Welcome to my Mid-August planner review. I received the Lion Planner in July after being contacted by a representative asking if I would be willing to give an honest review. My answer: Well, duh. Here we are! I also asked if a planner could be sent to one winner of a giveaway, and the answer was, yes. I have to say this planner is a very budget friendly option as well, so for a small investment, if you do not win said giveaway, you could give it a try without breaking the bank. So many planners are overpriced at this time and the market is truly saturated. Affordable and quality options are available, but not always without a lot of up front experimentation- which adds up quickly. My goal with this review is to give you an alternative for planning this academic year, or whenever you need a fresh start.
The Product in this review: The Non-Dated Personal Daily Planner. Color: Blue. Size: A5 (5.8’x8.2′)
Stated Features: Effective and Simple, Monthly and Daily Schedule, Intended for 6 Months, 100% Eco Friendly Materials.
My Thoughts: I received this planner in July but had decided on a ONE BOOK challenge (AKA One Book July) for the month so waited to start using August 1. Since I love planners (hello, self-proffessing planner tramp here), I wanted to be sure and try it before sharing. It’s easy to look at a pretty new planner and love it…but you have to live in it a bit before knowing whether it’s practical features will actually be practical for you. AND for you at this time! Let’s face it, it can be pretty darned subjective, but we know what we like, and what we think we need, right?
Well I am 13 days into this “6 Month Planner” as of this writing. I had all intentions of going back to the Franklin Covey Compact planner size and inserts I was using prior to July. But then the Power Place Lion Planner entered the picture. An outlier, I had never heard of. I immediately began researching for details. That’s what planner people do. We need to know what, where, why, how, and WHO! In my limited research I found out that the product is primarily available through Amazon. They have a Facebook Page instead of a business website. That makes good business sense to me, as costs for basic business websites and design can be a big expense. Capitalizing on the main places of selling a product could be perceived as prudent, possibly even wise. That’s just me thinking out loud. This may explain the reasonable cost of the planner itself. for the size I have the cost is about 20 dollars or so. They have a larger size (letter 8 1/2 by 11 for about 35 dollars and a 5X8 (like moleskine which is a favorite size for me) goes for about 15 dollars (these may vary slightly on Amazon so check for yourself), and a neat looking spiral bound for 20 bucks. I appreciate that the Power Place Lion Planner not trying to sell a specific philosophy of planning. It’s easy to jump in from wherever you are from the plannerly perspective. Certainly it has the basics integrated, like a place for goals, vision boarding, mindmapping, etc. and the idea is to plan well. But, there is not an extensive, overbearing detailed and bossy approach here. I greatly appreciate the pages are what they are. I’ve got my own planner philosophy, so I am turned off if there is too much direction with planners. I get it, each individual wants their planner to be THE RING…that elusive style of planning that RULES them all. But, the concepts that last are the ones foundational to all decent planning mindsets. Bottom line: Do what works for you. I confess here to being a bit biased toward my influence and undying appreciation for Stephen Covey (and his predecessors at Franklin Covey) but, as in any practice or exercise, there are foundational concepts that are held. No one owns them, they are usually common, simple practices. The simple act of writing down your goals, things to do, your plans for the day, your thoughts and ideas. These are so basic…even cavemen did these. OK, I couldn’t resist.
I can still remember the first time I heard of writing down goals, and the first goals list I made. It was in my first year of college in a required Creative Writing class. The teacher used an exercise of writing out a list of goals and then partnering us up with a classmate and using the list for us to introduce each other. It was a brilliant and wonderful way to get to know on another! I still recall the partner I had, her name was Trisha. We stayed friends for the rest of the school year. I still have that original goals list. Trust me planners and goal-setting were not as common as they are now. This was the early eighties! But it was a pivotal and powerful lesson for me. It taught me the power of goal-setting and the power of writing in one shot. Multiple other lessons as well, such as listening well to others and having an interest in others’ interests. ALl this to say, there is room in the Lion Planner for these. But, it is also focused, minimal and straightforward. Especially being this is a half-year planner.
