Sunday, November 24, 2019

A decade of Plannerisms!!!

I started Plannerisms ten years ago today! Wow!!! A lot has happened in ten years, for myself personally and in the planner world.

First of all, I want to say a massive Thank You to my planner friends who have been with me on this wild planner ride! Planners brought us together, and I've stayed in touch with you through all the crazy ups and downs we've all had in the past ten years via the online planner communities. I really feel like we are part of each others' lives and have supported each other through thick and thin. I am enormously grateful to my planner friends for your emotional and moral support over the years!

In my first post on Plannerisms I said:
Hi everybody! I have finally decided to give in and indulge my planner obsession by starting my very own blog about it. If you too are obsessed with planners, then you're in the right place.

In this blog I will be talking about my own planners, other people's planners, and websites that feature planners. I will talk about what planners I have and what ones I want. I'll do reviews, praise, complain, change my mind and otherwise go on about planners. If that sounds good to you, then subscribe so you don't miss a word!
And that is exactly what I did! From there, Plannerisms went on quite a journey.

In the ten years since, I went through a few more international moves before happily settling where I currently am several years ago. My kids, who were small at the time, are big now.

Professionally, I have been writing Quo Vadis blog, the official brand blog for Quo Vadis planners, since October 2014. Quo Vadis has always been one of my very favorite planner brands, so getting to write about how much I love their planners has been my dream job! I've written a lot about Quo Vadis planners here on Plannerisms over the years.

And I've had my Plannerisms planners, which I designed with spaces for annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals, published for several years in a row now! You can see more information about the Plannerisms planners here

At the time when I started Plannerisms, I had recently been asked to become a contributor on Philofaxy, where I still contribute regularly and where many of my long-time planner friends still hang out! Big shout-out to Steve, who has been running Philofaxy for many years now; Nan, who kept Philofaxy alive after the original Philofaxer was no longer able to continue the blog; and Anita who is also a long-time contributor on Philofaxy!

Ten years ago, the planner world was very different than it is now. Planners were mainly for planning. The decorative planner trend hadn't hit yet. For awhile it seemed that paper planners were on the decline, as I wrote in this post.

I've been very glad to see the revival of paper planners, although I admit I'm not a fan of the decoration aspect. If you do a search about planners you are more likely to come up with information about decorating with stickers and washi than actually planning. I'm glad people enjoy it as a hobby, but it's not for me.

My planner is, and always has been, a tool for planning my days and keeping me on track with my tasks and goals.

When I first started Plannerisms, I was trying to find "my perfect planner." I have to admit, I'm still on that journey! Life changes all the time and so do my planner needs. I have learned a lot about myself and what I need and want from my planner in that time. And even though I have been through many planner brands and blogs (see them listed in the sidebar), there are several that I still enjoy to this day.

In those early years, I really enjoyed reading Productive Flourishing by Charlie Gilkey, and I still do. I find his blog to be a great source of motivation and inspiration. I discovered his website via his printable planners. He also now has a bound version of his planners. (You can see the Momentum Planners here, they are excellent.) I even got to communicate directly with Charlie, who is such a positive and uplifting guy. He has recently published a book, Start Finishing: How To Go From Idea To Done, which I recently bought and I am really looking forward to reading. Congratulations Charlie!

Another early planner inspiration for me was Uncalendar, which I had used several years before. I'm not currenly using an Uncalendar, but I still love the positive messages, flexibility of use, and goal-setting inspiration in these planners.

The planner that started my whole planner obsession was a vinyl Cambridge ring binder, which I used for several years before buying my first real Filofax, a personal size Buckingham, in 2001. You can read more about my Filofax journey here.  I still use Filofaxes, sometimes as my day to day planner. But these days I use a bound weekly planner as my main day to day planner, and my Filofax stays home on my desk with my monthly pages, far-future planning pages, work planning pages, and reference information.

I've written a lot about Moleskine here on Plannerisms. Although I never have been able to find a Moleskine planner that works well for me, I have to admit I love their notebooks and I'm a sucker for the limited edition Harry Potter and Star Wars covers.

