My friend and colleague Alina is a busy mom and just passed her Masters defense! Woo! When I gave her this planner in early 2017, though, we were both still in graduate school and struggling to manage our time and work. I had purchased the 2017 STARTplanner for myself but found the content overwhelming for my needs and the gigantic spiral both cumbersome and difficult to write around. In order to use the STARTplanner to its full potential, I felt like I needed to have children, live with my husband (we were briefly long distance while I finished up my second Masters), and manage a household instead of my chill roommate situation.
But my friend, Alina, was the mother of a toddler, married, and rented a house near campus. She had a fellowship and a Masters final project to work on that was overwhelming in the way that grad school usually is. The topic of planners came up in our Thesis Group, where we met with our advisor every other week to discuss the process for finishing our thesis/final project (Alina was making a film) and tried to stay on track with all of the demands and deadlines. Alina mentioned something that made me think she needed a planner (I tend to think that about everyone), and I offered to gift one to her. The STARTplanner 2017 Daily Hustle was perfect for her. It had room to keep track of her schedule, assignments, work tasks, and the flexibility to help her manage her daughter’s needs.
STARTplanner has a ton of content. Their Daily Hustle planner is super thick and runs for 12 months with one day per page and shared weekend pages. There are goal setting pages, project planning pages (perfect for school), medical appointment pages, vacation pages, monthly grocery pages, financial pages, and more. The STARTplanner is everything in one book and has thought of things that you didn’t even realize you needed.
Shortly after I gave Alina her STARTplanner, she told me that she loved it but was afraid that even her busy life wasn’t busy enough to fill the planner. We talked about making a system work for you and letting go of the guilt of not completely filling a planner out. Later she looked at me and said, “I have done everything I’ve written down in that planner.” Your don’t have to fill every little box out in order for a planner to work for you. STARTplanner fit Alina because she only wanted one space to manage multiple things and a tool to help her keep everything together in an otherwise busy and hectic time.
Randomly, when I went to our favorite tea shop to meet Alina and give her the planner, my favorite barista was there and saw the STARTplanner. She immediately gushed over it and asked where I got it and what kind of planner it was. I told her all about STARTplanner and explained that I was giving this planner to a friend because it just wasn’t right for me then. A few weeks later the barista told me that she had purchased the STARTplanner and absolutely loved it. Much like Alina, she looked at me and said: “It’s crazy but I’ve done every single thing that I’ve written down in that planner.”
Magical productivity? Maybe. A planner is a tool, and in the case of STARTplanner it can be a powerful tool, but it still needs your to make it work. 😉
STARTplanner has three lines of planners: Hustle, Fancy Pants, and Legit. Hustle comes in daily and weekly formats, and the new 2018 line has a casebound daily hustle, which is awesome. Fancy Pants is an A5 binder system and comes in daily and weekly options as well. Legit is their student planner and comes in academic year only and includes a school section for keeping track of assignments, etc. Legit is also casebound. Right now, the midyear line of 2017-2018 planners is on sale, and STARTplanner is accepting preorders for their 2018 planners (shipping in early November). These are not cheap planners, but they are functional and comprehensive. The daily and weekly hustle planners are $60, and the Fancy Pants binder system is $98 (includes all pages AND the binder), or just $64 for the inserts. Legit is usually $60 but right now it’s on sale for $51.
I purchased a 2018 Fancy Pants STARTplanner, so keep your eyes peeled for a review of that in mid-to-late November!