BOOST Academic & Personal Planners (2018/19 & Undated)

Hello everyone! This review covers two editions of the BOOST Planner–the 2018/2019 Dated Academic & Personal Planner and the Compact Undated Academic & Personal Planner.

Lisa, the founder of BOOST Planners, reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing her planner. I loved her story and always try to feature a broad range of planners–the BOOST Planners are specifically designed for students. I see so many people looking for planners for their kids, trying to find an initial planner for them to step into. After looking through the BOOST Planners, I think they are a great and affordable option for your middle and high schoolers!

Lisa has a background in teaching high school and middle school, which she did for 23 years. She specialized in teaching students with mild learning disorders, ADHD, and social-emotional challenges. This planner reflects that experience and is designed in an accessible and holistic way.

Lisa first created this planner for her high school daughters because she wanted them to have space for tracking life outside of school. So many students partake in extracurriculars, from sports to theatre, youth group to music, etc. Lisa wanted to make an accessible planner that could encompass a student’s entire life, not just a place where they only tracked assignments.

I am passionate about education and coaching tween/teens on how to best lead a balanced, positive and productive life.

Soon, Lisa began sharing her planner with friends and selling it locally. She’s been getting amazing feedback and the planner has been doing well! So let’s dig in!

Right now these planners are on sale for 30% off! The Undated Compact planner is currently $10.50 (usually $15), and the Dated Planner is $17.49 (usually $24.99).

Function

These planners are designed for middle and high school students, so their function pertains to these groups.

Both planners open to a title page with a space to write your name (“This planner belongs to”) and how to get into contact if that planner is found (“If found message me at”). Social media icons and the website of BOOST are included on this page as well.

The first page you get is a mostly blank section for Schemes & Dreams. Lisa encourages you to think big for the upcoming year and gives you the space to brainstorm, write, or draw it all out.

The next page gives you a place to keep track of Beyond the Classroom. There are four boxes/sections to write in school activities you are involved in or want to try, and non-school activities/clubs/sports that you are involved in or want to try.

In the Undated planner, you get all of the monthly spreads in the front. Each monthly spread gets one page and space to write in the month and “This month I will”–a promise to yourself or a reminder of an important thing to prepare for. “This month I will… study every night for my AP exam,” or “This month I will work on my monologue to audition for the school play,” or whatever else. 🙂 The dated planner has dated months, and they are not all located in the front but rather dispersed throughout the planner. (August, each week of August, September, each week of September, etc.)

After the monthly pages, you get a page letting you know that there are free downloads and printables on the BOOST Planner website to help you along! These include things like a Summer Bucket List, a Homework Tracker, and more. There is also a page/pages providing a sample of how you might use your BOOST Planner in both the undated and dated versions of the planner.

The BOOST Planner website also has a function where you can peek inside each planner and digitally flip through them. This is great for comparing them to decide which one might work best for you.

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The weekly spreads are similar but have small differences, which makes sense as they are different sizes. We’ll start with the undated compact planner.

The weekly spread in this planner is undated, so you need to fill out the month and dates yourself. There is ample space to do this. Though compact, the layout is nevertheless packed with highly structured content. Along the top part of the page (alongside the month) you get a box for an Academic Goal and a Personal Goal. This helps you prioritize what needs to get done that week and keeps you on top of the big picture. Beneath these are boxes for Daily Reminders/Highlights/Goals. Maybe you need to remember to get your parents to sign a permission slip, or borrowed something from a friend that you need to return.

Then your days are set up with a Monday start and by class. You have seven slots to write in a class, which you can order however you like but would probably benefit from ordering them according to which period comes first. You get a small box for the class each day where you can write in homework assignments, tests and quizzes, or when essays are due. This really helps you visualize what needs to be done by when, and having it all mapped in front of you will help you prioritize how you spend your time and energy that week.

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Both the undated and dated planners have a section for After School Planning with hourly time slots. This is great for keeping track of extracurriculars or part-time jobs! Both planners also include smaller boxes for Saturday and Sunday so that you can write in anything you need to remember for those days. Just because school is Monday–Friday doesn’t mean that you don’t have to plan ahead for the weekend, too!

The undated planner has a DO(odle) box for keeping a to-do list, ideas, drawings, etc. Both planners also have a space for gratitude each week. You can record something good that happened, something you’re thankful for, and something you’re looking forward to each week.

The undated planner ends with a few pages of Busy Weekend spreads, with time slots from 7 AM to 10:30 PM in half-hour increments for each weekend day. These are followed by several pages of graph paper for notes, doodles, or mapping out next year’s schedule. Whatever is most helpful or useful.

The dated planner has a bit more content.

In the dated planner you get reflection pages for the end of each quarter. These questions encourage you to reflect on where you did well and where you can improve. They also prompt you to set academic goals for the next quarter!

