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

2018 Happy Balance Planner

Sherbert Shop is a small paper goods business founded by Hillary and Jordan, a couple with a shared passion for finding a happy balance between all of life’s demands. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sherbert Shop sells quality paper goods and is best known for their Happy Balance Planners. These planners are produced in small batches in collaboration with a local printer in Atlanta and are 6-month planners with launch dates in November-December and again in May-June.

Sherbert Shop has a clear mission behind their business:

We believe in dreaming big, constantly working to be our best versions, filling our days with only things we are truly passionate about, being persistent, being focused and being driven. We believe in seeing the positive in everyone and everything, choosing happiness, loving big, and helping others. Our creations are a reflection of these values, what we hold dear and what we truly find helpful for making the absolute most of every day!

Hillary is a Ph.D. student with a lot to juggle and had trouble finding a planner that worked for her. One night, her husband Jordan suggested that she make her own planner. Thus began the Happy Balance Planner in 2015. When I wrote to Sherbert Shop with an interest in reviewing their planner, Hillary told me that,

It’s been incredibly rewarding in more ways than we could have imagined but what keeps us motivated is hearing and seeing how our planners are truly helping people define their days according to what fills them with joy. When we get the emails about how someone has reached a big goal by simply writing the steps out and carving out time for it all, it’s an amazing feeling to know that your planner was one tool that helped them accomplish that!
Happy Balance Planners are 6-month daily planners, although there is also an undated weekly version of the planner. They cost $42 plus shipping–although right now Sherbert Shop is offering free shipping! Their quantities are quite limited and they usually order based on pre-orders and projections.

Function

The Happy Balance Planner is a clean, functional planner with an emphasis on providing lots of space for you to write down everything you need.

The first page of the planner is a nameplate page with space to write out your name, phone number, and email. The title of the planner is printed in a clean sans serif font. Next you have the copyright information, and then you get into some introductory pages.

“Lovingly crafted for you” is printed as a dedication to all Sherbert Shop’s planner users. Then you get a blank page that you can use however you like–keep it blank, make it a vision board, etc. The next three pages include a letter from Hillary telling you the story behind the small business, the organization of the planner, and some suggestions for how to use it.

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The next spread is a 2018 year at a glance and a 2018 Special Events page. The year at a glance is simple and clean and exactly that–a year at a glance. The 2018 Special Events page has lined sections beneath each month for writing out special dates/events for the year.

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Then you get a page for writing out your yearly goals. The goal setting pages are very simple and provide plenty of room to brainstorm and write out your goals in a detailed manner. There is a column for the date, and then a larger one for the goal. Below these is a large box for notes. The simplicity of this layout provides a lot of flexibility–you can use the notes box for brainstorming, multiple lines for a goal, etc.

The tabbed pages are a thin cardstock with sturdy coated tabs in alternating grey and white. The tabbed page itself is completely blank on both sides, which could serve as a plain, minimalist aesthetic choice or be used to keep notes, doodles, etc. for the month.

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Each month has a goals page. The design of this page mirrors the Yearly Goals page, it is just designated for monthly goals.

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The two-page monthly spread has plenty of space for all of your appointments, calendar notations, etc. There is an untitled lined column on the lefthand side of the layout, which can be used for whatever you like. Notes, important tasks for the month, reflection, etc. The monthly spread has a Monday start. You get two quotes, each beneath the month’s name and year prominently displayed in the right-hand and left-hand corners of the pages. The daily boxes feel roomy and unencumbered by the italic numbers indicating the days.

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You get another page for Weekly Goals. Again, it’s the same design as the Yearly and Monthly Goals spread. This consistent placement of the Goals page reminds you to be consistent in the pursuit of your goals and provides plenty of space to write out a multitude of important goals throughout the 6 months of the planner.

Then you get to your daily pages. This is a daily planner, so each day gets a page. Yes, even weekends have separate pages for Saturdays and Sundays, which is difficult to find in most daily planners. The daily layout is simple and comprehensive. You get a To Do list with circles for checking off completed tasks, a box of blank space for Me Time, a box for Notes, and a schedule that goes from 7 AM to 7 PM. The schedule includes half-hour time slots and a space for “early” and “late,” in case you have something scheduled outside the 7–7 timeframe. You also get an inspirational quote for each day!