A planner brand I discovered not long after I started Plannerisms is WeekDate, which I have reviewed often here. I love the Only Write It Once concept, and that the company is small, female-owned, and the planners are made in the USA.

And of course I still love Quo Vadis planners. My first serious time-management planner was a Quo Vadis, and ever since I've been hooked on their organization, high quality, and amazing paper.

Other planner brands I love: Boxclever Press (I've been using their Family Life Book Diary in the kitchen for the whole family to use for 7 (!!) years in a row now!), Philofaxy's free printables, Mum's Office, The Success Choice, Letts, Personal-Planner, Agendio, Gallery Leather, Mixed Role Productions, Polestar Planners, Planner Pads, Franklin Planner, and so many others.

Social media has changed a lot in the past decade. Back when I started Plannerisms, blogging was in its heyday. There were so many blogs that I loved to read, most of which have shut down now. There are several people in my Planners Inner Circle (you know who you are!) who have all managed to stick together through the transitions from blogs to Facebook and now to Instagram. I miss the days of blogs with good content, and the conversations that were generated there. Instagram is a nice and quick way to stay in contact a little and often, but it's shallow and I don't feel the same kind of connection as I did with blogs.

I admit this blog is very quiet these days, because my planner mojo mostly goes to my day job writing the Quo Vadis blog. I am on Facebook @plannerisms and on Instagram @plannerisms. I don't post very often, but I am around.

I am very curious to see what the next ten years will bring for planners, and planner users.

Thank you again to everyone in the planner community!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

WeekDate planners in a new format!



I am VERY happy to report that WeekDate planners are back, with a great new format!

The famous and unique Only Write It Once format is the same, don't worry! You still have space to write recurring monthly and weekly events, and see everything all at once.


What's different is now the WeekDate planner fits into a Voyager notebook! (It also fits in a standard size Midori Traveler's Notebook too!) Shown below is the Pink cover but they are also available in Black, Light Blue, Nutmeg Brown, Midnight Blue, and Burgundy. Click here to see all the covers!


The Voyager Notebook comes with notes inserts and storage pockets. You can also buy refills for the notes booklets with graph, lined, dotted, or kraft paper. Note that the WeekDate planners are sold separately from the Voyager Notebook, so you choose your cover color, get your WeekDate insert, and pop it right in for maximum portability and note-taking convenience!



Here's the WeekDate planner folded out, in the Voyager Notebook:


Also new, the WeekDate planners are in 6-month booklets, so you can start with the academic year or the calendar year, whichever fits your needs. Then you can swap booklets in and out as they get filled, add the next 6 month's planner, and completely customize your book however you need!

For those of you who are not already familiar with WeekDate planners, here is how they work: At the top there is a fold-out place in the cover to write your recurring monthly events. This is color coded so you can write, for example, a meeting that's always on the first Monday of the month, the farmer's market that's on the second Saturday of each month, cleaning schedules, or anything else. (If you don't have any recurring monthly events, it's easy to cut off this section if you don't want it there.)


The weekly pages are color coded to go along with the monthly section. So for example in the photo above, you can see by the color coding that they are the fourth Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the month, and the fifth Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the month. Sunday Sept 1st is blue to show it's the first Sunday in the month.

The layout allows you to see two weeks at once.

Below the weeks is my favorite part of the WeekDate planner: a fold-out space to write your recurring weekly events. This is where you put your class schedule, your kids' after-school activities, trash/ recycling pickup, carpool schedules, etc. Anything that happens every week goes here, and that's how you Only Write It Once! For things that happen every other week, you can make a note next to it "Even weeks" or "Odd weeks." For example if trash is picked up Wednesdays on even weeks and recycling is picked up Wednesday of odd weeks. If something is only on until a certain date, you can note that too (for example "volleyball Thurs 4-6 pm until end of Nov.")

Then to see what's going on each day, you look up and down the column. Monthly recurring events at the top, weekly recurring events at the bottom, day specific events written in the days.


This means everything is visible all the time, so nothing slips through the cracks. And no more double-booking, yay! 

