Archive for Uncalendar

Woman’s Success Planner Update

My Uncalendar lies abandoned on a bookshelf. Want to know why? Well, I'm going to tell you any way!

Remember my Woman's Success Planner Review post? Where I said something stupid like I couldn't use this planner because the lines were too small? Or there was not enough space, or something really dumb like that? Happily,  I was SO wrong!

Earlier this week, I was having problems with my Uncalendar. No matter how hard I try to use the Un, it just works against me. About the same time that I was struggling with the Uncalendar this last week,  Steph Calahan posted a tweet about the "7 Minute Life Planner".  I looked that up and found a whole series of videos about the planner.  While it's not something I think I want to invest in, there are really excellent ideas in it, and in the videos, which I highly recommend watching.

After watching those, I realized that the Woman's Success Planner was the perfect planner to add these ideas to. So, I broke it out and started filling in goals, tasks, and daily tracking items.  Mind you, there were already some daily tracking items in the planner, but I modified a few and added a few. 

Long story short, after a week of using this planner more fully, I am in love with it.  Mind you, I would still really, really like to have wider lines, and a bit more space in general.  I would also like for some of the items to be user fill-inable (it's a word now, ain't it?) However, in lieu of designing our own planner from the ground up, we have to decide what we can live with, and what we can live without, yes? So for me, the benefits of this planner outweigh the deficits (as perceived by me).

Here are a few pictures of how I'm using it now:

I changed the "Menu" planning area at the beginning of the week so that I can list the #B90Days readings for the week. This way they don't take up room on my days, and also there's a bit more room here to write them in.

At the bottom of the task area for each day, I have added the question "Have I done what I said I would do?" (from the 7 Minute Life Planner) and a y or n check box. I adore the thrill of checking y! Below this, you can see the Health Tracker check boxes that come already in the planner. There's space for Water, Fruits and Veg, Exercise, and one to Personalize how you want it.  Also, along the bottom are the circles to color in when you've completed the daily task that corresponds to the number.  I've changed some of those also.

 Here, you can see some of the categories I've added, and my ugly drawing of a book. The icons are for Sleep (in hours), and I changed the flower one to "Reflection" recorded in minutes, and then the Book is– quite obviously perhaps– "Reading" also recorded in minutes.

Here, you can see where I've changed some of the daily tasks.  Some of these like "swish toilet" and "reboot laundry" are borrowed from FlyLady.

 I've also added as a daily task "plan", so I actually make time to plan for my next day, or for the next week.

This is another iteration of the Y/N choice for "Have I done what I said I would do?" question for each day.

 This is my current week, with some things filled in. I've put in the subjects for homeschool also.  This will change, because I think I need a separate planer for homeschooling. But you can see where I've filled in my water and veg intake.

 Here, you can see where I've put in my sleep hours, and my reading and reflection time. Also I'm not doing so good on the daily tasks thing, as you can see. But I love coloring in the dots as it's totally gratifying, so I expect this to change this next week when I get in more of a routine about what I want to do each day.

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Here is the end of this week, with blog post plans, homeschool plans, and not much else really yet. So that's about it.  Let me reiterate how awesome this paper is! It takes any kind of ink you can throw at it, and it takes it perfectly! NO show through on the other side, no feathering. Just..perfect.  Also, the thing smells really good, did I mention that? I love the smell of paper and ink…I can't wait to be able to order the Address Book and leather cover!

Pamela Henrie, of The Success Choice left a comment on my review post (!), and she confirmed that not only was the paper recycled, but it is made in the U.S.A., as is all of their product line.

Also note that they make a binder version of this planner. It would have to be re-punched to fit in a Filofax (I think, and it's A5 size), but  that's easy peasy. Just don't expect to be able to use your plastic Filofax hole punch toy, as I'm not sure how that would work on the monthly pages.

Woman’s Success Planner Review

Yet another casualty result of lurking on Plannerisms…In the comments section of this post, Anna mentioned the Woman's Success Planner.  Go ahead and look (because you know you want to) I'll wait for you here. Ok, ready to go? Good, let's do it:

So naturally, I went and had a wee looksie too.  Well, it looksied fabulous, so I spent $ I shouldn't have and  buysied the Q3 to check it out.  It arrived yesterday, and I thought I'd share it with you, because it's fabulous!

The planner is spiral bound (loves it), and the covers are that nice laminated cardstock stuff. It should hold up well even if you  don't want to purchase the leather folios that go with them (although I can't imagine not wanting to, they're delish).  The planner comes in 4 quarterly divisions.  I have mixed feelings about this.  In reality, one quarter should be enough to carry around.  However, I like to look back at my stuff and I'm not sure I wouldn't miss having the whole year together.  On the plus side of this, though, the planner is only a little over .5" thick, and that makes it super portable, so that is good.

