UPstudio Planner Review: Completely Flexible Organization
I won’t deny it—I was a little skeptical of the the UPstudio Planner. Not because it didn’t immediately seem like a well-made planner, but because it’s the first I’ve seen with this type of highly structured, yet completely flexible layout. At first, I was overwhelmed with the potential ways I could use each column and row of boxes. I simply didn’t know where or how to start. After some brainstorming for my UPstudio planner review, though, I was able to see how this layout can be used for all kinds of schedules and lifestyles.
On top of the layout possibilities, the planner is constructed of high-quality materials and still has an affordable price tag. The cover is a sleek leather-like material with a clean “2018” stamp in the middle. This might seem too plain or boring for some people, but I actually really like it. It’s one of the few planners I’ve seen on the market that can appeal to the less frilly people.
In addition to the cover, the 2018 UPstudio Planner has:
- 2 ribbon bookmarks to hold your place.
- A folder inside the front cover and an accordion-style folder on the back cover to hold all of your odds and ends.
- 2.5 pieces of grid paper before each month for doodling and note taking.
The whole purpose of UPstudio is to provide a planner that is functional for all kinds of people and lifestyles. Naturally, that means the design is incredibly clean and low-key. There are no flashy colors or quotes included in the planner. There aren’t any images of fancy graphs for you to fiddle with. It’s just simple, organized space for you to use in whatever manner works best for you. White paper. Black ink. That’s all you need.
The Nitty Gritty
Monthly Calendar and Goal Setting
I’m a huge fan of planners that include monthly goal setting pages since I like to do monthly goals throughout the year instead of yearly goals. The UPstudio does the goal setting pages a little differently from other planners, though. Most divide your monthly goals into preset categories for you, but UPstudio simply provides a page with a large blank square, a rectangular grid, and a blank column. There’s no indication your goals have to be one type of thing. You’re in full control of how you use this space to set your goals.
I used the blank square to write goals for different categories, like health, work, and home. The column I used as a month-long to do list. I don’t personally see myself using the grid much unless I use it as a space to create mind maps.
Following the goal-setting page is a standard monthly calendar. It spans the entire length and breadth of a two-page spread so the boxes are big enough for you to actually write in. There’s also a column on the far right side that you can use for a to-do list.
The weekly layout is composed of three sections. The first is a short column for each day where you can write down your schedule, important dates, and deadlines. The hours are included on the far left side and are tiny so you can ignore them or follow them however you want. If you have a class at 1:45, then you can write that time down no problem.
The second section is three rows of boxes underneath the daily schedule. On the far left you can write the category for each row and then write down the tasks or whatever else works with that category under each specific day. For instance, I made one of these rows “Exercise” and wrote down my workout for each day in the corresponding box. This space can also be used for to-dos, meals, family reminders, homework, etc. The third section is a gridded rectangle that spans the bottom of both pages. Here you can write down lists, quotes, and miscellaneous notes to remember.
These three sections can be completely tailored to your life and your needs. If you need to track your dinners one week, but then need to track spending the next then you simply write down a different category when you need to. You can just test out different categories for a few weeks and determine which ones are more important to your life.
You also personalize/organize the planner further by using colored pens to color code the sections. This can help you break up the black and white and keep track of what is what.
The UPstudio Planner is perfect for:
If you’re a student looking for a planner that can fit with your often times hectic, wonky schedule then the UPstudio Planner could be the best option. Since the schedule section doesn’t have overwhelming hours to dictate how you use the columns, you can write down whatever class times you actually have and still have room for your extracurricular activities. The three rows below the schedule are incredibly useful if you’re in college. You can use them in various ways. For instance, you can have categories for papers, tests/quizzes, and homework, or Assignments/Tests, To Do’s, and Exercise.
The grid space is a good spot to write down lists, class reminders, and keep track of expenses.
If you have a family, the blank organization of UPstudio can help you keep track of everyone. The schedule can obviously be used the normal way with everyone’s appointments and playdates co-mingling, but the three boxes under each day can really help you keep everything organized for your kids and yourself. You can assign a row of boxes to each child if you want, or designate boxes for things like dinner, to-dos, kid chores, etc.The grid below can be used to write down notes according to each child, your grocery list, and anything else you need to remember to keep your home running.
Sometimes it helps to create a little quiet time in the middle of hectic days. One of the easiest ways to do that is to set one box as a “daily gratitude” space each day. Here you can write down something you were grateful for each day to remind yourself of the important things. If you find you become caught up in the stress of to do lists too often then this is a great way to combat it.
Every family has a different set of needs and a completely different schedule, so it makes sense that parent’s need some level of customization with planners. UPstudio provides that and already has the layout part done for you. All you have to do is apply the existing layout to your various needs.
The Young Professional
You aren’t quite an “adult,” but you’re also not really a child either. Being a young professional is a little weird, and you need a planner that can fit with these two disparate parts of your life. The UPstudio planner provides the space you need to write down your meetings and social obligations in the weekly schedule.
The three rows below the schedule are a great place for you to jot down to-dos, things you need to remember, like calling your mom, and tracking your exercise. You can also use the bottom boxes to create a semblance of work/life balance and division. You can use the top row to write down your work tasks, the second row to write down your personal to-dos, and the bottom to jot down information for your side hustle (if you have a side hustle).It’s incredibly flexible, so if you need one of these rows to be dedicated to a work project one week you can simply write that on the far left side.
The grid space below can help you brainstorm for work, life, or for your side hustle. You can also use this space to write down any quotes you like or need to push yourself through the work week. If none of those seem like useful ways to use the space, you can use the grid to track your spending to better understand your money habits.
The Health Conscious
This is probably the most surprising way you can use the UPstudio Planner. The schedule is a great place to write down when you’re going to exercise, which classes you’re going to take, and when you’ll meal prep for the week. This allows you to see all of your workouts for the week in one place and make sure you spread them out appropriately.
If you’re health conscious and like to track your meals to make sure you stayed on the healthy path, you can use the three boxes below each day to write down your meals and snacks. There’s plenty of room to write down exactly what you ate and include the calories if you want to.
The grid space below is also useful for the health conscious. You can use the individual boxes below each day to track your water consumption throughout the day, your PRs (running time/ lifting max), weight, measurements, and even when your gym payments are due. The UPstudio can become your complete health and fitness journal when you use it this way.
After testing the planner out with these various lifestyles and needs, I’m no longer skeptical that UPstudio can handle anything thrown at it. With this type of flexible-yet-organized layout, there are fewer hurdles to overcome when using the planner on a daily basis. As long as you know what your needs are and are willing to use the planner to your advantage, you’ll be able to create a more efficient, productive life.
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Last modified on January 3rd, 2024