There are other goodies in the WeekDate planner too: Month overviews and goals/ to-dos:



Tracking and info, and space to write your goals/ must-do tasks/ notes for that six months:


I won't show everything, but there's also a Time Tracker page to track your progress through the year, a year overview page, a place to write your monthly set days (for example Rent Due 1st each month, credit card payment due 15th each month, etc.), monthly review pages, important dates in the next six months, and how-to-use tips. US holidays are printed on the days so you don't have to worry about writing those in. Never miss another date again!

You can either use the WeekDate booklet on its own, which is very slim and light, or you can tuck it into a Voyager's Notebook to keep it with your notes booklets. The Voyager Notebook holds three booklets, so you can either have a full year of WeekDate planners (two six-month booklets) plus a notes booklet, or you can have one six-month WeekDate planner and two notes booklets, whichever suits your needs!

The booklets are the perfect place to keep your never-ending to-do lists, make notes, do journaling or sketching, or keep anything else you need with your planner. So handy!

WeekDate planners are only available at WeekDate.com! July-December 2019 planners are still available, so you can get started with this easy system right away. And January-June 2020 planners are now shipping so you can start planning ahead into next year!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Quo Vadis Dr Paper notebook and Note 21 weekly planner/ diary

These are the new Dr Paper notebook and Note 21 weekly planner/ diary from Quo Vadis UK! The Dr Paper covers have city themes: Amsterdam and Barcelona (shown) and Paris (not shown).


The covers are made from coated card, so they are thin and flexible yet very sturdy. These planners/ diaires and notebooks are very streamlined and lightweight, so they are easy to carry with you everywhere. The paper in them is the classic Clairefontaine paper: 90 gsm, smooth and bright white, perfect for fountain pens.

First up, the Dr Paper notebook. It's A6 (pocket size), very nice and compact. The thin flexible cover lets the book fit easily in your pocket and the elastic closure keeps it securely shut. It's the perfect go-everywhere notebook, and would make an excellent travel journal.


Now, the Note 21 weekly planner/ diary. This is a 16 month diary, which allows you to plan the school year and all the way through the end of the next year in one book. The weekly pages are formatted to keep you organised with each day's Priority, a lined page each week for notes, and a designated space for your task list with boxes to check off.


Tear-off corners mark your current week so you can find your page quickly and easily.

At the beginning of each month there is a two-page monthly calendar! What a fantastic feature! Before each week there is a space to write events happening that week, notes and reminders.



There are loads of other great features too. Time Schedule pages let you write your recurring weekly schedule for easy reference when planning.



Anno-planning pages for the current year (in the front of the book) give you an overview of your entire year in one view. There is also an anno-planner at the back of the book for the following year, where you can write future events and appointments.



Other features include a holiday budget tracker and world time zones map, perfect for traveling!


There are also collections in the back including wish lists and lists of birthdays and holidays for the whole year.


There are also extra pages for notes, and contacts pages.

This book is crammed with useful pages and features, yet is slim and very portable with its compact size and thin flexible (yet very sturdy) cover. The elastic closure keeps it securely closed. This diary is perfect to take with you everywhere you go so you never miss a thing.

The Dr Paper notebook and Note 21 planner/ diary are available (with worldwide shipping) at QuoVadis-Diaries.co.uk.

Many thanks to QuoVadis-Diaries.co.uk for sending me these excellent products as samples to review!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Quo Vadis Everest weekly planners

Here are some brand-new planners from Quo Vadis UK: The Everest diaries!


These 16 month (Sept-Dec) weekly planners/ diaries have a textured cover and contrasting elastic closure. Shown are the A5 size Planning 21 SD and the pocket (A6) size Business SD.

The flexible covers come in a selection of colors: Caribbean Green, Denim Blue, or Orange. My camera didn't capture the colors very well, but the cover on the left is Caribbean Green and on the right is Denim Blue.

These diaries have a special binding that not only lies open flat but can be folded back on itself. The pages have perforated corners to mark your spot, and a pocket inside the back cover to hold papers, tickets, and cards.

