2018 FRANK Weekly Planner

Hello hello my planner people! This Sunday I’m taking us back to FRANK, a small company with a huge mission of giving back, based in New Zealand. I’ve reviewed their 2017 Daily Planner, but wanted to contrast it with their 2018 Weekly option. I reached out to Jason and Jess, the founders of FRANK, about doing a review of their Weekly Planner. They kindly sent one to me to share with you!

A refresher: Jason and Jess started FRANK in 2012 and (if I remember correctly) named their company after one of their grandfathers. Their small business has always been a charitable one. The idea for stationery that gives back began after Jason and Jess watched a documentary on child poverty in New Zealand. One of the facts that shocked the couple was that many children go to school without any exercise books (notebooks, composition books, etc.). How can you succeed when you lack the basic materials necessary for doing well in school? Jason and Jess decided that they could do something about it.

For every item sold, FRANK provides a school book for a child in need. Every year they count up their orders and drive truckloads of exercise books to schools in New Zealand, handing them off to children who otherwise might not have one. Jason and Jess do some amazing work, and I am thrilled to share one of their lovely planners with you! At the heart of FRANK is their mission:

Cultivating authentic living through stationery and giving back to the community in a real, practical way.

The planner community is a generous community, and this is reflected in the work of small but mighty companies like FRANK.

FRANK makes stationary products and has quite a lineup of notebooks, planners, and journals. This review is specifically focused on the 2018 Weekly Planner in Pink, which retails for $30 NZD, which is $20.45 USD. International shipping is $10.23 USD, which is a pretty good deal for International post. If you live in the U.S. and want to buy this planner, it would cost you a total of $30.68 USD. I think it’s a great buy for the thoughtful product that you get.

Function

This is a weekly planner that begins in January 2018 and goes through January 2019, so they give you an extra month to make transitioning into your next planner a little easier.

The first page welcomes you to your new planner with a positive message, encouraging you to “live on purpose.” This is followed immediately by two pages with a 2018Β year-at-a-glance spread. Then you move into a page for Areas of Growth, and one for Goals List.

The Areas of Growth page is a space for you to think about where you want to grow in 2018. FRANK provides 15 areas of growth and you can check off whichever ones you like. These range from Love to Finance, Meditation to Gratitude. These options help you frame your thoughts about where you might want to focus your time and energy in 2018. Then you have your Goals List, where you get a generous amount of lined space for up to 5 goals for 2018. This page is easy to return to throughout the year–it’s important to check on those goals!

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The beginning pages end with a one-page list of Important Dates. The FRANK planner is based in New Zealand, so many of the important dates pertain to Australia and New Zealand. But there are a lot of American holidays included as well.

Each month begins with a sort of introduction page. These intro pages are in a light gray that makes it pretty easy to find them throughout the planner–there are no tabs in this planner so it’s a nice, streamlined casebound book. You get the month and year, as well as an inspirational quote to help you set the tone for the month.

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The monthly spread is simple and compact. You get the month and year, and a Monday start for the monthly spread. This way, you get weekends paired together. You only get boxes for the days included in the month, so there aren’t any extra boxes on the monthly spread. This sometimes means that there is a large blank space underneath the month, where you can write about anything important happening, craft a habit tracker, or anything else you want to put there. The lefthand page has a lined notes column. I decided to spruce up this minimal spread by using colored pencils to color in days that included important dates/events so that I could easily pick them out at a glance.

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After the monthly spread, you get a Focus page, Things to Look Forward To, and To Do List for each month. This two-page spread is a great place to reflect on your goals that you set at the beginning of the year, and a good place to write in anything that isn’t necessarily date-specific. Need to do Spring cleaning sometime that month? Put it on the monthly To Do List. Have important things happening that you’re excited about but a date hasn’t been set quite yet? Write it in the Things to Look Forward To box. The Focus section gives you a full, lined page for writing out goals, focus items, and anything else you would like to be mindful of for the month.

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The weekly spread is a standard horizontal layout. You get the date, day, and month and plenty of lined space for filling in your week. Weekends are given half the space of the weekdays and slotted next to one another.

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At the end of each month you get a Month Reflection page. You are prompted to reflect on your focus for the month and how you did with it, as well as how you feel about it. This is awesome, because if you decided that your focus wasn’t working out and ended up switching it, you can write about that without any remorse. Things happen, and being asked to think about how you feel is a great prompt for reminding yourself of that. Give yourself a little grace. πŸ˜‰

You also get a space to reflect on your favorite moment(s) from the past month. This would be a great space for memory keeping or developing a practice of gratitude. Then you get to check off (big plus for those of us who love filling out forms!) how This Month Was. Good? Fun? Hard? All of the above? There are no rules for how many boxes you can check.

