Thursday, October 17, 2013

some people are/like planners

A few weeks ago I mentioned (and gushed over) the new personalized planners my co-workers and I got. No doubt dazzled by the picture of the three of us posing with our awesome loot, many of you a) confessed to being fellow lovers of planners and b) wanted more details/a review/my opinion about my new one. Well...ask and ye shall receive, right? Let's get the nitty-gritty specs of my sweet new planner, shall we?? WE SHALL.

First off- to be clear, this is not a 'sponsored review' or anything like that. We picked these out all on our own and paid full retail for them. Well, our boss did. ;) Which is definitely the way to go-- I say, if you can get your work to sponsor your new all means. DO IT. So anyway. All opinions here are mine and influenced by nobody else.

My new planner is part of the Family Planner line from PlumPaperDesigns, a very nifty little Etsy shop. I'm not a terribly seasoned Etsy shopper, but the girls at PlumPaper were super easy to communicate and work with. Since we were ordering 3 unique planners with different personalized sections and add-ons (more later), but we wanted them all shipped together (for the lower shipping rate), we had several conversations with the store owners to make it all happen. They were friendly, reasonable, and easy to work with. And FAST. Bonus points for fast.

I had several non-negotiable traits I needed in my new planner.

1) I MUST have both month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance. 
2) Need to have enough space to keep my daily work and lists well-organized AND have plenty of space to write in.
3) Not flimsy. Needs to hold up well.
4) Not ugly.

In a perfect world, my planner would also include:

1) Cuteness and bright colors. 
2) Personalization/monogram
3) Free money

I am happy to report that my Family Planner met ALL of my non-negotiables and MOST of my ideal traits (you can probably guess which one it lacks). YAY! So here we go.

Alright, so right off the bat we can see: obviously, it's cute AND personalized. And you probably can't see it, but the covers are durable-- there are clear plastic covers on the front and back (protecting the cute covers). I put the ruler there for scale-- it's about 9 inches long.

You can choose how many months you want your planner to have (AND you can decide what month you want it to start with. No need to constrain yourself to a January start or August start, people-- GO WILD! Start your calendar in March if you feel like it!!). Mine starts in January 2014 and goes until June 2015- eighteen months. 

Sooo...eighteen months means that this puppy is THICK. It's really a very heavy planner. And for my purposes here, that is fine with me-- it's my work planner, so it primarily sits on my desk or I carry it to other rooms in the building for meetings. It being large doesn't bother me. BUT if this were my 'home' planner and I was planning to tote it around in my purse...HECK no. It would weigh me over, which is really saying something (if you've ever felt the weight of my purse already). So that's something to consider. If it had less months, obviously it would be lighter.

It's about an inch and a half tall. The spiral is pretty big. Honestly, I do have a bit of trouble writing in it because of the spiral sticking up in the middle. But that could be a personal/left-hand-writer problem. (For clarity- I'm actually right-handed. But I write LIKE a left-handed person (like, the way I hold the pen and drag my hand across the page), which is hard to describe, but people almost always point it out when they see me writing. I blame it on my left-handed mom being the one who taught me to write. Anyway, spiral notebooks have always given me problems)

So if you like large-and-in-charge planners, you're on the right track here. If you're a lefty who's unable to lift 3 pounds...maybe keep shopping.

Ugh, all my pictures are blurry. Who does the photography around here anyway? Shameful.

As you can see, this planner meets the month-at-a-glance requirement. For bonus points, all of the month pages are different colors- YAY! (That serves no purpose other than visual interest, for the record.)

It also has a nice huge two-page spread for each week. The days go across the top, horizontally, with long vertical rectangles for each day. Saturday and Sunday don't get shafted (like they do in many of my other planners)- they get equal space. You may notice that each day is sub-divided into smaller boxes. THAT is the beauty of this planner, my friends. You get to PERSONALIZE the boxes down the left-hand side of the week (those are in red, in these pictures (although again, the colors change for every month)).

Those seven labels? I picked 'em. They correspond to different aspects of my job, so they won't make sense to you, but they help me keep MY work organized. My two co-workers have completely different labels on their sections. If you were using this for your own home/family, you could label the sections with your kids' names, or spots for your meal plans, or your workout schedule, or like...whatever else you do. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!! I will tell you-- these personalized sections are what totally sealed the deal for us. Instead of having all of my tasks lumped together in one shared section, now I can see at a glance what I'm doing for which area. LOVELY.

So there's the Family Planner from PlumPaperDesigns. Since it's not January yet, I haven't really started using it, beyond going through and putting in all of the dates and events I know about for next year. I think that once I get used to the weirdness of the huge spiral in the middle I'm going to absolutely love it. Mostly because of those personalized sections. And the cuteness. Trust me, it took me and my co-workers like two weeks to place our orders because we couldn't decide which covers we wanted. SO MANY CUTE CHOICES. 

Oh- several people asked how I would compare it to an Erin Condren planner. I must say that I can't really compare- I've never had an EC before. However, from what I can tell, you can't personalize sections on the EC planner, so just for that- I'm giving the prize to PlumPaper.

Now...go forth and plan!! (Or mock those of us who care this much about planners. Your choice.) 


  1. I love your planner and wish that I was the planner type for I'm terrible for writing anything down..even when it comes to work related things. I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of planner :P

  2. I was in desperate I mean desperate need for a planner and fell in love with the EC one I found online. The only hangup was the price. I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a planner so I had resigned to looking at other stores. Until I needed to go to the Vera/Pandora store, well no need just wasting time. But I asked if they had planners and she showed me the vera one and it was love at first sight! It basically was like the EC planner but half the cost. SOLD! Now it goes everywhere with me and I cannot live without it. But for the next one, I will definitely look into that Etsy shop because the personalization aspect sounds amazing!

  3. Spirals.....AGH!!!!! I ama lefty and glad a righty can relate to the dilemma. Cute planner though!

  4. Ha! I won't mock as I used to be obsessed with planners. However, I started forgetting it and misplacing them a few years back so now I just use a calendar on the fridge as well as put important stuff into my phone calendar! :)

  5. Oh gosh reading about this awesomeness of this planner made the OCD planner in me so happy! I may just have get my boss in on my need for this :)

  6. cute planner! I don't use one but LIVE off of my google calendar :)

  7. this post was epic. time to go shopping. is there a tab for managing the eating and pooping schedule of babies?

  8. Very cute! Surprisingly, I have never been a big planner person even though I am obsessive about schedules, organizing, and list-making?

  9. Oooh. I like it. I have an EC planner right now, but its about to be done. When i went to look up a new one, it looked like I couldn't add 6 months at the end. Boo.

  10. I LOVE the personalized sections on each day!!! How awesome is that??? You're right -- that may be the deciding factor between an EC planner and this one...

  11. I had to have a gold striped planner from Target this year. I don't know. My normal school teacher planner provided to me just wasn't cutting it. And I also HAVE to have month & week at a glance. What's up with the ones that just leave the month pages out??!

  12. Love me some planners and organization! I have an EC but from what I can tell, yours seems to be pretty similar except that yours is cooler due to the personalized features! Love that! I would love my planner to be broken down by category that I create :). I also don't know that I can bring myself to spend that much money on an EC again...

    Yay for fellow planner nerds!


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