plannerisms planner is designed for maximum flexibility of use. It's not prescribed, so you don't have to use it in a particular way. Use it however works best for you. The formats can be used in multiple ways, so it's great for anyone no matter what you do. It's designed to help you incorporate goal tasks into daily actions by breaking down your big annual goals into quarterly and monthly goals, then to weekly and daily tasks.

Here is a tour through the planner! Click on photos for a larger view.

I'll start with the first booklet, which has months and goals pages. The first page has space to write personal information:

Next there are overview calendars for the current year and the future year:

Next there is an overview calendar for the whole year at a glance. This is a great place to note big events like major deadlines, holidays, and travel. It's also great for tracking things like weight, blood pressure, miles run, etc.

Next there is a two-page spread to write your goals for the year. I'll have more posts soon on ways to use the Goals pages in the planner.

Next there are pages to write your Quarterly Goals to help you focus on actions you can accomplish in three-month periods.

Next come the monthly pages. The clean, open design gives you maximum writing space. The shaded column at the left can be used for anything you need: weekly focus, budget totals, reminders of big events, etc.

The weeks begin with Mondays. Monday starts keep the weekends together, and correspond exactly to the weeks in the weekly sections. I know many people in the US are used to their monthly calendars having Sunday-start weeks. If you really want your calendar's weeks to start with Sunday, it's easy to turn that shaded column into your Sundays and use the Sunday column for your notes.

Between every month there is a two-page spread for notes. In previous years of the Plannerisms planner, there was debate among customers as to whether they wanted the notes pages before or after the corresponding month. In this version, we let you decide how to use them. There are notes pages before January, between each month, and after December. They are not designated to a particular month, so you can use the pages before or after to correspond with your month.

The notes pages between the months are where you break down annual and quarterly goals into your monthly goals and targets. This also gives you space to track your goals (more on that in future posts). You can write notes, outline your budget, do mind maps or master lists, or anything you want on these pages.

The last two-page spread in the booklet is a year overview of the future year. This gives you a place to record upcoming events and appointments into the new year.

The last page is for Contacts. This is a handy spot for frequently used numbers or other information.

The next booklet has the weeks January-June. The first page is a reference calendar for the current year.

The weekly pages are designed to give you maximum writing space for your schedule, tasks, lists and notes. The daily columns are delineated by gaps between the lines. (Note, we have already had a request for lines between the day columns, would you prefer this or do you like no vertical lines? Please vote in the poll at the top of the sidebar!) This gives you the freedom to write scheduled events, lists and notes, and carry things over to multiple days (for example if a conference or trip covers multiple days, you can write it straight across those days). If you need more lines for your days, you can write down into the lists area below.

The shaded area at the left is where you write your daily intentions, so you don't have to re-write them every day. (Note, we have already had lots of requests for this shaded area to be lighter so we will definitely do that.) I like to write daily goals there and then just check them off or fill them in as I go.You can use this area any way you wish. You can write a quote for the week, write your weekly review, gratitude, week's focus, or more list space. 

Below the daily columns are lines for writing your task lists or notes. This is where I write my categorized lists.

I've had several people ask for lines between the daily columns, and others asking to keep them line-free. Below you can see where I drew pencil lines between the day columns so you can see what that would look like. Please post a comment or vote in the poll in the sidebar to let me know if you would prefer lines or no lines between the day columns!

 Below is an example of how I use the weekly pages. Again this is just how I use them, you can use them any way you like.

I put the week's goals and things to do daily (or nearly daily) in the shaded column at the left. In the day columns I draw a box around appointments/ scheduled events, and use a dot or asterisk to indicate tasks to be done on a specific day. I use a sticky note for garbage/ recycling days since those alternate each week. I also make a note above an event if I need to bring something.

In the space below the days I write my categorized task lists for work and personal. I use a box for tasks where an empty box means I haven't started the task; a partly-filled box means it's in progress; and a filled box means it's complete. I don't write all the steps because I can remember what still needs to be done (for example if I need to load photos for the blog post, etc.).

The space below the days is so open and free, you can use it as one big space if you like, or divide it as I do. I'll have another post soon with more tips and ideas on ways to use the weekly pages.

Holidays for US and European countries are indicated on the days with the country symbol, with the details of the holiday above. This means you don't have to write your holidays in yourself, while still leaving maximum writing space. Moon phases are also indicated.

At the end of the January-June booklet there is space to write your half-year review. This is where you go back and evaluate your progress toward your annual goals. You can note any roadblocks, and think of ways to work through them to maximize your productivity for the rest of the year.

The end of the July-December booklet has pages for your annual review. This is where you evaluate your annual goals, celebrate what you accomplished, discard what became irrelevant, and decide what to focus on in the coming year.

The very last page in each of the weekly booklets is a notes page. Here you can carry over your reviews, draw a mind map, write summaries, or anything else you like.

I have asked for people's feedback before we go to print, but keep in mind there are certain things that cannot be changed:

1) The booklets: this year the booklets are the only printing option, there will be no hardbound book version.

