UPstudio 2017 Planner Review: A Simple Choice
Let me start this review by expressing my distaste for shills—they've basically ruined all personal endorsements for me. I wouldn't even shill for my dear old mother. Just kidding, mom! You're not that old!
So, with that being said, please appreciate the seriousness with which I say that I will sing the praises of the UPstudio 2017 planner until our sun, in its death throes, expands to swallow the Earth and all life on it billions of years from now.
I was first introduced to UPstudio planners earlier this year, thanks to our resident planner czarina at the office, Terra Brown. While I immediately fell in love with the clean simplicity of the 2016 version, the 2017 edition is in another league altogether.
Let's take a look.
Cover & Binding
At first glance, the UPstudio planner has a very Moleskine vibe to it. Aside from the “2017” that's debossed (debossed? debossed.) on the front cover, there's nothing particularly flashy going on—which is exactly how I like it. If you're familiar with the 2016 version of this planner, you'll be pleasantly surprised that this cover is much more durable and protective.
It's also got an elastic band on the side to hold the cover in place, further contributing to its Moleskine-inity.
Unlike a lot of planners you see, the UPstudio 2017 edition doesn't use wire binding—it uses the smyth sewing technique instead. As a lefty, there's nothing more annoying than trying to find a comfortable writing position in a spiral-bound notebook, so this is most definitely a welcome feature.
There are also folders on the inside front and back covers of the planner. While they're not heavy duty by any means, they would be fine for storing a few paper-based items.
Monthly Goal Pages
Each month comes with two pages for goal setting. About three quarters of this space is completely blank, while the bottom 25% has grid lines. How you utilize this space is really up to you.
That's a recurring theme you'll find with the UPstudio 2017 planner—its features are simple and customizable enough to work for a wide variety of people with a wide variety of planning needs.
If I'm being completely honest, there's no way in hell I have enough going on to come up with two pages worth of goals each month. So I imagine that a lot of this space will be dedicated to brainstorming and revising said goals.
The monthly calendar that follows the goal pages is, well…a calendar. There's enough space in each square for penciling in one or two things, and there is some blank space at the bottom if you just happen to have tons of important things to remember about any given month.
There's really no good reason or way to reinvent the monthly calendar, so I'm very glad that UPstudio didn't attempt anything like that.
Each week of the month gets its own two pages, broken up by day into three different sections.
At the top, days are broken down hourly from 6 AM to 7 PM. However, this section is formatted in such a way that you can completely ignore these designations, which I absolutely plan on doing.
Each hour only gets a teeny-tiny sliver of space, so there's no way my bulky, erratic handwriting would ever fit. Plus, I plan on using this planner for my non-work activities, so 8 AM to 5 PM would prove useless to me anyways. But, for those of you with great penmanship and a desire to plan your life by the hour, it's totally doable with the UPstudio 2017 planner.
Below the hourly section, each day gets three blank boxes that are roughly the same size as the boxes on the monthly calendar. In my 2016 edition, I use them for everything from planning meals to listing my most important to-dos for the day. Like I said, this planner is all about doing whatever the hell you want with it.
Finally, at the bottom of each weekly page you get some more grids. If you've ever wanted to try out some variation on bullet journaling, this is the place to do it.
There are 54 pages for notes at the back of the planner, all with grid lines. I'm going to have to take up architecture or geometry to get my money's worth. Each page is also numbered, so flipping back and forth between your notes and a particular month shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The UPstudio 2017 planner would be a great fit for two types of people. First, it's perfect for those with little to no planner experience. The simple layout and minimal features do a great job of showing you the basics of time management without beating you over the head with tons of unnecessary features. No one is going to get overwhelmed using this planner.
However, it's not just for newbies. It's also great for people like me, whose planning needs and enthusiasm fluctuate from week to week. If I need to meticulously track my time and to-do list, its format can accommodate that. If I'm feeling lazy and can only be bothered to jot down a few important reminders, this planner isn't going to be guilting me with a bunch of features that I'm neglecting.
It really is a simple and versatile planner option for all of us that can't be bothered with anything fancier. Buy yours today!