There is one lined notes page at the end of each month. The very last page of the planner has important contacts on one side and a reminder to pick up your next planner on the other.

Aesthetics/Design

The design of the Happy Balance Planner is very simple and streamlined. The daily pages are comprehensive, the goal setting pages easy to use. This planner is designed to provide you with all the space you need.

There are four different cover designs for the January–June 2018 planner: Navy Brick, Blue Marble, Gold Marble, and Peacock. I have the Gold Marble design, which was created in collaboration with Kaitlin Noverr, the artist behind elysian market.

The cover is gorgeous–it looks foiled but is not. You can see some of the texture of the surface Noverr painted on in the print. The cover has a white box centered near the top with the title of the planner in all-caps sans serif font. The timeframe for the planner is below in an italic serif font (Jnauary 2018 through June 2018) with the by-line (by sherbert Shop) beneath. It’s a clean look that pairs well with the gold marble design.

The back of the planer is mostly the gold marble art, but includes the Sherbert Shop logo centered near the bottom as well as the logo for elysian market to credit the artist. The coil is a silver spiral 1″ in diameter but holds all the pages without feeling too small. The planner is 7.5” x 9” (8” x 9”, including binding) and about 3/4″ thick.

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The laminate over the covers extends beyond the cover design slightly less than 1/4″. This means that the planner tabs are visible through the clear plastic, which extends to protect them.

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The tabs are sturdy and I can grab them without worrying that I’ll tear the page they’re attached to. They alternate between gray and white and include the first three letters of each month.

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The Happy Balance Planner consistently uses a clean sans serif font throughout the planner. They use a balance of bold and light weighted text to denote headings and maintain the light, clean look of the planner. The sections of each daily page are in a lowercase, italic text. Even the times on the schedule are minimal: 1p instead of 1 PM, for example.

Overall this is a simple planner that serves as a canvas for your goals, months, and days. It is minimally designed and contains plenty of room for all the things you need to keep track of. The Happy Balance Planner embraces white space and a sleek, neutral aesthetic.

Fit

Pen test!

Sherbert Shop uses 80lb. paper. It is smooth in texture and feels light despite being 80#. The only pen that really even ghosted was the Sharpie Permanent Marker, which bled through a bit. Otherwise, this is an excellent paper that held up extremely well to my pens. I most enjoyed using felt-tip fens–Staedtler triplus fineliners for a slightly thicker line and Le Pens for a finer hand. Something about this paper made even my inkiest pens write smoother and finer than usual. 0.7 gel rollerball pens also glided smoothly across this paper with pleasing results.

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I would recommend this planner to anyone who wants a daily planner but doesn’t want to carry around a gigantic book. The 6-month format really makes for a slim planner that is light and easy to transport. If you want a 6-month planner because you’re trying to get back on track with a calendar year or midyear planner, this would be a great planner to carry you over.

I would recommend this planner if you just want a clean, simple, functional planner. The minimalist design of the planner actually allows you to color code effectively if that’s how you would like to organize your days. If you want to be the one who decorates your planner, then the Happy Balance Planner has all the blank space you need to do so.

If you want to start setting goals in your planner then the Happy Balance Planner has a gentle goal-setting system that won’t overwhelm you.

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I would recommend this planner to anyone who wants a schedule space for each day but needs half-hour increments. The Happy Planner has you covered. If you want full planning days for Saturdays and Sundays then this planner is an excellent choice for you.

If you want a high quality paper that can handle a variety of pens, this planner might work for you. If you are trying to implement more “me time” and self-care into your days, then this planner reminds you (gently) to do that with its “me time” box.

This planner looks sleek enough for the office and is versatile enough for any situation. There aren’t many notes pages, so it’s not going to be a place where you can easily journal or take meeting notes.

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This planner is easy to plan in. It’s great for a first-time planner who needs a day per page, or a super busy person with so much to do that they don’t have time to decorate or bedazzle their planner. I sat down on a coffee shop to do some planning in the Happy Balance Planner and found it easy to get into a flow with writing down my tasks, jotting down reminders for next week, looking at my schedule for the week ahead, and making suggestions to myself for ways to get some quality me-time.

