Planner Review Planners

Planner Review #2: Get to Work Book

October 12, 2018
Hello and welcome back to Planner Review Series — it’s week #2!
Today, I will spotlight the Get to Work Book!  This was one of the very first planners I received after sending out a request for samples, so special thanks to Elisa Blaha Cripe, the creator of the planner (and I presume running the company, too!).  I believe I first heard of the GTWB on the Girls Next Door Podcast (PS: this a very fun, light conversational podcast that I love listening to!) — Kelsey, one of the hosts, swears by this planner and has used it for several years running.  
I can see why one would get attached to this planner.  It is practical, versatile, chock-full of useful things, and well-designed.   I was sent the 2018 version for review, since 2019 wasn’t out when I sent my email!
So let’s dive in, shall we?
Cover/Aesthetics:  This book is spiral bound and feels durable.  It is 7″ x 9″, a popular size in the planning world, and quite thick for a non-daily planner.  The cover is a thick heavy chipboard – it’s not going to bend in your bag.  It has 12 sturdy laminated tabs, one for each month.
The look of this planner is — like our last contender — not very feminine, which may be a plus or minus depending on your preferences!  It definitely has a professional vibe and would fit in well on a work desk.
There is no color — it’s all black and white, which might sound less enticing but it allows you to use your own color with plenty of effect.  I love the use of grayscale — the pages (as you’ll see below) just have a pleasing look to them.  You will WANT to write in this planner!
Planning/goal-setting pages:  This planner has a moderate amount of ‘extra’ planning pages.  It is not as structured as the Full Focus, but it isn’t strictly a datebook, either.  
The planner opens with a shaded box for each month (to write in highlights of what is coming up), and a reflection page on the previous year’s goals.  Then, each month has its own quote (if it were my preference, these would be blank, but I know some people love their quotes!) and space to write out your focus.
But that’s not all!  At the end of every month, there are other helpful extras, including (1) a blank page (with fine grid markings – love), (2) a reflection/goal-setting worksheet, and (3) a project planning page with action items/different sized boxes.  I love this, and could imagine it being a great monthly review-type ritual.
grid paper 
goal setting goes so well with tea
versatile action-item layout!
Weekly/monthly pages:  I am very very picky about weekly layouts in particular.  For me, this is where the action happens in a planner – and if I don’t like the weekly layout, I probably won’t get good use out of the product.
Thankfully, the GTWB’s weekly pages are quite pleasing and functional.  SO pleasing and functional that I was moved to create my first fake planner page (ie “mockup” in the plannerphile world).  Here are some ideas on how I might functionally use the weekly pages:
 image will appear sharper if you click
 close up

The monthly pages are equally functional, with plenty of space.  The start is on Sunday.  
One thing I could use more of in this planner is lines!  I tend to be really obsessive about keeping my lettering straight and I struggle without lines or a light grid 🙂  So I think if I had any suggestions for future iterations of this planner, it would be “more lines, please!”.  But I recognize that is personal preference.
Paper:  The GTWB paper is not thick, but it is smooth and takes my pens nicely – no real feathering. There is slight ghosting (very slight) of my Pilot Hi-Tec C Maica 0.4.  The Staedtler fineliners look great on its pages.  There is no tendency to smudge (WHEW).
Overall impression:  This planner is for someone who:
– doesn’t mind an overall larger planner
– wants goal-setting AND calendar-type pages in the same book
– cares deeply about a functional weekly layout (don’t we all!?!)
– wants a professional looking design
It runs for $55, which seems about right for the sturdiness/degree of features, and is available for purchase now in the 2019 model.
What do you think?  Any die-hard GTWB users out there?
Future notes:  I have at least 8 other planners lined up for weekly reviews, and yes – I am saturated with planners over here!  There will be some giveaways.  Stay tuned 🙂


  • Reply Rinna March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Sarah, I’m loving the planner reviews -thanks for doing this! It’s funny, though, because a paper planner is basically not functional for me at all as I have a job with a LOT of calls/meetings, and my Outlook calendar basically needs to be up to date at all times so that people can book time with me or so that my EA can check my status/availability. But I still love planners, and I sometimes get some good ideas of how I can actually make my electronic calendar work better for me from the paper planner. Oh, and also, loved the previous G update. She is super cutey!

  • Reply Beth C March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I like lines, too! Otherwise my writing devolves into disaster. I tend to use the last few pages of my Rocketbook as an erasable weekly and monthly planner so I don’t have to carry an extra notebook…but I’m going to be hard pressed to avoid getting a planner by the time you’re done with your reviews! I can’t resist a good productivity tool. Ha.

  • Reply ErinH March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I am a hard-core EC lover – but I am so enjoying your planner reviews! 🙂

  • Reply Katy March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you for these planner reviews! Love to get your perspective and photos. Based on my current planner usage, I typically have 20-23 to-dos per day (~1/4 work, 3/4 personal/home). I am curious to see if anything you review can handle this level of detail on a daily to-do list. Thanks!

  • Reply Anne L. March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Sarah, are there any planners coming that are not calendar-based? My work and family calendar are electronic (and need to remain that way, as others also rely on them). But I’d love a planner to help with goal-setting.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      YES and I’m reviewing it soon – the Inkwell Press goal setting planner! You could also set up a custom Golden Coil planner to be more of a goal setting workbook than a true planner!

  • Reply Delia March 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Sarah, thank you so much for doing these reviews. As a planner lover this is my jam! Also I tend to jump from planner to planner quite often. These reviews answer a lot of my questions before I shell out the money. (Planners I”ve done include Plum Planner (for many years), a brief stent of bullet journaling, and even creating my own planning pages. Right now I am using the clever fox planner and I really like it) I think the thing i struggle the most with is having the time to use the planner to its full functionality. What are your tricks for ensuring you actually plan with your busy life. I”m a mom of 1 (19m), full time working pharmacist, and my husband works opposite shifts so I tend to be “single momming it.”

    • Reply Beth C March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      Yes!! This is one of my big challenges too. I’m on the planner bandwagon for a few weeks and then I fall behind.

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