XO Planners Daily Edition Review: A Fashionista’s Dream
It’s not very often that I stumble across a new planner and am instantly wowed by its unique layout and design. XO Planners managed to bewitch my organized heart, though. With its edgy cover designs and a punchy black and white interior, these planners speak to my monochromatic, crisp soul. In addition to being beautiful, XO Planners are functional. Hello, another gold star. At the risk of sounding emotional and slightly crazy, I feel like the Daily XO Planner is the physical planner manifestation of my personality and soul.
XO planners is a fledgling company compared to other planner brands, so there aren’t tons of covers to choose from. The ones that are available though are truly beautiful. The Daily Planner only comes in the Marble cover for this mid-year round (August 2016-July 2017), but for me that’s perfectly fine because I’m in love with it. It’s moody, sophisticated, and full of attitude. The blue and white marble print is accompanied by golden corner protectors, a gold XO logo and planner date, and a gold metal spiral. It’s a simple, cohesive combo, but there’s nothing boring about it.
The inside is just as simple and cohesive. Thick black lines and print are balanced out with ample white space so it doesn’t look heavy or cluttered when you start writing. Not many planners contain interior pages that are punchy without containing a lick of color, but XO Planners manages to do just that. The thing I like most about the interior pages of this planner is that everything has a purpose and a function. The pages aren’t filled with artistic doodles or fancy font or long inspirational quotes. Instead, the pages are dedicated to the things you really need to write down so you can stay focused on your responsibilities and goals without the visual noise.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to write in color, then you can do that—the pages are in black and white after all. However, the layout isn’t one that needs to be enhanced by color coding (in my opinion). I don’t think writing in black ink results in a messy, overwhelming page because there’s ample white space and clear, defined sections to guide you.
Successful Months Start with Planning
I love a good monthly section, and the monthly pages in XO Planners Daily Edition is no exception. Each month has a two-page calendar spread with a column for notes, an overview page and then a finances page. The overview page is where you jot down lists for the different areas of your life. The sections are already labeled for things you need to clean and declutter, must-do tasks, important dates and deadlines, things to download, new things to try, and books to read. If you’re consistent with using this page, you’ll never lose track of which books you want to read or what random song from the radio you’d like to download.
The finances page is one of my favorite features. Not many planners dedicate an entire page to financial planning and tracking, so this is a real treat for all of us trying to be hands-on with our money. There are slots for you to enter in your total income for the month, your total expenditure, your savings, and your debt. It’s a great way to physically see where you stand with your cost of living, debt payments, and savings progress each month, and having them all chunked together helps you see just how well you’re managing your money. Below this you can write down your upcoming expenses and the due dates so you don’t fall behind on your bills, and then you even have space to prioritize your shopping.
If you’re a shopaholic (like me), then you’re constantly having to prioritize the items you need and the items you want. With the XO Daily Planner, you have a column to write down both the items you need and the items you want. You can prioritize them and mark them off as you purchase them. Since these columns are side by side, it will help you see if you’re staying balanced between superfluous purchases and necessary purchases.
The finance page finishes with a section for your goals and priorities. I personally use this space to go over how much money I’m putting into different savings accounts, things I need to buy for others (like gifts), and track spending on gas, groceries, and nights out. For example, I like to set a goal for how little I can spend in a night out in order to A) save money, B) not drink too much, and C) be more conscious with my spending. This space can also be used to break down your utility bills by category (water, electric, gas, etc.) so you can be more environmentally aware or to track your spending for different projects.
Hustle on the Daily
The daily pages in the XO Daily Planner are highly organized. They’re broken down into several sections: Schedule, to-dos, post it, don’t forget, brilliant ideas, inspiration, health, water, and notes. When first starting with this planner, it’s important to remember that you can make the different sections work for you.
For instance, the brilliant ideas section might seem like it’s just where you write down ideas you have. You can also use it to write down things you want to do because they’re fun or relaxing, like reading or a bubble bath or researching something you want to create. The inspiration box could be a quote you come across that day or something that happened to you that inspires you. The post it and notes sections can hold any lists you have, chores for the day, doodles, or even your meals or spending for the day.
The schedule section of the daily pages looks a little different than most daily schedules. Instead of having the hours already on there for you, the schedule just has empty boxes with lines. This allows you to enter in your unique daily schedule as you need to. If you’re going to a movie that starts at 7:15, then you can write in that actual time instead of having to alter a traditional hour slot. This layout is particularly useful for college students who have weird class schedules and anyone who doesn’t need a full, labeled schedule to show them they have nowhere to be for six hours.
This layout is also very helpful if you like to time block. You can write down the times of any meetings and appointments you have, and then fill in the remaining time with how you’re going to block off three hours to paint your bedroom.
If you like to track your water intake and write down your workouts for that day, then you’ll love the health and water sections. You have a nice, designated spot on each page so your personal health and fitness goals are kept at the forefront. It also helps to remind you to be active and make healthy choices everyday.
Set Those Goals, Girl
It’s important to keep in mind that the XO goal setting pages are one of a kind. When you’re using them, you can’t apply rules from other goal setting tools because the design isn’t similar. You really have to let all of your preconceived goal-setting knowledge go so you can truly use this space to its full advantage.
There aren’t any instructions included, but it’s really very simple to use. Don’t let the lack of instructions and the punchy design intimidate you.
First, you narrow down your three main goals for the year and write them in the 1, 2, and 3 boxes. From there, you break those goals down into five actionable steps per goal or even down into five tasks. Then you use the four boxes below each goal for quarterly progress. Each box represents a quarter for each goal. Since the most important part of goal setting is making it measurable, it’s important to keep track of your progress this way.
Of course, this planner starts in August, so your quarters won’t follow the normal progression. That doesn’t really change the way you use them, but it is something to consider if you follow along with the traditional calendar quarters for work.
If you’re looking for an organized, fashionable planner with a crisp and functional layout, XO Planners is worth your time. It’s small enough to fit in your purse or backpack, but has all of the space you need to stay on top of your schedule and work tasks, remain dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, and keep to your budget and goals.
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Last modified on August 24th, 2018