Friday, October 12, 2018

Planner Review #2: Get to Work Book

Hello and welcome back to Planner Review Series -- it's week #2!

Today, I will spotlight the Get to Work Book!  This was one of the very first planners I received after sending out a request for samples, so special thanks to Elisa Blaha Cripe, the creator of the planner (and I presume running the company, too!).  I believe I first heard of the GTWB on the Girls Next Door Podcast (PS: this a very fun, light conversational podcast that I love listening to!) -- Kelsey, one of the hosts, swears by this planner and has used it for several years running.  

I can see why one would get attached to this planner.  It is practical, versatile, chock-full of useful things, and well-designed.   I was sent the 2018 version for review, since 2019 wasn't out when I sent my email!

So let's dive in, shall we?

Cover/Aesthetics:  This book is spiral bound and feels durable.  It is 7" x 9", a popular size in the planning world, and quite thick for a non-daily planner.  The cover is a thick heavy chipboard - it's not going to bend in your bag.  It has 12 sturdy laminated tabs, one for each month.

The look of this planner is -- like our last contender -- not very feminine, which may be a plus or minus depending on your preferences!  It definitely has a professional vibe and would fit in well on a work desk.

There is no color -- it's all black and white, which might sound less enticing but it allows you to use your own color with plenty of effect.  I love the use of grayscale -- the pages (as you'll see below) just have a pleasing look to them.  You will WANT to write in this planner!

Planning/goal-setting pages:  This planner has a moderate amount of 'extra' planning pages.  It is not as structured as the Full Focus, but it isn't strictly a datebook, either.  

The planner opens with a shaded box for each month (to write in highlights of what is coming up), and a reflection page on the previous year's goals.  Then, each month has its own quote (if it were my preference, these would be blank, but I know some people love their quotes!) and space to write out your focus.

But that's not all!  At the end of every month, there are other helpful extras, including (1) a blank page (with fine grid markings - love), (2) a reflection/goal-setting worksheet, and (3) a project planning page with action items/different sized boxes.  I love this, and could imagine it being a great monthly review-type ritual.

grid paper 

goal setting goes so well with tea

versatile action-item layout!

Weekly/monthly pages:  I am very very picky about weekly layouts in particular.  For me, this is where the action happens in a planner - and if I don't like the weekly layout, I probably won't get good use out of the product.

Thankfully, the GTWB's weekly pages are quite pleasing and functional.  SO pleasing and functional that I was moved to create my first fake planner page (ie "mockup" in the plannerphile world).  Here are some ideas on how I might functionally use the weekly pages:

 image will appear sharper if you click

 close up

The monthly pages are equally functional, with plenty of space.  The start is on Sunday.  

One thing I could use more of in this planner is lines!  I tend to be really obsessive about keeping my lettering straight and I struggle without lines or a light grid :)  So I think if I had any suggestions for future iterations of this planner, it would be "more lines, please!".  But I recognize that is personal preference.

Paper:  The GTWB paper is not thick, but it is smooth and takes my pens nicely - no real feathering. There is slight ghosting (very slight) of my Pilot Hi-Tec C Maica 0.4.  The Staedtler fineliners look great on its pages.  There is no tendency to smudge (WHEW).

Overall impression:  This planner is for someone who:

- doesn't mind an overall larger planner
- wants goal-setting AND calendar-type pages in the same book
- cares deeply about a functional weekly layout (don't we all!?!)
- wants a professional looking design

It runs for $55, which seems about right for the sturdiness/degree of features, and is available for purchase now in the 2019 model.

What do you think?  Any die-hard GTWB users out there?

Future notes:  I have at least 8 other planners lined up for weekly reviews, and yes - I am saturated with planners over here!  There will be some giveaways.  Stay tuned :)