Inside the front cover there is a gorgeous image of Everest. If you look to the right of the photo you can see prayer flags hanging on the hillside. It's a beautiful and inspiring image to have in your planner.


The weekly layout is so functional and easy to use. The two-color print looks crisp and clean. The day spaced are timed 8 am to 9 pm with a space at the top of each day for that day's priority, and a space at the bottom of each day for notes or lists.


To the right of the right page is the weekly dashboard for your categorized lists. This allows you to see what you need to do, alongside your schedule so you can see when you'll have time to do it.


The languages are English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch. Holidays for these countries are indicated on the day spaces.

These planners are packed with features. There is an anno-planner for the current year so you can see the big picture of your year, and for the future year so you can plan ahead.



There are reference calendars, and conversion tables.


And lots of full-color maps! There are maps of France, Germany/ Switzerland/ Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal, the UK and Ireland, Belgium, Poland/ Czech Republic/ Hungary, and continent maps of Europe, Africa, North and Central America, South America, Asia, Oceana, and a world time zones map.





There are also international telephone access codes, and some pages for notes.

The pocket size Business SD has all the same features. This format works well on the small pages.








Despite being packed with features, these diaries are still very slim and portable.

I have shown the A5 Planning 21 SD and the pocket (A6) size Business SD. This planner is also available in the larger President SD. You can see the entire range of 16-month Everest planners here.

QuoVadis-Diaries.co.uk ships internationally! You can contact them for shipping estimates to your location.

Many thanks to QuoVadis-Diaries.co.uk for sending me these product samples to review.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

WeekDate 2018-2019 Academic Year Planner

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I love WeekDate planners and their Only Write It Once method! Kay Odell, the creator of WeekDate planners, is a genius. She came up with a paper planner that captures all of your recurring events in one spot so you only write them once, yet can still see them every week with no rewriting! How did she accomplish such an amazing feat you ask? Hang on and I'll show you in a sec. Let me walk you through the planner.

The academic year WeekDate planners have a slightly different layout than the calendar year ones, but the Only Write It Once concept is the same. The academic year planners measure 6.75 by 8.75 inches closed, which gives you a nice big page size but the book itself is slim and very light, much lighter than other planners of this size, so you can very easily carry it with you everywhere.

You can see lots of details and specs of the academic year WeekDate planners here. I'll also show you photos of these details too.

The outer cover is lightweight chipboard to give you a firm writing surface no matter where you are.


The inside cover comes in 6 different colors. This year's colors are black Exec, blue Breathe, green Between The Lines, pink Fizzy, orange Brazen, and (my favorite) purple Vigor, shown below!


When you open the inside cover, this is what you see: a space to write your personal details, and a welcome page:


Then! You open up to the weekly pages and see the setup in all its gloriousness (below). There are timed daily columns where you write specifics like doctor's appointments and deadlines. There's a lined area to the right of each weekly spread for lists and notes. The pagemarker flap is lined on the inside, making it the perfect space to keep things visible all the time like your year's goals, quotes, vision board, or a place to create a sticky-note dashboard:


AT THE BOTTOM is where the real magic happens. Below the days is a space that you see all the time, every week, even when you turn the pages. This space is actually the inside surface of the colored cover I showed you a minute ago. Here's a closeup:

This is where you write recurring events (in pencil obviously so you can change them when you need to). This is where you write your class schedule, after school activities, recurring meetings, trash day, rotating weekly menus, anything that happens every week. You can also write things that happen every other week and still keep track of them because the week number is printed on each week. So for example I write on Wednesdays to put out the trash on even weeks and the recycling on odd weeks.

Each day you just look up and down the column to see everything going on that day, whether they happen just on a specific day or on that day every week. So simple! So brilliant!

Each day's space is divided into 3 blocks you can use for morning/ afternoon/ evening; parents can use them for work/ personal/ family or for different family members; you can use them for school/ work/ social; or in any way that works for you.

