Simply Yours Day Planner by Bailey Shea Designs

Formerly Bailey Craft Planners, this small company has recently gone through a rebranding and name-change and emerged as Bailey Shea Designs. Founded by two friends Yolanda and Katherine in 2014, and launched via a successful Kickstarter in 2016, this small planner company has grown and changed in the past three years. This year, the company rebranded under the sole ownership of Yolanda, who is dedicated to helping women organize their lives.

It is our mission to create products that complement and enrich the lives of women, no matter what stage of life their currently in. With all the commitments and responsibilities we have as spouses, mothers, students, and careers, it’s not easy to stay on top of our busy schedules. The Simply Yours Day Planner is here to help you make sense of what you need to do and how to stay on track. It creates a disciplined lifestyle by helping you prioritize, organize and accomplish your goals and life situations.

Yolanda told me that the Simply Yours Day Planner was designed to assist people with creating a disciplined lifestyle–a place for everything and everything in its place.

Yolanda kindly sent me a planner to review for all of you! The Simply Yours Day Planner retails at $46 plus shipping and is Made to Order.

Function

The owner of Bailey Shea Designs worked as an Occupational Therapist for 15 years, is a mom of three, and a wife, and draws on her experience in those capacities to inform her planner design.

These planners are Made to Order, which means that your planner isn’t already made and waiting for you when you order but rather built once your order is placed. You get two customization options–and they are completely free! You can choose to add your name to the nameplate page, as I did, and you can pick a quote to include, which is printed on a page right before your calendar pages begin.

The first page you get is the nameplate page, which includes your name (if you chose to customize), a space for your cell number, and a space for your email. The nameplate page is super simple and has the lovely added touch of a floral design in the upper righthand corner. Each nameplate page is different depending on the cover design you choose.

Next, you get a welcome note from Bailey Shea Designs, which presents an overview of what’s in the planner. (1) Worksheets, (2) Goal Pages, (3) Notes/To Do, and (4) Journal Your Thoughts. This is followed by a list of 2018 holidays, separated visually by month.

After that, you get both 2018 and 2019 at a glance! Each year gets its own page with color-coordinated months to help you find what you are looking for a little more quickly. Next is a two-page spread for your 2018 year at a glance. You get a lined column for each month so that you can fill out any important dates of your own!

This planner also includes some functional worksheet pages, like two pages for Important Contacts. This page also comes with a section along the bottom for Emergency Contact/Notes, so you can indicate who to reach out to in case of an emergency.

Next is a two-page spread for Vacation/Idea Planning. I really like the simplicity of this page because it has space for general brainstorming or writing in multiple trips. You do of course get a space that prompts you with “Destination,” “Travel Fees/Car Rental/Gas/Airfare,” etc. You also get a check-list for your Itinerary, which is helpful.

This page is followed by two pages for Internet Passwords. It’s very simple with three columns reminiscent of an Excel spreadsheet that provide space for you to write down the website, your username, and password. Because this two-page spread is so simple, you can easily cover the headers at the top with washi or stickers and make your own sections–if you aren’t into the idea of writing down passwords.

Lastly, you get a page for Recurring Monthly Bills. You have a very simple three-column layout for Bill, Amount, and Date Due. This is a great worksheet page because it allows you to keep track of payments that you need to make every month. If you are a follower of Dave Ramsey, then this would be a good place to keep track of your sinking funds.

The Goals/Dreams section is small but efficient. You have two pages for Long-Term Goals, with each page separated into four boxes. You can write down Physical, Financial, Career/Business, Social/Friendships, Creativity/Education/Interests, Family, Home, and Spiritual/Faith/Intuition goals. Then you get four pages for Short-Term Goals, which repeats the same sections in the Long-Term Goals. These are designed for writing in your actions that will help you reach your long-term vision. Then, if you chose to have a custom quote, it goes at the end of the Goals/Dreams section on its very own page!

The last page before you move into the calendar pages is a simple lined page for Things To Remember.

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The monthly spread! You get a fair amount of space for the day boxes. This monthly calendar is a Sunday start. You get two very small month at a glance calendars, one for the previous month and one for the following month, positioned in either corner of the monthly spread. The lefthand page includes the name of the month and the year prominent displayed, while the righthand page has a cheerful sentiment.

Holidays are printed in small text at the bottom of the days they fall on. The righthand side of the spread is a Things to do! column with lined space to write in your monthly tasks and/or reminders.

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Then you shift into the weekly spread! Bailey Shea Designs has two options for your spread–vertical (which I have) and horizontal. The weekly spread has a Monday start, each weekday has its own column, and weekends are paired together in one column. If there is a holiday, it’s printed at the top of the daily column and the date is bolded to provide visual emphasis. The columns for each day are lined and include a checkbox at the end of each line, presumably for checking off tasks. You get 18 lined spaces with checkboxes (10 for weekend days).

You get space at the bottom of the spread for Notes/Meal Plan. This section just has simple, lined space for you to divide up however you prefer. The month and year run across the top of the pages to remind you where you are in your planner. The months are color-coordinated, as you can see above. The pink of February shifts into the blue of March in the weekly spread.

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Each month also includes a Short Term Goals page to help you keep track of your goals for the year, as well as a Journal/Notes page at its end.

After the month of December 2018 ends, you get three pages for revisiting your 2018 goals. You can write a short journal entry about your goals or make bullet points reflecting on your progress. These spreads are pretty malleable–you can turn them into whatever you need. There are two pages for reviewing general goals, and one for reviewing short-term goals.

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Lastly, you have a section for Journal/Thoughts. You get 13 lined pages and 8 blank ones for notes, journaling, etc.

Aesthetic/Design

Your planner comes well-packaged in a nice box. Mine arrived completely protected and in excellent condition.

There are several cover designs to choose from. I chose Flower Garden, but you can also go for Gold Stripes, Serendipity, Pink and Navy Stripes, Blooms, Navy Stripes, or Navy Over Pink. The Flower Garden cover design is a dark navy blue with (I think) poppies in shades of coral and salmon. The name of the planner is situated in a salmon pink box with the tagline “creating a disciplined lifestyle.” The back of the planner has the salmon pink in a solid swath, accented by a dark navy bar of color at the bottom. Once again you have the name of the planner in a box, this time a white one, with the logo fo Bailey Shea Designs included as well.

The planners measure 7″ x 9″ and a little over 1/2″ thick. The cover is a smooth, glossy material with crisp printing. Edges are protected by silver metal corner protectors.

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The planner uses a combination of script, sans serif, and serif font choices. Tabs are in serif font with navy coloring, except for the Journal/Thoughts tab which is red. The tabs seem to be mylar coated and feel sturdy, although they are attached to the monthly spread for each month and not their own divider page. Nevertheless, I don’t feel like they are going to rip the page they’re attached to when I use them.

Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be a consistent pattern for when sans serif versus serif font is used. Serif font is used almost exclusively in the calendar pages (except for the sans serif heading for your monthly Journal/Thoughts page and the script font motivational quips on each monthly spread and heading for short-term goals). The worksheet pages at the beginning of the planner are primarily sans serif fonts, but there is a dappling of serif throughout.

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The back of the planner includes a 6″ x 9″ folder in glossy cardstock. The folder is double-sided and open on the edges to allow for easy slip-in of papers, receipts, etc. The design on the inside covers and the folder is a light salmon pink trellis pattern.

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This is also a very light planner–it doesn’t weigh much and is easy to carry around. It’s a coil bound planner, the coil is about an inch in diameter. The coil is very sturdy and one of the strongest coils I’ve seen on the market. I do think that they should be cut a little sooner/shorter(?) because the extra wire tucked into the coil makes it a little hard to lay the planner flat.

