It’s a week of Frank! First my husband Frank’s #plannermatch post and now a review of the 2017 FRANK Daily Planner. 🙂
FRANK is a small company based in New Zealand (they do ship internationally!), founded in 2012 by couple Jason and Jess. This company was founded on a mission, which I pulled from their website:
Sometimes life feels like an unrelenting list of jobs to do and appointments to make, our authenticity and humanness pushed aside to make way for survival mode. We find ourselves simply functioning day to day.
We created FRANK as a to return to authenticity through the chaos of a busy a life.
When we are truly ourselves, we can make a meaningful difference in the world around us.
So with this in mind, we donate schoolbook to a child in need with every purchase.
FRANK has both weekly and daily options for their book-bound planners. I purchased the 2017 Daily edition at a discount in March and am completely pleased with the bang for my buck. The Daily planners cost $35 NZD ($24.37 USD with the current exchange rate) and ship internationally for $15 NZD or $10.44 USD. Weekly planners cost $30 NZD–$20.89 USD. This makes the FRANK planner a relatively affordable option, even with international shipping!
The FRANK planner is designed in A5 Portrait size (145mmW x 216mmH X 30mmD or 5.70866 in x 8.50394 in and a depth of 1.1811 in.) This planner weights about 1.54 lbs.
The 2018 daily planner has two cover options: gray and white or black with gold foiling. The weekly planner has three: pink, kraft brown, or navy with gold foiling. I am reviewing the 2017 Daily Planner in white and gray.
The planner begins with a message from FRANK:
The nice thing about the planner is that its format is flexible. You could use this as a travel planner, a diary, a productivity planner, a gratitude journal, and more. The system builds in reflections and self-assessments at the end of each month and focus goals at the beginning.
The planner’s first pages include a 2017 year at a glance in a clean sans-serif font. Great use of white space and margins on this page.
This is followed by a page dedicated to helpful tips on How to Be More Present, the theme of the 2017 planner. I love their suggestions for slowing down and taking a moment to enjoy the moment you’re in. They are great reminders to return to throughout the year.
Then there is a New Opportunities page where you can check off areas where you want to grow during the year. As you can see, I checked off Career, Mindfulness, Finance, Health, Fitness, and Reading. You can check as few or as many as you like! Then there is a space to write down more specifics or to simply write out the options you chose. It’s kept open so that you can use it however you like. You can then turn these areas into specific goals.
FRANK includes a list of important dates for the year. It’s worth noting here that FRANK is a New Zealand company so most of their important dates are for New Zealand, although they do include important staples like Halloween, New Year’s, etc.
The beginning of each month has a gray intro page with an inspirational quote. Although the months are not tabbed in his bound book, the solid gray pages clearly delineate the start of a new month.
Each month’s pages end with a Month Review section, where you can reflect on what you were trying to focus on that month, write down your favorite moment, and check off an adjective or three that describe the month you had. These reflection pages are helpful for keeping you focused on a specific goal and for easily and quickly taking five or ten minutes to jot down some gratitude before moving on to the next month.
The monthly spread is simple and clean, leaving lots of room for notes. I found the boxes to be rather small, so in using this planner I only really kept track of big, important things on the monthly spread. Important dates are carefully included where relevant. There is a goodly amount of space at the bottom of the monthly spread and a lined sidebar on the righthand side for lists or important to-dos for the month.
The beginning of each month includes a space to write down your focus for the month, a motivational quote, and a blank box space to write in Things to Look Forward to This Month. This section might be good for important dates, birthdays, trips, etc. If you are a student you could use this space to write in assignment due-dates. You could also use this space for gratitude–forward has two meanings, then. You could look forward towards scheduled stuff, or you could look forward to spending time with visiting family, your children’s first day of school, a fun event you are attending, etc.
The daily pages are laid out in two formats. Monday–Thursday get a day per page, while the weekend is grouped into Friday–Sunday. The first half of the full-page day includes the day and date as well as a lined section with the prompt “Today I am thankful for”. Then comes a large blank space for whatever you like–writing out your schedule, to-dos, assignments, reminders, etc. At the bottom of the daily page is a section for tracking your productivity. FRANK prompts you with “Productivity Scale/How awesome were you today?” You can circle one of the three answers below: What’s the opposite of awesome?, Middle of the road, and I nailed it! After that comes a space for “Quote of the Day/What did you learn today?” This could be used for writing in an inspirational quote or jotting down something you learned, remembered, etc.
