Thursday, November 7, 2013

Totally Obsessed ::: Whitney English Day Designer

Photos: {accordingtoame} of my Day Designer

I mentioned on Friday's Weekend Update that I received my Whitney English 2014 Day Designer the other day. I have been like...anxiously awaiting this bad boy since I pre-ordered it I think in September.  I learned of it earlier this year, and told myself "yea you suck at using these things...try to stick to the GCal/iCal and your phone, you spendthrift". Well...I did that, and wrote things on my hand like always, and still managed to forget things more often than I wish to admit. 

In general, I am a serious list-maker. Sometimes I even make lists for my lists. And then put some of them on my hand. My right arm sometimes looks like a novel.

One of my desks. This is clean--be proud of the fact we can see the surface, dad.

If you recall my packing list from last week...that thing had about a hundred more lists stuck to it before I left for my trip, shopping lists, don't forgets, etc. The TSA agent was like "seriously, lady?" My offices are just covered in a rainbow of lists on post-it notes, stuck on my desk, my desktop calendar, my monitors. I have lists on file folders of what is going on with each order or project. I have lists stuck to my whiteboard and bulletin board and written on my whiteboard, and many of those things seem to be the waylayers, things I just seem to put off perpetually, like the revamp I have spent FOUR YEARS avoiding for my business website.

I will admit part of that is related to the "do I want to keep going" argument I have every year because it seems silly to work on a site and maintain a site and gallery if I am just not going to keep it going.  Part of me feels like if I "quit" that I am failing and it's a serious fight I have with myself over what I have accomplished vs will I be letting someone down that finds out about me later and I am not taking on new clients vs will I look like a failure if I want to try new things instead.  Yea that got way too personal. Back to task...

To combat my horrendous lack of organization, at least in this regard, because, let's face it, my house is a lost cause, I had been looking for a real book planner, something I could possibly carry around, or at least back and forth to work every day so I could keep track of my editorial calendar for the blog, any and all order related information and scheduling, personal appointments, travel, etc.,  I had used a Moleskine once or twice but they for some reason would get lost in the shuffle and were otherwise too small to be useful until you got to the big daddy sizes, but the layout was still not quite right, even though the potential with Evernote compatibility was pretty nice.  

But when I found the Whitney English planner, thanks in part to a few of the #GSD columns on Meg Biram's incredible blog, it was like a lightning bolt! It was the first planner that I'd seen images on Instagram and other blogs that looked like it was laid out in a manner I could work with and probably make useful.  It didn't surprise me that another designer designed it.

I had googled for weeks for more images and reviews of this gorgeous book, and like I said a few times, I found Cheryl's blog where she was gushing about her Day Designer, and saw that she had found some great month divider tabs on Etsy, so I got myself some of those, figuring if they didn't work or I wanted something brighter later, I can always find something else. But when I got them, I was really happy! Clean and easy to read, and the colors were perfect (I had requested teal, navy and green ink.)  I did learn via Instagram that there are possibly going to be Day Designer specific tabs...and they look spectacular so I was able to get a set from Whitney English since I had just ordered my book, and they were including them with the current orders, "you could win a set!".  

So here are the Day Designer Tabs from Whitney English before I put them into my book. They're a darker gold paper, and look fantastic. Those rolls on top are some Washi Tape rolls I ordered.  The tabs are "aftermarket" so they kind of snap right in over the rings and can  transfer into your new or old Day Designer. I asked in the Webinar that I just attended with Whitney about if she intends to keep them aftermarket or make them a permanent fixture in future books and she said that she hopes to build them into the books later. That's awesome, because they're beautiful and have a space for notes. 

I am presently using a BicBand as a bookmark but that really pretty pink velvet ribbon it was wrapped in is looking like a good option for a bookmark too, which I think is what Ms. English does as well.  Since I cannot manage to figure out how she ties it on...I have asked for her assistance. It really cannot be that complicated. I might just be an airhead.

I also saw that Cheryl and a few others were using Washi tape, a japanese masking tape that comes in awesome patterns, to block out things like windows of travel in their monthly pages, and write in appointments that might get moved. I love that idea. I have a feeling I might need to use a pencil for things like the schedule, since things change so much for me on a dime, but maybe washi would work for that. I especially intend to work with that for editorial calendar stuff, since I shuffle posts a lot, or if I worked on one in advance (the downside of working ahead!) and see something nearly identical pop up on another blog I read and is really popular, I will usually kill that post, or postpone it for a long time.  I like to be original, and I don't want my post going out and looking like a ripoff, even if I worked on it a month ago. 

I don't want to give too many details of the pages away because she did a great job designing this and I want her to keep her proprietary material "safe" from copying but the way the pages day-to-day are setup is just amazing. I love the schedule plus the "to do" list. Sure I might be writing the same ten to do's in a row til I actually get them done but it's nice to not only have that there, but also a "prioritizing" feature at the top!  There's even a spot on each day to note "dinner", which for me is going to have to become even more of a habit, meal planning kind of got a way from me!  I plan to try to log my intakes in here each day too--I plan to, we'll see if I do!  

I love the little quotes at the top as well. I am NOT religious, at all, and I was a little anxious when I read that there were inspirational quotes that there would be little biblical and otherwise religious sayings in there, and so far, I have not seen any which is a relief to me. Some people don't mind that, but that's just not for me.

Something I will probably need a little "tutorial" on, is the first few spreads, some of them are related to goal setting, and brand building. I may need that to come in time. 

Overall, I am THRILLED with this investment. I really was like stalking my order to see when it would ship and when I got the notice I squealed. Now I need January to get here, and stat! Those printout calendars you see in the shot of my desk? That's my current "planner", and I plan to clip them in for now to the book to at least start using it. 

If anyone else is a planner freak, I would love to hear your tricks to making sure you 1) use them and 2) how you organize them and "decorate" them to make them work for you. 

Anyone else own this planner? Are you as excited about it as I am? 

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  1. Love this! Thanks for the great review! Send us your mailing address in an email to and I'll get a set of tabs in the mail to you!

    1. So glad you liked it! I love this gorgeous gold book. Definitely cannot wait for January to come so I can be loading it up!

      I emailed you! Thanks!


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