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Review: The Day Designer

November 12, 2014
the day designer

THE BACKSTORY

I have always had an obsession with planners. In 7th grade we received our first ever Student Planners and I became unstoppable. All homework assignments and due dates went into one place with monthly and weekly views. I realized how truly obsessive I was when I would look at my planner in comparison to my classmates: mine was color coded with everything labeled perfectly, theirs was usually a mish-mosh of dates and assignments written in mismatched pens. I was kind of OCD, and yes, I sometimes concentrated on the planner more than the homework – guilty as charged! But this obsession with planners, pens, organization, and consistency has carried on with me through adulthood.

At my first internship I learned the true importance of a well-groomed To Do List. I had less homework my senior year of college, so I had a very minimal monthly-view only planner. But at work I had a notebook with assigned tasks that I filled up within my first month. As an e-commerce intern, my daily job was to do a lot of the same thing over and over again: complete image mapping for 16 graphics, upload 16 graphics, etc. I knew what I had to do, but I noticed that fulfilling feeling of crossing each of these 16 pages off my list when completed. That feeling encouraged me to work harder and faster. So I would write each task out in full detail: complete image mapping for women’s graphic, complete image mapping for men’s graphic, complete image mapping for shoes and handbags graphic, etc. And so my love affair with lists began.

I have adopted a To Do List at every job since then. To this day I’m still amazed that some of my friends and colleagues can operate without one. I’ve filled countless notebooks, and it always has to be a notebook, never a notepad. Why? Let me list it out for ya!

  • I love going through the pages and seeing my progress, and it’s imperative for me to see how my goals have changed and how the nature of my job has evolved.
  • When I am unable to complete a task by the end of the day I (obviously) need to be able to carry it over to the next day. You can’t really review things from the day before if you throw the page in the trash!

Fast forward a few years later, and my list making began to overwhelm me. It’s difficult to prioritize when you have so much to do. And I always have so much to do. I wear many different hats at my job, and it is exhausting at times. But part of keeping it together is enlisting the right tools to help. The Day Designer is the ultimate tool.

 

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The Day Designer by Whitney English in depth review

 

THE REVIEW

The Day Designer is so much more than just a planner. It’s also a tangible goal tracker that forces me to make my dreams into measurable goals. I might know what my goals for the future are, but being able to plan for them makes a world of difference.

The first several pages are meant to encourage and inspire. There are only three worksheets, but they pack a powerful punch:

  • Define Your Core
  • Yearly Goal Setting
  • Make it Measurable
  • plus a Year-at-a-Glance

{I’ve already completed these worksheets, & at the risk of exposing a little too much about my goals and life in general I’ve kept them thumbnail sized}

Filling out these worksheets has helped me immensely. I have been able to truly define my core, which has helped me plan out my goals much better. It sounds crazy, but it really has worked. You’re not required to do much self reflection after you graduate. Having been out of school for a while, finally taking some time to consciously improve and force myself to grow is a nice feeling.

Moving on to the agenda portion of the planner. I have the August edition, so my planner goes from August 2014 to July 2015:

  • There is a monthly view, and of course a daily view. There is no weekly view.
  • Each month is marked with gorgeous gold tabs.
  • Each tabbed page is lined for additional categorized notes.

{These are clickable to get a better view}

Each day in The Day Designer is laid out beautifully. The page is already dated & includes a motivational quote at the top. There are areas for both a daily schedule and a To Do List. There also plenty of other fun sections, including a “Daily Gratitude.” The most important and helpful section for me is definitely “Today’s Top Three.” I always fill out the entire To-Do section, and it means I have a difficult time prioritizing. Processing payroll is a lot more important to remember than scanning waivers! My Top Three acts as my can’t-leave-the-office-before-doing-this List. 

the day designer planner review look inside

I’ve never been able to use just gmail/outlook and an online or on the computer task list. There’s something much more fulfilling about writing it out and crossing it off your list in comparison to just hitting “delete.” When it’s gone from my computer, it looks like it didn’t even happen. Plus, there are so many other distractions when you’re staring at a computer screen. I can get distracted pretty easily, so I have a hard time with online apps and tools.

