Last week I asked, “Do you have time for your day planner?” This was a question I asked myself several years ago. As a result, I tried out several of the popular planners on the market over the last three years. I used the EVO Personalized Planner, the Panda Planner, The High Performance Planner, and the Clever Fox Planner.
If you missed Part 1 you can read it here. In this second installment, I will cover the last two planners on the list. Here was the criteria I used to rate each planner:
- Physical size
The High Performance Planner
The third planner I tried was given to me, free of charge. The High Performance Planner by Brendon Burchard looked and sounded promising. The website states it is the “first-ever science-backed planner for reaching high performance in all you do.” Leading up to this planner, Burchard conducted research, with a team of psychologists and academics, on high performers and their habits. The results were this “field tested” planner.
The High Performance Planner comes in an 8.5 x 11.5 size only. It is available in six colors: black, red, green, yellow, blue, orange. I got the black version. With the size of the planner, it takes up considerable room on your desk top if you leave it laying open to view your day. There is a single ribbon to mark your place in the planner.
Like many others, the planner opens with an introduction. However, the intro is followed by a life assessment on categories such as health, mental/emotional, family, mission, spirit, finances, learning, and more. Next, you can take the High Performance Habits assessment. The six habits researched were: seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, demonstrate courage.
I found the subsequent 2-pages most interesting. They included a Life Vision, Near-Term Goals (1-year and 3-year), and Primary Aspirations. These were thought provoking and could set the tone for the remainder of the planner.
Unlike other planners, The High Performance Planner was linear in format. You filled out a Month at a Glance, followed by The Week Ahead, and then you dive into the daily pages for that week. At the end of a week’s worth of daily pages you are presented with a weekly review. This is followed by the next Week Ahead pages and daily pages, etc. until you reach the Monthly Review. Because you can start this planner at any time, there are five weeks between each monthly start and review.
The Month Ahead has spaces for major projects and major events, as well as the typical grid for filling in each date. There is also space provided for noting major deadlines, preparation, and self-encouragement.
The Week Ahead breaks each day into columns. Each column has spaces for noting daily focus, meetings and events, self-validation, relationship building, and notes.
The daily spread takes up 2-pages. Each day has 4-columns. From left to right: Morning Mindset with ten questions to ask yourself, first six hours of the day, second six hours of the day, Evening Journal with six questions to answer and a Daily Habits Scorecard to evaluate yourself against the six high performance habits.
The Weekly Review has space to list six things you learned about yourself and others over the last week. Next, you have an opportunity to scorer yourself against the categories from the Whole Life Assessment you took back at the beginning. Finally, you yourself against the High Performance Habits.
The Monthly Review includes seven questions for reflection. You are asked to review your long-term goal alignment. Lastly, you score yourself against the life assessment for the month before starting your next month.
You can purchase a single 60-day planner on Amazon for $20.25 – 24.99 US depending on the color you choose. You can buy a pack of three black planners, or 6-month supply, on Amazon for $68.17 US – a few cents more than buying them each individually.
This planner did not come with, what I would call, fun features. I did like the linear aspect of the planner. I did not have to flip back and forth as I did with others planners between month/week/day pages. Another aspect was the accountability to goals. You were constantly reflecting (daily, weekly, monthly) on your goals and habits.
Clever Fox Planner
Down to the last planner I tried–the Clever Fox Planner. The website states this planner was developed by “passionate people” who “are all about productivity and personal development.” According to their story, they tried out several planners on the market, but felt something was missing: not a 12-month planner, no place for habit tracking, no place for goals setting, not enough space for notes nor to-dos.
The Clever Fox Planner comes in multiple sizes. The 8.5 x 11 inch weekly planner comes in eight colors: periwinkle, red, pearl, emerald, yellow, forest green, black, blue. The 5.5 x 8.5 daily planner was the one I tried. The daily planner also comes in eight colors: black, rose, pink, peach, purple, lavender, turquoise, orange. Each of the daily planners come with three ribbons. I usually kept one as a placeholder for the month, one for the week/daily, and the last for the notes section.
Unlike the other planners reviewed, this one came with a separate booklet that included an introduction and nine pages of notes and illustrations explaining the features within the planner. The final couple pages provide a list of Top 10 Productivity Hacks.
A couple unique features of the planner is a spread for creating a vision board and a page for mind mapping. In addition, there were four pages of colorful stickers inserted into a pocket in the back of the cover. One last item, that I found surprisingly useful, was an elastic pen holder stitched into the cover. I never had to go fishing for a pen when I was making an entry.
The planner starts with a page allocated for gratitude and self-awareness. You are encouraged to list things you are grateful for and passionate about. The facing page allows you to capture daily habits you desire to adopt for the year ahead and a place to list your personal affirmations. Based on the life habits you desire to learn in the year ahead, you are next presented with a spread to create a vision board.
Next comes goals setting for the year ahead. You have eight life areas in which you can set three goals a piece. The life areas are: health, career, family and friends, romance, finance, personal, recreation, spiritual. Since most people tend to get aggressive with goals setting, the following page has fiver spaces for you to choose from your list to focus upon for the year. The final piece is a page for mind mapping. Use this as a way to break down your top goals into smaller increments.
The month pages come after the goal setting. You are provided twelve non-dated month pages with space to add: habits to adopt, skills to learn, places to go, monthly goals, monthly wins, and more.
The planner includes fifty-two week/daily spreads. A unique feature, this spread includes Monday through Sunday on the left page, while the right has spaces for: the week’s main goal, the week’s priorities, notes, personal to-dos, habit tracking and the week’s review.
The remaining pages of the planner contain dot-grids. These pages can be used for taking notes, drawing, or storing any additional information. I have used stickies and taped inspirational cut-outs on these pages.
The Clever Fox Planner has only two prices: Daily Planners 5.5 x 8.5 = $24.99 US, Pro Weekly Planners 8.5 x 11 = $36.99 US. While there are additional products from Clever Fox, I only reviewed the daily planner.
This planner surprised me by including fun graphical stickers to use throughout the pages. It included a pocket in the back cover to house them. As noted above, other features I found fun were the vision boarding, goal prioritization, and mind mapping sheets.
I hope you found Part 2 of this series informative. In the next installment I will share the pros and cons of these planners from my perspective. I will also share with you which one of these four was my favorite.
If you liked what you read here, please leave me a comment in the comment section below. I had one reader ask me to add an additional article to series to discuss differing needs for differing planners. I am considering writing that soon.
See you next week!