I would not recommend this planner to anyone who needs to carry around a whole year at a time. The 6-month format might not work for you. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this planner to a student because I think there’s something about having the entire academic year in one place that is helpful for organization, but I went to a university that operated on the quarter system. If you are looking for a planner that can handle one semester at a time, then the Happy Balance Planner might be a helpful way to organize that.

If you want a planner that is super bright and comes pre-decorated with colorful typography and designs, then look elsewhere. The Happy Balance Planner definitely has space for you to spruce it up if you like, but it is a clean and simple planner.

Loves

I love that Sherbert Shop collaborates with artists for some of their cover designs! I also love that Sherbert Shop collaborates with other local small businesses to create their product. I love the simple layout of the daily pages and that you get full pages for Saturday and Sunday. I love the gentle goal-setting process and that you get reminders to set and reach yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. I love the clean look of this planner and how it has plenty of space to fit your life into. There is no fault with the quality of the planner you receive.

Nopes

I would like to see a full year-version of this planner–even if it’s a bit thick. I also don’t quite know how I feel about the cover having clear laminate so far beyond the actual design. I like that it protects the planner, but I’m not the biggest fan of how it looks. I also wish there were more notes pages in the planner. Lastly, writing “todo” instead of “to do” drives me a little crazy, but that’s just personal preferences.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 January–June Happy Balance Planner from Sherbert Shop. Do you have a Happy Balance Planner? A 6-month planner? Any questions for me? I’d love to hear from you–leave a comment! 🙂

Until next time!

xo
Ara

Cultivate What Matters 2018 Power Sheets

Cultivate What Matters began in 2009 with a blog post titled “How to Make Things Happen.” Lara Casey had been getting a flood of questions about how she managed to “do it all” in her life, and Lara wanted to address them head-on. This blog post got the attention and admiration of hundreds of people, encouraging Lara to create a multi-city two-day intensive program/conference called Make It Happen! Making Things Happen has some early support from well-loved names like Emily Ley, and by 2013 transforms into a structure of two two-day conferences per year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (where Lara is based.)

Lara took the principles and ideas from Making Things Happen and created the first Tending List, a core component of the Power Sheets. Spurred by the desire to share this tool with others, Lara started the Lara Casey Shop in 2013 and launched her pivotal Power Sheets, a goal setting system to help women dig deep and unearth what matters to them. In 2016, Lara rebranded and her product and website became the Cultivate What Matters Shop. Along the way, Lara wrote two books: Make it Happen and Cultivate.

Power Sheets started for the 2014 year and were hole-punched to fit inside a binder until 2016, when they transitioned to a spiral-bound book. Lara has a wonderful post about the roots of the Power Sheets and their transitions throughout the years here. The goal of the Power Sheets, however, has never changed. As the website says:

We believe our time can be spent intentionally, and that our to-dos lists can be simplified once we learn how to uncover meaningful goals, and take action on them little by little. In doing this, we learn to celebrate progress, not perfection.

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So what exactly are Power Sheets? Fabulous question! The team at Cultivate What Matters describe Power Sheets as an intentional goal planner. It is not a regular planner, but rather a workbook that helps you figure out and tend to important goals that you can then put into your planner. Power Sheets have also been described as “you planner’s best friend” or “a planner for your planner.” Lara Casey pairs her Power Sheets with an Emily Ley Simplified Planner.

There are two types of Power Sheets: one-year dated planners and 6-month undated. This review features the one-year dated Power Sheets. The one-year Power Sheets are $55 plus shipping, and the 6-month undated Power Sheets are $40 plus shipping.

Function

Power Sheets are broken into three main sections: prep-work, goals, and the tabbed monthly sections. Lara had specific themes in mind when creating this tool, seasons and gardening. Power Sheets use a lot of gardening lingo, like “tending, growing, blooming, cultivating, dirt,” & etc. Don’t worry–none of her terminologies will go over the non-gardener’s head.

So the first few pages of the Power Sheets welcome you to this intentional goal planner and encourage you to immediately write your name in it. Often there is an unnamed reticence to put your name in a new planner–you love how pristine it is and worry that you won’t write it prettily enough or that you’ll mess it up or that once you write in it you have to commit to using it. Lara wants you to face and conquer that fear immediately. First thing. Write your name, claim your space.