Why this planner? Well, for starters there is no other planner out that there values my large To Do List in quite the same way. Most others are meant for people who have a ton of meetings, and that just isn’t me. Then there is the fact that other planners are often so over decorated that they detract from what I really need: a place to hash out my action plan for the day. Not only do I have a weekly schedule and meetings, but I really need to be able to concentrate on what I have to finish before I can leave for the day. I have multiple weekly and monthly deadlines that I simply cannot miss. A cluttered, over decorated planner is not only impersonal (let me do the decorating if anything!), but it’s also unhelpful. The Day Designer is the exact opposite: the clean design allows for personal customization and a clear view of  the day.

5 Stars

The Day Designer is sold primarily online, although I was able to purchase mine through a retail store. It is a bit pricey (I paid $75 for mine including shipping), but completely worth it. Right now their online store is currently closed (they release the planners in batches), but they will be reopening on Nov 24th with a large selection of 2015 planners. My favorite part? They have several new covers! The black and white stripes are a nice classic look, but the pink ikat and the spotted designs are so adorable! I will definitely be getting a fun new cover next year.

This planner has changed my work strategies for the better, and in so many wonderful ways. My productivity level has increased, which means my stress levels are manageable: I can handle the many surprises that come my way because I am already so on task with my regular obligations. My goals are measurable and more clear, which is amazing for my self esteem and my entire life. So far I’ve completed my 3 month goals, and it really is because I was forced to write it down and come up with a game plan.

Not only do I have somewhere gorgeous to put my To Do Lists, but I also have a place that keeps me accountable for all my goal setting. I would highly recommend this for anyone, but especially for those with a grueling task list. The days are so much more manageable when armed with a plan and a list to get through it.

*disclaimer: when I originally wrote this post I was not a Day Designer affiliate. I’m excited to say I now am one, however all opinions are my own.

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  • http://www.alwaysmaylee.com/ Always Maylee

    I do love a good planner! Love this one that you have!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  • http://lestylorouge.com/ Ashley White

    Ooooh my heavens, we’re the same person. I LOVE PLANNERS AND HAVE ALWAYS LOVED PLANNERS. I love checking off my to-dos, logging workouts, etc.

    I’m such a dweeb, but planner shopping every year is so exciting. New year, new planner. Fresh starts. This planner looks amazing!

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

    • http://weheartbeauty.com Larisa

      lol twins!!!! Yes this one is awesome! Which one do you use? I used to use weekly planners but found I needed to track my daily to do lists more than I needed to track my weekly events.

  • http://brunchataudreys.blogspot.com/ Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    Right now as a freshman in college, I feel exactly like your seventh grade self! I write my whole LIFE in my planner; it isn’t limited to class assignments :P The one I’m using right now is the large Lilly Pulitzer Orange Grove Monkey agenda. I admit that I got it because of the beautiful pattern rather than having an effective layout (but it’s been working quite well for me) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Joy

    S is the same as you; she already has a deep love for planners, lists, and writing everything down! It may be pricey, but this would be a good gift for her. I love your in-depth review of the planner and how it really helps you with your lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://madeinmauve.com Made in Mauve

    Fab planner! Thanks for the review

    Made in Mauve

    • http://weheartbeauty.com Larisa

      Thanks love!

  • STYLEAT30

    I need that DAY DESIGNER in my life! I am the type of girl who needs to write stuff down or else it just gets forgotten somehow. I’ll definitely check this one out! Thanks. =)

    Fashion | Travel | Food
    Jo from http://www.Styleat30.com

    You can find me on Facebook for more regular updates:
    https://www.facebook.com/StyleAt30

  • http://www.globetrottinginheels.com/ Elisa

    I share your love for planners and organizing, so this is right up my alley! $75 is definitely a bit steep though. Maybe I’ll add it to my Christmas list :-)

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