Planner Review

plannerfest 2010

October 29, 2009

a borderline-compulsive planner + paper-lover’s dream
second only to back-to-school shopping (for stationery, clothes, or just about anything!), i absolutely love picking out my organizational system for the coming calendar year. yes, it’s only october — but i’ve already assembled my life-management gear for the approaching season. just in case any of you are anywhere NEAR as nerdy as i am about things like this, i figured i would share, since i’m always looking for ideas from others.

i’ve posted my current system a few times: for the past 2 years, i’ve used an exacompta space 17.

i love that there is blank space on the right for list-making! i use it for planning out my runs/workouts and keeping track of tasks that i’d like to get through by the end of the week. i will also put random notes and info that i might need for the week, like a clinic patient’s phone number or an important address.

while i love the layout, sometimes i feel a little cramped by the small paper real-estate, particularly when it comes to scheduling in appointments and other time-sensitive things. i also find the paper in this planner a little thin for my taste — i use a lot of colored and gel pens, and i don’t like seeing the ink bleed through to the other side. so, for next year i’m switching to the larger space 24, which is the same format but larger and with thicker paper.

i would have happily purchased this planner myself, but karen from exaclair was kind enough to send it to me for my review (THANK YOU again, karen!!). here it is with its refined soya cover, in black. it has a nice smooth leather-like feel, and from my previous experiences with exaclair products, i suspect it will wear well.

one feature i’ve always liked about this planner is the monthly calendars at the beginning of the notebook. in previous years, i’ve used these little boxes to track my running mileage and paces. it’s interesting to look back and see how my workouts have changed over the years.

here’s the weekly layout. so much space! a list-maker’s dream. the paper is smooth and thicker than my current planner: much less prone to bleed-through.

i like these cute little corners to tear off at the bottom of each page, so that you can get to the current week quickly.

overall, a practical-yet-pretty solution for (nearly) all of my planning needs! i’m excited to start using it — and i don’t even have to wait until january 1st to do so! the first week starts with december 7.

in accordance with ghost world tradition, i will be doing yet another paper giveaway before the new year! due to regulations from the BlogHer ad network, i’ll have to link to a separate ad-free site to do this, but i’ll be able to announce it in a regular post here. stay tuned!

but wait, there’s more
ha, as if my organizational system could be that streamlined! the thing is, lately i’ve really been loving the practice of making a daily list each morning of exactly what i want to get through on that particular day. i actually got the idea from the simple mom, despite the fact that my career/life path does not resemble hers in any way (at least, not yet). while the challenges i juggle are different than hers, i find it to be a surprisingly powerful way to bring focus back to the present, rather than continually worrying about all of the things up ahead.

i spotted this colour-a-month daily planner set from moleskine a while back and instantly fell in love. a pile of paper, in a cute miniature size and rainbow of colors? i don’t know what this says about me, but that is even more enticing to me than a pair of manolos at 80% off.

even though i wasn’t sure how i would use it, i had to have it. so i ordered it from amazon (actually, i couldn’t control myself and ordered two — one for now-BLOGLESS vickie and one for me). i actually got a great deal on it at the time (like $15 each!) — now it is being sold for $26.40 (retail $40).

here it is in all of its rainbow glory:

the cover

the very pretty interior liner, with monthly stickers that really don’t seem all that necessary, but are cute nonetheless

each book is numbered, and they are in 12 different colors. here is january:

inside is a yearly planning calendar, a few useful information-type pages, and then one page per day

i plan on using these pages to make my daily lists. conveniently, the slim flexible notebooks tuck easily into the cover of the space 24 shown above.

so there you have it: a finely honed system for productivity (and joy) in the new year. i’ll be sure to post about how it’s working!

it’s official

with just 7 weeks to go, i figured i would register to avoid anything like this from happening. i still can’t believe that happened!

josh’s story
a lot of you were surprised that josh is 6 years older — i don’t know whether that is a compliment to his graceful aging, or commentary on my haggard, quickly-deteriorating looks (THANKS A LOT, residency). however, i’ll try not to take it too personally. 🙂

anyway, his story is rather interesting and he did not go straight to medical school. it actually took me years before i had his post-college adventures chronologically straight in my head! i’m going to see if he will take the liberty of writing about his experiences himself in a guest post.



workout: intervals, 1K / 2K / 1K / 1K. it was hot (mid 70s, sun beating down on me at noon) and this run felt pretty bad. no pain, just a struggle overall! i forgot how much of a difference temperature makes.
warmup: 1 mile, 8:53/mi
1K: 7:30/mi (0.25 mi recovery @ 8:34/mi)
1.25 mi (2K): 7:54/mi (0.25 mi recovery @ 10:15/mi)
1K: 7:45/mi (0.25 mi recovery @ 10:23/mi)
1K: 8:27/mi (I WAS DYING!)
cooldown: 1.1 mile, 9:35/mi

doin’ time: pre-work, i made a batch of martha’s chicken with mushrooms (skipped the polenta) + roasted acorn squash and shallots. since i wasn’t yet hungry at 5 pm when i finished making it, i packed a portion of it to-go to eat for dinner, and it worked out nicely. looking forward to a wrap featuring these ingredients for lunch today!

chicken with mushrooms and garlic (the whole batch)

roasted acorn squash, fresh out of the oven. the pan is still dirty — ugh!

reading: an article on fever workup protocols for neonates + infants. i feel like there is still so much gray area/personal style that goes into management decisions in this realm!


  • Reply Jess March 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Haha I love the "planner porn" comment!

  • Reply Siobhan Brady March 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    woohoo – thunder road!! your strategy was good.. i&#39m crossing my fingers for an injury-free next 7 weeks for you. as for me – stupid children&#39s virus gave me severe respiratory issues – and i haven&#39t been able to run for about 2 weeks now! also – i&#39m coming to visit in january!! what are your weekends like then?

  • Reply Melissa March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I went on a hunt yesterday in search of Space 24, and I foundddd it. I&#39ve been looking for a solid planner for a few years now, but one never really stood out to me. The Exacompta I love! My only gripe? It doesn&#39t start til December so I have to wait a whole month to use it 🙁 haha. Thanks so much for sharing this review!

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