Monday, 10 February 2014

Organisation for the Disorganised - Personal Planner Review



All of November and December, I was half-heartedly looking for a new calendar/planner/whatever to use daily.  I didn't find anything like I wanted, even while being unsure of exactly what I wanted, so I figured I'd just go back to printing my 1- or 2-week excel spreadsheet that I've used off and on over the years.  Then I got an email asking if I wanted to create a personalised planner and review it.  I looked at the site, and said, "yes please!"

Check it out at: http://www.personal-planner.com/

 Review Part 1 - The ordering process

I waited 'til the day after Christmas to order my planner, thinking it would take a while to do.  I'm not sure exactly how long it did take, since I interrupted it with a lengthy phone call to my sister (I had to confirm her kids' birth dates...and chat), but it was much less time than I expected it to be.

The site was easy to use, with logical work-flow, and never once timed out on me.  Help and/or explanations were immediately available every step of the way, with little reminders to ensure I didn't forget anything.

The only hiccup I noticed was when I went back through the steps to double-check everything, the image showing my front cover and back cover were reversed.  As in, it said, "Showing Front Cover", but the image shown was the back cover, complete with the coil spine on the right.  I was pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem, since it still had the front cover text on the correct image.

A few of my favourite things:

  • The ability to use my own images
  • Customisable layout, colours, and features
  • The 50+ extra pages at the back, with several different options, such as teacher planning resources.  I chose blank pages: graph paper for one section, and ruled paper for the second..
  • The ability to chose the month I wanted to begin with.  Initially I chose January 2014, because, well, I ordered it in December.  But after I submitted the order, I noticed it would take about 3 weeks to print and ship my planner.  You'd think that since I'd already submitted the order, it would be too late, right?  Nope!  Right on that page was a list of all the options, and links to change them if necessary!  So I changed the starting month to February, and I couldn't be happier.



Review Part 2 - The planner

My planner took more like six weeks to get here.  Living in Canada, I'm used to that.  When it still hadn't arrived by the week before February, I was starting to get a little worried.  But I needn't have.  It arrived January 25, the very Friday before the first day in the planner.  Perfect timing!

I was impressed with the quality of this planner.  I ordered the A5 size, which is perfect for my use.  The individual pages are thick, good quality paper, much better than I was expecting.  This does make the planner thicker and heavier than I would want to carry around with me, but since that isn't my plan, it's more of a bonus, since my highlighter won't leak through.  You could probably even use a sharpie on these pages with very little bleeding.

The plastic covers are textured to disguise any scratches.  A little too textured to see the pictures clearly, but certainly functional.

The photos on the front and back covers are bright and clear and lovely, and the colours on the pages are exactly what I was expecting.  One thing I wasn't expecting was how bright the ruler/bookmark is.  It's positively neon!  I was expecting, based on the colour shown on screen, a muted spring green.  But it's not an unpleasant green, so I don't mind it.  And it sure will make it easy to find if I ever lose it.  It is thick and sturdy and functional, which is of course its purpose.

I love the personalised birthday/anniversary/occasion list.  You enter the name and birth date, and it shows you each year how old the person is turning.  It's perfect for keeping track of my nieces' and nephews' ages.  Although I had to call one of my sisters to find out what year a few of my nieces were born.  If I order a planner next year, the ages will automatically update on the site.  It's perfect for disorganised, forgetful people like me.  There is also the option to pre-order next year's planner already, to take up where this one leaves off.

When choosing the language for the planner, the only English options were UK and US.  So, naturally, being Canadian, I chose UK.  I figured it didn't matter which I chose, because there wouldn't be much text in the planner anyway.  But, I wasn't expecting to have all the UK holidays in the planner as well.  It is interesting to have all the royal birthdays, etc, but I really would prefer having Canadian holidays as an option.  Maybe next year!

Overall, I'm thrilled with my planner, and look forward to using it all year long.

I'd love to know what kind of planner or calender or to-do list or whatever you use to organise your days.  Share in the comments!

I love this photo from our raspberry-picking day.  Even though the kids aren't looking. My husband wondered why I didn't include a photo of him.  But I don't have any good ones, or didn't look hard enough when I was creating the planner.

One of my favourite quotes, from one of my favourite books.

I'm sure this info will come in handy one day...right?

So far, I haven't been making good use of this section.

My baby brother will be 27 this year!


Extra pages

I tell my kids that they are each other's best friends.  Or else.

The neon ruler/bookmark

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free ordering code to create my personal planner for the purpose of this review.  All photos and opinions are mine.

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