Overall this is an aesthetically charming planner. It’s light, portable, glossy, and color-coded by month for easy visual organization. The weekly spread is structured and makes excellent use of the space on the page. There is just enough color on the weekly spread to make the pages pop, but not so much that it takes over the spread. Bailey Shea Designs has managed to create a colorful planner that still feels streamlined and functional.

Fit

Pen test time!

The paper in this planner is a very smooth 70lb. text paper. It feels thin but holds up pretty well–I preferred writing on it with felt tip pens, especially finer tipped ones like the Micron 02. There is some light ghosting and the Sharpie Permanent Marker bleeds through, but otherwise, the paper is a smooth writing experience without feeling too heavy! I wouldn’t recommend your inkier pens, and I would definitely recommend felt tip over rollerball.

This planner (in the vertical layout, at least) is for the listmaker. If you organize your days into (or as) lists, then you should definitely try this planner. The columns are pretty roomy at almost 2″ wide so there is space to write out a comprehensive to-do list. The spacing is also quite generous so if you have larger handwriting it should still work well with this planner.

I would recommend this planner to someone who is a listmaker, taskmaster, or who really just needs a planner that will help them manage an overwhelming amount of to-dos. If you are a domestic goddess trying to keep track of everything you need to do every day, then this planner would work wonderfully for you. If you have a serious to-do list every day, or a running to-do list, then this planner will work for you.

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I would recommend this planner to beginners because it is simple and easy to use. High school students could especially benefit from the easy structure and portability (I know, another thing to add to the backpack). This planner is also a super gentle introduction into long-term and short-term goals. The free customization is a nice touch, as well. This would make an excellent first planner for your teenager.

And, of course, you can sticker away!

If you are the type of person who stops by the grocery store almost every day, then this would make an excellent meal planner. You could map out your groceries (or ingredients list) in the daily columns and use the Notes/Meal Plan section to denote your Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for each day.

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I would also recommend this planner to anyone who wants a simple, slim year-long planner. The Simply Yours Day Planner is only 100 (double-sided) pages, which makes it very light and slim. It’s easy to slip into a bag and weighs less than 1lb.

I would not recommend this planner to anyone who doesn’t plan in to-do lists. List-making is part of the functionality of this planner, so if that doesn’t work for you then I would look elsewhere. I also wouldn’t recommend this planner to someone who wants a more involved goal-setting structure in their planner, or someone who wants to throw a lot of intense pens at their planner. I also wouldn’t recommend this planner if you want aesthetic consistency–the fonts change around a bit.

Loves

I love how much content Shea’s managed to fit in this planner! It’s light and portable without being devoid of any extras. I think two pages for contacts, for example, is plenty. I never know what to do with like 10 contact pages. I’m not shifting my entire address book into each yearly planner. I also love that this planner design maximizes page space without crowding the page. I love the color-coding for each month, and that Bailey Shea Designs still manages to have a colorful but not overly bright design.

Nopes

I would recommend designing the nameplate page with a full bleed so that it looks a little smoother with the beautiful flowers in the upper corner. I wish that the checkboxes were at the front of the lined space instead of the end of it, but that’s just personal preference. I do think this planner is a little expensive for what you get–I would expect it to be about $5-10 less expensive, personally. Also, I would love to see more consistent and purposeful font choices throughout the planner–especially with the serif and sans serif fonts.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 Simply Yours Day Planner from Bailey Shea Designs! Do you prefer slimmer or thicker planners? Do you have a Bailey Shea Designs Planner (former Bailey Craft)? How do you use it? Leave me a comment–I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Until next time!

xo
Ara

MiGOALS 2018 Goal Digger Planner

Can I just say that Australia is killing it with the planners? Emma Kate Co., Amelia Lane Paper, and now MiGOALS! I’ve been so into Australian planner companies lately and I continue to see incredible planning products from them. If there is an Australian planner you’ve been ogling, email me or leave a comment and let me know!

MiGOALS is a small company based in Melbourne, Australia with a goal to create products that they would want to use themselves. They define themselves as a leading empowerment stationery brand and use their newly launched Goal Digger Planner to coach you into productive goal-setting and achieving. If there is one word you got from all that, it should be goal. MiGOALS is allllll about the goal setting and getting.

We’re on a mission to help you unlock the potential within yourself to DREAM, PLAN and take ACTION on the life you want. More than a stationery brand, we’re a global community of dream chasers and action takers helping you GET SHIT DONE.

I reached out to MiGOALS with an interest in reviewing their new Goal Digger Planner, and they kindly sent me one to show all of you! ❤ While MiGOALS has been producing their Diaries since 2010, which do have a strong planning component to them, the company decided to launch a (successful, reaching 427% of its funding goal) Kickstarter to create a 2018 planner that focused specifically on goals and acted as a coach to lead people through the process. I have the Goal Digger Planner in grey, which retails for $44.95 AUD ($35.24 USD) plus shipping. If you are shipping to the USA, it runs about $21 AUD ($16.46 USD), which makes the planner cost a total of $51.70 USD. Personally, I think that $36 for this planner is a steal, but would waver a little at the shipping costs. Of course, it’s international, so what can you do?

Function

The Goal Digger Planner is structured and highly functional. This planner is designed with helping you achieve your goals in mind, so its function is definitely geared towards that.

When you open this planner, you get a title page with the MiGOALS name and logo, followed by a page introducing your 2018 planner. This is a short message from the founder of MiGOALS, Adam Jelic. After this page, you have a place to write your name and sign & date your commitment to turning your dreams into reality, juxtaposed with an inspirational statement.

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There is a lot of content in the Goal Digger Planner, but MiGOALS keeps it well-organized. The first portion of your planner focuses on digging deep and really conceptualizing what your dreams are. Your introductory page to this section is a checklist that feels lovely to complete.

You begin with your Purpose section, which guides you with thoughtful questions into creating a solid foundation for articulating your goals. It starts with a little self love and thinking about what fulfills you.

Next is your Toolkit for Success. This page contains groupings of three asking you to write down everything from your accountability partners to the places that make you happy. Then you have a page for Wins & Lessons Learnt in 2017, which I really love. This section asks you to think about and articulate the amazing things you’ve accomplished in the past year–there really is so much that we do in a year, and so easy to forget the milestones we hit when they aren’t immediately rewarded, acknowledged, or super shiny.

The next page is to Rate Your Life. One a 1–10 scale, you are asked to rate your life in different areas. MiGOALS gives you a start of the year scale and an end of the year scale so you can return to this page and look at how your ratings have changed. (Or not, evaluation is still important!)

Following is a two page spread prompting you to think about “Mi Future”–in 3 months, 12 months, 5 years, etc. You are asked to fill out “I will be, I will have, I will see…” The last page in this prep section is Mi Vision for the next 1–5 years. You get a two-page spread to create your vision board, in whichever iteration you most prefer.

The next section is Goals. One of my favorite things about the Goal Digger Planner is that it uses these black pages to separate sections in an easily visual way. So you know you’ve stumbled on a new section of the planner when you reach one of these pages.

As I’ve mentioned, the Goal Digger Planner is really designed to coach you through the goal-setting process. MiGOALS doesn’t just create structure and then leave you to figure it out. It has carefully mocked-up pages showing you the intent behind how to use the planner. The Goal Setting 101 and 5 Reasons Why We Should Set Goals pages are introductions to goal setting and the benefits you get from writing your goals down. You then turn to a How to Set Goals That Will Help You Grow as a Person page, which breaks down the goal setting process that MiGOALS helps you implement. This essentially breaks down to:

  • Dream Big.
  • Decide what is is you want and why you want it.
  • Write that sh*t down.
  • Make a f*cking plan.
  • Work on that plan, every single day…

Then you get some coaching pages on how to set short-term and long-term goals, with thorough examples. MiGOALS definitely holds your hand through this process, which can be a great thing if you are new to goal setting or feel like you need help to organize and prioritize your goals.

