Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Planners! (RU, UKR, ENG)

If you're not a planner person- quick, click away from here!
Try this or this or this instead.

Wait, you are a planner person? Perfect. And welcome. :)

You understand the yearly cycle of a planner addict: the two months it takes to settle into a new planner, that moment you finally get in the groove, all the colors you assign to different tasks, the guilt over that week you didn't even open the planner, and the hunt for an improved version every November. This year I've fallen even further overboard. Now, I'm using both:
  1. a Russian planner for women 
  2. a business planner for entrepreneurs
 *Throws hands up in excitement and runs around the room!!!*

The Russian planner is called 'Planner for the Happy Housewife Who Manages to Get It All Done.' It's adorable!

It has lists for cleaning, finances, goals, and routines. There's a weekly spread, there are little cats drawn all throughout the book, and it cost 517 rubles (about $5). You can see more pictures of it on my Russian blog.

I've never used 2 planners at the same time... until now. Work life has been getting more complicated lately, to the point I finally needed a separate place to keep track of the details. These days, I work remotely as a content writer and a translator. The content writing is very steady, so it's pretty simple to plan out. There are lots of little tasks that come in via email, though, and I hate having to hunt through emails to remember what to do. The translation work is unpredictable and full of tight deadlines. I want to use the business planner to stay better organized with these jobs and track income for tax time. I also want to continue blogging and make new products to help people learn Russian. Hence, this business planner.

It was created by Sage Grayson, a book editor who became a total Type-A life coach. Her planners really make you accountable for everything you're doing. This is the second year I've used one of her planners. Like any "name brand" planner you buy in the US, it's not cheap- it's $50- but it's worth it. Take a look...

Sage even sent a little note to everyone who bought one!

The last few years I've tried all kinds of planners from all kinds of places.
Here's a peek back at them...


2016 was the year of the Personal Planner. A Swedish husband and wife came up with the idea to let customers create planners from scratch online. You can upload a picture for your covers, change the layout and coloring, and add anything from sudoku to world maps to the back of the planner. A few weeks later, your planner will show up in the mail.

Here's what a Personal Planner looks like:

Every single thing on the page is customizable! When ordering the planner, you pick the page layout (several options for vertical and horizontal), what goes inside each box, and the details at the bottom of the page (like graph paper, mood tracker, meal planner, staff paper, etc.)

You can even pick from a handful of languages...

I was tempted to go with one of the Nordic languages, but I chickened out at the last minute. Probably should have taken the plunge and gotten used to Finnish! ;)


2015 was an earlier Sage Grayson planner. Never had I ever written so much in a planner before. Seriously, this woman makes amazing planners!

Her planners have a lot of prompts for self-reflection and review. It was really useful to have these Goal/Actual columns on each page as well as those five words for reflection at the bottom. I didn't always get to them every week (this was Christmas week, for example) but using them most of the time was enough.


In 2014, I bought a big, beautiful, pink щотижневик, weekly planner, from a bookstore in Kharkiv.

Full-size planners are the best- they give you so much space to track and create! I used some of the blank pages in the back of the planner to set a year's worth of language goals.

Aaaand... totally failed on those goals. We probably went to the баня more than I ever studied!


In 2013, a Ukrainian friend gave me a planner from his company. It was a no-frills, businessman planner. I used it to track my teaching schedule... and that's it.

2011/12 and earlier

My original love for planners started with The Uncalendar. I used these every single year in university. The Uncalendar is cool because it's a) un-fancy b) un-expensive and c) undated. It has a quote inside- "At least look organized"- which is pretty much my life motto, haha. The things you can track with this planner are LIMITLESS.

It's a lot like the personal planner, except that you can't personalize it before buying it. On the other hand, it's easy enough to just write in whatever you want. There was usually more space for writing than I could use in a week.

Confession: we're only 6 weeks into the year, but The Rituals for Living Dreambook already made it on the list as a 2018 candidate. (Seems like everyone is coming out with cool new planners these days!) For now, though, I really like the thoroughness of Sage's planner and the language immersion aspect of the Russian planner.


 What kind of planner do you use? 

Would you commit to using a planner in another language for a year?


  1. I've tried to get into planners but they never work. I like the ones with the giant calendar of the month because I can just write things on the days and see the whole month. I need a new one for this year.

    1. Your Russian travel journal is amazing, Jasilyn! The doodles and designs you used in it are so cool! And I like your handwriting a lot- getting better handwriting is my next goal. ;)

  2. This is an adorable planner! I always use the moleskine planner and buy a new one each year. It's really hefty, but has plenty of space to write to-dos for each day. I think it would be great, and really useful to have both a planner in Russian and one in English. I am sure it would help me pick up words and phrases in Russian that are useful in everyday life!

    1. I did not realize you had a Russian blog! I am so excited to read it!

    2. Thanks, Liz! Oooh, I've heard really good things about moleskine notebooks, especially with bullet journaling.

      Hope you enjoy the Russian blog. :) How are your studies going these days?

  3. I wonder if there's anything like this in the UK. I think I was only aware of a more classic "diary" with just space for each day and maybe a to-do list. I don't think I've heard of ones with space for other things, nevermind all these fancy goals and tracking stuff built in!

    I know where should be and what I'm doing by Google calendar. I schedule things to do in there too (eg. tomorrow has "go out for lunch", "print Module 2 reading" and "email boss") and get magical reminders in my inbox and on my phone. I have workbooks I use for the other things (a year ago I did Holiday Council by Stratejoy to plan my year). It's literally boggling my mind that there are 2-in-1s like the one by Sage. I think I'm too far gone digitally, but my sister still uses a diary and might appreciate a planner instead. It's going on the possible list for her Christmas presents, so thanks!

    1. I only started really using a smartphone last year, so I think that delay kept me from getting into the digital side of planning. So much good technology out there, though! Using Google calendar must also make it easier when you travel, because it's one less extra thing to carry around.

      It's so funny that you mentioned Holiday Council! I just found out about it in January... definitely want to try it next December.

      Enjoy your lunch!