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The planner ends with a few notes pages. πŸ™‚

Aesthetics/Design

The FRANK Weekly Planner measures in at about 8.5″ x 5.7″ and a little less than 1″ thick. The planner weights roughly 1lb and is a pretty, portable option for your 2018 needs.

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The paper weight/GSM isn’t listed on the website, but it’s an off-white sort of eggnog color. While those of you who prefer a bright white probably won’t like this darker paper, it is a little easier on the eyes.

The front cover spells out “Twenty Eighteen Weekly Planner” in all caps sans-serif font, which is embossed with gold foil. This year’s design is a curving gold foil wave and includes three colors to choose from for the weekly planner: kraft (a light brown paper), navy, and this lovely blush pink. The cover feels smooth and satiny–it’s a great tactile choice and really lets the gold foil shine.

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The back cover of the FRANK planner has the company’s logo and their promise: “You buy one, we give one. Giving school books to children in need.” Below this is the company website. There is also an elastic that keeps the book closed and secure.

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One of the things I love about the FRANK planners is that their front cover designs seep into the interior cover pages as well. I love opening this planner up to a subtle but gorgeous interior gold foil design. They include a page ribbon to help you mark your spot, as there are no tabs.

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The back cover includes a pocket to hold important papers, receipts, or whatever you need!

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As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this planner includes January 2019. The last day of the month (the 31st) gets its very own page, which is a great place to write out long-term plans. You could easily draw a line part way through the page and reserve half the page for writing down 2019 dates/events/etc.

The font choice is consistent throughout the planner. While the FRANK logo is a heavy serif font, the rest of the book is in sans-serif fonts of varying weights. FRANK makes excellent use of kerning in its headers–they look neat and clean. A semi-bold all-caps sans-serif font takes up most of the planner’s text, which also looks clean and allows the FRANK planner to use a smaller size font while still maintaining legibility and oomph.

Overall, this planner feels nice, looks clean, and does everything you need a weekly planner to do. There is a lot of white space but not so much that you think the designer should’ve given you more content. The blush pink looks gorgeous with the gold foil, and also goes well with the cream-colored pages.

Fit

Of course we will begin with the pen test! You want to make sure a planner can hold up to your favorite pens, right? πŸ™‚

The paper in FRANK’s weekly planner could be better. You can definitely tell–whether the page is flush against its predecessor or lifted up–that writing has occurred on the other side of the page. Very inky rollerball pens, markers (Sharpie as always), and some of the thicker felt-tip pens were the biggest culprits of ghosting and bleed-through. Micron pens, rollerball pens that were 0.4-0.25, and light-ink highlighters like the Pilow Spotlighter fared best on this paper.

That being said, there is a lot of flexibility in the horizontal weekly spread. I experimented with separating the spread into two columns, one dedicated to tasks (I do this with my bloom planner). You can use this planner as a place to journal, start a gratitude practice, or write down assignments for school. You can break up the horizontal lines however you wish to make them work best for your needs.

This would be a great planner for someone who wants a simple planner to carry around with them. The FRANK Weekly Planner is great purse planner material. It’s pretty, well-designed, and the elastic keeps all your loose papers together. Plus it’s lightweight and won’t bog you down as you lug it around town.

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This would be a great planner for someone who needs a simple book to help them stay on track and doesn’t want to sacrifice quality or beauty for cost. At its price point, the FRANK Weekly Planner is an excellent choice for the planner on a budget who still wants more than a $5 Target planner. This is also a wonderful planner for socially conscious planner babes who want to know that their purchase is giving back somehow. With FRANK’s dedication to providing school books to children in poverty, you know that your purchase is helping more than just you. And that’s a pretty awesome thing.

I would recommend this planner to someone who doesn’t want a lot of bells and whistles but still wants a place to keep track of the day-to-day. This is a clean, beautiful planner with a unique design that you probably won’t see everywhere. It’s also a great option for an inexpensive yet quality book that helps you carve out space for mindfulness.

If you tend to write with one or two pens that are always in your purse/bag and don’t care that much about decorating, stickers, or being able to use a plethora of colorful, inky pens then this planner would be great for you. If you do care about those things–then maybe look elsewhere. I should also mention that this planner is a great unisex or non-gender binary option, as it comes in multiple colors.

Loves

I absolutely love how FRANK gives back to their community. Snaps for FRANK, for doing fantastic work to address child poverty in New Zealand! I also love the soft cover material and delicate gold foiling, as well as the inclusion of an elastic band and page ribbon. FRANK products are thoughtfully designed with a gentle nudge towards encouraging mindfulness, being present, and encouraging reflection. Their inspirational quotes are a lovely reinforcement of these values. I also love how affordable this option is, even for International planners.