The Short Term Goals section gives you 7 one-page spreads for your short-term goal setting. You can really break these goals down, from Things to Do to Key Milestones, writing in a Reward to indicating your Type of goal, & etc.

You get three long-term goal spreads because these are huge undertakings, not something simpler like making a photo album or cleaning out your emails. The Long Term Goals section has 5-page spreads for each goal. You get brainstorming space, a place to write the basics of your goal, record milestones, break those milestones down, and review your goal.

Now that you’ve done all the prep work, you reach the 2018 Planner section itself! This begins with some coaching pages on how to plan in the monthly goals, monthly spreads, and weekly spreads. Again, examples are provided along with a thorough mock-up. (My favorite part is the “Netflix & Chill” plan on January 13th.) Then you reach the 2018 and 2019 years at a glance. These spreads actually give you some space to write in important dates along the bottom of the page, which is nice. Next, you get a page overview of Public Holidays. Now, keep in mind that this is an Australian planner. Nevertheless, you get many of the US holidays, as well as UK and AUS ones.

Before you get into your planner pages, you have a page for My Yearly Bucket List, which specifically asks you to list 10 things you would like to do or see in 2018. Next you turn to the monthly goals page, which you’ll find at the beginning of each month. The idea behind this page is to choose three goals to work on for the month, writing down focus areas and any needed notes. There is also a section on the monthly goals spread dedicated to your morning ritual, which is a helpful directive.

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Then you get to the glorious monthly spread. Maximum use of space, Monday start, plenty of room to fill up each day’s box with information, appointments, etc. The weekends are shaded in with light grey and are a bit wider than the boxes for the week. The monthly spreads are also devoid of any holidays or notation–they are 100% for whatever you need. The weekday boxes measure 1.5″ x just a hair over 1.5″. Weekend boxes are 2 1/4″ x a hair over 1.5″.

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Next is the weekly spread. This unique two-page spread spans the days of the week as well as helping you keep track of habits, gratitude, tasks, goals, and notes. The first page starts with Monday and has an equally-sized horizontal space for the day of the week. Half the horizontal box is lined and the other half is blank. These aren’t overly roomy, but they don’t have to be with all the sections and space provided on the second page of the spread.

You get a quote for each week, a top 3 for gratitude, weekly goals, and things to do. While there is a top three for things to do, there is also plenty of space for listing more tasks. The habit tracker has space for 7 habits you can track each day of the week! The notes section is blank, and below that is the top 3 wins for the week. There is also a little space to rank your week.

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At the end of each month, you get a review page, which prompts you to think about what you accomplished, how you feel about those accomplishments, etc. You are asked to think about challenges you will face moving forward and how you plan to overcome them. Valuable thinking strategies. Then you get a dot grid notes page, just ’cause.

Tucked away at the end of the planner you have a Budget section. These are fairly simple budget spreads for each month, but provide plenty of space for keeping track of expenses each month. After the budget page, you get several notes pages, which alter between being blank or lined. The planner has a total of 304 pages.

Aesthetics/Design

This is a unisex, neutral, and minimalist planner. It’s designed to be functional and provides you with all the information you need to use this planner to its functional capacity.

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Your Goal Digger Planner comes in a nifty black keepsake box, which has the goal digger affirmation printed on it. The planner itself is a B5 size, which is 230mm x 160mm (9 1/16″ x 6 19/64″). This is a portable size while still being large enough to easily write in.

The planner box has a nifty pull-tab mechanism for lifting your planner out so you don’t claw at it like a madwoman/man. The planner comes in two colors–grey (pictured) and black. The planner has a soft cover that feels a bit pleathery to the touch. The design is very minimalist, with the name of the planner and the year subtly debossed along the edge of the cover. The back cover is the same grey (after all this is a book bound planner) with the MiGOALs logo debossed near the bottom of the cover.

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The planner is about 3/4″ thick and has two black ribbons to use as placeholders. These ribbons feel like a thick, soft shoelace material which makes them heavy but malleable. The edges of the paper are tinted grey, so you get a very monochrome experience.

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The font throughout the planner is a combination of a clean serif for headings and a simple sans serif choice in different weights throughout the rest of the planner. The sans serif mostly appears in all caps, while the serif font casually sits at the top of your pages, with normal capitalization.

The pages are a creamy off-white color, which works well with this particular planner cover because it’s more of a French Grey. The pages are pretty packed, but there is always a small margin of white space that helps to visually balance the content-rich pages. It is also worth mentioning that this planner is delightfully floppy. The planner has a lay-flat design, which works flawlessly.

Overall, the Goal Digger Planner is designed to be structured and functional. There are no colors used throughout the planner, just the black text on cream paper. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you couldn’t bring in some color if you liked. While the design of the planner is minimalist, the textually packed pages make it look a little heavier than you might imagine a “minimalist planner” to be.

Fit

Pen test, duh!

The paper used in the Goal Digger Planner is 100 gsm. While most of the pens ghost, they do not bleed through the pages (except for–you guessed it!–the Sharpie Permanent Marker). The paper feels smooth without being glossy, and every pen I tried wrote smoothly on it. Inky pens didn’t smear, felt tip pens didn’t sponge. As long as you can deal with some ghosting, you should be good to go with your favorite pens!

I would recommend this planner for someone who has large, longterm personal projects or goals and wants to keep track of them in a thoughtful, functional way. Or, if you are using this primarily for work and keep track of your appointments in Outlook or something, then this planner would make a great paper companion to your digital planning.

If you are a student, I think this would be a great planner for you. Especially if you are in graduate school or you are in your last year or two of college. The goal setting system will help you stay on top of large projects like your thesis, as well as preparing for entering the workforce. The weekly spread is enough to track assignments and tests, as long as you don’t want to write down your appointments each and every day.

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This planner would also be a good fit for an entrepreneur starting their own business. If you need help strengthening, setting, and sticking to your ambitious goals, then this planner could be an excellent tool for you.

If you are looking for a planner that will hold your schedule and list of meetings/appointments, then I would look elsewhere. This planner is designed to coach you into realizing your goals and is heavily focused on that aspect of planning. If you are intimidated by goal-setting, you might want to start with a planner that has a gentler goal setting system. This planner wants to help you be serious about your goals.

Loves

I love the consistent emphasis on recognizing your achievements and wins throughout this planner. It really is such a valuable exercise to step back and think about what you accomplished in the past year, month, or week. I also love that the Goal Digger Planner doesn’t just give you templates for goal setting and then just “k thx bye” you. MiGOALS leads you through the goal setting and planning system with written and visual directions and advice. I also love the use of space in the monthly spread and the habit tracker in the weekly spread.

Nopes

I wish the pages were bright white instead of cream, but that’s just personal preference. The planner lays flat, but the binding is slanted a bit, which drives me a little bonkers because I like things to be just so–I know, I know, tough sh*t, Ara. I would love to see a pocket included in the planner somewhere, and think that an elastic closure band would really help keep everything together!


There you have it! My review of the MiGOALS 2018 Goal Digger Planner. I hope you enjoyed it! Do you have a goal-setting planner, or even a Goal Digger Planner from MiGoals? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!! 🙂

Until next time!

xo
Ara

ShePlans 2018 Quarterly Notebook Planners

Hello hello! This week I’m reviewing a gorgeous set of 2018 quarterly notebook planners from ShePlans.

