Thursday, January 2, 2020

Panda Planner Classic Review #PandaPlanner

I'm kind of in love right now and it was a total accident. (oh man, I hit "publish" on this post I started last spring and did not mean to, so you get what you get today, friends, with an update at the end)

I was proofreading for a client on Fiverr and in her nonfiction book she mentioned using her Panda Planner.

I stopped proofreading and said, "What the heck is that? I saw the word PLANNER. I love planners but I have not found the perfect one for me yet. I tried bullet journaling and that was the closest I got to moving to the town of Crap Togetherville, but then of course I quit because I suck at consistency."

Then I hit the Google.

Cue the sappy love music as I gazed upon the planner.

Wait, no. Not yet.

First, I had to hit the YouTube to find a review that would show me EVERY INCH of this thing before I committed. And I still did not commit. I was intrigued but thought maybe it would be too much work to come up with an affirmation for each day and figure out my wins and do-betters and tasks and priorities. But dang, THREE ribbons to keep track of your MONTH, WEEK and DAY? I really had no excuse to not get my crap together.

There was a 25% off deal the day I bought mine. And I got free shipping. And could pay using PayPal. So bam. $20ish and I committed. True, there are 6 months of monthly pages but only 90 days of daily pages. You can skip a day or two if you go on vacation or just take a day off where you don't have much happening. For me, I won't be skipping any days, that's for sure. I saw a vision of my future and it looked like this:

It's the year 2050 and I have been using 4 Panda Planners per year since 2019 and they are all lined up on my lovely built-in bookshelf my husband finally built for me.
Except my future will be more colorful because they have fantastic colors of Panda Planners and also my own books I will have written will be mixed in as well because I will be so uber-productive that I will have no choice but to publish 10 books a year on extremely helpful and awesome topics such as Homeschooling With Less Stress and More Fun and Learn to Relax by a Swimming Pool.

I got the Classic because I wanted to be able to carry it around with me. I liked the idea of the 8 1/2 x 11 size but dang, that's huge. I will have to learn to write tiny. I will survive.

Another cool thing about Panda Planner is that they send you emails with useful information. Like this post of 10 books about procrastination!

UPDATE A COUPLE OF MONTHS IN

CONS
I'm not really doing the GRATEFUL or EXCITED parts. Not doing the AFFIRMATION, FOCUS or EXERCISE parts. Sometimes I might log my Fitbit steps on EXERCISE but not usually. The FOCUS usually remains the same every day: SURVIVE.

The cost is a little prohibitive for me most of the time. Still I am torn because it's kept me the most organized I've ever been. A simple medium-sized spiral notebook would work okay and be 1/10 of the cost, but I'd have to write everything out in the format I want it to be in.

I'm not using the planner for all it could be used for. I really just need a spot to put the day's events (10:30 Mass, 2:30 dental appointment, 6 p.m. movie, 4:30 Joel goes to work) plus a place for daily tasks and a quick spot to write down vitamins and supplements I've taken. I could use a cheap spiral for this and carry it around but it could easily fall apart.

I'm not using the WEEKLY section at all. I tried, but I write down things I just can't seem to ever fit in. I'm not realistic. There is a PROJECTS section and someday I'll put things in there like CHICKENS, RAISED-BED GARDEN, PLAYHOUSE FOR GRANDKIDS, MEMOIR. At this point in my life, projects are things like slowly working on getting Michael his driver's license, getting Joel his Eagle Scout award, getting a kid reading fluently, getting a kid to understand place value. The WEEKLY section is overwhelming to me.

PROS
I do enjoy the TODAY'S PRIORITIES part since there are 5 spots and I have 5 kids and they are my priorities.

I love the pocket in the back.

I love the band that keeps it all closed up.

I love the monthly view; it has come in handy many times when I've been out and someone has told me about an event that I needed to write down.

Instead of having random pieces of paper in my purse or a notebook I never look at again, I generally WORK THIS PLANNER ... I move things from day to day that aren't getting done, try to get more realistic with my time, etc.

UPDATE as of January 2, 2020 and I am not using this anymore. I can't justify the cost! Shocker: as someone who probably has  ADD, I bounce from planning system to planning system and find it hard to stick with anything. Bullet journal is what I'm doing now. Sometimes a huge DayTimer. Sometimes I ignore it all and just type things on my computer in Word day to day. Google Calendar also rocks and gets me realistic with my time. Sometimes I'm gung-ho about planners and sometimes I rebel and ignore them for weeks on end and still somehow manage to get things done.

Tell me about your relationship with planners!

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