I don't know if it stems back to the days of being in school but there is something about mid-year diaries that I need in my life. Starting something on the 1st of January seems .... wrong. My friend is unfortunate enough to have her birthday on the 2nd of January (or is it the 3rd?) and I won't begin to tell you how many times I have forgotten it because I haven't started using my new diary/ calender until 1st January.
This year I wanted something more than a diary, last year I had a lovely organiser diary with compartments, note space, shopping lists, budgeting etc and I thought right this year I WILL be organised....... it lasted about 3 months before it got tatty/ took up too much space in my bag and to be honest I was bored of it and bought a basic diary .... that I didn't like because I didn't have enough space to write things I thought of (like shopping lists).
Now there is the PERFECT solution, a planner that is unique to you, you choose everything about it.... if you follow me on Twitter you will have heard all about my excitement ,... here is....
Quite simply go to the above site and ..... click the "Start Here" button. This will allow you to select the planner option. Obviously you COULD choose to make a wall planner or notebook or purchase some accessories but I'm not going to focus on them.
Your first dilemma awaits you.... which size do you want?? It is worth noting here, as I found out while playing around with mine, that different sizes bring with them different options for end pages (more on these later) so you may want to explore every option before purchasing to find the one that works for you.
Moving on you design your front and back covers, including wording. Again depending on which size you choose your image will alter, if you choose 'large' you can have a landscape photo while on 'medium' you would need to crop a landscape to fit the size. You can use some designs already on the site (but where's the fun in that?) simply upload your own photo's to truly personalise your planner.
I chose 2 different photo's for mine. And chose to add my name and the years the diary covered.
Ohh forgot to mention about the dates. you can choose to have your diary covering ANY dates you like (for a calender year). I went for October 2014 to September 2015, as it states a possible 2 week waiting time (I ordered on 1st September). I was pleasantly surprised to see that they start a little early and instead of waiting until 1st October I can use my planner from 20th September :)
You can customise your planners right down to what colour what you would like your elastic closure and ruler.
The next step is really fun, you get to choose EXACTLY how you want your planner to look. Do you want the top bar to be blue, pink, purple, black...... do you want a starry pattern? a swirly one? a square one?
How do you want to organise your writing space? vertical columns or horizontal rows and would you like these lined or plain? perhaps you would like them half and half? or maybe stripped (in your choice of colour).... It's all possible.
You would like the days and months to be in English wouldn't you? NO? oh ..... perhaps you'd prefer to select German, Austrian or Danish (I'm intrigued why French is not listed but I bet if you asked Personal Planner would try their hardest to fulfil your request). I was also confused.... why Australian? surly their days of the week are the same as in the UK (I don't remember that being a language option at school)..... it's for Bank Holidays. You see PP put them in for you, and obviously Australia celebrate different ones to the UK.
Now... what else could you need from the planner?? A space to write what the weather was like that day? do you work shifts? perhaps you'd like a box to make a note of that in, A budding gym attender? choose the 'workout' option (in 2 sizes) and make a note of your daily circuits here.
You can even use the option to make a list of any birthdays and the lovely people who print the planner will put them on the correct pages for you.
Ahhh, what about the bits at the bottom of the page, I've not mentioned them..... well these are your next step. They are called 'modules' and you can choose up to 3 (the calender is already added) to lay along the bottom of every double page spread.
I choose a 'to-do list' as I always need them, some lines and a blank bit (for making any blogging notes or shopping lists).
You could choose a graph to complete, an "Idea of the week", a 'List of the week", squared paper, 'dinners' lets you list that weeks meals, you could choose 'exams' or 'tests' if you frequently need to remember when they are,
Are you a budding musician - choose blank musical score.
Parents may be able to use the "Preschool" option to remember what is needed every day.
Fitness enthusiasts can choose "workout" to list their training schedule if not using it above.
Step 5 is to make your back pages, remember I said earlier this will largely depend on what size planner you have chosen - the options however are pretty similar.
For a small planner you get 18 additional pages (12 and 6)
Both medium planner and large again give you 18 (8 and 10)
Whilst A5 gives a staggering 58!!! (8, 10 and 40) ... as a blogger (and a busy working mummy) I obviously chose this option as it meant I had loads of lined and plain paper to write ideas and lists on. I chose to gave a 2015 overview (and some ruled paper) as well (tho now questioning why I didn't go for the 14/15 overview option - like I said I was half asleep lol).
You don't HAVE to have lined and plain paper tho.
You get 4 different options for Overview's (depending when you order): 2014/5, 2015/ 6, 2014 and ruled, 2015 and ruled
Then you can choose: ruled pages, blank pages, blank musical sheets, squared paper, or maps
Perhaps you'd like space to wrote address on?
Or make it a bit more fun with colouring pages and sudoku.
If you are a teacher they even have THAT covered.... there are various different types but they include: a clever name flap for recording pupils names and address, pages to record important school information (address, phone number), timetables, columns to record exam results, absence report recording pages,
Your last step is to personalise your book on the first page. Here you can write a little message (using their ideas to help if you like) to anyone who may find your book and list your contact details.
Do make sure to spell check this when done..... can you spot the deliberate mistake in mine?
And that's it. Add any accessories you might like such as a pen or extra plastic pockets (you get 1 pocket, a ruler and an elastic closure as standard). If you are using it for work why not pretend it's a professional planner and add a nice leather cover. Put in your payment details..... and wait for the postie.
Ohhh did I mention the message? As part of your checkout process you can let PP know if it is for you or a gift. Gifts are posted in discreet packaging whilst your own come as above. See the bit in blue under my address it's telling the kids to keep their mits off (they like to open my post).... but you can write anything you like.
Then all you have to do is open it up and put the planner together, basically put in the ruler and wallet (check which way up it goes first #doh) and pop the elastic closure through the holes on the back.
Customer Service/ Social Media Presence
I believe in reviewing a companies customer service and social media presence as well as their products and will try these methods to contact them, even if it is just to congratulate them. I am pleased to say Personal Planner have wow'd me in this area. They are chatty and very active on Twitter. When I realised (because I was tired and had changed my mind millions of times over my planner) that I had ordered a **shock horror** clear ruler instead of a pink one to match my colour scheme (a little OCD?) I quickly tweeted them with my order number and they confirmed and made the amendments for me.
How to contact Personal Planner
Disclaimer: Personal Planner gave me a gift card to spend as I liked on their site as part of the goodybag from the #northernbloggersmeetup. They did not ask me to write this post and as always my opinions remain my own.