It takes a lot of reflection and self-introspection to accomplish everything I hope to in my life, which is why I always start my day the same way—reflecting on what went right the day before and what may need to be changed for today. If the goal is something I'll struggle with, I write it down in the notebook I carry to reinforce the fact it's something I need to work on. I tend to take the same approach when it comes to work goals, reflecting on what I accomplished yesterday and what I need to improve on or accomplish today. Since I open my notebook multiple times a day to jot down recipe notes, memos, and other important information my goals are always staring back at me waiting to be checked off.
It's a system that has served me well over the years, but this year it failed. We've had three major family emergencies back-to-back, so my attention has be focused on spending time with my family during these difficult times, rather than concentrating on my goals. Unfortunately this has caused me to drop the ball on more than one major project and miss countless deadlines—some of which I'm still struggling to catch up with. I've also lost sight of many of the things I've wanted to work on and improve this year both on the blog and in my personal life.
There are still a few days left in 2015, so I decided to buy a planner and make a list of everything I didn't accomplish this year. Those will be the projects I tackle first in the new year—I want to start of 2016 completely caught up!
I looked at a number of popular planners including Spark Notebook and Passion Planner, both of which have launched very successful Kickstarter campaigns this year, before I decided on the Panda Planner. It's a non-dated planner that is broken up into monthly, weekly, and daily sections. I love the non-dated format because very little of my life is scheduled on an hourly or even a daily basis—the standard format for most planners. I tend to work better with a weekly and monthly list of goals, but I do have a few days each week where a daily breakdown is crucial. Since I don't need a daily outlook on a regular basis using a standard dated planner leaves me with a lot of empty space and wasted paper.
This planner is set up in such a manner that there is very little wasted space. It's well designed for someone who needs to keep a schedule on occasion, but may not need a planner every day, or who keeps a schedule that is very fluid (like a blogging calendar.) If you fall in to these two groups, I'd highly recommend this planner—non dated planners are they way to go for the occasional user. If you need more structure in your life or prefer a day-to-day planner, this isn't going to be the best option for your planning needs—it's not nearly large enough.
There aren't enough pages to get through 6 months worth of scheduling. This is something I feel is absolutely essential, although a full 12 months would be ideal. I'd love to see the page count bumped up a little so there were 12 monthly, 26 weekly, and 122 daily pages. The additional 86 pages would make this planner much more user-friendly, yet still keep it small enough to be convenient to carry. If you prefer the post-it note method of planning, where you write everything on post-its before adding it to your planner, you would get a full years worth of use with the added pages as long as you remove start over half way through the year. These changes, plus the addition of a pen loop, would go a long way towards making this a more usable planner.
Would I Purchase This Again? Not without a few minor changes. It is organized almost exactly the way I prefer to work, but there aren't nearly enough pages to make it useful to me on a long term basis.
Where to Purchase
Amazon - Panda Planner
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In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that this sample was provided to me free of charge by Panda Planner. As always, all opinions are my own.