Archive Planner by Northfolk Paper

Hello everyone! 🙂 This week I’m reviewing the Archive Planner by Northfolk Paper. This small company went through some hurdles, including an unreliable printer and a rebranding. These two best friends (one in Alaska and one in Colorado) were determined to make this planner–they ran into troubles with their first printer and had to regroup and try again with a different (and excellent) printer. And I am so glad they did, because they created a wonderful planner.

The Archive Planner has had a few iterations, and although new changes are on the horizon for 2019, Northfolk has created an undated 6-month planner that provides a monthly, weekly, and daily spread! Sam & Rachel, the founders, kindly sent me a planner to review for all of you! I’ve been using it for the month of May to really dig into its functionality and develop as complete a review as possible for you! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen several posts about this planner. 😉

No longer do you have to decide between monthly, weekly and daily. Our planner has them all! Plan the way that works best for you.

This planner retails for $56, but if you are a first-time buyer you can get $10 off with my affiliate link. There will be a few changes in their next printing–the new cover will be durable fabric, there will also be a dated option, and they’re making some small changes to their layout designs. Sam & Rachel of Northfolk Paper are very open to comments, questions, and feedback, so feel free to leave a comment on this review or follow them on Instagram and leave feedback there! 🙂

Function

This planner was designed to fit all the boxes. Want a daily planner but also like to see your weeks at a glance? This planner gives you that. Want a place to keep track of your bills, plan your days, manage your habits, and detail your schedule? The Archive Planner packs it all into a slim and attractive book.

When you open the cover you reach a tall cardstock pocket on the inside cover. The first page of the planner is a nameplate page with the title and logo of the planner and a place to write in your name. There is also the tagline “Free your day by anchoring your mind.” Next you turn to a welcome letter from the founders of Northfolk–Sam and Rachel.

You get four pages of valuable, functional content right away: Goals, 52 Weeks Savings, Debt Payoff, and Future Log.

The Goals page is separated into six sections: Financial, Personal, Work, Kids, Lifestyle, and Home. I would recommend taking out the “Kids” section and just having a blank box that the user can fill in themselves. Not every planner babe has kids, so that box isn’t much help to us! Otherwise, the boxes include lined sections with checkboxes. There isn’t a lot of space to write in your goals, but there is enough to get the gist across. Below these are two sections to write out a 5-year goal and a 10-year goal. Excellent for brainstorming and thinking about the big picture!

Next is a 52 Week Savings. Now, this is a year-long tracking system so I’m not sure if it’s easier just to look at it all in a one-year format or if you would start again in a new planner, or if it’s designed so that you can use this page for a year even if you skip a month or two in the planner sometimes. Northfolk suggests an amount to save each week that gets you to $1,000 in savings by the end of the year. You can also write in your own amount that you save each week if you prefer to save more or less. The structure is simple and not overwhelming–easy to use for someone who is a novice at personal finance, or someone who has a little more knowhow but likes to keep a written record.

Next you have a page for Debt Payoff. This is something that I haven’t seen intentionally designed for and included in too many planners–and let’s be real, debt is a huge concern. Northfolk provides a nice and easy visual for you that helps you mark off debt payments so you can actually see yourself paying it off. I love that they’ve included boxes of different sizes for debts small to large. The last one can be my student loan debt. 😉 #lol?

Next to that, you have a Future Log page, which has six spaces for you to write-in whichever months you like. This can be a place where you write important appointments that you don’t want to forget, vacation dates, small things to remember, etc. I would probably use a space like this to write in something like “Jan. 2010, my dog needs his rabies shot.” (He was too small for the full shot the first time.) The simple lined layout makes this a flexible space for whatever your Future Log needs are.

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Then we head right into the monthly layout! Mine is, as you can see, filled out for May 2018. The Archive Planner gives you ample room in their monthly layout. You get boxes that are about 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″, which is plenty of space. You can write in the date in a small, designated box in the upper lefthand corner of each daily box in the spread. This keeps your planner looking uniform. 🙂 The days of the week are already printed along the top border of the monthly calendar spread and have a Sunday start.

The righthand page of this two-page monthly spread includes a place for “Month of,” where you can write in the month you are planning for. I wrote “May 2018” because I wanted to include the year. The upper lefthand corner of the spread includes the planner’s logo, which is an anchor within a shield. There is also a column on the lefthand side of the monthly spread, which gives you a lined space for Notes and 7 lines for Important Dates.

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For each month you get a Bill Tracker page and a Habit Tracker page. The Bill Tracker is fairly standard but beautifully designed. It shouldn’t overwhelm you if you are new to tracking your bills, yet it’s functional if you are looking for a page to keep all your sinking funds accounted for. I loathe Bill Tracking, even though I know it’s necessary, but this clean and simple page makes it seem a little less daunting to me.

The Habit Tracker is wonderful. You do have to flip it sideways, but there is plenty of space to write in up to 14 habits! What I especially love about this Habit Tracker is the separation of “Habit” and “Around the House.” Chores are not necessarily habits. The simple grid tracking design makes it easy to assign each habit a color or symbol and create something that’s simple and functional or as colorful and elaborate as you like!