I have been a fan of ShePlans planners since 2015, when I purchased my first daily planner. My Jan.–Jul. 2016 Daily ShePlans To Do List Planner was the first high-end planner I ever purchased for myself and I loved it fiercely. It helped me tackle a difficult time in graduate school, learn how to separate and manage a busy task-based schedule, and went everywhere with me. To class, to meetings, on trips, etc. I even brought it on Christmas vacation when I wasn’t even in a position to use it yet, I loved it so.

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My reasons for loving this planner company have not changed. I continue to admire the functional, minimalist, clean layouts of founder Ashley Staum’s planners. She has the same unwavering standard for quality and the same feedback-oriented approach that helped her create a truly beautiful product when she launched in 2013.

The Quarterly Notebook Planners are new this year, part of the ShePlans notebook format for planners (Ashley also offers hardbound and soft cover options). I reached out to Ashley with an interest in reviewing one of her 2018 planners and she indicated interest in sending me a set of the quarterlies. I’m thrilled to review this gorgeous set! This set of Quarterly Notebook Planners is currently sold out, unfortunately, but goes for $42.

Function

These notebooks may be slim, but they are packed with functional content. Each notebook covers one Quarter of the 2018 year. Quarter 1 is January–March, Quarter 2 is April–June, Quarter 3 is July–September, and Quarter 4 is October–December.

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When you open your planner you are greeted with a large “Q#” to let you know immediately which quarter you are in. Beneath the (in this case) “Q2” title, you get the months that this notebook planner covers (April–June 2018), then the secondary title “A Weekly Notebook Planner to Create the Space to Let Life Happen.” The latter clause is the tagline of the ShePlans company.

There isn’t a nameplate area in these planners–I ended up just asking my bestie to use her awesome lettering skills to write my name beneath the “title” text.

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Next, you get a two-page spread allowing you to look at The Next Six Months at a Glance. These start from whichever month your quarterly notebook begins. As this is the notebook for Q2, “the next six months” are April–September. I love the thoughtfulness of this page and how it keeps up with which quarterly you’re planning in.

This spread is simple and flexible. A small month at a glance calendar tops each column, and then you get lines. You can write in important dates to remember, big tasks coming up, save this space for frantically writing down details about that event you barely caught those strangers discussing at the art museum (just me?).

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Then you get eight lined notes pages to “doodle, take notes & jot things down.” These are simple lined pages. You also get two lined notes pages at the end of each month, so there is plenty of room for the aforementioned doodling/jotting. Remember, this comes in EACH quarterly notebook, which means that you’re getting a total of 56 notes pages dispersed throughout all four planners.

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Ah, the monthly spread. Ashley uses space so well in her spreads. The calendar is a Sunday start with 1.5″ x 1.5″ boxes for each day–quite roomy! The name of the month and the year are located at the top righthand corner of the spread. On the righthand side of the layout, there is also a column for “The Monthly List.” This is simply a lined vertical column for lists, important dates, etc. Beneath The Monthly List is a month at a glance for the month following the one featured.

Important holidays are marked and centered at the bottom of the day’s box to which they belong. The monthly spread only covers the days of that month, there are no greyscale numbers taking you into the next month, the boxes are just blank.

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One of my favorite things about these quarterly planners is that they provide so much space for list-making. Every month has a two-page spread for Monthly Goals, The Monthly List, and Memories Made.

Ashley is a big believer in having an open and flexible planner–she doesn’t want you to feel like your planner is yelling at you with exacting instructions on how to use it. So she keeps the format open–maybe you really need space for a list of to-dos for that month, but not the following one. It’s just lined columns so you can shift their purpose to suit whatever planning needs you have.

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And finally, we reach the weekly layout. I think that this layout is clever and unique. You have one page that’s for your notes, lists, goals, etc. and another page for putting stuff into each actual day. The first page has three spots for your priorities for the week–notice that there aren’t check marks. Your priorities don’t have to be goal-oriented or task-based. My goal for this past week was to rest and recover from being ill, and frankly, I’m not sure if that’s something I can really mark as completed. I like the open format of “priorities.”

Then you get two columns for The Weekly List. You can make checkboxes or just list things without them. Maybe you don’t care for checkboxes. Maybe you prefer to just cross out things you’ve accomplished. Maybe you don’t need a task list and would prefer to have a list of assignments for school here, or a grocery list for the week. Again, openness. Beneath The Weekly List, you get a generous amount of blank space for Notes.

The second page in this spread is the week at a glance. This column of horizontal sections has a Monday start. Each day gets the same amount of space and is completely blank. Break it up into multiple sections, write out only the important things, use it only for appointments and keep track of tasks on The Weekly List, etc. However you want to use it, the space is there for you.

Aesthetics/Design

ShePlans has a very clear aesthetic–simple, clean, embrace white space. These notebooks are the standard planner size of 7″ x 9″, which makes them big enough to easily write in while also small enough to be portable.

The cover material is a smooth, flexible material that holds up pretty well to being thrown about (into bags, of course, not just for funsies). The four quarterly notebooks are each a different cover design that mirrors the options for the bound weekly and daily planners (Stone Blue Leaf, Black & White Dot, Pretty in Pink Floral) while still being set apart via color scheme. The Quarterly Notebook Planners are in designed in white and a soft, almost bluish gray.

The shortened quarter title (Q1, etc.) is centered on each notebook planner’s cover with the year just below it. The back cover includes the ShePlans logo centered near the bottom. The notebooks have rounded edges and a sewn binding.

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The notebook can take lots of transit and use, but the edges will get a little beat up as a result. As you can see, each notebook individually is about 1/4″ thick, making it incredibly easy to slip into a bag and carry around.

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Ashley knows her brand and sticks to one serif font throughout. Her style is simple and classic while embracing white space. Even though she does this in her monthly layout, you can see that she makes excellent use of the space on each page. The boxes are large enough to use comfortably but don’t look cluttered on the pages.

ShePlans planners may have colorful covers, but the insides are clean and in black and white only with crisp font choices and a balanced use of space.

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As I mentioned earlier, there is no nameplate in the quarterly planners. My bestie did some gorgeous lettering for me in the Q1 notebook. 🙂

Overall this notebook set is designed simply and beautifully. There is a generous amount of notes pages and list space for you to organize your planner however works best for you, and that openness keeps me coming back to these quarterly pages without worrying whether I filled out all the space or not.

Fit

Pen test time!

(Sorry for the odd white balance in these shots–I didn’t do them with the rest of the photos.!) I’m not quite sure what type of paper Ashley uses, but her paper has always held up to extensive highlighting and most inky pens. I want to say that she uses an 80lb. paper because it behaves like that text weight, but I’m not quite sure. As you can see, the Sharpie Permanent Marker definitely bled through, but nothing else did. Not the highlighters, not the inkiest of my pens. You can’t event see ghosting unless you’re looking pretty hard for it. This paper is excellent. It feels smooth without being glossy and I wouldn’t say it’s too textured or toothy. My favorite pens to use with it are the Le Pen and the Micron pens in 03 and 05.

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I would recommend this planner to students. It’s easy to throw in an already-full backpack, has plenty of room for writing down assignments and noting when papers are due or exams need to be taken. There are lots of notes pages for when you’re caught off-guard at a student org meeting, visiting office hours, or meeting with your advisor. I think the overall format and structure of this planner makes it an excellent option for students, from high school to grad school.

I would also recommend this planner to anyone who is a list-maker. There are so many opportunities to make lists in these Quarterly Notebook Planners–monthly lists, weekly lists, notes pages for Master Lists, etc. If you need a lot of space for your to-do lists, then this planner series has you covered.

If you are someone who needs a highly portable planner and prefers it to be as light as possible, this would be a great option for you. If you don’t want a planner that prompts you to set goals, then this simple option will give you all the functionality you need without pushing you to track goals or habits or whatever else.

