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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!