(The answer is, I don't have any damned idea why I didn't rotate this when I uploaded it, you'll have to move your neck. Sorry *head slap*)

See that little logo? Here's the genius explanation of it from the inside cover of the planner: "The logo for The Success Choice, LLC represents *choosing to bloom (flower) *amid your challenges (swirl) *in your continuous journey (circle) *toward perfection (square).  I WISH I was that smart…alas and alack..mostly a lack…ANY HOO,

Here is the inside cover:

This tells you about the planner and how to use it, and is continued on the inside of the back cover.

Next is a two page layout for 2011 Midyear Planning that includes space for your vision, your goal status, goal actions, and goal roadblocks.  There's  also space for ideas about how to overcome roadblocks.  A goal setter's dream planner, this is.

The next two pages have: (left side) a 3 year planning calendar with last year, this year, and next year;
(right side) the beginning of the month page.

Now is probably a good time to talk about the paper.  The regular weekly pages are on the nicest ivory colored  recycled looking (not sure if it's actually recycled) paper with bits of stuff imbedded in it.  It also has a bit of a tooth which I adore, and takes fountain pen ink perfectly, with almost no show through on the other side of the paper.  The month pages, however, are a brown (looks like a paper bag) heavy card stock. GREAT sturdy paper, but if you don't like anything but bright white paper, this may be a no-go for you.

Next is the monthly layout, with suggestions about things to do called "Blooming Ideas" on the right side of the right page, and notes space on the bottom of the pages.

Then, at the beginning of each week, you have this page that includes weekly tasks, a menu planner, and space for a shopping list.  Here you can see my major problem with this planner…the line width. Only about 1/8" throughout.

Then you have the weekly layout.  I took these pictures on top of Clairfontaine paper, which is VERY white, so you could see the color of the paper.  The weekly layout is genius, and task oriented instead of appointment oriented, although there is space at the top of the dailies for AM and PM. At the bottom, there are places to record your water intake, veggie intake, exercises, and daily tasks.  You can see that the daily tasks are numbered, and go along the bottom of both pages.  When you complete them each day, you just color in or cross off the appropriately numbered circle. How incredibly smart is that?? As you'll see later, I have appropriated this idea…

At the end of each week, there is a Weekly Review page (more utter brilliance) and two pages for Notes, one on the right of the Weekly Review page, and one Notes page on the back of this page (that would be the left side, and on the right is the beginning of the next week).

At the back there are 9 months of future planning pages (the layout is a blocked month on one page with notes at the bottom), so it goes through June 2012.  Then there  is one page of Future Planning, with a 2012 and 2012 calendar, and monthly boxes through June 2013. After that there are 6 Notes pages like the ones at the end of the week. This would be great for contacts or other permanent or long-term lists that you carry.  Alternately, you can purchase from the website an address book that is smaller than the planner and can be moved from quarter to quarter.

After the Notes pages, there is a clear plastic sheet for business cards, and one clear plastic envelope. These are a bit flimsy, but remember that each one of the planners is only for one quarter, so they should hold up fine for that time period–provided they're not overstuffed by the user *ahem*.  Then on the back inside of the planner, is the continuation of the information from the front inside, as I talked about earlier.

Now, I think this planner rocks, frankly. I wish I could use it, because I think it's just a stroke of brilliance (Filofax could take some notes here).  However, the fact that the lines are so narrow does me in completely.  There is just NO way I can use this as a planner! I'm glad I bought it though, because I learned LOTS. I have appropriated some of their ideas and adjusted my Uncalendar accordingly.

On the top under "What Needs To Be Done This Week?" I have blocked off space for a check box (so satisfying when you can check it off!) and placed routine weekly tasks like clean the fish tank (blech). I usually get this done any way, but I like having the routine reminders.

Then in the small green box on the very top right, I have put "Daily Tasks" and assigned them each a number.  I have then put the numbers 1 through 5 on the middle blue line on the daily spaces.  When I complete each task, I cross off the number! This is really helpful for establishing a routine, because honestly? I suck at routines…I hate them, but am comforted by them at the same time.

On the left side of the weekly page, I have added some of my categories from my Planner Pad, and also added a Weekly Review space in the green lined box up top.  I think this is genius, and it's nice to go back and figure out what you were doing and also to be able to make readjustments to your plan(s) for the future.