Then begin the 35 pages of prep work. There is a lot of content here, and I honestly can’t go through all of it in this blog post. I am going to show you some of the main pages and the process that Lara takes you through, but I won’t show every single page because it’s really more rewarding to work through the Power Sheets prep on your own.

The Power Sheets lead you through examining yourself, ideas for the year, a life evaluation, letting go of the negative stuff, meeting your fears, and more.

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One of the boldest pages asks you to write down what matters most to you. It’s a page that’s easy to find again and reflect on.

You fill out pages that ask you to reflect on the good things in the past year, your challenges, what to say no or yes to, the big picture, and to consider what fires you up and makes you feel passionate.

Then you choose a word for the year to bring you back to what matters most, and make a pledge to yourself.

This is a lot of content and takes a while to work through. Lara and her team and beginning the prep work for their 2018 Power Sheets on December 4th, and I recommend tuning in to join them in the process, either to see if the Power Sheets are right for you or to have a support system as you work through your own set.

Then you move on to the Goals section, where you brainstorm your goals for the year and then write them down in a more concrete ways. The Power Sheets really hold your hand throughout this process, and the prep work you did will set you up for filling out this section in a meaningful and productive way.

Then it’s time to turn your goals into action! Lara gives you 10 action plan worksheets and leads you through exactly how to fill them out. Each goal gets broken down into actionable steps, making it easier to achieve. The Action Plan also prompts you to think about why this goal is important to you and what achieving it will do to improve your life and help you cultivate what matters most to you.

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Then it’s time for your monthly tabs! You’ve done all this prep work and thought long and hard about meaningful goals for the year. Now it’s time to break them down by month! You effectively do about 25% of the Power Sheets before the year even begins, but this prepares you for a successful year of conquering your fears and cultivating your goals.

There is a tab for each month with a motivational saying or quote to get you into the goal crushing mood. Monthly pages include a Prepare Well plage where you write in what’s on your calendar, important tasks, and what you’re excited for that month. Then you do a mental/emotional check-in and try to let go of negative thoughts and feelings. Lara provides tips, too, and blank pages with a link where you can go and download one of 13 Wild Card pages to help the Power Sheets work for whatever you need. Then you brainstorm!

The most core part of the Power Sheets (other than the prep work, which is really what helps make this page work) is the Tending List. The Tending List is your monthly check-in page. You write down monthly, weekly, and daily goals and then tend to them. You track your progress–one of Lara Casey’s favorite sayings is “Progress not perfection.” Choose encouraging words to help you through each month, and stay on top of your Tending List.

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Every Tuesday one of the Cultivate What Matters team members, Jess, does an Instagram Live to check in with you and your tending list. This is called “Tending List Tuesday,” and is a great way to help you feel inspired to work on your goals. Jess also answers your questions and is super sweet.

After March, you get a tabbed section for Spring. This includes a Clear the Clutter Checklist, and a couple pages for Refreshing your goals.

Summer and Fall tabs are also dispersed throughout the Power Sheets and include the same section prompting you to refresh your goals, as well as an additional page unique to the season. Lara is very into seasons.

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Then you reach the end, where you celebrate the year you’ve spent with your Power Sheets cultivating what matters and pursuing your goals!

Aesthetics/Design

So, as you saw, there is a lot going on in these pages. Let’s break down some of the aesthetic choices.

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Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets are 9 x 10 inches, with pages that measure 7 x 10 inches. The paper feels good and is matte with enough thickness to easily accommodate a PaperMate Flair pen. Because there aren’t notes pages or any pages that are extra, so to speak, I did not do a pen test for the Power Sheets. But I felt comfortable with the results from using a PaperMate Flair, a Pilot G-2, and a Staedtler triplus fineliner. Hopefully, that helps!

The cover is thin but made out of a water-resistant material and is extremely flexible. It does scratch easily, but you can only notice the scratches from some angles. It hasn’t really bothered me. The spiral is a thick plastic material designed to be kid proof, coffee proof, and life-proof. Because the Power Sheets are so flexible, they can take a lot of love and tossing about. Your kids can step on them without bending them out of shape, and while the plastic coil might at first seem a little underwhelming, it can actually take a lot of damage without getting bent out of shape.

