Peacock Paper & Gifts is one of many ventures by Kelsey Peacock and her husband Jared and is based in Kentucky. By day, Kelsey works in the financial sector, and by night she runs and designs for Peacock Paper & Gifts. This lady hustles. Peacock Paper & Gifts launched in June 2017, and 2018 is the first year for their Essential Planner line.
As women, we have so much on our plates. Jobs, marriage, motherhood, side hustles, family, church, volunteering and so much more! I set out to design ONE tool that we could carry to track everything we needed. A product that had a classic cover women would love to carry around but wouldn’t look out of place in office meetings either. Several months of planning and design later, the Essential Planner was born!
I reached out to Peacock Paper & Gifts with an interest in reviewing one of their daily planners, and Kelsey was kind enough to send me one to review for all of you! I immediately fell in love with this daily planner and I can’t wait to share it with you.
The price-point cannot be beaten for a daily planner. Usually, the Daily Essential Planner is $36, which is phenomenal value for your dollar. But right now, it’s on sale for $25, which is a steal. The weekly edition is usually $30 but on sale right now for $20. Again, an absolute steal.
This planner has a functional layout that is designed to give you the necessities and a few extras for planning your day to day.
When you open the Essential Planner you get a title page with the company name and logo, as well as the name of the planner and the dates it runs (January 2018–December 2018). There is a folder on the inside cover of the planner as well. It’s pretty tight, but you can hold some notes or a slim notebook in it.
Next, you have a welcome letter from Kelsey thanking you for choosing her planner and providing some background on how Peacock Paper & Gifts came to be. The following page is for Personal Data, which includes quite a lot of information. Name, address, phone number, and email of course, but also your business address, website, blood group, emergency contact, and more. It’s like a lite version of the Moleskine or Filofax personal data pages.
These pages are followed by two year at a glance spreads, one for 2018 and one for 2019. I love how clean this layout is, and how Kelsey has included a list of Holidays and Observances discreetly at the bottom of each page. Then you slip right into the calendar pages!
The two-page monthly spread is a clean and spacious layout. It includes the name of the featured month along with the year in the upper corners of each page. This monthly spread is a Sunday start, so weekends aren’t paired together. The righthand side of the spread has a small month at a glance calendar of the month following the current spread, as well as a lined column with two sections–Monthly Goals, and Gifts & Cards. The dates are included in the upper lefthand side of each daily box, and holidays are captured in small sans serif font centered at the bottom of their corresponding box.
Each month includes a Monthly Budget page, which is carefully and comprehensively organized for you by Kelsey’s expert eye.
Each week begins with a Weekly Planning page, which gives you a grid table for Meal Planning, a Household To-Do list, a Grocery List, a Don’t Forget box and a couple of lines at the bottom of the page for notes. I really like this dashboard page, but I wish the grocery list was just two columns with checkboxes instead of divided into Produce, Meat, Center Aisles, Frozen, and Household. I planned out my meals and groceries for the week and struggled with where to put “milk.” (But seriously–is it Frozen? Household? I put it under Frozen.)
The Essential Planner gives you full daily pages for planning, which includes weekends! That’s right! Saturday and Sunday each get their very own page. 🙂 So if you’re busy on the weekends, the Essential Planner has got you covered!
Daily pages are highly structured but still manage to look clean even after you fill them out with your life. The appointment slots are generously sized and give you half-hour increments from 8 am to 8 pm. (Note: Kelsey said that they are changing the time slots in the next version of this planner to run from 5 am to 9 pm!) There is plenty of space to write out your plans, appointments, meetings, etc. A Notes box sits below the appointment column and is blank, for whatever your Notes needs may be.
The second column of the daily page starts with a To Do list, which has circles you can check off for each completed task. You get twelve lines. Below the To Do list is a Meals box, which is quite large! This box is blank and can be filled in with whatever meals-related information you need. Below that box is a Healthy Checks section. This has six glasses of water (super cute and simple icons!) that you can color in or check off throughout the day as you chug towards your water goal. There is also a line for Vitamins and one for Fitness.
