It is no secret that we live in an extensively digital era, but for some of us we still find delight in the “old school” ways. Throughout my whole life I have constantly gone back and forth between physical and digital planning. This has a little to do with indecisiveness and mostly because of time and place. There are some walks of life where one fits better than the other. The last few years, basically back when I started my Masters, I began finding a balance between both. I’m not one to constantly pull out a physical planner, if I am not in work mode, so this combination has become the best recipe for me.
A few months ago I had an opportunity arise to partner with Good Busy Planner. They agreed to send me a planner to use in exchange for a review (they even sent one to giveaway to one lucky Instagram follower, congrats again @texantakesokie!). This all came at perfect timing considering the New Year was around the corner and I would soon be contemplating my next move. Upon looking into Good Busy and what they had to offer I instantly loved the uniqueness of the planner and all the “extra features.” Before I go into detail about my planner experience thus far let’s first look into what exactly Good Busy is, shall we?
So what is the Good Busy Planner? Good Busy Planner is more than just a planner, it is a life organizer. They have carefully designed this product to help you stay organized, bring clarity to thought, draw attention to what’s necessary and maximize all of your “good busy.”
Who is it for? Anyone! You do not have to live a non-stop action life or feel overwhelmed about all you have to do in a day, week or month to benefit from the Good Busy Planner.
Why Good Busy? Good Busy is more than just a planner for your day to day agenda. It helps you to track and maintain goals while also providing a space to create mental clarity and problem-solving. Overall, Good Busy helps you be productive in a stress-free manner while fostering positivity and happiness.
- 7 inch X 10 inch
- 1 pound 5 ounces weight
- 120 gsm highest quality paper
- No ink bleed-through or ghosting
- 100% recycled paper
- Faux leather cover
- 2 satin-finish no-fray ribbons
- Elastic band enclosure
- Dated and undated versions available
Alright now let’s get to what you came here for. The low down. The inside scoop. The skinny.
At first look I’m not going to lie, this planner seemed highly overwhelming. I loved the “concept” but wasn’t sure if all the extra bells and whistles were for me: after all I just wanted to plan out my day. I was worried that I would become consumed trying to keep up with all the extras and essentially my planner would become another task and not organization for my tasks. But let me tell you… That is not the case at all! This planner works for you in whatever way you want it to and allows room to change and grow each day, week or even month. I’m living proof of that, which we’ll get into a little later in the post.
While I still feel as if I’m getting the “hang” of this planner I can say with ultimate confidence that I cannot imagine a day without it now. It’s a gift for my Type A brain. Beyond being one heck of of an organization and task tool it has also helped me to take a step back and reflect. In a matter of seconds, when I’m simply opening it to add or check something off, I am able to also able to tap into a state of mental reflection.
Sounds pretty good so far right? Don’t mind me, I’ll answer for you. Yes!
So what’s it look like on the inside you ask? Let’s dive in.
When you first open your planner you see several pages before you see your first calendar. This threw me at first. These pages help you set the goals, evaluate your current time commitments and rate where you stand with it all. The “Am I Good Busy” is a quick survey looking at different aspects of your life and giving you space to jot down some ideas of your own. Then it moves to “Life Balance and Rituals.” Here you rank how satisfied you are in different areas of your life ranging from friends, family, relationship, work, fun and leisure and income. I think there’s a couple I’m even missing. It then leads you on to delve into these a little further explaining what you’re most and least satisfied with and how you can enhance both. Lastly this page set wrap up with you reflecting on your different rituals throughout the day (morning, work, night, etc) helping you layout how and where you spend your time.
As you flip further there are more pages that deal with goal discovery/setting and action plans. I have yet to do anything with these pages myself. They seem incredibly useful I just haven’t had the time to sit down and really dedicated deep thought into them so I skipped it for now. I do however use the monthly goals and weekly action components, which again we will get to in just a little bit. After this pair of pages you then find yourself having a few bullet journal pages that are open for you to do with as you please. The opening portion of this planner ends with a year calendar. I love how much room there is for each month where you could potentially keep all your important known dates (birthdays, anniversary’s, etc) in one easy spot. Again I have yet to fill that out, but I did use the smaller year calendar in the top left corner to underline our school breaks and days off for a quick reference check.
