The Rule the World Planner is made by Ilana Griffo, Founder and Designer at Sugar & Type based in upstate New York. Griffo was tired of carrying around a bunch of things in her backpack as a design student and knew there had to be a better, more compact way to stay organized. She couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she made it!
As I started to simplify my life, I wanted something I could throw in a purse, and carry with me all the time.
The Rule the World Planner started in 2014 and is made & printed on a calendar-year basis. Fun fact: some of Griffo’s designs have been licensed by The Happy Planner for use in their planning products!
The 2018 edition of the planner is currently out of stock, but generally, this planner retails for $36, which is relatively affordable.
Griffo wanted a planner that was compact enough to carry around easily but comprehensive enough to negate the need for multiple organizational notebooks and tools. The Rule the World Planner is well-designed (by a designer!) and manages to pack in quite a lot of content without being bulky.
When you first open the planner you get a mostly blank page with the Sugar & Type logo, quick thank you, info, and copyright. You could use this space for a vision board, a decorative entry into your planner, or whatever else you like! When you flip the page you reach a full page on How To Use Your Rule The World Planner. Griffo outlines how to set goals, give yourself a high-five for the good work you’ve already done, and how to plan it all out in the monthly and weekly spreads. Despite being a single page, Griffo packs in a lot of information. It’s always nice to have some guidance–and Griffo does not leave you hanging. Adjacent to that is, of course, your nameplate page! Here you can simply write in your name, nickname, and any information you would like to include. The lines are blank.
Bonus: cute Sugar & Type llama logo in the bottom corner!
Next you get a page for Looking Ahead to 2018–this is your year at a glance page, where January 2018–December 2018 is laid out and quickly accessible. There isn’t a lot of room to jot things down here, but a skinny highlighter or colored pencil could easily make this page super functional. Adjacent to that is a Don’t Forget page, which has four spaces for each month to write in important dates and the corresponding event.
The next two pages include an Account Tracker–this is for your digital accounts, whatever they may be. Griffo gives you 14 spaces to write in your Account, Username, and a Password Hint. I love this approach to keeping your passwords and accounts in order–it’s always scary to write down passwords to your shit. The Password Hint option is an innovative way to still have this important information recorded and accessible. Next to that is a lined page for your Plans to Rule This Year. Write down your vision for the year, your mantras, a brainstorm sesh, etc.
Each month includes a lined Brain Dump page for notes, journaling, or whatever else you’d like to do. The tabbed page leading you to each month is a thin cardstock and includes a black and white design that can be colored in for funsies or left as is.
Then you reach your monthly spread! This monthly layout has a Sunday start, so your weekends are separated. Holidays are noted with tiny print at the bottom of the corresponding box. The name of the month and the year are printed in all caps in the upper lefthand corner of the spread, while the abbreviated monthly name (Jan for January for example) is included on the tab.
You get a thin, lined column for notes that goes about 2/3 down the page. Underneath are two month at a glance spreads for the month preceding and the month following the current view.
Following each monthly spread is a fancy typeface quote meant to inspire you. Griffo doesn’t just type these into InDesign–each quote/saying is art, created by Griffo herself or someone else. I love this touch of artistry and design. Griffo lists who created the textual artwork and provides their website and social media handle. Representation and visibility–snaps for Griffo! Next to your monthly artwork, you get a page for managing the month’s goals, high-fives from last month, and plans. This is great because it allows you to prioritize–sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture goals in the weekly or daily spreads. Griffo’s design makes sure that your bigger goals don’t get too lost. 😉
Each month also includes a budget page, which helps you track your income and expenses. It’s pretty straightforward, with pre-filled categories to make budgeting easier for beginners. I like that Griffo goes one step further and creates a Spending Log page as well, where you can visually watch your expenses add up, which is often a frightening thing. I know, I want to bury my head in the sand too, but it’s helpful to stay vigilant!
Then we reach the crux of the planner–the weekly spread. Griffo’s layout is unique and deceptively simple. The lefthand page is broken into three sections: Priorities (top 5), To Do, and Notes. The Priorities section has checkboxes on each of its 5 lines, which gives you a definitive thing to mark as completed that week. The To Do section is large with simple lines–use them to write out longer action items or break it into two sections. The Notes section is dot grid and spacious. Bullet journal it up into a habit tracker, doodles, homework assignments, or what will you.
The second page in the weekly spread has blank horizontal boxes, one per day with a shared space for weekends. The day of the week is half a fraction with the date as the other half. This design is minimal and maximizes the space in the box. While a week-per-page is seemingly cramped, there is actually quite a bit of space here as the first page can hold your priorities and To Do items.