I would not recommend this planner to anyone who really likes to write down their plans/to do lists/everything else on each specific day. This weekly layout is versatile but doesn’t give you that much space for each actual day of the week. If you need to see your schedule laid out for you in an hourly format, then this planner isn’t for you. I also would not recommend quarterly planners to anyone who really needs their entire year with them at all times.

Loves

I love the portability of these notebook planners. They are slim and sleek and so easy to toss into my purse. I love the crisp, clean, white cover designs. They are soft and calming to look at. I love Ashley’s use of white space in her planners without giving up too much to the margins. I love the generous amount of list-making space in these notebooks. I love the quality of the paper–it’s truly excellent paper. I love that these planner notebooks are floppy and flexible.

Nopes

I wish there was gold foil on the covers for the “Q#” titles instead of a goldish sand color. It would look so amazing! Not sure if it would be possible with the cover material, of course. I also wish that the edges didn’t peel quite so easily (I don’t think I’ve been particularly rough with my planner).


There you have it! My review of the 2018 Quarterly Notebook Planners from ShePlans. Do you like quarterly planners? Leave a comment, tell me why/why not! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

A couple extras for you:

Until next time!

xo
Ara

2018 Make Shit Happen Planner

Hello hello!! This week I’m reviewing a wonderful, thoughtfully designed planner that the Meraki Printing team was kind enough to send my way! I have been so impressed with this book since the moment I opened my Happy Mail, and can’t wait to dig into the specs with you all.

So who is Meraki Printing? This small company was started in Houston, TX by two yogis (Chelsea Williams and Amara DePaul) who became friends and experienced wake-up calls. Chelsea’s mother passed away from cancer, which made her realize that life was short and dreams should be pursued with passion, not left to someday, someday maybes. Amara started living life by her own terms one day and investing her time in the things that mattered most to her. These ladies travel, climb mountains, and teach yoga (both are certified Baptiste Yoga Trainers), while also funneling energy and life into creating the Make Shit Happen Planner.

The conceptualization for the planner started in 2015. In 2016, Chelsea and Amara launched a kickstarter to turn their planner dream into reality. The 2017 Make Shit Happen Planner campaign raised $140,339 out of a $25,000 goal (wild success!) and arrived on doorsteps all over the world. Chelsea and Amara also used the kickstarter platform to launch a 2017 campaign to crowdfund the updated 2018 version of the Make Shit Happen Planner, which raised $59,088 for “round two” of the planner, this time based out of Chelsea’s hometown in Denver, CO.

The Make Shit Happen Planner is so much MORE than just a monthly and weekly planner. It is a workbook, a journal and a notebook to empower you to discover the things that are most important to you! Use this planner to take action each day in 2018 to bring your dreams into reality. ​Take ownership of your life and live life how YOU want to live it! This is YOUR time.

This planner is an affordable $39 and can be found on the Meraki Printing website. Let’s take a peek inside this thoughtfully designed and beautifully executed book. 🙂

Function

The Make Shit Happen planner is highly versatile and packs in a lot of content for being such a portable book.

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With your planner, you receive this welcome note from Chelsea and Amara.

 

The first page is the company logo and tagline–“Create your life with love, creativity, and soul.” Then you get the nameplate page, where you write down your name and pledge to “make shit happen.” I love how Meraki Printing has designed this–it’s a nameplate page but also a challenge. The text says “Take ownership of your year and your life,” which is a great way to enter into a new planner!

Then the planner opens up to a textually artistic Jonathan Fields quote:

Our job is not so much to go from here to there, but to wake up to own our current reality. To see it. Feel it. Accept it. Then take action to start living the life we dream of living. One breath, one step one day at a time. Not later, not tomorrow, but today. Right now.

Then it’s your turn to make shit happen.

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There is a fairly standard 2018 year at a glance page where you get a twelve-month spread of 2018 presented to you in minimalist typography.

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One of my favorite features of the Make Shit Happen Planner is that it’s thematic–every month has a theme. The theme determines the weekly and monthly quotes used and the journaling prompt. I love that Meraki Printing designed it this way. Each month you get a thoughtful and purposeful prompt to guide you in your monthly journaling, and then you get reminders of your reflection throughout the month in the form of thematic quotes in each weekly spread.

The themes are: create, take ownership, what is your why, trust your timing, non-attachment, choose authenticity, face your fear, connect, come alive, keep showing up, make a difference, and be curious.

 

After the rundown of each month’s theme, you get a page for your Curiosity List. This is a space where you can brain dump or brainstorm to figure out and explore what you want to accomplish/learn/become/do in 2018. The space is designed to be pressure-free, so the sky is the limit on what you might want to accomplish!

Next is your four-page spread for vision boarding. My Vision is a generous amount of space to dream big and visualize–using words, drawings, clippings, stamps, stickers, however you want to do it!–what you want your future to look like.

Then you get a Make Shit Happen List. This occurs in four columns: Dream, Goal, Plan, and Action. This space is designed to encourage you to turn your dreams into goals and then make those goals actionable by giving them a due date. There is space for four big dreams that you then create more bite-sized action steps for. You don’t have to fill it out all at once, maybe you know one dream you would like to focus on but still need to develop the right words to describe and break down some others. Totes cool, this space is here for you when you want to start recording.

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Then you get into your monthly sections! This planner does not have tabs, but rather includes two ribbons to help you mark your spot. The month starts with a “title” page that simply has the Meraki Printing logo and name of the month. Opposite, you get a quote that matches the month’s theme. The theme for January is “Create,” so the corresponding monthly quote is “The best way to predict your future is to create it” from Abraham Lincoln.

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Then you get two pages for the month’s journaling spread. Like the quote juxtaposed with the monthly title page, the journaling prompt is also tied to the theme for the month. The theme is restated here, and then you are given prompts to fill in. The prompts are insightful and promote reflection and thoughtfulness in the writer. I really enjoyed filling my prompt in for January. Each month also has a different organization, which keeps things fresh.

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Then you get a brain dump/notes page that is completely blank. You can use this space however you like. Next to it is a goal setting page where you “Make Shit Happen.” Write down your goals for the month (pull from your brainstorming page, your curiosity list, your vision section, or wherever else), the action(s) you need to take to get there, and the date(s) you plan to accomplish your goal. You get four spaces for goals.

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The monthly spread is next. You get a month on two pages with a Monday start. The monthly spread is very visually heavy, but clearly defined and easy to follow. The days of the month are designated in dark gray triangles in the upper lefthand corner of each daily box. Days that aren’t part of the featured month are in a lighter gray, or simply one with a lower opacity. You get a notes column on the lefthand side of the spread with blank space for whatever you would like to put there.

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Then you hit the weekly spread! This two-page weekly spread packs a lot in–you get a Monday start to your week, a weekly quote that ties in with the monthly theme, and strategic circles for goal setting or tracking. There is also a blank space underneath the daily columns where you can keep a running task list, week-long activities, notes, etc.

This is a vertical layout with complete freedom–you have blank space to separate the days out however you prefer. There is an equal amount of space for each day, which is always a plus in my book! Not everyone’s life happens Monday–Friday so it’s always refreshing to see just as much space designated for the weekends. Like the monthly spread, each date is encased in a dark gray triangle to make it stand out.

There are four sizable circles on the lefthand side of the spread. These are flexible and can be used however best works for you, but they can help you track your goals, multiple schedules, color code, & etc. I like to use them to pick out goal areas for my month and color them in, each circle a different color that represents one of my four main monthly goals. Then I use the four circles at the bottom of each daily column to track whether I worked on that goal or not. Your goals can be as simple as “Post on Instagram every day” or as complex as “Work on writing my novel.” Sometimes you’ll have goals that don’t necessarily need to be worked on each day–one of my goals for January is getting settled into my new job. That only happens on Monday–Friday, and doesn’t need to be checked off on the weekends because my weekends are mine to enjoy, work-free.

