Planning. Personally.

Friday, January 25, 2013 Permalink

I’ve been a bit antsy of late. Bizarrely it’s nothing to do with earning an income or getting more freelance writing gigs. As it happens, despite being someone who’s currently not-working and has no family, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed about the balls I’m struggling to keep in the air.

I’ve had a few visitors. And because I’m kinda obsessive I clean and tidy frantically before each one. I’m becoming far more zen about my local visitors, but I’ve had some out-of-towners here, including one of my closest friends and her family; and am expecting a former work colleague this weekend.

I’m still settling into my apartment and doing some bits and pieces to make the place feel more ‘homey’.

I’ve been chatting to a few people about possible work / business opportunities.

I’m trying to get back into exercise, so trialling some local gyms.

And I’m trying to keep up my blogging – including posting in my two blogs, reading the 130+ blogs I follow and responding to email queries and other opportunities.

And… I’ve been struggling. I can’t actually sync my phone and my computer as I use different calendar and email programs for each and – as a result – I’m constantly terrified I’m going to miss some deadline or other.

planner3So when I was contacted by the generous folk at Personal Planner about an opportunity to design and make my own planner, notebook or diary, I was ecstatic.

I seriously love my lists and just writing stuff down makes me feel better about everything – yes, including global warming and unrest in the middle east. I’m like Pollyanna on uppers!

Because of my love of writing, I’ve previously had journals, diaries and notebooks – to record my activities at the end of each day, plan ahead or give myself reminders.

But, I’ve never had an all-in-one option. Until now.

I received a gift card which enabled me to design and develop my own personalised planner through the Personal Planner website. Even better, if you’re a blogger, there’s actually an option to develop a blog planner.

planner - cover2I, however, wanted something to document EVERYTHING, so opted for the personal planner over the notebook or blog planner.

You get to design your own front cover and personalise it with a pic if you like. (And I liked!)

You get to decide WHEN you want to start your annual planner – so I was able to start with February rather than paying for a diary with a month already gone.

And you get to decide what you want included on each of the pages AND how they look. I chose to-do lists (I mean, hello… have you seen my tweets?!), and the ingenious ‘ideas’ option. If all goes to plan I will have this bloody planner with me constantly, so when I’m out and about and struck by a tres-fabulous thought, I can jot it down (without having to type something lengthy into small yellow notes thingy on my iPhone!

planner - middle pages
Finally you also get to decide what to put in the back section… and I was taken aback here by the options. If you have kiddies (or like a good colour-in yourself… it’s okay, I won’t judge!) there are some pictures; as well as Sudoku, maps or – my preference – an address book.

Planner - back pages

Once ordered, the planner takes up to three weeks to print and be delivered. Of course it may arrive sooner than that and I’m excited at the prospect.

I LOVED the ability to personalise my planner – from the design perspective, as well as the daily inclusions. I loved that I could set my own start date and choose what else went into it.

I did get stuck in a weird loop on the website when I considered the option to insert key dates. This is an excellent idea and the program will actually grab birthdays from Facebook if you so wish. I’m always loath to pre-fill birthdays and other occasions as I always miss someone… so after I’d had a look at the option I’d intended to close it but got stuck in a loop that wouldn’t let me close the window and had to shut down and start again. Of course it’s highly likely I missed something there, rather than it being a glitch with the site… however – what I really like – the site allows you to report a problem or offer suggestions. Which I did.

The only other thing you need to know is that IF you have a gift card, you have to enter the details first – before you start designing your planner. I initially got to the end and tried to do it but wasn’t able to. Again, possibly something I was doing wrong.

It’s important, however, for you to know this as I’m offering ONE lucky reader the chance to win their own personal planner, valued at up to $45. This includes the design and development of your own planner (or notebook) and delivery – to ANYWHERE in the world.

Yes, indeedy… this competition is open to international readers as well.

All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me WHY you would like to win this personalised planner. I’ll draw the winner’s prize randomly but am still keen to hear what you have to say.

And… IF you also tell me you’ve LIKED the Personal Planner Facebook page, you’ll get a bonus entry in the draw! (Oh, and feel free to ‘like’ mine, while you are there!)

So… get busy. The competition will close at 5pm AEST on Thursday 31 January.

I was provided with a gift card from Personal Planners so that I could review the process and product and am also being provided with a gift card to give away to one reader. There has been no compensation or other incentive offered to write a favorable review. All opinions expressed in this space are mine, written with the objective of giving readers my feedback on my experience. And… if you are unsuccessful you can still design and order your own planner on their website.

  • Jackie Birch
    January 25, 2013

    I would love to win as I have so many appointments with doctors, specialists etc, I really need this to keep me sane 🙂

  • Satu
    January 27, 2013

    That planner sounds pretty cool, esp the blog planner. I have some kind of blog post plan scribbled on a piece of paper and it does occasional vanishing acts..

    I hope you haven’t been blown away or something. Did you mother enjoy her surprise?

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2013

      Yes, I sometimes use post-it notes (not sure if they’re called that in Finland?! Or sticky notes?) and am prone to lose them!

      And, yes thank you, my mother enjoyed her birthday surprise!

  • Hayley
    January 27, 2013

    I’m a list person too, and as a SAHM i use my diaries a lot for home lists and projects, as well as occasional appts. I’ve found it difficult to find a diary that is ‘just right’ so would love the opportunityt o design my own- what a great idea!!! 🙂

    • Hayley
      January 27, 2013

      Aso like both your Debbish page and personal planner on facebook

    • Debbish
      January 27, 2013

      Getting to choose what to include in your diary is a definite bonus! I can’t wait for mine to arrive.

      Good luck!

  • Tracy Lee
    January 29, 2013

    You have a very nice blog! I’m a fairly busy student, and I enjoy using planners to keep me organized for school. I would love to make my own 🙂 I liked both facebook pages as well.

    • Debbish
      January 30, 2013

      Thanks Tracy. I can imagine you’d have a lot of deadlines for school and keeping track of them would be essential. Plus yes, I like that you can decide what goes in there.

      Good luck!

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