SO. For example, say you (or your kid if you are a parent) has an activity that is on Tuesday evenings from 4-6 pm from August 14th until November 13th. On the Tuesday spot you can write the name of the activity, time, start and end dates. Now EVERY WEEK that will be visible! You don't need to rewrite it each week! When the activity comes to an end, you just erase it. And if for some reason the date changes, for example it switches to Wednesdays instead, you don't need to erase and rewrite it each week! You erase it ONCE and write it on the new day ONCE and you are done! Wow! I just love the elegant simplicity of this method. It really does make your life so much easier.

Side note: each WeekDate planner comes with a pencil and eraser. Somehow I failed to get a photo of the pencil, but the WeekDate pencils and erasers are my crazy-favorite. The pencils write so nicely, and the erasers erase so well. I hoard them. I hide them from other people. Seriously, they are great.

Look again at the right side of the bottom area and you'll see a lined space that also stays visible all the time. This is where you write things that happen on a specific date each month. This is where you write, for example, rent due on the 1st each month, etc.

Here are some other awesome features of this planner:

There's a tracker page where you can fill in the dates for each day you, for example: exercise, write pages of your dissertation, don't spend any money, or anything else you want to track. Or you can fill in each day to see your progress through your year, or days leading up to the big day (graduation, wedding, moving, starting a new job). This visual is very powerful in getting your brain to face up to reality and keep you on track!



Monthly pages! There are monthly calendars and notes pages embedded in the weeks to give you an overview of your month and a space to write your montly goals.



There are year overview calendars for 2018:



And 2019:


Here's a closeup of the pagemarker flap, with an overview reference calendar of the entire school year:



Another wonderful thing about the WeekDate Academic planners is you can cut out the pages and hole punch them to fit into a Filofax or similar brand A5 ring binder, or a Franklin Covey Classic size ring binder. The holes will go into the writing space on the pages just a little bit, but not too much. Make sure to get the colored cover punched and put in there too, so you can write your recurring events on the inside bottom of the cover. But yes it works just as well punched and put into a ring binder. I've done this in the past and love it. I haven't tried cutting out the pages to use a discbound system with it but it's a similar idea and I don't know why that wouldn't work too.

WeekDate planners are great for folks with ADHD, people juggling multiple roles, parents, students, and anyone with a busy schedule because you see everything in front of you all the time and nothing slips through the cracks!

WeekDate planners are printed in the USA and the WeekDate offices are run on solar power. 

WeekDate planners are only available at WeekDate.com and they ship worldwide! Go check them out and see all their products.

The planners have only one print run all year, and once they are sold out, they are gone for the year! Some colors sell out very fast too. For example as I write this the blue Breathe covers are already almost gone. So don't wait to grab the planner you want! These planners also make wonderful gifts. Anyone would love the gift of organization all year!

Find all the answers on their FAQs page. And be sure to find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!

Many thanks to WeekDate for providing me with this planner as a sample to review! All opinions are my own. I love everything about this planner and the small, family-run company.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Polestar Calendars Business Agenda and Polestar Planner

Here is a planner company that doesn't get nearly enough attention, in my opinion: Polestar Calendars (PolestarCalendars.com). Located in British Columbia, Canada, Polestar Calendars is a small, family-run business. They print all of their planners in Canada, on 100% post-consumer paper. Polestar Calendars are available at stores throughout Canada, and online from PolestarCalendars.com and other retailers, including Amazon USA and UK.

I ordered directly from the website, but if I had been smart and ordered earlier in the year I could have found it on Amazon UK and avoided international shipping fees. International shipping from North America is just expensive, and it's not their fault. They aren't making any money on the shipping, that is just how much it costs. I have already pre-ordered next year's planner from Amazon UK with free shipping! Look around online to find the best deal for you.

Polestar Calendars all have excellent formats designed to help you in any lifestyle. They are probably most famous for their Student Planner (designed to help you organize your studying, deadlines, exams, and life in general) and their Family Calendar designed to help you organize the whole family. They also have the beautiful Inner Reflections planner with nature photography and inspirational quotes, as well as the two planners I'm about to show you.

I decided to try their Business Agenda and the Polestar Planner. I will walk you through each planner and show you the features. All photos/ images used with permission.

