Clever Fox Planner (Undated)

This week I’m bringing you a review of the Clever Fox Planner! You can find this planner on Amazon.com. The Clever Fox Planner Brand Owner, Vitaly, reached out to me with an interest in having me review their planner. They kindly offered me an honorarium for my time, which I graciously accepted. This blog post is #sponsored by The Clever Fox Planner, but all opinions are 100% my own. I always strive to present you with honest and complete reviews.

The Clever Fox Planner is a brand associated with SV Digital LLC–I couldn’t find out much about them, but I do know that the Clever Fox Planner is designed in Europe, printed in China, and distributed through Amazon. Vitaly told me that:

Some time ago we set onto the task of creating the friendliest, most useful, productivity and positivity inspiring planner ever and after months of planning (pun intended) and designing the perfect layout we finally released it–The Clever Fox Planner.

Amazon reviews of this planner are overwhelmingly positive. You also can’t beat the price–this planner retails for $24.45, which includes a sturdy keepsake box, three sheets of icon stickers, and a handy guide on how to use your new planner. You also get a few coupon codes to share with friends & family. I have three coupon codes for 10% off this planner–the first three people to leave a comment on this blog post will receive a code from me. 🙂

The Clever Fox Planner Team is committed to helping a global audience “make the choice every day to live a life that they love.” They’ve designed a planner that encourages you to make positive lifestyle goals & changes that you can incorporate into your daily life. They stand by the quality of their product and are very responsive.

Function

This is an undated planner that runs for 12 months with monthly and weekly spreads. You can start it whenever you want and decide to skip a month or two without wasting any paper/space.

When you receive your planner from Amazon, it arrives in a sturdy white keepsake box. You get three sheets of rainbow icon stickers, a couple of coupons for your next order (or to share), a welcome note from the Clever Fox Planner Team, and a large card detailing how to use your planner.

When you open your planner you reach a nameplate & title page with the Clever Fox logo, title of the planner, and a space to write in your name, phone number, email, and Facebook handle. You can also choose to write in a reward for returning the planner.

The Clever Fox Planner has some prep work before you dig into your calendar pages. The goal is to help you set yourself up for a year of making small changes that lead to achieving larger lifestyle goals and habits. The first section is My Gratitude & Self-Awareness. You get half a page, lined, to write out what you are grateful for. The other half page is for writing/drawing/decorating out “What Am I Passionate About? What brings me joy in life?” Personally, I think this is a super important question. What brings you joy? It could be little things–time spent with that special someone, gardening, listening to new music, making new music, being in a calming space, cooking, etc. It’s a big question with a million small answers. But it’s a place to return to whenever you start to slip into drudgery, sadness, or anxiety. Reading brings me joy, always, every time. It’s important for me to remember this so that I can get myself out of whatever funk I’ve fallen into. Thinking about this question will help you, too. ❤

The adjacent page is for writing out your daily rituals. The first half of the page is for Skills to Learn & Habits to Adopt This Year. Maybe you want to learn to crochet, become a strong swimmer, eat more fruit, just brush your teeth twice a day. You can write them all down here. 🙂 No wrong answers. The second half of the page is for your Affirmations. What can you write down now to look at for comfort & motivation later?

Next, you turn to your Vision Board pages. Clever Fox Planner provides you with two blank pages for mapping out your vision. Once that’s done you have some fodder for digging into your big goals & dreams. The next two pages ask you to write out top goals for the year in varying areas of your life. You get three huge lines for your goals as they relate to Health, Business/Career, Family & Friends, Significant Other & Romance, Finance, Personal Development, Fun & Recreation, and Spiritual. These goals are for this year, so if one of your big goals is to buy a house in 2020 (is anyone else alarmed at how soon that is?) then maybe a goal for this year in the Finance section would be to build up a savings plan and start putting away 10% of every paycheck for that eventual downpayment.

Next, you have a page for My Focus, which asks you to narrow down the goals you just wrote down. What are your top five goals for the coming year, across the board? Chances are, if you pick five main goals, then your chances of achieving them are greater. The Clever Fox planner is about the weekly and daily actions that help you change your lifestyle to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Next to this page is a dot grid page for your Mind Map, where you can take each goal and break it into smaller steps.

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This planner runs for twelve months, and all the monthly pages are together in the front. There is a space for writing out the month and year you’re on at the top of each monthly spread. This calendar has a Sunday start, so weekends aren’t paired together. Each daily box has a grayscale circle for writing in the date—this way it looks uniform! On the left hand side of the layout is a space for Planning outside of the time-specific activities you might put in your daily boxes. You can write down a few words about Habits to Adopt, Skills to Learn, Things to Avoid, Placed to Go, and People to See. This is a great section for reminding yourself about your goals while simultaneously looking at how they apply to your monthly timeframe.

