Best Laid Plans The Podcast

BLP Episode #27: Layered Living Planner (and a bit of behind the scenes)

January 25, 2021

Some Behind-the-Scenes Stuff:

In the opening of this episode, I discuss the somewhat sticky issue of getting products for free. There are 3 ways I obtain products for review:

1- I buy them.

2- I email a company, and they send it to me.

3- Someone reaches out to me and asks for my address to send me something.

I always disclose when I’ve received something for free, but over time option #2 has no longer sat as well with me. Because how can I be objective if I’m asking a company for something and then they grant it?

My plan on BLP is never to slam a small company’s product. But with options #1 or #3 I feel like I can just . . . not cover something if I don’t have at least some nice things to say. With option #2, I feel obligated.

So, I’m done with option #2. For the most part, I will plan on buying my own products to review for BLP, though I will not reject a company (or a listener — some lovely people have sent me their extras that they are not using!) if they want to send me something to check out.

Layered Living Planner

So here we go — a product review! And yes, I purchased this one for myself (option #1 above) because I was intrigued and wanted to check it out.

Here are a few shots, but if you are interested in this unique goal-setting planner I recommend listening to the episode for full details!

The Layered Living Planner is a planner/goal-setting manual targeted to women. It’s also from a Black women-owned company called Herspaceco and many of their users (based on insta) seem to fit this demographic, but it does not at all feel exclusionary to anyone else.

In case you can’t tell — I really love this product and the concept behind it!

12 months — 12 layers. Love that concept.
Example page in the intro section under “OrganizeHer”
Weekly (left)
Weekly (right) with a nice shot of the tabs

Layered Living retails for $55, which seems like the right price point for what you get. The paper is lovely — bright white with a nice tooth. NO smudging in sight and no bleedthrough even with a brush pen! I preferred my Pentel Gel Clean 0.4 on this paper, but really anything would work.

More Business

In this episode, I also reminded listeners that BLP ad space is open and for sale! My goal is to attempt to at least neutralize production costs (which are admittedly slightly higher if I buy most of my review items).

If interested, you can email me and I will send rates. Currently, episodes are receiving about 3K-4K downloads/episode, but hopefully can continue on an upward trend. (BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T WANT TO LISTEN TO A PLANNING PODCAST!? JK. I know not everyone. That’s okay. But it’s been fun to make it and I’m glad some are enjoying!)


  • Reply Chelsea January 25, 2021 at 9:25 am

    RE: writing in a straight line on a blank page – this is definitely a learned skill. My college classes had a lot of formulas and diagrams so I learned to take notes on blank white computer printer paper (lined and even dotted paper seemed too cluttered). At first the notes were slanted but over time I got (and still am) very good at eyeballing that straight line across the page. Not that this should be something you invest a lot of time in, but OTOH, it definitely is something you can develop a feel for if you want to.

  • Reply Keren January 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    When you started talking about this planner it rwminded me of Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project where you set a theme for each month and goals focused on one area. I have to admit I was a little disappointed to hear that the categories in this planner are fixed. When I did the Happiness Project I used a simple legal pad and wrote each month goals on a different page. Tools are very fun but not essential.

  • Reply Lani Inlander January 25, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    How about a pen only review episode? Or is there a blog post I should catch up on? I am also left handed and would love some good colored pen recs that will make my handwriting more legible in my planner. The only one I like right now is the Micron (I think .04). Thanks!

    • Reply Lani Inlander January 25, 2021 at 4:21 pm

      Correction! My pen is Pigma Micron 01. It says the line is .25mm.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 25, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      I do enjoy the Micron 01! It really depends on the paper, though! More toothy paper with a drier feel won’t smudge. I love the Pentel Gel Clena. Have you tried the Staetdler Triplus Fineliners for color? They come in a ton of very pretty colors.

      • Reply Lani Inlander January 26, 2021 at 8:02 am

        I have not tried anything great except the Micron ๐Ÿ˜‰ Will check both of those suggestions out. Thank you!

  • Reply EB January 26, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Not related to this specific post, but I have a burning planner question for you. (And I do credit you for getting me on to the Hobonichi Techo Cousin for the first time this year!) Given that the Hobonichi Coushin has a month, week, and day sections (3) but only comes with two ribbons (2) to mark pages, how do you mark the third category of times?!?! My distress!!! I don’t want to shove my pen in there to hold my third place because then it isn’t a nice and flat. It’s the little things…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 26, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Two words: PENCIL BOaRd! Perfect ruler and bookmark rolled into one ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply EB January 26, 2021 at 2:16 pm

        The clouds part, sun shines through, angels sing….. Thanks for the tip–and so many fun pencil board options to choose from!!!!

  • Reply Lily January 26, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    I use post-it sticky tabs for the year and month sections – you can find some really nice colors and good quality plastic these days

  • Reply Sophie January 31, 2021 at 2:01 am

    Love the look of this planner, although Iโ€™d prefer to choose my own theme for each month. Sadly they donโ€™t shop to Australia. Maybe theyโ€™ll add Australian shipping and more modifiable options for 2022 ๐Ÿ™‚

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