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Then we turn to the Weekly pages. You get five weekly pages, all with a Monday start. The weekly spread is essentially broken down into two columns: Weekly Agenda and Meal Planning. The Weekly Agenda section provides a place to write in things to remember, do, prioritize, and/or highlight for each day of the week. If you are future-planning and need to jot down that you have, say, a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, it’s easy to flip to the weekly page and write that in. This is especially helpful if you like to plan your daily spreads at the beginning of each week or even each day. The weekly spreads give you a place to still keep track of everything.

The second column of the weekly page is for Meal Planning. There is a narrow space to write in meals for the day but seems better suited to tracking just dinners or something, because the space is pretty small. Then you get a large blank box for your Shopping List. I like the word choice here because “Shopping” doesn’t limit you just to “Groceries.” Maybe you need to buy a vacuum too. Or some more pens. Or a candle. I digress.

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Ah, the daily page! The crux of the Archive Planner. You get 31 pages per month, which means that weekends each get their own page! Which is grand, because I imagine an undated planner with a combined weekend page would be difficult to do. The top of the daily page includes a shield icon where you can write in the month and date, or day and date, however you would like to do it.

The daily page has two columns and five sections: Daily Agenda, Health + Wellness, Priorities, Work To Do, and Personal To Do. The Daily Agenda is an appointment schedule that runs from 5 AM to 11 PM. A space separates the appointment lines into two spaces, so if you prefer planning by the half-hour then you definitely can. Under the Daily Agenda is a section for Health + Wellness with a blank space, eight water droplets for keeping track of hydration, a pill, a heart with a heartbeat (cardio?), and a box with the letter “H” in it. I wish the Health + Wellness box was better explained. I get the pill (medicine/vitamins), heart with heartbeat (workout), but have no idea what the H in a box is for, and I’m not sure what to do with the blank space. Is it for writing in workouts? Taking notes about your health? Calories? It could be for anything you want to keep track of.

Then there is a lined Priorities sectionm which I love because you aren’t being forced into three to-dos. Priorities can be a thing to remember, not necessarily a task to check off. It can also be one or two things and doesn’t need to be a top three. I love the freedom Northfolk Paper has provided with their clean layout and simple lines.

Next, you get two large blank boxes, one for Work To Do and one for Personal To Do. There is room to write in tasks, reminders, and/or notes. I like the separation between Work and Personal To Do boxes, but I ran into the problem of tons of wasted space when I planned on a day where I didn’t have work.

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There are six undated months in this planner, followed by a tab for Notes. There are 17 notes pages, and each one has the unique layout of including lined space on the top half of the page and a grid space on the (little less than) bottom half of the page. This is a versatile format–I expecially love it because it lets you organically separate your notes into different sections, could easily double as a project planner wher eyou write out brainstorms and ideas and then create a timeline/tracker/organized outline in the grid/graph section.

Aesthetics/Design

If you want high functionality and streamlined minimalism, this planner is excellent. The Northfolk Paper Archive Planner is a gorgeous planner, and it comes gorgeously packaged to boot.

Your planner arrives in this beautiful white box with magnetic closure. The Archive Planner’s logo is a shield with an anchor inside, which is debossed on both the cover of the box and the cover of the planner. Once you open the box (which is sturdy and could be used as, well, a box for cards, pens, stickers, keeping your planner once it’s used, etc.) you see your planner wrapped in black tissue paper sealed with a kraft paper sticker with a debossed compass. The planner is further protected by a plastic wrapper and crinkle-cut kraft paper packaging. Mine arrived in perfect condition.

I chose the Dove Gray cover option, but they also have a Charcoal Gray. The cover is soft and slightly cushy, a soft suede touch paper. The logo is a blind deboss on the cover, which looks clean, classy, and minimal. No huge company name scrawled across your book, just an elegant logo.

The planner measures 6.5″ x 8.5″ and 0.75″ thick. It is casebound (no coil) and a lay-flat design that contains 256 pages. I have found it to be very portable but still big enough to easily write in.

Here is the same set up after 3+ weeks of carrying the Archive Planner around in my purse(s), at the office, at home, on the go–and there have been some scuffs and dents but they are purely cosmetic. The overall shape of the planner has held up spectacularly. The Dove Gray cover, which is the lighter of the two cover options, can get a little dirty. It’s worth mentioning that some of my purses are black leather and may have rubbed off a little more than your average fabric-lined bag. It still looks clean and pretty, even with a scuff here or there. 🙂

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This planner uses cascading mylar-coated tabs that don’t stick out of the book. There are six undated months and one tab for the notes section of the planner. You also get two graytone ribbons for marking your space in the planner, which are flexible and well-sewn.

The paper is tightly pressed. With continued use, this planner’s pages will expand just a little bit and give you a slightly thicker book.

