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Packing tape, cardboard, and bubble wrap littered the floor around my feet a mere 60 seconds after I got my hands on the box holding an InkWELL Press liveWELL planner. I had only been waiting four months for the moment. No big deal.
The liveWELL planner isn’t like other planners—it’s difficult to purchase. In fact, purchasing one is a lot like trying to snag the golden snitch in a quidditch match. The first round of sales happened back in November, and they sold out within just 20 minutes. By the time I made it to work and sat down to buy one, there was a bold “SOLD OUT” plastered across every single planner option. Talk about an unfortunate way to start the day.
Luckily, InkWELL Press decided to do an “imperfect” sale for the planners that had been mildly damaged in production. No surprise, but I barely managed to grab one before those sold out, too. So with bated breath, I waited 12 days for the Flex, Watercolor Hexagon liveWELL planner to arrive.
It arrived pristine and perfect. The only sign of a flaw is slight discoloration on the bottom of the cover—therefore, I’ll argue that the liveWELL planner is, in fact, perfect.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a quick list of the things I love:
The cover – THAT COLOR!
The paper quality – so nice and thick.
The elastic band – major bonus feature.
The goal planning pages throughout – so much structure.
The ruler/bookmark – so useful.
Now, let’s break down the various features of the planner.
Upon First Inspection
Did I mention that this planner is perfect? It has a hard cover that’s still thin enough to easily open and close. The spiral binding is thick and sturdy, but thankfully, isn’t so large that opening the planner becomes troublesome. Overall, the weight and size of the planner is substantial enough that it’s not flimsy, but not so large that it’s cumbersome to handle. Striking this balance is often difficult in the planner world, so the fact that InkWELL Press was able to do it is impressive.
An elastic band is also included to keep the planner closed when in transit. I wasn’t aware the planner came with an elastic band—very few planners do—and it was like finding an onion ring in my order of fries! An elastic band is an incredibly useful feature, especially if you tote your planner around in a bag most days. It’ll prevent damage to the pages by keeping everything tightly together.
The planner is colorful, but the colors are all muted—so it’s not overwhelming or obnoxious. The cover is an ocean blue watercolor (which is my favorite color), and has a nice, calming effect. I particularly like that the colors are used as a code in the yearly goal setting pages. This helped me so much when I was setting my goals and deciding on deadlines. Even though there are a lot of colors in the planner, there are four color schemes, and they’re used in rotation throughout the monthly pages. This keeps it from becoming overwhelming and redundant. Each month, the colors feel new and exciting.
Looking a Little Closer
There are two main draws with the liveWELL planner: The goal setting pages throughout and the weekly layout options. These are what make this planner so unique and appealing.
I’m all about goal setting, and I particularly love it when a planner incorporates it into the pages. When you’re carrying a planner with you throughout your day to keep you on track, it’s beneficial to have your goals, plans, and deadlines in it. This way, the items you plan for your day can be aligned with those goals. The liveWELL planner begins with yearly goal setting pages. Two effective, concise worksheets are all you need to generate a clear picture of what you want to happen in the next 12 months.
The first page breaks down your goals into 6 categories: Personal, Social, Financial, Health, Home, and Dream Big. It also has a space for you to write down your mission. Your mission can be whatever you want. For me, my mission is “Be courageous. Be vulnerable.” These are the two principles I want to guide my year and my goals. After you’ve nailed down your mission, you can go through your goals. The second goal setting page provides space for you to apply quarterly deadlines to your goals. Each quarter has
After you’ve nailed down your mission, you can go through your goals. The second goal setting page provides space for you to apply quarterly deadlines to your goals. Each quarter has a space for one goal from each category, and the colors correlate with the previous page. This is great for keeping it organized visually, but it does limit you to one goal from each category for each quarter. It would be more helpful if there was space for more than one per category because it’s not always feasible to achieve one goal from each category in the same quarter.