The weekend page includes just the lined sections with the “Today I am thankful for” prompt. Friday gets half the page while Saturday and Sunday share the other half.
FRANK has some gorgeous, minimalist designs. Their covers usually have gold foiling in clean geometric patterns. This particular version of their planner is half white and half light gray with a continuous gold foiling pattern of geometric lines. “Twenty Seventeen” is on the cover in bold, large text and a smaller “Daily Planner” sits beneath it. Both are in gold foiling. There is a thick white elastic band for keeping your planner closed and together. The cover material is matte and has a satiny feel to it.
The gold foiling geometric designs also continue to the inside cover, both front and back. This is a nice surprise when you first open the planner and looks gorgeous.
The back of the planner includes their logo and their mission stamped in gold foiling: “You buy one, we give one. Giving school books to children in need.” Their website is also included. This book-bound planner also has a white ribbon for marking your spot–definitely, a Design Do in a thick book like this!
The planner also includes a pocket folder adhered to the inside back cover to store notes, stickers, receipts, or whatever else you need.
The back of the planner has space to writing down Music to download and/or listen to, general Notes, Movies to Watch, and Places to Go. This is a great section for brain dumping all those tidbits of information that might not have a specific date, or even month, attributed to them but nonetheless need to be remembered.
Overall the aesthetic of the FRANK planner is clean and minimalist. The delicate gold foiling and the sans-serif font choice (which is consistent throughout the planner) make this book simple with a touch of class. The paper is an off-white creamy color and much of the text is actually a dark gray. While easy on the eyes, it does take away from the crispness of the planner pages a bit. The binding does lay flat but you really have to press down on it.
This planner is a great size for carrying around. While it is a bit thick–and thus a little heavy–it is still compact enough to serve anyone who wants a beautiful daily planner that can travel on the go with them.
I personally used this planner as a diary. I did not write in it consistently (still working on that!) but I did have it nearby when I wanted to reflect on my day or write down something important that happened. Building a diary habit is one of my goals for 2018 and a beautiful book like FRANK’s planner is a great way to combine daily writing with tracking mindfulness and productivity. As a diary, I think this is a great option. However, it might not work for someone who wants unbounded space to write as much as they want each day. The grouping of Friday–Sunday makes it hard to write much for the weekend days, as well.
Otherwise, I think this planner would be a great fit for someone who wants a beautiful, simple book for tracking daily goals, progress, and gratitude. It would be a great option for someone who is traveling, backpacking, and/or hostel-hopping and wanting to write down and keep track of their adventures and experiences. The blank space on each daily page could be used for gluing in photos, collages, ticket-stubs, etc. Its portability makes it a great choice for students who want something to throw into their backpack every day that can keep them on track with a busy Monday–Thursday schedule of classes, exams, and extracurriculars.
This planner would also be a good fit if you are looking for a gratitude journal that will keep you on track. The “Today I am thankful for” prompts on each page are a great way to start the flow of words. Another option would be using this planner to track your productivity for a specific project or rolling projects. I could see it working if you are writing a thesis, dissertation, remodeling your home, consulting for a business, etc.
I love that this small company is so generous with their community. For every planner they sell, FRANK donates a school workbook to a child in poverty. I am also a fan of the FRANK blog, which has positive messages and overviews of their products. The flexibility of their layout provides a lot of options and opportunities for using this planner however might work best for you. I also love the simple designs from FRANK–their delicate gold foiling and smooth, simple covers are just gorgeous. I like a thick planner so the compact bulkiness of this book is a win for me. I’m also a huge fan of the tips at the beginning of the planner and the consistent reinforcement of mindfulness throughout the monthly reviews.
I wish that the monthly spreads made more use of the page space. I don’t like the big blank gap underneath the monthly spread and would rather have roomier boxes for each day of the month. While I like the thankful-focused prompt on each page for journaling purposes, I think it might get in the way of more functional uses for that space. (NOTE: They removed this for the 2018 edition.) I would also like to see more space of the Quote of the Day section at the bottom of each page–there is barely room to write anything.
There you have it! My review of the 2017 FRANK Daily Planner. I assure you that the 2018 design is almost identical, so if you were using this review to research procuring the 2018 version, it should still be helpful. 🙂 Thank you, as always, for reading!
Do you have any questions about using the FRANK planner? Something I missed that you would like to know more about? Leave a comment! Frankly, I would love to hear from you. 😉