2) The pages: each booklet contains 64 pages, no more and no less. This means pages cannot be added or removed. The good news is, since the cover holds four booklets you can have an entire booklet for notes etc. that you can replace when it's filled.

3) The size: the booklets measure 142 by 210 mm, approximately A5 in size.

We need your input on which covers to choose. We need to choose three, and there are several options to choose from.

This is the brown vegetable dyed Belgian leather cover, I love it. It has a great rugged look, feels wonderful, and has that great leather smell. It's held shut with an elastic, and I added a stick-on pen loop. I also added a red ribbon placemarker that easily loops through the cover's elastics. It creates a double bookmark so you can mark your current month and week. There are loads of ribbon colors to choose from, click here to see them and click on all three images to see all the color families. There are other accessories available like pockets, pen loops (in lots of colors), replacement elastics etc.


Here are the websites that show the Belgian vegetable dyed leathers, and the Italian leathers in various colors.

There are also recycled leather covers that are a more affordable option. The black recycled leather one looks professional and classy in any circumstances.  The uncoated Graphite and Natural ones are very nice too. Here are some photos of those three:

Below is an image showing all the leather cover options. Which would you choose? (Click on the image to enlarge.)

There are some non-leather, inexpensive options too: polypropylene in lots of color choices, or a moleskine-like black cover. Please post a comment with your cover choice!

Below is a look at the entire Plannerisms package!

Let me take a moment to thank everyone for all of your support throughout the years in making my planner dream come true. I appreciate everyone who has ever bought a Plannerisms planner and sent me supportive words throughout this whole process.

And enormous thanks to Matthias at X17 who reached out to me to publish the Plannerisms planners this year! Thank you Matthias for making this happen!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2016 Plannerisms planners coming soon!

Hi everyone, I promised to keep you up to date on all the latest Plannerisms planners news, so here it is!

We are currently reviewing the samples. Very soon I will have a post here on Plannerisms with lots of photos to show you all the pages and features. We will ask for your feedback, and will make any changes before they go to print next week! They should be ready to ship out to customers the first week of December! So exciting!

The 2016 Plannerisms planners will be available to ship worldwide. Just like in years past there will be month on two page grid calendars with notes pages between each month; weekly pages with space to write lists and goals; pages to write Annual, Quarterly and Monthly goals. The weekly pages have holidays printed for the US and European countries, and moon phases.

At this time I don't have the details of prices etc so please hold on for that information soon. In the meantime, here is a very sneaky peek of the weekly page! This shows you the week of Christmas and New Year, so you can see how the holidays are represented for each country. We did it this way so you don't have to write in holidays, yet they take up minimal space in your days. I love the clean, elegant design. Lots more photos coming soon! Be ready to give your feedback to make the 2016 Plannerisms planners the best ever!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: The Spark Notebook

I was recently contacted by Kate at Spark who offered to send me a Spark Notebook as a thank-you for a post I did on them awhile back. Of course I said yes!

The Spark Notebook had a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year, and now that I have one in my hands it's even more obvious why these are so popular. This year they have a new Kickstarter campaign on right now for the 2016 Spark Planner, which is a dated 12 month version of the notebook. The Kickstarter for the planner has less than two weeks left and has already surpassed 10 times their goal! Run over and grab one while you still can.

I can see why these books are so very popular. They are classy, professional looking, and of the highest aesthetic quality. It has a hard cover, but the material on the cover feels like rose petals so it's not your typical board cover. The white paper is thick and smooth so you can use any pen you like. The corners are rounded, and there are two placemarkers of different colors (grey and blue) so you can mark your current month and week.

The book measures 5 3/4 by 8 1/4 inches, so it's small enough to carry around with you and big enough for plenty of writing space. The Spark Notebook has 6 months worth of planning, goal setting, tracking and journaling packed into each book. The Spark Notebook is undated so you can start any day of the year and use it for a full six months. Or, you can only use it when you need it; no wasted pages when you are on vacation.

I'm not going to give away all the secrets of this book, but I'll tell you the structure:

There is a page at the very beginning of the book to write your theme for the year, and your top goals. Next there is a page to record your achievements, which are so important! What good are goals if you don't acknowldege when you've reached them and celebrate? It's great this page is put right up at the front of the book for maximum visibility when you need a reminder of how well you're doing.

Then there is a monthly section with month on two pages calendars.

Each month has monthly goals, and a 30 day challenge for each month. There is a tracker where you can fill in the days you do your target activity, for an easy visual on whether you are keeping your commitment.

Next is the weekly section, with weekly planning layouts, weekly goals and reviews.

Every week there is a new thought-provoking journaling prompt designed to dig deep into your sense of purpose and motivation.

At the back of the book there are lots and lots of pages for notes and sketches.

Their website has a Users Guide with tips on how to use your Spark Notebook. There are examples and suggestions for how to use each type of page.

There is a new version of the Spark Notebook for 2016 with new journaling prompts, so you can start your year with new inspiration and motivation.

Many thanks to Kate for sending me this Spark Notebook!

Disclaimer: I received this notebook as a free sample to review. I am otherwise not affiliated with the company in any way, and I do not receive any commissions or funds from sales.