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Today I’m unboxing my new planner, The Clever Fox Planner. You may have read my post, Choosing the Perfect Planner so you know the kinds of planners I usually gravitate to. Well this planner is a definite departure from my regular ones.
First let me explain why I decided to get a new planner right now. As much as I hate to admit it, my current planner was not working for me. I was using a large Happy Planner since January and found myself feeling very overwhelmed every time I opened it lately. The layout is pretty typical and shows a full month spread over two pages with the weekly layout running vertically with each week spread over two pages.
But that’s where the problem was. I’d open the planner and stare at the long blank spaces and become paralyzed. For some reason I could not get into the habit of using the planner to plan or anything else. I knew I had to do something different if I wanted to be more productive. That’s when I decided to research planners for people who needed to focus on productivity.
As a person who suffers from anxiety, I sometimes have a hard time focusing on certain tasks. I can become easily distracted or feel overwhelmed with things that should be relatively easy. Add to that the fact that I can be a perfectionist at times and I tend to over analyze nearly every decision I make. All of this led me to the Clever Fox Planner. Let’s take a look at it.
What is the Clever Fox Planner?
This planner was designed to help boost happiness and productivity and encourage gratitude with short-term goal setting. I ordered mine from Amazon.
It arrives packaged in a nice box which is wrapped in cellophane. I had already ripped mine off before I took this picture.
When you open your box you’ll find a Thank You which gives you 15% off your next purchase and a note asking if you are happy with the product. If you decide you like the planner they ask you to leave a review on Amazon. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase they ask you to reach out to them. Their goal is to make sure you’re 100% satisfied with your purchase.
Next you’ll find a paper that explains how to use the planner. Each section of the planner is explained with a visual which is helpful. Okay, at first I was like, “Why do I need directions for a planner?” but once I looked through it I realized I wasn’t sure what to do with the Mind Map page. The paper showed an example which gave me some ideas. It really doesn’t hurt to read over the whole thing even though I kind of shrugged it off at first. It’s pretty helpful.
There are three 10% off cards to give to friends or family who may be interested in the planner.
For those of you who love stickers, there are three pages of basic stickers included. I haven’t decided if I’m going to use them or not. I’ll probably try to but I already have so many other ones that are much cuter.
At the front of the planner there is a page for your contact information. I noticed right away that the paper has a nice weight to it. It’s bright and crisp and feels smooth.
On the next two pages there are areas for Gratitude and Self Awareness and another section for Daily Rituals. This includes a spot for Affirmations. This is not necessarily something I need in a planner but what can it hurt to have all of this written down. Besides, I am trying to change myself for the better so why not?
I don’t know how I feel about vision boards. I love the idea and have made them in the past but I never know if I should put short-term or long-term goals on them. Overall I’d say they are a positive thing and maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m afraid to put the goal out in the open for fear of not making it. I’m going to work on this section and share it with you in the future.
What I like about the Goals section is that each goal is broken into three sections. You can choose to list three separate goals or short, mid and long-term goals.
This section is where the ‘How To Use This Planner’ paper came in handy. I decided against gluing confetti all over the Mind Map page even though sometimes I feel like my mind is scattered in a million directions, lol.
Now we’re into the meat and potatoes of the planner. I love the fact that it’s undated! This means that you can start the planner anytime you want. Each month is spread over two pages and the weeks start on Sunday. Next to the calendar are a couple of boxes for upcoming plans and below it you are given an area to list that particular month’s goals. There is a section on the other page for that month’s wins and another for ideas on how to improve the following month.
Something that’s different from every other planner I’ve used is how the calendar portion is laid out. I’m used to opening to a certain month then turning the page to see the first week, then after that the second week and so on until you hit the next month. What’s different here is that all twelve months are grouped together. Don’t let it scare you! I was a little hesitant at first but the planner has three ribbons attached and you keep one at the current month to find it easily. Totally works fine. After you go past the twelve months the weekly pages start. They are all grouped together, undated also and easily located by a second ribbon.
This is what the weekly layout looks like. If you look closely you can see the ribbons at the very bottom of the pages in the middle. I swore I would never want a horizontal layout but it works great for me. There is no longer a big vertical abyss staring at me waiting to be filled up. Instead there are only a few lines for each day which is quite enough for me and it’s not overwhelming at all. The only negative thing about the layout is that each week starts with a Monday and ends on Sunday but I can make it work.
The next page has areas to list weekly goals, priorities, notes, personal to-dos, a habit tracker and a place for weekly wins and improvements. Totally doable!
I keep my third ribbon at the back where you’ll find more than enough note pages. Unlike other planners I’ve used, I don’t think I’ll run out of paper.
At the very back of the planner you’ll find a nice paper envelope you can use to store items like stickers, paperclips, post it notes, etc.
Here are my thoughts on the Clever Fox Planner.
- I never thought I’d like a planner without a coil binder. I considered that element non negotiable. But… when I read this planner’s description and weighed the other positive parts of it I figured it was worth a try. Honestly I actually have an easier time writing in this planner without the coil binder. If you think you can’t live without a spiral binder I’d urge you to not let that be a deciding factor on your planner choice. It’s a total non issue for me now.
- Like I stated earlier in the post, the layout of the Clever Fox Planner is different from a lot of the other mainstream planners out there. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d like it but once again I’ve had no issues with it.
- The Clever Fox Planner is made of a nice quality leatherette material. It feels nice and soft but the covers are not bendable. The planner is 5.5 x 8.5 inches. I chose bright pink but it also comes in other colors. There is an elastic band and pen holder attached to it. Both of those add a nice touch.
- As noted before, the paper feels nice and smooth, has a nice weight to it and is bright. The only time I experienced any sort of bleed through was with a Ultra-Fine Sharpie. I had no issues with my Paper Mate Flairs or Pentel EnerGel Pens
- The size of this planner is perfect. It’s easy to hold, easy to throw in a purse or tote and isn’t so thick that it weighs a ton. It’s perfectly portable.
- I’ve been using it for a little less than a month and so far it’s been great. For me, seeing my week along with my goals and to-dos works. Having my week on one page versus two makes me feel less stressed.
How do you feel about trying a completely different kind of planner? Would you be open to it?