Along the bottom of your monthly spread you have three sections. The first is This Month’s Goals—you get two lined columns to write them out however you please. Make a checklist, write them in narrative form, color code them, etc. Next, you get a section for This Month’s Wins and one for How I’ll Improve Next Month. I like these sections because they encourage you to return to your monthly spread at the end of the month and reflect on it, with the big picture of how you spent/planned your time right there in front of you. These sections are organized in a top three format, providing two lines for each thing.

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After your 12 monthly spreads, you hit the weeklies. The weekly spread is two pages and organized with a high degree of structure and functionality. With this weekly spread, you get a place for everything which encourages writing down everything in its place. At the top of the left hand page you get a space to write in the Month and Year. The left hand page is for your days of the week, with a Monday start. You get equitable space to write things out from Monday—Friday and then slightly condensed (but with more lines) weekends. There is a space to fill in the date next to the day, which provides a bold bar of separation between each day. Each weekday gets four lines for writing things out, drawing, listing, or journaling. This format is horizontal and lined, which provides a lot of flexibility as far as how you might want to use the space.

The right hand page of the spread begins with a box for This Week’s Main Goal. There is a blank space for writing/drawing/decorating what your main goal is for the week. Finish updating your resume? Paying all your bills? Saying no to one thing? Finding a new restaurant for date night? Get out of bed before 10 AM? As you can see, goals are malleable and come in big and small sizes. Beneath that is a space to write in a Reward for yourself is you achieve your goal. Maybe a pedicure, an hour of meditation time, a new workout outfit, or something even smaller like a cookie. I find cookies highly motivating. Next to that is a box for This Week’s Priorities. What are your non-negotiable for the week? What must happen? I like that Clever Fox has left this space fairly unstructured, allowing you to write in a top three, or maybe just one thing. The number of priorities we may have can shift from week to week, no?

Below those boxes is one for Notes. It’s a fairly sizable section with dot grid formatting. Below that is a box for Personal To-Do List. This section is also simply lined—you can write in checkboxes if that helps, or number your tasks, or just write them out in paragraph form. Whatever fits best for you! Next to that is a box for Habits/Skills. This is your weekly habit tracker and provides seven spaces to write in a habit or skill you want to build. You can track them with circles for Monday—Sunday. I’m a huge fan of habit trackers and love how simple yet effective this one is. You don’t get much space for writing in the habit, so shorthand might serve you here. “H2O” instead of “8 glasses of water per day” for example.

Below these boxes is one for This Week’s Wins, and another for How I’ll Improve Next Week. You may remember these sections from the monthly layout, which prompts you to reflect on how you spent your time, write down what went well, and think about how you can improve moving forward. As many planner babes say, Progress not Perfection. The Clever Fox Planner is all about progress and celebrating those small wins that can turn into big lifestyle changes.

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After your weekly pages you get 28 double-sided pages for notes. These pages are dot grid, which provides a lot of freedom for how you might want to use them. Dot grid is so hot right now.

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You get a lot of notes pages in this planner—it makes its function part calendar and part notebook. Perfect for taking everywhere with you.

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At the back of the planner you get an accordion pocket affixed to the inside back cover. It’s thick and fits your icon sticker sheets perfectly. 🙂

Aesthetics/Design

This planner is designed with a bold minimalism. It uses all of the space allotted to it on the page with very little remaining white space. However, it does this in a way that, while not overly crisp, is still visually balanced.

Your planner comes in a sturdy white keepsake box with the Clever Fox icon logo on the front. The icon is a different color depending on the cover you chose. You can pick Black, Orange, or Hot Pink. The keepsake box is quite nice—it does not feel cheaply made at all. You also get all the goodies mentioned at the beginning of my review—three sheets if icon stickers, some Thank You coupons, a card on how to use your planner, and a welcome note from the Clever Fox Planner Team. You really do get quite a lot for your $24.45.

The planner itself is a quality book-bound book in an A5 size, which is 8.25” x 5.75”. I chose the hot pink cover, which is truly hot pink. It’s wonderful. Very visible, hard to miss in your purse! The cover is a smooth leatherette texture and the book binding is sewn for a lay-flat experience. The front cover has the Clever Fox Planner logo on it, which looks pretty cool if you are canine-inclined. The back is smooth except for the attached elastic strap (matching the cover color) which keeps your planner tightly closed.

You also get three silky ribbons in green, red, and blue to help you keep your place in the monthly, weekly, and notes pages (or wherever you want). I like that they are different colors because then it’s easy to coordinate them—green for monthly, and so on. This planner also includes an elastic pen loop that is thick and sturdily affixed. It’s also big enough to fit some of your beefier pens!