Nopes

I wish the paper was a little thicker and not quite as off-white as it is. I also would like to see the designer(s) make a little better use of their two-page monthly spread. The large blank space at the bottom feels a little open to me, and I would rather have larger daily boxes in the monthly layout.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 FRANK Weekly Planner in pink. I hope you enjoyed learning about this wonderful company and one of their star products! If you have any questions I didn’t get to or if you have a FRANK planner and want to share your take, please leave a comment! I would love to hear from you. πŸ™‚

Until next time!

xo
Ara

2017 FRANK Daily Planner

It’s a week of Frank! First my husband Frank’s #plannermatch post and now a review of the 2017 FRANK Daily Planner. πŸ™‚

FRANK is a small company based in New Zealand (they do ship internationally!), founded in 2012 by couple Jason and Jess. This company was founded on a mission, which I pulled from their website:

Sometimes life feels like an unrelenting list of jobs to do and appointments to make, our authenticity and humanness pushed aside to make way for survival mode. We find ourselves simply functioning day to day.

We created FRANK as a to return to authenticity through the chaos of a busy a life.

When we are truly ourselves, we can make a meaningful difference in the world around us.

So with this in mind, we donate schoolbook to a child in need with every purchase.

FRANK has both weekly and daily options for their book-bound planners. I purchased the 2017 Daily edition at a discount in March and am completely pleased with the bang for my buck. The Daily planners cost $35 NZD ($24.37 USD with the current exchange rate) and ship internationally for $15 NZD or $10.44 USD. Weekly planners cost $30 NZD–$20.89 USD. This makes the FRANK planner a relatively affordable option, even with international shipping!

The FRANK planner is designed in A5 Portrait size (145mmW x 216mmH X 30mmD orΒ 5.70866 in xΒ 8.50394 in and a depth ofΒ 1.1811 in.) This planner weights about 1.54 lbs.

The 2018 daily planner has two cover options: gray and white or black with gold foiling. The weekly planner has three: pink, kraft brown, or navy with gold foiling. I am reviewing the 2017 Daily Planner in white and gray.

The planner begins with a message from FRANK:

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Function

The nice thing about the planner is that its format is flexible. You could use this as a travel planner, a diary, a productivity planner, a gratitude journal, and more. The system builds in reflections and self-assessments at the end of each month and focus goals at the beginning.

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The planner’s first pages include a 2017Β year at a glance in a clean sans-serif font. Great use of white space and margins on this page.

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This is followed by a page dedicated to helpful tips on How to Be More Present, the theme of the 2017 planner. I love their suggestions for slowing down and taking a moment to enjoy the moment you’re in. They are great reminders to return to throughout the year.

Then there is a New Opportunities page where you can check off areas where you want to grow during the year. As you can see, I checked off Career, Mindfulness, Finance, Health, Fitness, and Reading. You can check as few or as many as you like! Then there is a space to write down more specifics or to simply write out the options you chose. It’s kept open so that you can use it however you like. You can then turn these areas into specific goals.

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FRANK includes a list of important dates for the year. It’s worth noting here that FRANK is a New Zealand company so most of their important dates are for New Zealand, although they do include important staples like Halloween, New Year’s, etc.

The beginning of each month has a gray intro page with an inspirational quote. Although the months are not tabbed in his bound book, the solid gray pages clearly delineate the start of a new month.

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Each month’s pages end with a Month Review section, where you can reflect on what you were trying to focus on that month, write down your favorite moment, and check off an adjective or three that describe the month you had. These reflection pages are helpful for keeping you focused on a specific goal and for easily and quickly taking five or ten minutes to jot down some gratitude before moving on to the next month.

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The monthly spread is simple and clean, leaving lots of room for notes. I found the boxes to be rather small, so in using this planner I only really kept track of big, important things on the monthly spread. Important dates are carefully included where relevant. There is a goodly amount of space at the bottom of the monthly spread and a lined sidebar on the righthand side for lists or important to-dos for the month.

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The beginning of each month includes a space to write down your focus for the month, a motivational quote, and a blank box space to write in Things to Look Forward to This Month. This section might be good for important dates, birthdays, trips, etc. If you are a student you could use this space to write in assignment due-dates. You could also use this space for gratitude–forward has two meanings, then. You could look forwardΒ towardsΒ scheduled stuff, or you could look forwardΒ toΒ spending time with visiting family, your children’s first day of school, a fun event you are attending, etc.

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The daily pages are laid out in two formats. Monday–Thursday get a day per page, while the weekend is grouped into Friday–Sunday. The first half of the full-page day includes the day and date as well as a lined section with the prompt “Today I am thankful for”. Then comes a large blank space for whatever you like–writing out your schedule, to-dos, assignments, reminders, etc. At the bottom of the daily page is a section for tracking your productivity. FRANK prompts you with “Productivity Scale/How awesome were you today?” You can circle one of the three answers below: What’s the opposite of awesome?, Middle of the road, and I nailed it! After that comes a space for “Quote of the Day/What did you learn today?” This could be used for writing in an inspirational quote or jotting down something you learned, remembered, etc.

