Welcome to the Best Planners for Bloggers and Solopreneurs series. I’m a busy mama and blogger, and I’m a little bit obsessed with time management.
If you’re balancing a whole lot of work and personal responsibilities, you’ve come to the right place. In 2017, I bought 8 planners to test out and review. Take a look at my planner reviews and sign up for Master Time Management, my free 5-day email course for bloggers and solo business owners.
This post includes affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy something using my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more on my disclosure page.
Other reviews in this series:
The Best Planners for 2018 (a round-up of all my planner reviews)
Productivity Planner Review
Many of my favorite bloggers swear by the Productivity Planner, so I knew I wanted to try it out. Plus, with a name like The Productivity Planner, how could I resist?
The Productivity Planner is designed around two productivity principles: a prioritized task list and Pomodoro work sessions. The planner is specifically set up to support these two practices, but as someone who doesn’t like the Pomodoro technique, I still found this planner immensely useful.
Per the Productivity Planner website, “The Productivity Planner helps organize your day by keeping you focused on your most important tasks of the day.”
Check out the YouTube video for an unboxing/walk-through of the Passion Planner.
Not into videos? No problem, here is my quick review:
The Productivity Planner is a great option if:
- You’re on a budget. At $25, it’s one of the cheaper planners I’ve reviewed.
- You need a new planner mid-year. The Productivity Planner is undated.
- You struggle to either a) prioritize your task list or b) stick to your plan because you’re constantly getting distracted.
The Productivity Planner is small and portable, which makes it easy to keep with you at all times. The pages are pretty thin, so it’s lightweight, but you won’t want to use heavy pens in it, lest they bleed through.
This planner is an excellent choice for anyone who has trouble staying focused on a day-to-day basis. It would also work well for someone who has a pretty good handle on productivity, but wants to truly optimize her schedule. Hardcore productivity nerds will love the daily reflection, where you give yourself a productivity score and evaluate how much got done during the day.
People who get easily distracted or struggle to stay on top of their to do list will love that there is only space for five tasks per day. The built in time tracking bubbles will also help people get a realistic idea of how long it takes to complete various tasks.
If you’d like to try a page of The Productivity Planner for free to see how you like it, just click here and enter your details. The folks at The Productivity Planner will send you a free sample. 🙂
The Productivity Planner is a task-based planner, not a time-based planner. If you have a lot of appointments or you’re managing the schedules of multiple kids (like me), you’ll need another calendar or planner. You could write down appointments in the notes section, but I felt it got a little cramped. For a time-based planner with similar features to the Productivity Planner, check out the Passion Planner.
Another disadvantage: The Productivity Planner is a six-month planner, so you’d need to buy two planners for the full year. On one hand, this keeps the planner thin and portable, and you can try it out at a lower cost without committing to it for a year. On the other hand, the total cost for one year is higher than you’d expect.
The Productivity Planner is designed for function, so it’s very basic. On the plus side, it looks professional in any setting, unlike the Erin Condren Life Planner, which I felt a little silly bringing out in public.
Making the Most of Your Planner
I like a mix of pretty and functional, so here are some of my favorite planner supplies:
1. Pilot Frixon Pens– Erasable pens are amazing! I can color code my schedule, but make changes when something inevitably comes up. I use these pens daily. In fact, I had to buy a second set because my husband kept stealing them. 🙂
2. PaperMate Gel Pens– I love how these pens glide and how quickly they dry. I tend to smudge the ink on other pens, including the Pilot Frixon (above), so I like to use the PaperMate when I’m in a hurry or have a more permanent thing to write in my planner.
3. Washi Tape– I use washi tape to add some color and flair to my planner, BUT it’s also functional. I typically use block scheduling and batch my work, so I use a strip of washi tape to mark each block of work time.
4. Planner Stickers– Planner stickers are my new favorite accessory. From decorative to functional, there are a gazillion options. I like to use functional stickers to keep track of my appointments.
If you’ve got a planner, but you struggle to stick with the plan, check out Master Time Management, my FREE 5-day email course for bloggers and solopreneurs. Sign up below to learn how to stop the overwhelm and get more done every day.