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At the end of the Power Sheets are two sticker pages. You can use these throughout the Power Sheets, as they keep with the color theme of the book and use some of the garden terminology Lara is so fond of. They’re cute stickers. If you are a veritable Countess of Stickers the Cultivate shop also has a reasonably priced sticker book for $12 that you can pick up here.

The Power Sheets stick to the dual themes of seasonality and gardening, and this is evident in the colors Lara and her Art Director Nicole chose for the design.

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You can see in the Goals section the statement, “For everything there is a season.” The seasonality theme is revisited via the tabbed sections for Spring, Summer, and Fall, as well as in the cover pattern of the power sheets where the petals are themed to represent Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

There are 27 full-color pages throughout the Power Sheets’ 188 pages (not including tabbed pages), and some additional pages with gold foiling. There is also gold foiling on the back of the Power Sheets with Lara’s favorite mantra:

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?

You should go DO THEM.

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Overall color scheme sticks to a lighter palette of white, green, coral, yellow, and orange. These colors pair well with the gold foiling throughout the book. A lovely aesthetic decision includes Lara’s handwriting as text. She writes affirmations, notes to you, examples of how to use the Power Sheets, and more. She has a wonderfully scriptive handwriting style that adds a personal flair to the pages.

Fit

The Power Sheets really are for anyone.

For example, Lara’s faith is a huge part of her identity, drive, and creative process. She is very devout. However, this does not show up in the Power Sheets, because faith is part of her process and she does not assume that it will be part of everyone else’s. While she talks about her faith in other facets of her company, Instagram stories, posts, & etc., she does not force her faith upon others, choosing instead to create a tool that anyone can use. It is this type of mindfulness–Lara’s willingness to crop out something so foundational to her own identity–that makes the Power Sheets such a productive and loving gift.

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That being said, the Power Sheets will work for anyone who has trouble figuring out what their goals actually are. I’ve been there! Especially after graduate school when my only goal seemed to be a cavernous hole of “find a job” and I wasn’t really considering other aspects of my life. But goals don’t work when you are only focusing on the negative. Or at least, they aren’t productive and fulfilling. I found the prep work to be insightful and productive and came out of it knowing myself a little better.

I truly think that this could work for you, as well. As long as you are willing to do the prep work and stick to the system of using Power Sheets. Once you do the prep work and set your goals, the attention you need to devote to filling out your Power Sheets is fairly minimal. You have done most of the work already, and just need to switch into maintenance mode.

So, are you a new parent trying to figure out how to balance caring for your bundle of joy and self-care? Power Sheets will help. Are you a student trying to plan to the next steps after college, or how to get the most out of your education? Power Sheets will help. Are you a professional trying to move forward in your career? Power Sheets can help with that too. The information you need is already inside you, Power Sheets just help you pull them out.

Loves

I love the amount of content included in the Power Sheets and that they can accommodate so many different types of planners and people. It really does force you to dig in deep about your fears, your worries, and emerge from that with a fresher outlook on what you can do to let go of negativity and just move on with your life. I also love the aesthetic and soft colorful design! #goldfoil4ever I also really love the engagement from Lara and her team. They don’t just deliver these Power Sheets and then disengage–they do consistent Instagram lives and posts, share their Power Sheets and Tending List progress with you, and if you sign up for their newsletter you even get occasional positivity messages from Lara. There is a culture of positivity, encouragement, and support from Lara and her team, and this is obvious from the way they talk about their products and share from their lives.

Nopes

I wish the cover was a little sturdier. I understand that it’s sturdy in its own way by being water-resistant and flexible, but I wish it was a little more solid or that there was the option for a more solid cover. The flexibility of the Power Sheets makes it a little too easy for the tabs to get bent.


There you have it! My review of the 2018 Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets. I hope you found this helpful–I know that Power Sheets are a little different from my regular reviews and thus the format I use might not have fit Power Sheets perfectly. Please feel free to comment with any questions. ❤ Thank you for taking the time to read through my review!

xo
Ara