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The inside pages all use a sans serif font in varying weights. You get a mixture of light/regular and bold formatting to highlight the main idea of your headings, the first three letters of your weekdays, and title sections. The planner is printed in grayscale and varying opacities. While the pages are a nice bright white, the use of bold dark gray heading bars allows much of the text to be in white as well. This lightens the visual weight of the pages.

Lines are defined, but boxes are framed in dot lines. The monthly spread is organized via dotted lines, which again lightens the visual weight of seeing all those dark, thick headings.

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The weekly pages do look a little visually heavy—I would recommend a lighter gray for the header banners, especially in the weekly calendar sections. It is pretty easy to add color and brightness to these pages, however.

Overall this is a compact, tightly designed planner with quality materials and a great deal of thought. It maximizes its use of space while still bringing you a simple, minimalist design and portable size.

Fit

Pen test time!

The paper quality in this planner is excellent. It’s 120 GSM and a weighty bright white. My ickiest pens and highlighters did not bleed through or even ghost. The paper makes felt tip pens write tightly, rollerball pens don’t smear easily, and ballpoints write like, well, ballpoints. (Sorry, I’m meh about ballpoints. #pensnob) Highlighters are bright on the paper as well. I most enjoyed using a finer tip rollerball pen, the Muji 0.38, any 0.5 pen, and pastel highlighters to color code events (especially on my monthly spread). I found that using a finer tip pen helped lighten the aesthetic of the planner pages. This planner handles colorful pens, highlighters, and markers very well.

But is the Clever Fox Planner the right choice for you?

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I would recommend this planner to anyone who prefers to plan in an undated format. It provides a lot of freedom to organize by month and by week instead of sticking to a calendar year or academic year. Maybe some months are busier than others, and you don’t really need to keep track of August. This planner doesn’t force you to plan an entire month at a time, even, because all the monthly pages are at the front. You could fill them out as needed and stick to planning only the weeks you need, regardless of whether they fit into a monthly format.

I think this planner provides a lot to opportunities to be creative. The great paper, quality materials, and minimal aesthetic give you an excellent canvas for drawing, color-coding, and decorating. While stickers look and work great in this planner (especially functional ones), I wouldn’t over-sticker because then you might have trouble closing the planner after a few months!

This planner would be a great fit for someone who is starting out on their planner journey—it’s simple, guided, and undated so you can start whenever. I can especially see this working as an introduction to goal setting and forming beneficial habits for high school and college students. I think it could keep you and/or your student very organized throughout the academic year! Plus, it’s light & portable and not a super heavy book to lug around.

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I can also see this planner being a good fit for anyone who is trying or organize their chaos and needs some structure but not enough to warrant a daily planner. This planner is fantastic value for the price and will gently help you set goals, track progress, and make sure you don’t miss any important events. That said, I would recommend this planner more for personal management than for work. While it could definitely keep track off work life, the way this planner is designed speaks to self-improvement and personal self-growth.

I would not recommend this planner to anyone who buys planners because the holidays, dates, and such are already laid out for them. If you cringe at the thought of filling in the months and days of a planner, then maybe look for something that is dated. I also would not recommend this planner to anyone who needs a lot of space for each day of the week. This planner is designed to separate your weekly days and your goals/priorities/tasks, which leaves you less space in each actual day of the week. While you can absolutely fill out life’s details in this planner, it is more suited to someone who wants the big picture and wants to remind themselves to always be working towards those bigger goals and dreams. If you like a lot of malleability in your planning, then this might not be the book for you. It’s highly structured despite being undated and more suited to someone who might cry tears of joy and relief that they are being guided by their planner.

Loves

I love the hot pink color of this planner. I also love that there is so much structure and that the prompts are gentle and easy to understand. I love the price point and quality that you receive in this book! The format is easy to understand and you can jump right in. The goal setting process is helpful and easy to follow. Overall, I’m a fan of the accessibility of this planner. I also love that it comes in multiple colors—dudes, dudettes, and non-gender binary folks can pick a color way that works best for their personal style. I also love love love the amount of notes pages you get with this planner! It’s a great option for a portable, comprehensive, and detailed planner.

Nopes

I wish there was a little more space for each day of the week, although I do think they’ve made good use of the space provided by one page. I also think the planner aesthetic could benefit from visually lightening the weight of its header sections/bars and lightening the weight of its lines. I also wish the icon stickers were better explained… I’m not sure what some of them mean.


There you have it, my long-awaited review of the Clever Fox Planner! I hope it was worth the wait—I would like to thank the Clever Fox Planner Team for sending me their lovely planner and for their patience as I pieced together my review.

As always, I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment with any questions, feedback, & etc.!

Until next time!

xo
Ara