The Essential Planner has a few extras for you–Travel Planning, Contacts, and Notes. The Travel Planning section is a simple two-page spread that provides columns for Destination, Dates, and Notes. You can put A LOT of trips on this page. You can use one line per entry or multiple ones–the layout is flexible to allow for however you would like to use it.
Next, you have the Contacts section, which includes a two-page spread with columns for Name, Phone, Email, and Notes. Simple and direct. No Address section, but you could always include that under Notes if it’s relevant. Again, the simple layout provides a lot of room for you to fill it in with a great many contacts.
Lastly, you have the Notes tab. This includes about 10 lined pages to use however you see fit.
At the back of the planner, you have another pocket folder adhered to the inside cover.
This planner is minimalist in style yet comprehensive in design. Kelsey designed her planners for the boardroom or the living room, and everywhere in-between. She has said that she would feel comfortable taking this planner into any of her professional meetings in the financial industry, for example.
The cover comes in two designs–Navy Dot (which I have here) or Blush Gingham. Both are simple, classic, and stylish. The Peacock Paper & Gifts logo is centered in the top portion of the cover with the name of the planner (Essential Planner) and the dates (January 2018 – December 2018) beneath it. All of it is in gold foiling. The back cover is just the navy with tiny white dots, no other markings.
This daily planner is 9″ wide x 9″ tall (including binding) and 1.5″ thick. It’s a sturdy book at about 2.3 lbs. If you love a substantive planner, then this would be an excellent choice that would elicit feelings of purpose and heft.
This planner comes with gold protective corners to keep your corners free from harm. The cover itself is a hard material but doesn’t have a lot of weight to it–this probably keeps it relatively lighter to carry around than it otherwise could be. I have noticed that the cover collects fingerprints and smudges, and there is probably an easy and simple way to keep it clean that I have not divined.
The tabs are aligned in one descending line along the edges of the pages. They are quite small, gray, and coated in protective mylar. The entire name of the month or section is printed in small, black, all caps sans serif font. The tabs take you directly to the monthly spread, so there aren’t any divider tabbed pages.
The interiors of the covers are a clean dove gray. The coil is your standard wire-o in a brassy gold. It’s a hefty coil but really it has to be. A daily planner without shared weekend pages is hefty, indeed. The precise page number isn’t mentioned on the website, but the Essential Planner has got to be around 400 pages.
The font used throughout the planner is a simple, structured sans serif. The font is used in all caps and bolded for headers, such as the day (Monday, May 7) or the month. Text that does not fit into the header or subheader category is a lightweight sans serif. The interior pages are printed in varying shades of gray, which is easy on the eyes. It is rather light, visually, however.
Overall you definitely get vibes that the person who designed this planner has spent a lot of time in Excel. Precise lines, open tables, and the overall clean look of this planner make it an easy planner to use with enough flexibility to make it your own.
I’m not sure what the paper weight is–it’s not mentioned on the website. I will try to find out and report back. The paper itself feels smooth without being glossy. It’s comparable to the Day Designer pages–better than a standard sheet of printer paper but not as thick as a 70# text weight. My guess is it’s about 90 GSM, but that is just a guess.
Anyway, the paper is a nice bright white. Pens wrote smoothly on it–I preferred the rollerball and gel ink pens, myself. Felt tip pens wrote a little thickly on the page, though finer tip pens like the Micron 005 were crisp and clean. Did not like the way that ballpoint pens wrote on this paper–they didn’t glide well, but I hardly use ballpoint so that’s neither here nor there. Inkier pens like the uniball vision or the Stabilo point 88 in 0,4 will ghost, and may bleed a little if you linger over writing. If you write with a heavy hand then you may see some indentation on the other side of the page. Overall, though, I’ve had no trouble using a Pilot Juice 0.38 and love the way it writes.