The liveWELL planner doesn’t stop at yearly goal setting, though. There are also Mission Boards included at the beginning of each month. These pages are different from any monthly goal setting worksheets I’ve seen. Instead of a list format or a plain free space for you to use however, the Mission Board is composed of a group of hexagons. Some of them are labeled to match your yearly goals (Health, Me Time, Home, Financial, Dream Big, and Be Social), but there are also three blank ones for you to use however you want. The hexagons are done in the various colors of that month’s color scheme, so it’s just as decorative as it is functional. Personally, I think this format is more inspiring and useful. It’s easier to see the various goal categories and what the focus is for the month with everything laid out in a fun grid.
There are two layouts: The Classic (vertical) and the Flex (horizontal). Both provide the same main components: space to write your tasks and schedule, room for notes, and three boxes for specific things each day.
I chose the Flex layout. The cool thing about the Flex is the different ways you can organize it. You can divide the space into two to create some separation between various aspects of your life and change what the three daily boxes are for as you need to. I chose to divide the individual days into my schedule and my tasks and to use the daily boxes for my dinner plans, workouts, and water intake. The space can be adjusted to fit whatever your planning and tracking needs are, which is a really neat way to use a horizontal-style weekly planner.
Of course, a weekly planner wouldn’t be complete without a space for notes. In the bottom of the righthand page, there’s a substantial space for you to write down anything you need to remember. It’s horizontal, so you can use it much like the daily spaces by dividing it into categories, or even writing journal-style if that works best for you.
Extra Credit Never Hurts
At the back of the liveWELL planner, there are some neat extra credit pages. I’m always a huge fan of planners that pack a little extra punch, so of course I’m fangirling over these. There’s a gift list where you can write down the person you’re shopping for, gift ideas, what you bought, and the price. I’m always trying to keep track of the gifts I give people so I don’t repeat myself year after year and to keep things even between all of my loved ones. This list is MAJOR in my book. Conveniently flipping to a designated place with all of this information is much nicer than searching through my old notebook.
After the gift list, there are two pages meant for travel information. Here, you have space to write down all of the details of your flights, destinations, confirmation numbers, and various other little details. I’ve always done this with sticky notes throughout my planner. Needless to say, liveWELL has a much better system.
My past planners have always been cram-packed with random book titles I want to look into, and they’ve been scattered across multiple pages. It was hectic, so I would often forget about a book or not be able to find it in all the mess a few weeks later. The liveWELL planner includes a page for you to write down books you want to read and movies you want to watch. You don’t have to write titles down in the margin of your planner with this extra page. Instead, you know exactly where to write the titles so you never lose them.
One extra credit page steals the show in my opinion: The monthly bill tracker. It’s already organized for you by category and month and has specific spots for you to write the amount, the due date, and check it off once paid. LiveWELL designates the top three rows for you (electric, phone, and utilities) and leaves the bottom three blank for you to fill in yourself. You can use the blank ones to track your car payment, rent, insurance payment, medical bills, or any other recurring bill payment. Bills are never fun, but this tracker makes it easy to manage your money.
Those Bonus Features Tho
One of the best things about ordering a liveWELL planner is that you receive some helpful tips, emails, and videos from InkWELL Press’ founder, Tonya. She sends out a video series where she breaks down the different portions of the planner so you can get the most out of it possible. She offers advice on how to prioritize your tasks, set goals, and use the weekly planning section. If you’re unsure how to write things down in your weeks and organize everything, she’s got you covered.
These videos are short, but packed with useful information. Implementing her advice allowed me to hone in on what was important and effectively write down my tasks, schedule, and important information in the weekly planning section and in my goal setting pages. In addition to the videos you’ll receive from Tonya, there’s also a Facebook group (InkWell Press Society) you can join to discuss any issues or concerns you have about using your planner to the maximum potential. This is a great place to find ideas for organizing your planner.
When you chose a liveWELL planner, you’re not just selecting a notebook to write down your to-do list each day. You’re receiving a tool to help you stay focused on your goals, be productive each day, and find a feeling of peace about the various aspects of your life. I’ve used and reviewed more planners than I can even count, but this one is at the top of my list. It’s worth every penny you spend and will add more organization and clarity to your life than you could ever imagine. Have a liveWELL planner of your own? Let us know how you like it! Don’t have one yet? Buy one here and get $10 off your first order.
Would you buy an inkWELL liveWELL planner? Tell us in the comments below!