I haven't added much to the monthly blocks (aren't they nice and LARGE?), but I did add in the note space at the left of the monthly calendar a "Need" and "Want" list.  These will be waiting a LONG time it seems…*sniff* but I totally digress.

At the back of the Uncalendar, there are 12 note page (2 pages) layouts.  These are so smart, they allow you to add notes to your monthly calendar.  **As an aside here, I have decided that I could probably get by with a monthly calendar with note pages, and may switch to the Moleskine monthly next year.  This added to my daily log book should be close to perfect, even though it requires me to carry 2 books.

On the left side of the page, I keep a running prayer list.  I haven't included that so that I can protect names, lest anyone should be made uncomfortable.  You can see at the bottom I've added RAIN. Yeah, I'd love it if you'd put rain for New Mexico on your prayer list too, if you're the praying type. Thanks!

Then I have a mid-month review sheet that I cut out from my Planner Pad.  I don't know where I got this, but it is really helpful.  Now to build in a routine for using it…On the right side of the notes page is oodles of space to use however.  I've not allocated this space yet, any ideas? I LOVE the idea of all that space though!

So I have learned a few really valuable things here: 

1. The Woman's Success Planner is just a stroke of pure GENIUS, and even if you don't use it as your main planner, the investment of at least one quarter as a reference guide is money really well spent.  If you are goal oriented at all, and have smaller writing than I do, GO FOR IT! You won't regret it at all. (Also, you should totally get the Address book and Leather Cover for it, then you should do a blog post!)  And if you're a dedicated Filofax user, you can STILL put the quarters in the back or front of your Filofax to fill in any gaps that the Filofax inserts might be leaving in the planning of your life.

2.  I like a honkin' huge planner. I write big, and I like having some white space around what I write any way. (I totally miss having a leather binder though, with a pen loop and space for "stuff") Also, I am NOT creative, and need the help of others to figure out how to use my planner it its best advantage. I guess I feel like since I don't have some big high powered job (or any job right now, for that matter) that every day life is irrelevant to plan.

3.  I may be able to get by with just a monthly planner, and then use a lined notebook as a daily log.  I am still using this format as per my last post. I can always add the week info into the log book, also as per my last post.

Uncalendar Review

A few weeks ago, as I was going through another gut wrenching episode of planner angst, I was again lurking on Plannerisms (My favorite site for inspiration!).  As I was going back through posts searching for a planner that I thought might work for me, I came back across Laurie's review post on the Uncalendar.

I hadn't considered this planner seriously before, and I'm not sure why–so I ordered one (the 8.5" by 11" Lifestyle size, but they also make a Half Size), and may I say that Uncalendar has one of the best websites/storefronts EVER.  Other planner folks (*ahem* Planner Pad *ahem*) could take some notes on this user friendly interface!  After you create a profile, you can log back in and track your order (Super handy for those of us who are obsessed concerned about when we'll receive our fix merchandise). Also, there is a section called The Training Room with all kinds of handy additional information about how to use the Uncalendar to its best advantage.

I got the Uncalendar pretty fast (the Uncalendar company is in Arizona, and I'm in New Mexico. How convenient…), and then almost as soon as I opened it, I came to a screeching halt.  I'm going to wait a few minutes while you go look here and here and here at the insides of this planner.

Are you back? Good. Now you can understand how overwhelmed I was at the empty boxes on the left side of the weekly planning pages.  I simply have NO idea how to set these up.  I tried using the categories that I described in my Planner Pad post, but that was a no-go. Plus, I have to admit, that as papers go, the Uncalendar paper is marginally better than Filfoax paper–especially compared to Planner Pad paper which is an outstanding quality.  This limits the pens that I can use to doodle/draw/mess in my planner, and that frustrates me; as do the primary colored boxes.

I didn't take any pictures of the Uncalendar, because the Uncalendar website shows the insides better than I can, and to be honest, I haven't written anything but dates into this planner at all.  I plugged in 2 weeks worth of dates….and then did nothing else.  I went back to my Planner Pad for the time being, and have NO idea what to do with my Uncalendar.  I may use it as a lesson planner for my kids–any other ideas?

Now, this is not Uncalendar's fault.  It is lovely, really, and the notes pages in the back of the planner are GENIUS. A whack of those can be ordered from Uncalendar by themselves, which is totally worth it folks, because these note pages rock.  Just don't expect to be able to use your Lamy Safari on them.

Verdict: For me, another planner fail, but a really nice planner for visual/creative types, and if you even think this will work for you, order it.  It's certainly inexpensive enough to try out, and even if it doesn't work, you can use the notes pages any way, so not a total loss for sure.  The customer service from Uncalendar is spectacular, and this company is unhesitatingly recommended.