Karen Adams Designs 2017 Agenda Review
Daily planners are like unicorns—incredibly hard to find. This is why I was so elated to see and try out the 2017 Agenda from Karen Adams Designs.
I had never encountered the brand before, so I didn’t know what to expect from the product. I must say though, this agenda is delightful. It’s darling, functional, spacious, and different from the other daily planners on the market.
Two Covers for All
The 2017 Agenda comes in two covers, one pink and one black. The pink is comprised of alternating “2017”s in a variety of styles, and the black is similar to dalmatian print. Both have a silver foil “2017” in the upper middle of the cover. They are silver wire-o bound and have silver corner protectors. It seems like every other planner on the market is obsessed with gold right now, so I love the fact Karen Adams chose to go with silver instead.
Both agendas have an attached elastic band to keep the planner closed when you aren’t using it (the pink cover has a Kelly green elastic band to represent the brand colors and the black cover has a black elastic band). The front cover opens to a tall vertical folder, which is a little tight, but makes it all the better for keeping loose documents secure.
Organize and Prepare for Success
The agenda starts with a passwords page for you to record all of the passwords you’ll ever need to know. This is a great tool to have throughout 2017 because passwords seem to be never-ending and always change.
Then you have a page for your 2017 goals. It’s a simple page; there are just lines with check boxes on the page. This allows you to write down all of your goals for the year in one place, whether big or small, and easily access and find them. It’s also great because it allows you to look at how many you’ve accomplished and how many you have left very quickly.
After these two pages there are some really fun lists to fill out. First, you have a list for must-see movies followed by must-read books. These are great, in my opinion, because it can be hard to mentally remember those things. Then there’s a “Dates to Celebrate” page. The space is broken down by month and has four lines per month. You have ample room to write down any weddings, trips, events, or birthdays you’re anticipating.
Every Month, Every Day
Then you get to the truly functional part of the 2017 Karen Adams agenda. Each month has a laminated tab to help you easily navigate through the planner, and the monthly calendars are exactly what you would expect. You get a column for notes and then a calendar with some fun holidays filled in for you (like Popcorn Day).
The daily pages are the heart of this agenda. The weekdays all get a full page to themselves, and the weekend days split a page horizontally. The weekday pages have an hourly schedule from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., an equally long to-do list, a notes box at the bottom of the page, a space for your top three goals, and also space for three things you will do for yourself each day. There’s also, of course, an inspirational quote included at the top right corner.
All of this might seem expected, but the three goals and three things to do for yourself spots are incredible. Here’s why: Goals are different than tasks, and we should all remember to tend to ourselves in order to tend to others. Moms particularly struggle with taking time for themselves, but I think this is something everyone needs some help with. Even single, childless young professionals struggle to justify time and events simply for their own pleasure and peace.
Having three goals for the day rather than a top three tasks is a big deal. It allows you to think beyond the to-do list and into the other aspects of your life. For example, you can write down your goal to exercise for 30 minutes or drink your weight in ounces of water or to spend 30 minutes without technology. This space can also be used to remind you of those goals you set for the entire year so you don’t realize in November that you haven’t achieved any of them.
The space for personal things to do is important for the same reason: It reminds you to make yourself a priority. In this space you can write down that you want to exercise that day because it makes you feel confident and happy, take a bubble bath before bed to unwind, read a book you’ve forgotten about, journal for 20 minutes, or whatever you want to do simply because it adds joy to your day. When you forget to do things like this it leads to burnout, frustration, exhaustion, and often poor mental and physical health. The bottom line is you have to take care of yourself and do the activities you enjoy if you’re going to live a life you love.
Weekends are for Fun
The weekend pages are a little different than the weekday pages. Saturday claims the top half of the page. On the left side there are lines for you to write down your schedule or goals for the day, and on the right side there’s a to-do list of the same length. Sunday follows the same layout.
Because weekends are always more casual than weekdays, this is the perfect layout for balancing productivity with fun. At the very bottom of the weekend pages is a horizontal calendar for the next week. Each day gets a box, and you can use this space to write down any major things you need to know about or prepare for.
At the back of the agenda, Karen Adams Design has included some fun little “Easter eggs” for you. First of those is a monthly calendar for January 2018. Now this might seem a little odd or pointless at first, but if you really think about it you’ll realize this is genius. The weird time between finishing up one planner and starting a second is always super difficult. You have to write future dates in another planner while also using the one for the current month. With this monthly calendar included. You can write down your New Year’s Eve plans and all the other stuff you have planned for January, and easily reference it as you go through December.
There’s also a good sized section of note pages for you to use and then the planner ends with a sheet of decorative, but intentional stickers. The stickers are fun little doodles, but the majority of them are useful. For example, there are some coffee cups for your coffee dates, vacation-themed images, and holiday-centric stickers.
If you’re looking for a daily planner that has a lot of white space, some intentional list making, and room to write, then give the 2017 Agenda from Karen Adams Designs a chance. It will add some serious style and focus to your year.
Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3