I would recommend this planner if you want a daily planner but don’t want to feel pressured to set goals. This planner is simple and to the point. You jump into calendar pages immediately after your Personal Data page. No pressure to set goals, no prompted check-ins. It’s just you and your space. For those of you who want some intense goal getting component to your planning, I think that the Essential Planner would pair well with the Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets by Lara Casey.
If you like a mostly blank canvas (not as blank as a bullet journal, obviously) for planning so that you can add your own touches and make it yours, then this planner provides a simple, clean design that you can washi, color, draw, and sticker all over. Or if you like having a more subdued, consistent layout for your daily planner, then this planner would work well in that capacity. If you like to keep track of birthdays and anniversaries but don’t like writing them in the monthly spread’s daily boxes, then this planner provides an elegant alternative with its Gifts & Cards lined column. There’s a place for everything.
I would recommend this planner for the busy professional who wants those little reminders to drink water & etc. but also needs serious space for their daily schedule. If you are tracking calories or need to keep track of carbohydrates, then the Meals box in this planner is large and spacious. If you want a manageable list of tasks every day and tend to over-list, then this planner will help you keep a cap on your daily To Dos.
I would recommend this planner for the domestic god or goddess who plans meals, balances the budget, and keeps track of multiple schedules (their own, their children’s, their best friend’s because you’re that close, etc.). The Essential Planner has the structure to handle those needs without overwhelming you with too much to fill out.
If you just want a clean daily planner and only want to use your favorite pen or whichever one emerged first as you rummaged through your purse, then this planner is perfect. If you want full days on Saturday and Sunday then this planner has that. I’ve been doing mostly pen only spreads (although I’m starting to pepper in some stickers here and there) in this planner and it contains my schedule and tasks beautifully. I can add every bit of information I need for the day on each page.
I would not recommend this planner if you really want a slim, lightweight planner to carry around. It’s hard to find that in a daily planner, and this daily planner is just hefty. You need to be okay with the heft. I also wouldn’t recommend this planner to anyone who is super hard on their planners. If you toss it around a lot and shove it against other hard surfaces or jagged things in bags, then it will show that wear and tear. I don’t think this is unusual in hardcover planners–most show a bit of love after a few months.
If you want a structured planner, then the Essential Planner is organized with all the necessities. You just need to make sure that the structure of this planner is what will fit your life. For example, if you don’t meal plan, track, or care about writing down any information about your meals, you might want to either repurpose the Meals box or look elsewhere. Personally, I’m using it a lot and just love it.
Half-hour time slots–they are the best! I love them. I also love how much space you get in the appointment column. I really have the room I need to write down more than just “Doc. Apt.” I also love the full planning days for Saturday and Sunday. Weekends are busy! I love the little water glasses–they’re cute icons that still fit in with the aesthetic of the planner. I love the organized sleekness of this planner, as well as the consistency of the layouts and font choice. I really love the Weekly Planning dashboard, where you can write in your meals & etc. for the week. I love the simple functionality of this planner that I can sticker up or dress down with pen only spreads.
I would happily trade some Meal Plan space for a longer To Do list. I find the Meal Plan box just a tad too large–I often leave at least half of it blank after writing in my meals for the day. (Note: Kelsey mentioned that in the next version of the Essential Planner, there will be a smaller box for Meals!) I also think that the Healthy Checks section could use a slight makeover–I love the Water part, that can stay the way it is!–but the Vitamins seems odd as a blank line rather than a checkbox. I usually just write a check there anyway. Otherwise, I think the cover material could be a little better, and the gold corner protectors could be a little better quality as well.
There you have it! My review of the 2018 Essential Daily Planner from Peacock Paper & Gifts. I think this is a beautiful planner and I cannot wait to see what the next version looks like! Do you have a daily planner? What do you love about it? Leave me a comment or a question! I would love to hear from you.
Until next time!