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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brush Dance 2016 Weekly Planners and Date Books

Brush Dance is a brand I absolutely love. Their products are so beautiful, positive and life-affirming, they are wonderful to use and make great gifts too.

Brush Dance has a couple of different options for weekly planners for 2016: the super-portable Weekly Planners, and the desk size Date Books. They all come in various themes, with beautiful images and uplifting quotes.

Below are the Mindful Living date book and the Thich Nhat Hanh weekly planner:

First up: the Thich Nhat Hanh weekly planner. This planner measures a compact 5 by 7 inches, and is very slim and light so it's easy to carry with you everywhere. The artwork on the front cover is gorgeous. The book is held closed with an elastic strap.

Inside at the front of the planner are monthly planning pages:

The horizontal weekly format has open space to write, with holidays for the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand printed in the day spaces.

The Weekly Planner is a great option if you like to carry your planner with you everywhere. You can see all the cover options here.

The Brush Dance datebooks are a long-time favorite of mine. They are bigger, approximately A5 size (6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches), perfect for your desk and still not too big to carry in your tote. The spiral binding stays open flat on your desk, and the book is held shut with an elastic strap. There is also a pocket inside for papers, receipts, tickets, birthday party invitations etc. The paper is thick and wonderful with any pen.

This is the Mindful Living datebook.

The datebooks have tabbed months embedded in the weeks. Every month has a beautiful image, and a quote related to the theme of the book. There are also pages for notes throughout the book.

The day spaces in the monthly and weekly pages have moon phases and holidays for the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

 There is a week per page, so you can see two weeks in a spread.

 At the end of the book there are several additional pages for notes.

 You can see all the theme options for the 2016 date books here.

Check the Brush Dance website often, they have been running various sales in the past several days. Also, all orders over $50 within the US get free shipping!  You can see all their products at www.brushdance.com.

Huge thanks to Brush Dance for sending me these gorgeous products to review!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Reader question: weekly planner with 24 hours?

I recently received a question from a reader asking for a 24 hour weekly planner. I thought of two off the top of my head:

The H24/ 24 from Quo Vadis France is available for worldwide shipping from Quo Vadis UK, you can see the ordering site here. It has all seven days timed for 24 hours.

Another option is the full size Uncalendar weekly planner. It has more than 24 lines per daily column (for Monday-Friday only, weekends are blocks). You can see this product on their website here and my review of this planner here.

Does anyone else know of a weekly planner with lines for 24 hours? Please post a comment!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2016 WeekDate planner and Kickstarter

Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows how much I love WeekDate planners. (You can see everything I've had to say over the years about WeekDate here, scroll down to see all the posts.)

The idea behind WeekDate planners is absolutely genius. It's a paper planner with a unique design that allows you to write your recurring events only once. Anything that happens, for example, the last Thursday of each month, the first of each month, every Wednesday afternoon, whenever: you write that event in your planner just once, with no rewriting.

Imagine a paper planner that handles recurring events in such a simple and elegant way! Unlike an electronic planner, it doesn't accidentally put your recurring event on every day (not just Wednesdays); it doesn't put it on the wrong day or the wrong week; and what you've entered doesn't mysteriously disappear. It all goes, and stays, exactly where you write it.

Let's jump straight into the planner and I'll show you how it works.

The planner is a fold-out, so when it's closed it's very slim (just a bit bigger than a checkbook) and weighs next to nothing. This is the Mind The Gap cover design, click here to see all the cover designs for the 2016 planners.

 The planner folds out top and bottom to allow you to see all your recurring events along with two weeks' worth of your schedule!

Here is the top, showing the monthly recurring events. The color coding shows the first, second, third, fourth and fifth week of the month, and the spaces are highlighted for the last days of the month (for example if you have an event that happens on the last Thursday of every month).
In the two weeks that are visible, you can see Feb 15-21 is the third week of the month, and Feb 22-28 is the fourth week of the month. Tuesday the 23rd through Sunday the 28th are highlighted as being the last of the month (the last Tuesday of the month, etc.). Monday is not highlighted because there is one more Monday in the month (29th, leap day!).

Here is a view of the bottom section, showing where to write weekly recurring events. This is my favorite section, because I have a lot of weekly recurring events: my kids' after school activities, meetings, even which day to put out the trash vs. recycling. Because week numbers are printed on the pages, I can write to put the bin out on Wednesdays, even weeks is trash and odd weeks is recycling.

At the bottom left is the list of Monthly Set Days. This is where you write things that happen on the same date every month, like house payment due on the first, bills due, etc.

Once you've filled in your monthly and weekly recurring events and your set days, you don't have to write those items any more. Write them in pencil in case they change, then if they do you change it just once (without flipping through page after page of your planner to change each date). The weekly pages hold your daily specifics. Then everything is out in front of you all the time so nothing falls through the cracks, there's no double-booking or forgetting anything, ever! This planner is great for anyone who is busy, balancing multiple roles (work/ parenting/ school etc.) and is especially great for folks with ADD/ ADHD.

There are some new features this year that I love. Here's a great one: the Time Tracker. You fill in the bubble for each day as it passes. It's a great way to see at a glance where you are in the year and how much time has elapsed. You can circle deadlines or important days in red, and see the progression as that day approaches.

Another new addition this year is monthly calendars! Months are embedded in the weeks, and each month there is a notes page for goals, lists, and anything else you need to keep track of.

Right now, WeekDate needs your help. They are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help secure the future of the company, which is very small. Kay, the founder, has been doing this for awhile now and has been plugging all earnings back into the company. But in order to take the company (and products) to the next level, she needs your help to fund product development and advertising.

In the Kickstarter, you can buy 2016 WeekDate planners at a discount, and can even get a special Kickstarter-only cover (which looks really cool!). So go check it out, help a great company and get yourself organized for 2016!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Science has proven why it's enjoyable to write in our planners

Finally, there's scientific proof why we enjoy writing in our planners! It's all got to do with the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, "..the neurotransmitter that increases attention, optimism and determination."

This article on LifeHacker explains how you can improve your mood by making predictions, any predictions, because every time you make a prediction your brain releases dopamine. If you're right, you get that satisfaction. If you're wrong, you get a learning experience. Either way, your brain wins. The more predictions you make, the more dopamine your brain gets.

The article goes on to relate predictions to gaming, which I'm not disputing at all. But as you know, for me everything comes back around to planners. What are we doing when we write something in our planner? We are predicting what is going to happen. That meeting tomorrow, going to the gym, that deadline, after school activities: every time we write something in our planner, we are predicting that thing will happen. When we predict, our brain gets some dopamine.

So not only does writing in our planners help us feel organized and focused because we know what needs to be done, it also triggers the reward neurotransmitters in our brains. The more you use your planner, the better you'll feel!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Coming soon on Plannerisms

Hi you guys, sorry for the hiatus! Things are just about starting to settle down now that my kids are back in school after the summer break and we are adjusting to our new busier schedule.

I haven't forgot about Plannerisms! Although most of my planner-izin' mojo goes over to Quo Vadis blog these days (where I am the main blogger), I still have plenty of planner love for Plannerisms, just not as much time as I used to spend here.

Thus my backlog of reviews! I have a pile of awesome products to review from Brush Dance, NeuYear and WeekDate, so those will be coming along soon.

In the meantime, please check out WeekDate's Kickstarter campaign. They want to work on new products based on customers' requests, but can't do it without our support. So please help out an awesome small business. You can see their Kickstarter here.

So, don't worry, I'll be back soon! Visit me over on QV blog for lots of planner love, and I'll see you here on Plannerisms again real soon.