Here are the Details you need to know: The cover is a beautiful faux leather, and the size is easy to carry, being A5. There is a matching blue elastic. The inside cover is also blue and on the back cover there is a pocket folder. More like a secretarial style pocket than those in the back of many of these types of A5 notebooks. I personally prefer it and use this style pocket more. The first page is a cover page which shows the logo for Power Place and the leaping lion and a blank on the left (I’m putting images of books and shows I’ve read and watched here). The next pages are for Personal information in case lost and contact for emergency (left is blank, I’ve put a quote there). The next two page spread is for a Mind Map and Vision Board. Up next we have two lined pages dedicated to goals. Followed by two more goals pages set up as monthly columns (January thru December) across the top and going down there are 6 smallish spaces for physical, personal, professional, relational, etc. These are in a light enough gray that one could adjust them as needed without any issue. I did change three of the topics myself. So these are easily personalized/changed. Next comes the three main parts of the planner: 6 Monthly blank spreads, 25 weekly overview spreads, and 138 daily 2-page spreads (by my count).
Monthly Spreads: What I like is the minimal presentation. I also like the circles for dates. I was able to use some of Sterling Ink’s August kit in these easily. Across the bottom there are 6 boxes: Physical, Personal, Professional, Family, Social, Other. Again, these coordinate with the goal topics in the goals section but also could be covered or changed/adjusted to your topic choice. Or you could designate the area as you wish.
Weekly Overview Spreads: I actually am surprised how much I like this layout. the left side of the page is a Last Week Review split halfway down page with Notes/Ideas. It’s easy to utilize the full page for review or use the space with flexibility each week. I like using the full page for week review, but that may change as I go. The right side has a place for the date at the top. 5 lines follow for the Top Priority for the Week, then a section titled Weekly Plan. about 12 lines. The bottom breaks down into 4 boxes (Personal/Physical, Family, Work, Social) under the heading, Things To Do To Make This Week Great. Again these all seem easy to adjust as desired with washi, stickers, white-out etc. Also, the lines are a very light gray. Very unobtrusive and inviting. I think this makes it much easier and less threatening to use this particular format, and the planner in general. It offers an invitation into your planning without bossing. That’s how I see it. Did I mention how I am not so keen with bossy planners? Sigh.
Daily Pages (2 Pages): The left page has three formatted areas. The top quarter is designated, My Goals and Top Priority for the Day. There are faint gray lines in this section with black headers. The bottom header is Notes/Ideas and this open, blank space takes 3/4 of the page (unlined). It’s really a flexible and functional space for me. This whole layout works without being overkill. The right page has a space for day and date at top. further splitting into two columns with the left being Schedule with the unusual time designation : 1 through 12 as a 24 hour time frame. I am finding I like this. I also appreciate that it’s not military time…I just can’t wrap around that completely. This is like a simplified 24 hour perspective. It’s good if you want to track or log your sleep time in view of your day. It makes sense to me. If you are used to military time though it might be weird. The right side of the split has a Tasks column with light gray boxes on every other line. It’s subtle and can easily be used or ignored. At the bottom of the page in a black header, there is the Day Review/Accomplishments. Now this is a sweet spot for me. It’s just a few lines, and the light gray offers maximum creative flexibility about how you utilize the space. This format and size is working well for me. It’s how I see my day and just enough space to work.
Back Pages: The final pages of this planner are minimal. 9 pages all told 10 if you count the back page (heavier cover/blue back). These are what is designated in the black header (easily changed if desired): Wish list (2 pgs. lined), Notes 2 pgs. lined), Contacts, Bill Payment Tracker (1 page), and a blank black header page. The last page is completely blank. I don’t see much value in these pages, personally. But that’s just me. They could be blank, and that would work for me. This section to me is 9 pages of bossiness I don’t need. And likely won’t use. Let me choose how I want to use my back pages, can I get a witness? Blank headers would work for me, or just blank pages, period.
My Planner Tramp Rating: I’d give this planner 4 1/2 Stars out of 5. The only reason I am not giving it a 5 is due to the fact it claims it is a 6 month planner but in actuality, the planner daily pages fall shy of that (by about 50 pages/days). Otherwise I really do LOVE this planner. I am not sure how they could resolve this, but I definitely would not mind it being a tiny bit thicker in order to get a full 6 Months. The option to make it 4 months, with more blank pages would work for some. A 3 month planner would also be an option for quarterly planners, but for me the addition of the extra pages and making it a true 6 month seems the best option, but that’s just my opinion. The back pages are “cute” but meaningless to me. This planner could be PERFECT if it leveled up to a full 183 daily spreads.
Check out my YOUTube Video for a peek into my very messy planner in action!
If you would like to enter a random giveaway of a LionPlanner to use, leave a comment or question below (that’s all). All comments will be included in the drawing unless you do not wish to be included- just let me know.