 

Each month includes a notes section with two pages for whatever you need to take note of. The end of the planner also includes 20 additional notes pages, half blank and half in dot grid.

Aesthetics/Design

I’m in love with the heft and size of this planner and its thoughtful journaling prompts and design elements!

 

This planner is a casebound book sized 7″ x 9″, which is the standard size of most coil-bound planners on the market. It’s a little over 3/4″ thick. The planner has a hard-cover binding with a soft touch vegan cover. It feels slightly textured but soft to the touch. The front cover includes the planner title in all caps and gold foil: “Make Shit Happen.” While the planner comes in four different options, the one that I have is in merlot with gold foil and a subtle, debossed “sh” in the word “shit.” The printing process uses 3-color ink and the book has a lay-flat binding, which works wonderfully.

The back cover also has gold foil accents but otherwise remains unmarked. The planner includes two ribbons for marking your place, as there are no tabs.

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The year (2018) is on the binding in gold foil lettering (numbering?). This book also includes rounded corners, which are generally less stabby.

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The Make Shit Happen Planner uses varying typography, from a crisp sans serif option for quotes to the decorative Dionisia font for headings, details, and instructions. Dionisia is a great font–it is both classy and artful, and a little Art Nouveau. This planner uses three-color ink in a merlot red, charcoal grey, and light grey. While the colors used are minimal, they manage to provide a rich tapestry of visual design elements throughout the planner.

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The monthly layout is, as I mentioned above, visually heavy. The charcoal grey triangular designators for the days of the month pull your eye immediately and take up most of the visual attention in this spread. This is balanced by the generous use of white space, which gives you plenty of room to write in.

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The quotes chosen throughout the planner come from varied sources–I love how many quotes from women are included in this planner. You don’t get the same quotes that you often see repeated from planner to planner–these choices are deliberate and thoughtful.

Overall there is a very clear aesthetic throughout this planner. It’s a little bit Colorado, a little bit new modern, and a little bit classic minimalism. I haven’t seen another planner that has this unique look, and I must say that I’m really loving it.

Fit

It’s time for a pen test!

This paper is an acid-free, no bleed option. It is textured–a bit toothy–like the new Erin Condren paper or Emily Ley paper. I couldn’t find the paperweight details on the Meraki Printing website or their kickstarter page, but it’s a thick paper that, frankly, smells fantastic. (I checked this with my planner friend Liz, and she agrees that the paper smells good!) Because this is a toohy paper, I actually didn’t much like how my thinner roller ball pens wrote on it. This is the first planner where I’ve preferred a heavier point pen. I liked the Papermate InkJoy 0.7, Pilot G-2 in 07, the Sakura Gelly Roll 06, and the Le Pen. I would be careful with thinner pens–they might get scratchy on this paper. I would also be careful with felt tip pens because this paper absorbs ink quickly and might make your felt tip pens look just a little bit blotchy. (Le Pen, U Brands, Erin Condren Fine, and Micron 05 did not have this problem.) There is some ghosting, much like the Simplified Planner, but no bleed. 🙂 I really like the feel and weight of this paper, personally, and think it is very high quality!

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I would recommend this planner for anyone who wants a book to take with them on the go, but still wants enough space to easily write out plans. The 7″ x 9″ size in a casebound binding still gives you as much space as, say, and Erin Condren planner, but without the heft of the coil.

I would recommend this planner to anyone who wants a gentle process for goal setting and tracking. Goals are definitely part of the Make Shit Happen Planner, but they aren’t forced upon you and you aren’t persistently reminded to track them. If you are easily overwhelmed by too much pressure or structure for goal setting, then the Make Shit Happen Planner is a good option for easing yourself into the process.

I would recommend this planner for anyone who wants journaling and mindfulness to be a big part of how they approach 2018. If you like journaling prompts, look no further. If you like it when things are organized by theme, this planner will delight you.

This planner is a great option for someone who wants a high-quality planner for the price you pay. For $39, this planner is a deal. The quality is fantastic, well and beyond what you pay for. Even my husband thought it was at least a $50 planner and was surprised when I told him it was only $39.

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If you are a busy commuter (like I am now!) then this is a great planner because it’s portable yet packs in enough content to accommodate a busy schedule. It will also make you giggle when you glance at the cover because it contains the word “shit.” That’s a bonus. 😉 But if you have a long commute where you aren’t driving yourself (train, metro/subway, bus, ferry, etc.) then this planner is fantastic for decompressing after a long workday. You can fill out the monthly journaling prompt, brainstorm, add to your curiosity list, etc.

This planner is also fairly unisex in its design. It’s not overtly gendered, which makes it a good option for men, women, and folks who don’t ascribe to the gender binary.

I would not recommend this planner to anyone who needs a highly structured weekly layout. This planner has a vertical spread but the space is left blank, which makes it highly flexible but also might not provide enough guidance for those of you who really need hours to fill or sections to plan in. If you are very tied to having a specific, consistent system of planning and rely on the structure of the planner to provide that, then the Make Shit Happen Planner might be difficult for you to find your groove in.

Loves

I love the paper in this planner. It smells good, feels good, and doesn’t bleed with most markers! I also love the portability but still-sizable pages. I love that each month has a theme, and that the journaling pages each month reflect that theme and vary in their prompts. I love that the quotes are thoughtful, thematic, and that they aren’t just the same recycled ones we see all the time. You get Abraham Lincoln, sure, but you also get Nora Roberts and Jon Stewart, and the quotes are good. I love the overall look and feel of this planner and how its prompts don’t shy away from difficult questions. I also love the price point–I think you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Nopes

The cover gets dirty pretty easily–I imagine it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth? The foil will start to rub if you carry it around a lot, which is likely unavoidable. I also wish the goal pages for each month were in a slightly lighter grey to make it easier to read what you write down. The only thing I really saw missing from this planner was a pocket folder–would’ve loved to see one attached to the inside back cover to store papers and such in.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 Make Shit Happen Planner from Meraki Printing! Do you have this planner? Do you have any questions for me? Leave a comment–I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Until next time!

xo
Ara

Amelia Lane 2018 Life Designer Planners

Hello fellow planner babes! This is a special review that I’m bringing to you today–it’s going to be an overview and then a discussion of fit for four planners from Amelia Lane Paper! I came across this company via a Facebook comment in the Planners Gone Wild Facebook group and was immediately intrigued. I did some research into Amelia Lane Paper and was impressed with the planners I saw, so I reached out with an interest in reviewing their product. Chanel White, the founder and owner of Amelia Lane, was kind enough to send me her 2018 lineup so that I could share the varying options with you all!

Chanel launched Amelia Lane Paper (named after her favorite childhood doll because Google results are only interested in one Chanel) in August 2014 after years of designing wedding stationary in London. She wanted to move into wholesale with her stationary when she moved to Sydney, Australia and saw a need in the market for beautiful designs that captured a summery Australian edge without being touristy. Her first line of planners (2015) sold out everywhere and she’s been creating these gorgeous books ever since!

Chanel operates out of Sydney–her planners are designed in Australia. However, she has a distribution center in both Australia (for AU purchases) and New Jersey (for USA purchases). The only difference between the two lines of planners is that the Australian ones have Australian holidays and the American ones have American holidays. I received my happy mail from Amelia Lane Paper in about two days, which was super fast!