There is also a Homework Planner, where you can write out in-depth assignments to best keep track of your progress in class. Maybe you don’t need this for a smattering of math problems, but want to use this layout to help you keep track of large assignments like essays or take-home exams. You can keep track of the challenge level of the assignment as well as the time you thought it would take to complete versus the time it actually took. This is super important for learning your own boundaries and how much time you should be setting aside to complete your assignments.

You also get a few pages for Test Prep Planning. You can write in the dates of your exams, what format the test will be in, which class it’s for, etc. There is space to jot down what you already know versus what you need to study, which I love. You can also write down the resources you can use to study (your textbook, class notes, helpful videos, etc.) and map out a study schedule for yourself. I love the section where you write down your resources–my mother was a college professor for many years and always said, “Your professor is one source, your textbook is one source. You need multiple sources of information when you are learning.”

You also get a cheerful page at the end of your planner for Summer Schemes & Dreams! Working? Doing an internship? Playing an off-season sport? Write it out!

The dated planner also includes Weekday After School Planner pages and Busy Weekend Planner pages for days when you have all the things going on. Then, of course, you get some notes pages!

Aesthetics/Design

The BOOST Planners are highly structured and designed for functionality. Lisa created them for students, and they reflect a student’s need for organization and general academic structure.

The Undated Compact Planner is the smaller option and is 6″ x 9″. It’s 0.5 centimeters thick (I’m sorry when measurements get super small inches baffle me a little don’t tell anyone), which makes it a light, small, portable options for you/your student. The Undated Planner contains 122 pages (61 back to back).

The Dated Planner is 8.5″ x 11″, which is the size of a standard sheet of printer paper. It’s larger but still slim and lightweight. The Dated Planner contains 140 pages (70 back to back).

Both planners have durable black laminated front and back covers, which give the planner a streamlined and non-gendered aesthetic. They are both spiral bound with a clear plastic coil. Lisa told me that the aesthetic was purposeful, saying:

I chose a simple black and white design so that students can color-code or personalize the planner any way they wish!

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I think that the BOOST Planners actually make very good use of the space allotted on each page. There’s a lot going on but there’s plenty of white space to ease the eyes–this much content can definitely appear cluttered, and I think Lisa did a good job of smoothing it out and structuring it.

These planners use a mixture of serif and sans serif fonts. Serif seems to be used for headings, titles of sections, & etc. while the sans serif font choice is used for long descriptions, time slots, and days of the week.

These are, of course, functional planners designed with purpose. They are for students and designed to be useful for students without a lot of attached bling. Their simplicity keeps their functionality as the highlight, but also means that the price point is affordable and the planners have a lot of room for students to keep them simple or gussy them up. 😉

Fit

I didn’t do a pen test with these planners (I know, shame, shame) because I think that they are the type of planner that one would buy for their kid whether or not it can handle Erin Condren Markers or Pilot G-2s in 07. If you really want me to do a pen test, let me know in the comments and I can draft one up and share it on my Instagram @plannerisma.

The paper is a smooth high quality white 100% recycled paper at 28/70#. The paper feels smooth but not too slick. I would recommend ballpoints or felt-tip pens.

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The fit for these planners is, once again, targeted towards students. Lisa designed them for middle and high school students and I think that you really get a lot of functionality for the price. Especially with the Back to School Sale going on right now! If you want to ease your child into planning and taking more responsibility for their classes, then this is an excellent, structured, and cost-effective way to do that. Lisa is an experienced educator and understands the mentality and mindset of middle and high schoolers. She has funneled that understanding into these planners. You could spend as little as $10.50 on the Undated Planner and set your kid up for a school year’s worth of planning and managing their assignments and schedule.

This planner really guides you along–the sections are clearly labeled and the sample pages are helpful in figuring out how to use the planner. The BOOST Planner website also has a page for Ideas where you can see more sample planner pages and get some inspiration. I love the simple aesthetic of these planners because they are accessible to all students, no matter their gender identity or personal style.

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These planners have also been used by teachers for lesson planning–Lisa told me that teachers like seeing their entire day in one place.

I also think these planners can serve as an excellent time to sit down with your student and go through assignments/tests/plans for the week together. You can map it out together and both see exactly what needs to happen that week.

Loves

I love how affordable these planners are–if you want to outfit your student with a planner but don’t want to spend $50 on a book that they might not even use or might add extra pounds to their backpack, then this planner is an excellent choice. It is unpretentious, accessible, and has a clear and commendable why behind its design and purpose.

Nopes

I would streamline the font choice a little and select one font to use. One could use the same font in different weights to help delineate between text and headers. I think this would smooth the planner out visually a little. If I were a high school student, I would love this planner, but it isn’t one that I see myself currently needing the structure of .


There you have it! My review of the Dated and Undated Compact BOOST Planners! Again, these planners are currently on sale and truly an affordable way to give your middle or high school student some structure in a lightweight and functional form. You can find them here.

I hope you enjoyed my review! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below–I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time!

xoxo
Ara

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