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Included with your undated planner is a year-at-a-glance card (2018 on one side, 2019 on the other) to help you fill out your planner, and a sticker sheet. The sticker sheet includes the names of the months (two of each) which can be placed on the mylar-coated blank tabs. There is also a Notes label and a Doodles label depending on what you want to call your notes section. The sticker sheet has some fun icons as well for general planning! I have found that the stickers are easy to apply and I’ve had no trouble whatsoever with any peeling, even on the mylar tabs.

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The interior of the planner maintains a minimalist aesthetic. The text is an all-caps sans serif that looks clean and well-spaced. Someone’s good at kerning! 😉 There are a couple of quotes in the front sections of the planner in an italic serif font, and some of the descriptive sections in the beginning pages are a simple sans serif. The consistent font choice contributes to a clean and steamlined planner design.

Icons used throughout the planner are crisp and simple and don’t visually busy-up the pages at all. This planner is very easy on the eyes. There is a lot of unused white space at the top section of the daily pages. It could be used a little more, or stay minimal and clean. I think a busier header section wouldn’t take away from the minimalist page design.

I love the clean layout and clear dedication to a streamlined and minimalist but beautiful design. Combining minimalist design with high functionality can be a challenge, and I think Northfolk Paper handled it beautifully.

Fit

Pen test time!

The Archive Planner has 100 gsm paper in a bright white, which handles pens really well. The paper quality is superb. The only bleed through was a Sharpie permanent marker, and there wasn’t any ghosting in my pen test. Not even for the highlighters.

The paper handles inky pens pretty well. My favorite pens to use in this planner are the Muji 0.38, Microns, Sharpie Pen, and rollerball/gel pens with 0.5 thickness.

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So! Who would this planner fit? First, this is an undated planner. If you loathe dating your planner yourself then look elsewhere, or wait for Northfolk Paper’s 2019 dated planner. If you are a sporadic planner, then this could be a great option for you. You will have to commit to planning a month at a time, as the layout for each month encompasses a monthy, weekly, and daily spread. But maybe you want a work planner for your job and the month of August is super slow. You can skip it! I used May, but I could decide to pick this planner back up in November and I wouldn’t be wasting any space! Its undated format makes it a great fit for the person who isn’t sure where they will be next month and needs flexibility, or who doesn’t need a planner for every month but could really use one for the busy months.

This planner would be a great option for someone who needs a portable book to take around with them. It’s slim enough to pack easily but because of its 6 month format, the planner remains packed with content. Do you not want to commit to one planner for the whole year? This 6 month planner doesn’t make you. Trying to switch from Calendar year to Acadmic year or vice versa? This planner can handle the inbetween time.

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Interested in a planner that packs in monthy, weekly, and daily spreads? The Archive Planner has them all. Meal plan and future plan on the weekly pages and use the daily spreads to fill in all the details. Trying to keep your work and personal lives separate? The task boxes in the daily layout help you do just that. Looking for a way to track your health goals? This planner provides that in a minimalist and clean way that doesn’t overwhelm your daily pages. With a built in Habit Tracker, Bill Tracker, Weekly Meal Planner, and Daily Health + Wellness trackers, this is a great planner for managing all the details of a well-lived life.

I think this would make an excellent project planner. Are you a Project Management Consultant, a freelancer who works on a project-by-project base? This planner would work well for you because it can contain all your plans and many of your notes for the project at hand without making you feel like you need to waste an entire annual planner just to get to the months you need. This would also make an excellent student planner–it could encompass an entire semester. This would be especially wonderful planner for a semester abroad.

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This would be a great planner for someone in transition, from school to the workforce, one job to the next, one state to another, etc. The flexible format makes it a good choice for keeping track of the details in your life without pushing you to set huge big goals that you don’t feel like you’re in a place to think about at the moment.

The sleek, minimalist aesthetic of this planner means that it will fit in at you home office, in the boardroom, in your backpack, and while you travel. It’s portable enough to carry around for the busy jetsetter, compact enough that you won’t be adding too much weight to that student backpack, and classy enough to take out in almost any planning situation.

Loves

I LOVE the 5 am — 11 pm schedule in the daily layout. It’s so hard to find schedules in planners that go past 9 pm. I also really loved the innovative way Northfolk Paper handled half-hour increments by just creating a space break. Simple, clean, and each person can choose to plan by the hour or half hour. In the monthly layout, I love the inclusion of the “Important Dates” section–this way you have a place to write out the holidays you care about and not the ones you don’t. Plus, they don’t take up space in your daily boxes!

Nopes

Honestly, with the daily layout, I didn’t spend too much time checking back on the weekly page. I also like the separation between Work and Personal To Do boxes, but I ran into the problem of tons of wasted space when I planned on a day where I didn’t have work. Otherwise, I would’ve liked an example of how the pages were designed to be used to help me figure out where everyting fits!


There you have it, my review of the Archive Planner from Northfolk Paper! Have you used an undated planner before? Do you like them? Do you have any feedback for Sam + Rachel? Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

If you are a first-time buyer and would like to purchase your own Archive Planner, you can get $10 off with my link here.

Until next time!

xo
Ara

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