Chanel has a very clear mission and intention behind her planners:

The 2018 Amelia Lane Life Designer is a beautiful, practical planner which helps women maintain organized, productive and balanced lives. Featuring thoughtful life organizational tools, the Amelia Lane Life Designer has a ‘whole of life’ concept – helping organize your big picture goals, health and finances, as well as your schedule and to-do lists. Perfect for busy moms, time-pressed professionals, creative entrepreneurs and students, the Amelia Lane Life Designer helps you gain control of your time so you can leave space in your schedule for what’s important.

This focus on “whole of life” is part of what makes Chanel’s planner so comprehensive. You don’t just get a planner, you get a book that can handle your schedule, tasks, health, menus, notes, vision, goals, and more.

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Amelia Lane Paper offers four Life Designer Planners: Compact Daily, Desktop Daily, Compact Weekly, and Signature Weekly.

Function—Daily

The Amelia Lane daily planners come in two sizes–Compact and Desktop. While both planners have a day per page (including weekends!), there is some differing content.

 

As for what both planners include, there is, of course, the nameplate page at the very beginning of the planner. You also get a wonderful grid system design for the year-at-a-glance pages, which provide a small box to write in important dates. I mocked up the Compact 2018 year-at-a-glance pages with birthdays, for example. You get both 2018 and 2019, which is great for future planning when you know that you have an event to attend/coordinate on the 4th of April but haven’t picked up that 2019 planner yet.

 

Both the Compact and Desktop Daily Planner have a two-page vision board spread. This is broken into four sections: Family/Relationships, Personal/Spiritual, Career, and Health. You get a nice, big space to fill up with drawings, writing, magazine clippings, and whatever else you’d like. 🙂 The Desktop Daily includes an entire section for Goals which gives you 12 pages for setting goals, action steps, and a due date.

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The Compact Daily includes a two page spread at the beginning of every month for a Health Tracker and a Budget. This has a place to track calories/points and exercise as well as “results” of your efforts for the month! The budget page is fairly standard without being overwhelming and includes spaces for income and various expenses to help you track your cash flow.

The Desktop Daily has an entire section for Budget in the back of the planner, which gives you a detailed two-page spread for each month to record fixed and flex expenses as well as income.

 

Each month begins with a clean, minimal title page juxtaposed with a quote or saying to inspire you. You can leave this space alone and just enjoy the clean use of white space or you can decorate it! Write in monthly goals, visions, dreams, etc., or use it for monthly gratitude, or decorate it to make it more your own. There is a lot of space for possibility!

The monthly spread itself is the same in all the planners, varying only in size. Chanel makes excellent use of page space in her design of the monthly spread, which includes a box per day and a long column of dotted lines on the righthand side of the spread, as well as a Monday start. There is no title for this column, so the space is easy to use however you would like. The title of the month is kept fairly small and sits at the top righthand side of the calendar spread.

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The daily pages are the same for both the Compact Daily and the Desktop Daily, differing only in size. You get one day per page for a whopping 400+ pages of content. Yes, this includes weekends! Saturday and Sunday each get their very own page. 🙂 I really love the Amelia Lane daily page design–it includes all the necessities while still leaving plenty of room for Notes at the bottom of the page. (The Notes section in the Desktop Daily is roughly 2.5″ x 6.5″!)

You get a column for your Schedule, one for your To-Do List, and one for Health. The Schedule section includes three starred lines for priorities, reminders, appointments, etc. for the day, and then a line per hour from 6am–10pm. There is a little space beneath the 10pm line to write in anything later as well. The To-Do List section includes 21 lines with checkboxes for ticking things off as you complete them. The Health section has boxes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Exercise to help you keep track of what you eat and how you move. I find that these spreads manage to encompass a lot while still providing plenty of white space to fill in whatever else you may desire to track or record.

At the end of both planners you get some lined pages for Notes and blank pages for Ideas.

Function—Weekly

Amelia Lane offers two weekly options for planning–the popular Signature Weekly and the Compact Weekly. The Signature Weekly planner has a concealed spiral while the Compact Weekly is casebound like the daily editions.

 

As with the Daily planners, both Weekly editions include a nameplate page and a section for Goals. The Compact Weekly has a Month at a Glance two-page spread for writing in goals or important details that help you get there. The Signature Weekly (like the Desktop Daily) has an entire Goals section with 12 pages (ostensibly one per month) of goal setting and action steps.

 

The Signature Weekly has by far the most content out of any planner in the Amelia Lane lineup. You get an entire section for Weekly Meal and Exercise planning, and it lasts you for the entire year. In the Daily editions, Meal and Exercise planning is incorporated into each day. Not so with the weekly. The Signature Weekly Planner gives you a comprehensive weekly spread to map out your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, exercise, and water. While the weekly sections themselves are plentiful enough to last you the year, they are also undated so you can adjust your tracking as needed. There is also a thin column of dotted lines on the righthand side of each weekly spread that could be used for a grocery list, reminders, or whatever else you need.

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The monthly spread is the same as the ones in the Daily planners, adjusting only for size. You get the same box per day spread with a dotted lined column on the righthand side. Again, you get a Monday start. Holidays are included at the top of their daily box in italics. Chanel also designed her monthly calendar so that you only get boxes for the days in that month. This is more easily understood when looking at the February spread above.

 

The Compact Weekly pages are just a smidge smaller than the Signature Weekly pages. Both weekly layouts are the same. You get an equal space for each day, meaning that Saturday and Sunday have as much space allocated to them as the rest of the days of the week. You get a Weekly Goal box at the beginning of your spread with a small “Done” checkbox for when you’ve reached your goal. Next to that you get a weekly checklist with 7 lines.

Each day is given a two-column horizontal section and is titled with the day and date, as well as any applicable holiday in italics. The week starts on a Monday, like the monthly calendar. You have three lines with stars to indicate important meetings, events, reminders, or things on the schedule, and a couple of dotted lines for whatever else you’d like to record. Then you get a blank box which could be used for recording dinner, calories/points for the day, habit tracking, etc. The second column for your day is a task list with checkboxes.

 

The Signature Weekly Planner has a Budget section at the back of the planner, which has the same layout as the section in the Desktop Daily.

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Like the Daily editions, both Weekly options have lined Notes and blank Ideas pages at the back of the planner. The Signature Weekly planner includes a 2018 Bucket List page and a page for Accounts, Passwords, and Logins behind the Budget section and right before the notes pages start.

Aesthetics/Design

As there are four planners to evaluate, I will be focusing primarily on the overall design and aesthetics of Amelia Lane Paper rather than digging into each planner individually.

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All Amelia Lane planners come in a dark navy keepsake box with gold foiling. The box is sturdy and has a linen texture. The gold foiling text includes the Amelia Lane logo, “2018 Amelia Lane Life Designer,” and which cover design you chose. These boxes are beautiful and easily reusable!

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Each planner comes with a lovely card welcoming you to your new book! There is a note from Chanel and information about how to follow & tag on the social medias. 😉

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Amelia Lane Paper has cheerful, summery designs that are inspired by Australia’s environment. There are four designs to pick from when selecting your planner: Navy Palm, Black Pineapple, Pink Flamingo, and Spring Floral. While the Pink Flamingo and Black Pineapple are a bit playful, the Spring Floral is a bright watercolor design by Cass Deller Design and looks artful and cheerful. The Navy Palm is perhaps the most professional and sleek of the designs and picks up on the current botanicals trend in a creative way.

 

Each planner comes with a matte laminate hardcover and gold metal corner protectors. The cover includes the year written out in scripted gold foil and the planner name “Amelia Lane Life Designer” in all caps sans serif. The back cover of the planner simply has the Amelia Lane Paper logo in gold foil. Casebound Daily planners include two ribbons for marking your place (Compact Weekly has one), while the Signature Weekly planner has an elastic closure to keep everything together.