The weekend page includes just the lined sections with the “Today I am thankful for” prompt. Friday gets half the page while Saturday and Sunday share the other half.

Aesthetics/Design

FRANK has some gorgeous, minimalist designs. Their covers usually have gold foiling in clean geometric patterns. This particular version of their planner is half white and half light gray with a continuous gold foiling pattern of geometric lines. “Twenty Seventeen” is on the cover in bold, large text and a smaller “Daily Planner” sits beneath it. Both are in gold foiling. There is a thick white elastic band for keeping your planner closed and together. The cover material is matte and has a satiny feel to it.

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The gold foiling geometric designs also continue to the inside cover, both front and back. This is a nice surprise when you first open the planner and looks gorgeous.

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The back of the planner includes their logo and their mission stamped in gold foiling: “You buy one, we give one. Giving school books to children in need.” Their website is also included. This book-bound planner also has a white ribbon for marking your spot–definitely, a Design Do in a thick book like this!

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The planner also includes a pocket folder adhered to the inside back cover to store notes, stickers, receipts, or whatever else you need.

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The back of the planner has space to writing down Music to download and/or listen to, general Notes, Movies to Watch, and Places to Go. This is a great section for brain dumping all those tidbits of information that might not have a specific date, or even month, attributed to them but nonetheless need to be remembered.

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Overall the aesthetic of the FRANK planner is clean and minimalist. The delicate gold foiling and the sans-serif font choice (which is consistent throughout the planner) make this book simple with a touch of class. The paper is an off-white creamy color and much of the text is actually a dark gray. While easy on the eyes, it does take away from the crispness of the planner pages a bit. The binding does lay flat but you really have to press down on it.

Fit

This planner is a great size for carrying around. While it is a bit thick–and thus a little heavy–it is still compact enough to serve anyone who wants a beautiful daily planner that can travel on the go with them.

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I personally used this planner as a diary. I did not write in it consistently (still working on that!) but I did have it nearby when I wanted to reflect on my day or write down something important that happened. Building a diary habit is one of my goals for 2018 and a beautiful book like FRANK’s planner is a great way to combine daily writing with tracking mindfulness and productivity. As a diary, I think this is a great option. However, it might not work for someone who wants unbounded space to write as much as they want each day. The grouping of Friday–Sunday makes it hard to write much for the weekend days, as well.

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Otherwise, I think this planner would be a great fit for someone who wants a beautiful, simple book for tracking daily goals, progress, and gratitude. It would be a great option for someone who is traveling, backpacking, and/or hostel-hopping and wanting to write down and keep track of their adventures and experiences. The blank space on each daily page could be used for gluing in photos, collages, ticket-stubs, etc. Its portability makes it a great choice for students who want something to throw into their backpack every day that can keep them on track with a busy Monday–Thursday schedule of classes, exams, and extracurriculars.

This planner would also be a good fit if you are looking for a gratitude journal that will keep you on track. The “Today I am thankful for” prompts on each page are a great way to start the flow of words. Another option would be using this planner to track your productivity for a specific project or rolling projects. I could see it working if you are writing a thesis, dissertation, remodeling your home, consulting for a business, etc.

Loves

I love that this small company is so generous with their community. For every planner they sell, FRANK donates a school workbook to a child in poverty. I am also a fan of the FRANK blog, which has positive messages and overviews of their products. The flexibility of their layout provides a lot of options and opportunities for using this planner however might work best for you. I also love the simple designs from FRANK–their delicate gold foiling and smooth, simple covers are just gorgeous. I like a thick planner so the compact bulkiness of this book is a win for me. I’m also a huge fan of the tips at the beginning of the planner and the consistent reinforcement of mindfulness throughout the monthly reviews.

Nopes

I wish that the monthly spreads made more use of the page space. I don’t like the big blank gap underneath the monthly spread and would rather have roomier boxes for each day of the month. While I like the thankful-focused prompt on each page for journaling purposes, I think it might get in the way of more functional uses for that space. (NOTE: They removed this for the 2018 edition.) I would also like to see more space of the Quote of the Day section at the bottom of each page–there is barely room to write anything.


There you have it! My review of the 2017 FRANK Daily Planner. I assure you that the 2018 design is almost identical, so if you were using this review to research procuring the 2018 version, it should still be helpful. πŸ™‚ Thank you, as always, for reading!

Do you have any questions about using the FRANK planner? Something I missed that you would like to know more about? Leave a comment! Frankly, I would love to hear from you. πŸ˜‰

xo
Ara