The end of the planner contains a few extras. You get two Habit Tracker pages, some notes pages (one side lined one side dot grid), some blank sketch pages, and five pages that have categorized grocery pages juxtaposed with an undated daily page. The groceries pages include named sections and plenty of blank space to list away, while the undated daily pages have a 7 AM to 8:30 PM schedule in half-hour increments, action items, 8 water/potential cocktail glasses for staying hydrated, and a blank space for “other.”
The very end of the planner includes a Networking (or contacts) page with space for the Name, Email, Phone, and Notes of 12 people. Lastly, you get a simple double-sided pocket folder to wrap it all up.
This is a compact and minimalist planner with quality design elements.
The cover material is magic. It’s so soft and smooth but doesn’t feel easily scratched up. It is truly the most satiny planner cover I have ever felt and I could pet it all day. Love it. Love it. The cover includes the planner name in a cute gold foil presentation: “My plans to Rule the World” along with the date. The date stands out in larger text size, and the sudden script font choice for “plans” in the title adds a touch of elegance to an otherwise understated cover. The back cover includes all the Sugar & Type info (bonus points for including a hashtag!) also in gold foiling.
The cover includes protective gold corners that hold up quite well. I’m less impressed with the wire-o binding on this planner, which is a dusky copper and fairly bendable. The planner pages are 8.5″ x 5.5″ with a slightly larger cover to protect the pages. It’s a truly portable planner.
Griffo’s designer touch is throughout this planner. You see it in the monthly coloring pages, which feature complex florals to very simple repeating lips. muah. You can see her designer background shine in the intentional layout of the planner’s monthly spread–Griffo understands the visual importance of white space but also manages to maximize your planning space while still keeping her layouts crisp and visually uncluttered.
Where Griffo really shines though is in her lettering. With sweeping calligraphy and beautiful typography, Griffo presents a visually appealing planner that offers something a little bit extra. Yes, the Rule the World planner is minimalist in intention and execution, but it also includes a fun, edgy touch. (The month of June has a coloring page that is bananas. Literally. Bananas.)
Griffo uses a combination of serif and sans serif fonts for the meat of the planner. She combines italics, all caps, and bolding in the sans serif font choice, which marks section headers throughout most of the planner. The serif font is mainly used for page headers, as opposed to section headers.
You can fit a lot into the Rule the World planner. Just look at my pen only spread above. That’s a full week for me, and there was room to spare.
(Pen test coming soon!)
The paper is okay. It ghosts quite a bit and could be thicker. It will handle your fine-tip rollerball pens & ballpoints and still look fresh.
My dog Fitzgerald approves of this planner. He said that it smells fantastic and would be a great fit for any puppy to sniff.
Honestly, this is a versatile planner. It’s great for on the go. It would make a fantastic student planner, no matter your discipline/major. There is plenty of room for writing in your schedule and your assignments. It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry. It combines managing your schedule, to dos, and keeping track of your budget. If you’re bored, doodle in the Sketch pages or color in the coloring pages. I highly recommend this planner for your super fresh college student. Prepare them for success with a comprehensive and attractive planner like this one!
I would also recommend this planner for anyone who wants to carry their planner around with them and needs it to fulfill multiple needs–budgeting, scheduling, goal tracking, prioritizing, task checking, etc. It’s a small book that packs a lot of wallop.
I also think this would make an excellent project planner. Are you working on a huge annual event, planning your wedding, and/or writing a thesis/book? This planner could easily help you stay on track with both your bigger picture goals and the smaller, bite-sized steps you need to take to get there.
If you want bright colorfulness then this planner is probably not for you. You could make the colorfulness happen, of course, but the planner layouts are simple, minimal, and decidedly black & white.
I wouldn’t recommend this planner to anyone who needs to see their schedule broken down into hourly increments, or who plans their tasks in with their time. (i.e. instead of writing “take care for oil change” in to dos, you write it down at 1 PM on Wednesday.) Likewise, if you need a long task list for each day, then you’ll be wanting a daily planner. I also wouldn’t recommend this planner to anyone who wants to write all over it in thick felt tip pens and/or markers. Yes, that includes Tombows. It’s gonna bleed through a little bit.
This might be a little hard, but if your have super huge handwriting then you might want to look elsewhere as well. The lines are narrow and the space allotted for writing things in/down is minimal.
I love the comprehensive nature of this planner–this one book really contains so much space for what you need. I love the artwork each month as well as the coloring pages. I also love ow Griffo maximizes the space used without compromising the minimalist aesthetic of the planner.
I would love to see this planner with better paper. I think it could make a world of difference. I would also like to see a stronger, brighter coil. The ducky copper coil is a different color than the corner protectors and it throws me off a little.
There you have it! My review of the Sugar & Type Rule the World Planner for 2018! Do you have this planner? What are your own Loves & Nopes for it? I would love to hear from you; leave a comment!
Until next time,