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The Signature Weekly planner has a double sided folder in silky cardstock in the back of the planner, while the casebound options have sturdy pocket folders on the inside back covers.

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The casebound planners have progressive notched tabs (that’s just what I’m calling it now) that are cut into the pages to provide a smooth experience. They are plastic coated as well for added durability.

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As the only planner with a hidden coil binding (which is a surprisingly sturdy wire-o), the Signature Weekly also has a different method of tabbing. The tabs are laminated and the pages they are attached to are a thin cardstock, slightly thicker than the regular pages.

 

Chanel designs her planners with two font styles, a script font for monthly quotes and tabs and a simple sans serif in multiple weights for everything else. You get the sans serif either in all caps for headings or in all lowercase for stuff like holidays and days of the week. Her design style embraces white space and gives you a minimalist, streamlined interior while still providing oodles of content. On the weekly spreads, she uses a mixture of dotted and solid lines to help your eye differentiate between sections.

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The monthly calendar makes use of strong, defined lines for daily boxes. Numbers are a light sans serif font and located in the top righthand corner of each box. The days are in a light sans serif all lowercase font and delineated by making use of the same strong, lined box format.

Overall, Amelia Lane Paper lets the covers do the decorative work while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic for the interiors. Light font weight, plentiful white space, and a strategic mixture of dark and dotted lines give these comprehensive, content-rich planners a light aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye.

Fit

We can start this section, as always, with a pen test!

 

I did the pen test in the Compact Daily Planner, but each planner has the same paper, which is a bright white 100gsm. First, it smells divine. The paper ghosts a bit and if you have a heavy hand then it will emboss if you press down hard. Inkier pens like the uniball vision and Erin Condren Marker M will bleed a little bit, and of course, the Sharpie Permanent Marker bleeds. Otherwise, you can use your rollerball pens, gel pens, and ballpoints on this paper and it should hold up just fine. 🙂

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For fit, I’m going to be discussing the fit of each planner instead of writing a section on the overall fit of this planner brand. I’ll provide some recommendations and report the size and price of each planner here.

Compact Daily

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For the on-the-go gal who wants to see each day at a time, look no further than Amelia Lane Paper’s Compact Daily Planner ($46). This planner is perfect for those of you who want a daily planner but still want something portable. It’s a hefty little book at 5.59″ x 7.4″ (& 1.46″ thick), but it’s still small enough to toss in your purse. This planner weighs about 1.47lbs so it’s heavy but not heavy enough to over-encumber you. Personally, I’m delighted with the size. I also find that it’s a functional and comprehensive planner–you get a day per page (including weekends!) as well as budget and health tracker pages for each month. That’s a lot of information to have at your fingertips!

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I would recommend this planner to anyone who runs around a lot for work but wants to have a planner with them to help track their day. If you are a consultant, constantly travel, or find yourself moving from location to location throughout your work day, then this planner is an excellent sidekick for you. If you are a student and constantly need to carry all your books around, then this planner is a great option for keeping track of your days and assignments in a portable little brick. If you are just generally obsessed with small, thick planners or books and would be utterly delighted (as I am) to have this hefty little tome, then I highly recommend this planner.

Desktop Daily

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If you want to keep your planner at home or at work (fun fact: this particular planner is going to be my main work planner this year, and I am absolutely going to be leaving it on my desk at work most of the time!) but want to feel like you have a magical book of productivity and organization every time you open it, then you will fall in love with the Desktop Daily Planner ($65). This planner is a tome. It measures 7.68″ x 9.84″ (1.57″ thick) and weighs almost 3lbs. I recommend it as your veritable Book of Shadows for home or work–meaning that even though it usually sits in the same place, it’s filled with knowledge and possibility.

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I recommend this planner for anyone who wants to keep track of all the details in their life but doesn’t need to carry their planner around. If you like to glance over your schedule and to-dos for the day before running off without a planner to lug around, then the Desktop Daily would be a perfect companion. There is also something about this planner and its unabashed bookishness that deeply appeals to the book-lover in me. It feels like a rich, glorious book, and I absolutely love it.

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I really do recommend this planner as a work planner. It has a Goals section at the start of the planner that serves as a great place for writing down work goals or projects. It also has a section for monthly Budgets in the back of the planner, which encompasses both income and expenses while offering a separate page for itemized expenses. This would come in handy in a work environment if you need to make purchases with company dollars and keep track of them. Otherwise, there is a lot of space in this planner to write down tasks, your schedule, and keep track of meals. It also looks boss AF when you open it.

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If you run a small business, this would be a fabulous planner for you. It could help you keep track of expenses, manage your budget, document progress on your goals, and keep track of your schedule and to-dos. All in one hefty book!

Compact Weekly

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If you want a compact planner but don’t need to see a day at a time, then the Compact Weekly Planner ($42) might be the right fit for you. It measures a slim 5.59″ x 7.4″ (0.71″ thick) and weighs less than 1lb, making it a highly portable option. It’s the smallest option out of all the planners and was designed for portability.

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I would recommend this planner for students because it’s light and easy to throw into your bag. The blank box you get for each day of the week could be used as a place to write in due dates for papers or assignments, and the three starred sections could serve as places to write reminders for quizzes, tests, etc. This planner would be a great fit for you if you don’t need a space to write down your schedule but do like to write down tasks. Because this planner is so compact, it would be a great companion for those of you who like to plan your appointments digitally but still want a paper planner to write things down in.

Signature Weekly

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The Signature Weekly Planner ($55) is probably the only book in this lineup that I wouldn’t recommend for work. At 7.79″ x 8.66″ (1.38″ thick) and 1.59lbs, this planner contains the most varied content. While not compact, it certainly isn’t too big to carry around either. It’s a nice size.

 

The Signature Weekly would be a great fit for you if you want a comprehensive planner that keeps your life in one place but aren’t interested in a daily layout. I would also recommend this planner to anyone who is trying to keep meticulous track of meals and health. The Meal and Exercise Planner is detailed and can hold all of your health information. Its flexible format means that it could work just as well for people on a point system like Weight Watchers as it could for calorie counters or just those of you who want a place to map out meals for the week.

I would also recommend this planner for anyone who wants a high quality, portable weekly planner. This planner could serve you at home, at work, and on the go. While not quite as mobile as the Compact editions, the Signature Weekly Planner is a good size and it’s hidden coil binding provides a solid surface for writing on when you don’t have a table beneath you.

Chanel made a handy chart to help you figure out what you would like out of your planner and let you know what’s included in each one, which I pulled from the Amelia Lane website:

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Loves

I fell in love with the Navy Palm Desktop Daily immediately. It’s a hefty book–which I’m a huge fan of!–and it feels sturdy, beautiful, and comforting. I love the clean design of the interior pages and the casebound options that Amelia Lane Paper provides. I love the “whole of life” approach to the planner content, which fits so much into one book. I also love the design of the daily pages, which combine a schedule, to-do list, health section, and notes in a beautiful and spacious layout. I love the Chanel provides so much information about her business, background, and intention. I also love the quality that you get for the price–I feel like every planner in this lineup is well made and will hold up to a year of use.

Nopes

I wish that the casebound planners had a better lay flat design in the binding! It would make them just a tad easier to use and write in. This is more an issue with the Daily planners because they are so thick.

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Otherwise, I wish that the calendar lines weren’t quite so dark because it adds a very asymmetrical look to the monthly calendars when the days of the month run out.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 lineup from Amelia Lane Paper! I will be using the Desktop Daily as my work planner in 2018 and have already moved into the Compact Daily as a comprehensive purse planner. 🙂 If you have questions about Amelia Lane Paper or own one of these planners yourself, leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays! Until next time!

xo
Ara