After you get through those pages alas the planner itself! Each month starts off with a “month at a glance” set of pages. While I’ve always blown past this part of planners, I decided we’d give it a go this time around. Much like the planner itself, I don’t know how I ever survived skipping it. I love that I can easily and clearly layout all I already know I have for that coming month. I’ve also noticed that it makes my weekly planning more organized. We all know how quickly schedules can change and instead of junking up my weekly pages I can make changes to this view first leaving the weeks until I get there. One thing I love most about this page is the space to set a 30 day challenge for yourself which you can then carry through and keep track of in the week view. The organizational options on this page are: this months priorities, monthly master task list, plans for leisure/travel/fun and stats/income/expenses/bills/savings. The goal option has space for 4 main goals. The graphic organizer in the bottom left allows you to state the goal, make a plan and track your progress. Lastly there is a month recap portion included here which has several short questions for you to circle yes or no too and then a space to write how to improve, what to change and things to focus on next month.
Jam packed right?! Oh honey, we’re just getting started.
Onto the weekly pages we go. Think you’re ready? Well, we’re about to find out!
Where to start… First things first! Each week has a spot where you can make an intention for the week. I love this. For example, this week is our last week before mid-winter break so my intention set Monday morning was “push through” to remind me a break is near and you’ve got this, don’t loose motivation. Since we started on the outside let’s keep with it. Right below the week intention you then see spots for this week priorities and a weekly master task list, much like that on the month. Next there is a grid which allows you to reflect on those 4 goals you set; leaving room to jot down progress and milestones. Continuing to move south to the bottom of the left page there is a tally chart. Here you can keep track of something(s) you plan to or need to do daily and see consistency. Moving east next up is a mind map which allows has a spot to place a problem then think on what you don’t control, what’s not working, what is working and actions you can take. So far I haven’t used this just for one specific problem, but I have circled which prompt I am answering and then wrote about whatever it might be. For example in January I reflected on “what is working” as class discipline. Under that is a do more of and do less of chart. As we round out the outside edge of the planner you will find places to record wins, memorable moments, reflections & reviews as well as a small area of bullet squares.
Now to your daily agenda. Each day starts with a space to write some gratitude, focus or remembrance for the day. I’ve noticed I vary on when I fill this out, it’s not always at the start of the day. Next you can write down three top tasks. After you set tasks who doesn’t want to find something to look forward to? Well that’s your next stop. Place a reward or something you’re looking forward to; find that calm in your busy task filled day. Moving down there are several lines to write down your scheduled tasks/appointments and right below that you will find more lines for secondary tasks/errands. I love this portion of it because I always have those things I need to get done and I want to get done and this makes the separation clear for me. Your daily agenda wraps up with an open box to put notes or other plans and a place to record the best thing that happened today.
Now by no means did I use all these features when I first cracked my planner. My first month of using Good Busy was definitely more simplistic (as you can see from the two pictures above). I used it for the task at hand; a calendar and dabbled here and there into the other realms just dipping my toes in. Now that I am into my second month and starting to develop my own vibe with the planner I am starting to use it more to its potential. I think the two pictures you can see below definitely portray such! I’m not completely happy with my organization just yet, but I’m still learning how to best get my “brain on paper.”
One thing I would say is this is certainly a planner that you need to be patient with because it is worth it! Like I stated at the start of this post, what was that like 3 hours ago (ha!), I at first felt very overwhelmed. Don’t be. Use it for what you can, as you can and slowly add more and more into you days, weeks and months. Also know that you don’t always have to have it all filled out. Some weeks that are a little more bad busy than good busy, hey, you might only be able to use it to track your appointments and that’s ok!
Woof! I think we made it. Are you still with me? While I’d like to say that’s Good Busy Planner in a nutshell, there’s no way to put this amazing life organizer in a nutshell!
Thank you to Good Busy for the partnership! Can’t wait to continue to utilize this in my daily life!
If you’re interested in purchasing a Good Busy Planner of your own visit goodbusyplanner.com and use the code NJ20 at checkout for 20% off!