I was SO excited to receive my Clever Fox premium weekly planner.
This is the planner that, after a lot of research, I chose for 2022.
I'm going to run through the 10 reasons why I believe this is, quite seriously, one of the best planners that's ever been made.
You can also watch the video here:
Okay. So, let's start at the beginning.
1. Vision & Mission
The first thing to highlight with this planner is the way that it starts with your vision and your mission and, as with any organization or any individual who is goal orientated, having a vision and a mission for the year ahead is absolutely critical.
So I just love that they've asked the right questions here and left plenty of space for journaling about those two areas.
2. Gratitude & Affirmations
Next up, I like that right up at the front there is a space for what you're grateful for; so, bringing gratitude into the journal very early on, as well as your affirmations.
So, again, the things that I've highlighted here as being some of the best elements of this planner are the things that I talk about a lot in my coaching and workshops, things like a daily gratitude log, things like having affirmations, mantras to say first thing every morning.
It's the fact that it's all in one place which is so important. It's making you think about it at the beginning of the year.
You've also got here, "What am I passionate about?", and skills to learn, so things that you want to challenge yourself with over the year.
3. Vision Board
Next up, I've never seen this in a planner before. I absolutely love vision boards. I really believe in them. I do them a lot. Recommend them a lot. This is potentially quite small. I would normally do an A3 vision board if I was going to do one, like cutting out from magazines and things like that, but having it with you, it probably means you're going to look at it much more often.
So I just love that they've left this space for a vision board here, and I think that's so important. It is just quite literally bringing together everything that's so powerful all in the same place.
4. Goal Setting
Next up, there's a lot around goal setting in this planner and that's one of the reasons I think it works so well, but this area in particular that's broken down into eight sections, eight different life areas: health and fitness, business and career, family and friends, relationships and romance, finance, personal development, fun and recreation, and spiritual.
Again, having these upfront to set ahead of the year I think is a really great activity to do, to set your goals in such a way.
This actually links to something that's slightly later on where it's reviewed on a three month basis. So, at the three month point, this transfers over so that every three months you can review your goals and see where you are with them and revise them and update them or change them completely.
5. Monthly Spread Layout
So, moving on to the monthly spread. First of all, it's clean, and it's clear.
There's plenty of space for appointments and planning in the monthly spread. But what I really like about it is this bottom section where there's space for your month's goals and then your month's wins and how you might improve next month.
So, what I like about this is that you've built into it from the very beginning; into really every section is setting goals, reviewing how you've done with those goals, and reflecting on how you might improve going forward.
So it's very focused on productivity. I've never seen any planner quite so focused on goal setting and productivity in such a positive way that kind of influences you to bring that into everyday practice.
6. Monthly Review
The monthly review is one of my favourite areas of the planner. Not only do they ask the right questions here, "What were your lessons learned? How do I feel about my progress? What I'm looking forward to," it's really focused on learning lessons, taking what you've learned to move forward, and to look for the positive in things.
I just think this whole kind of monthly review is really, really positive, but the highlight of it has to be the wheel of life. It has all the areas that we've just mentioned.
I'll link here actually to another video where I talk about using colour to track your mood.
The way I will use this is that I'll colour it in as you would do the wheel of life, in terms of measuring each of these areas of your life from 1 to 10, but I'll also use the colours that represent how I feel about those areas of my life, and I love that within this there's room for a little bit of art journaling, a bit of colour.
So the vision board and this wheel of life is what makes this different to many of the other planners that are just focused on writing.
7. Weekly Spread Layout
So let's move on to the weekly spread. Now, again, it's really set up for goal setting here, your goals, your priorities. It's also set up for habit tracking, for living intentionally, tracking your habits or skills. It's also set up for reflecting on your wins or learning from the things that perhaps didn't go right.
So, again, it's focused not only on what you're going to do, so you can use this page to write in your appointments, your tasks and things like that, but having it built into the same page to constantly reflect on those things, to prioritize and to move forward, is what makes it really powerful.
It's probably worth saying here that, conceptually, I think this planner is most similar to the Passion Planner in terms of the goal setting and the mind map and things like that. The biggest difference between them is that this doesn't have appointments. This was my biggest question over ordering it, to be honest. If you need to book appointments into your day and you have a lot of appointments every day, this probably isn't going to work for you.
So that's the biggest question you need to ask yourself, is whether you need an appointments calendar or not and, if you don't, I really do believe this is the best planner out there.
8. Blank Pages
Moving on to another reason that this is great, is the number of black (well, dotted) pages at the back. Now, you don't see this very often either in an A5 planner. I intend to use this back section here for my daily gratitude log.
So the way that I use this is that, at the end of every day, I simply list three things I'm grateful for or three good things that have happened that day, and the amount of space here would absolutely last a full year for me to do that.
9. The Way It Feels
Okay. So the next reason that I really like this is just the feel of it. It's quite a thick book because it does have additional pages in it.
It isn't just a planner, it's very much a planner journal.
I do prefer A5. I've tried a larger planner and I do always tend to go back to the A5 just because I find it much easier to handle, to carry around with me, to flick through. But it is actually so important how it feels and this planner is just perfect in terms of size.
It's worth mentioning the colours as well. It comes in a range of really lovely colours. This is mystic blue, which I really love, but I was quite torn between the choice of colours.
10. Package Extras
And then finally, what I would say about this planner is that the whole package is so well thought out. The fact that it comes in a box is important because it's protected in the mail.
You get some stickers with it. Who doesn't love stickers? It feels like just an extra gift.
And the fact it comes with a little booklet about how it works, how each section works, and if you're not sure how to complete each of the sections, it tells you about them and it gives you examples as well.
So I just think it's really well thought out. It feels like a gift to yourself. Of course, it could be a gift for someone else.
The only thing I haven't mentioned about this planner is the fact that whilst I've chosen it for 2022, this one is undated.
Now, I've kind of gone back and forth on this and I mostly have used dated planners in the past. I'm hoping that Clever Fox do bring out a dated edition of this weekly planner. If it's possible to be any more excited about a planner than I am already, then that would do it!
However, there are actually a couple of reasons why the undated planner is potentially even better than the dated. One of those is that the monthly layouts are all upfront. So, in a dated planner, you'd have a monthly layout followed by four or five weeks of daily layouts, but in the undated, the months are all together upfront, each with a monthly review in between.
In terms of reflection; especially the wheel of life and looking at lessons learned, it actually makes more sense for it all to be together because you can more easily track from one month to the next how you feel about certain areas of your life. You can compare it much more easily.
The second reason is that not only can you start the planner at any time of year, but you can take a break from it at any time as well and come back to it without wasting any pages.
I plan on doing regular reviews about how it's going, how I'm finding the exercises in it, and whether, in fact, it is as powerful as I believe it is going to be in terms of goal setting, motivation and productivity.
You can order your copy here, by using this affiliate link, which means no extra cost to you, but keeps the blog and website for my not-for-profit organisation, The Creative Map, running.