Below are the covers of the Business Agenda (left) and the gorgeous art of the Polestar Planner (right). Both planners are spiral bound so they can lie flat on your desk or be folded back on themselves. The soft covers keep the books lightweight and very portable.


First I'll take you through the Business Agenda. Get ready for some gushing because I am in love with this planner! I'll show you why and tell you all about it.


The Business Agenda measures 8 by 9 3/4 inches and is not thick, so it's a very manageable and portable size. The generous page size gives you plenty of room to write.

I absolutely love the weekly layout. My photo (below) is not the clearest so please scroll down to their image from the Polestar Calendars website.


On the left page, the left space of each day is where you write your scheduled events, the middle space has a generous area to list your work tasks, and the right space is for your personal tasks. I work from home, so I was very excited to try this layout to visually divide my work vs personal/ home tasks for each day. This helps me focus on work when it's work time, and see what I need to do the rest of the time, separately. I think this layout is sheer genius. Of course you could also re-label the categories to fit whatever works best for your life.


On the right page you'll see the weekend days have nice big spaces, and there's a large Notes area which is a great landing spot to jot those random things that pop up during the week. The bottom half of the page has two list areas with square checkboxes at the front of each line, which is where I like them to be so I can use them to indicate priority and then check them off when each task is done. I'm using the left list for work tasks, and the right one for personal/ home/ family tasks. Again I love having the separation of work/ personal, it helps me focus on what I'm doing at that time.

Canadian and USA holidays and phases of the moon are printed in the day spaces. Each week there is an inspirational quote.

You can't tell from my photos but the paper in the Business Agenda is a warm off-white that is easy on the eyes.

Get ready for me to gush some more: I love the monthly pages. They are embedded within the weeks, which I used to not care for but have recently converted to loving because I end up using the monthly pages more. Again my photo is not the best so please scroll down to the next image, taken (with permission) from the Polestar Calendars website.


I love the right page with Goals & Objectives, To Do, and Projects for each month. I'm finding it very useful to see these alongside the month for easy planning of the big-picture goals, plans and ideas. I drew a line down the middle of each monthly Goals/ To-Do/ Projects page, and am using the left side for work and the right side for personal.


Here are some more excellent features in this planner:

There are monthly overview pages to help you plan longer-range projects.


There are also monthly planning pages for the future year, so you have a place to plan into the next year.


There are also pockets inside the front and back covers of the planner. These pockets hold full size pages folded in half.




The Business Agenda also has Contacts pages, USA and Canada reference pages, and several lined pages for notes. Perforated corners allow you to find your current page easily.

This is a very comprehensive planner that is flexible in its design so you can use it in any way that works best for you.

Next I'll show you the Polestar Planner. This is an excellent, portable and affordable planner that also has a very flexible format so you can use it in any way you need.

The art on the cover is beautiful!


The Polestar Planner measures 6 by 9 inches and is very slim and lightweight so you can take it with you everywhere in your bag.

The weekly layout has big open spaces to write your appointments, tasks, and personal items. Or of course you could re-label these and use them in any way you like. Again my photo is not the best so please scroll down for a clearer image.


Each week has a space for lists and notes, and an inspirational quote.


The monthly calendars are all located at the front of the planner, and are oriented this way on the page to give more writing space in the daily boxes:


Below you can see a better image. Each month there is a page for tasks, projects and notes.


Other excellent features include planning calendars for the current year (which I somehow failed to take a photo of), and for the future year:


And pockets inside the front and back covers of the planner.


There are also Contact pages, and several lined and blank pages for notes.

The paper in the Polestar Planner is bright, clear white. The tear-off corners let you mark your current page.

This is a fantastic planner at an excellent price!

I am absolutely in love with these planners and with this company. Check out their website, you are sure to find a planner to fit your lifestyle!

You can find all the Polestar Calendar products at PolestarCalendars.com!

Disclaimer: I bought these planners myself. This post does not contain any affiliate links. I am not affiliated with Polestar Calendars in any way, I'm just a very happy customer!