This post originally appeared on the blog in December 2018. As an update, I spent about 2 years trying other planners and could not find one that matched the efficiency and style of the Living Well Planner. In 2022, I went back to purchasing this planner and plan to use it for the foreseeable future. It’s just that good and super helpful!
I’ve always been a planner. I love organization and knowing what’s next in life for me. Oh, and I’m a writer so I prefer to write things out. I work online for a living, but for some reason, physically writing things down makes it all feel more official for me.
As you can probably tell by now, this is why I’m obsessed with planners. I’ve been using planners for several years now. I started by purchasing a random $1 planner at the dollar store out of frustration. I had so much going on at the time and felt like my life was an absolute mess.
Some days I had no idea what I was doing, when I was doing it, what I was going to eat that day, or what my overall goals were. It was frustrating to go through life feeling like a hot mess. So I started with the cheapest planner I could find.
Each year, I got a new planner and they kept getting better and better. But it wasn’t until I bought the Living Well Planner last year that I became obsessed.
I purchased the Living Well Planner during a holiday sale and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made to date. I’ve used the planner every day this year and it’s pretty much changed my life. I don’t write a ton of reviews on this blog, but this Living Well Planner review is much needed even if it can help one person get organized and gain clarity on their life.
In this Living Well Planner review, I’ll cover:
- What the planner includes
- What makes it different from ANY other planner I’ve come across
- How to use it
- Bonus extras you don’t want to miss out on
- What I like about it
- What I don’t like about it
- Who the planner is best for
Why This Isn’t Just Any Old Day Planner
The Living Well Planner was designed by Ruth Soukup who is a popular blogging and organization guru who runs the site Living Well Spending Less. She’s also authored tons of books including one of my favorite, How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul.
If you have a blog, you’ve probably heard of Ruth as she is a top authority figure in the blogging space. I mention this because Ruth’s expertise shines through with the Living Well Planner.
She’s a super successful blogger and businesswoman who’s figured out how to juggle multiple responsibilities all while still prioritizing family, health, and financial security.
Here are just a few categories on her blog that demonstrate how she helps women make their lives simpler, richer, and more organized.
Another thing that helps this planner stand out from others is the fact that it’s geared toward helping you reach your goals. Goals are exciting to set in the beginning, but they are often hard to stick to over time.
Other planners simply help you organize and plan out your day. The Living Well Planner does this and more because it comes with goal planning worksheets to use each month. This planner is different because it helps you:
- Get organized
- Plan out your goals and prioritize them
- Improve your overall life
I’ve used these worksheets to plan ideas for my business and life that eventually came to fruition throughout the year.
What the Living Well Planner Includes
The planner definitely gives you a lot to work with for your money and the way I see it, the more features, the better.
First, you have your typical calendar view pages for the year and the month. You can preview dates for the current year as well as future years. There’s also space to store important information and phone numbers and to jot down important dates to remember each month.
There’s also a classic Notes section at the end of each month – a must for me because I love to jot down random things throughout the week and need a space to do it.
- Year at a glance
- Monthly goals section – set your top three goals along with goals to achieve in different areas of your life like personal growth, health and fitness, financial etc.
- Goal Crushing Worksheet for each month
- Project Planning and Brainstorming worksheet for each month
- Monthly Budget Pages
- Weekly planning section where you can break down your schedule by the hour
- Space to plan out your meals for the day – no more wondering what’s for dinner!
- Thoughts and Thanks – a space to record reflections and gratitude
How to Use the Living Well Planner
So, now that you know all the features and pages that come with the planner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Don’t be.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the planner came with a warm welcome from Ruth along with instructions for how to best use the pages to get organized and have an amazing year.
I’ve used the planner to meet so many goals this year. Some of which included:
- Planning and executing my first webinar
- Reading 10 books whereas I couldn’t find the time or motivation to read just 1 during previous years
- Decluttering my apartment and actually buying our first house! – planning that move was a beast!
- Saving $15,000+ in 10 months (for our house and to top off my emergency fund)
- Losing 15 pounds
- Practicing intuitive eating
- Creating my course, Love Your Budget in just 2 months
- Going on a cruise with my husband to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary
- Completing a 13-week class at my church
- Partnering with a youth organization to speak to high school students about entrepreneurship
- Teaching my son how to ride a bike over the summer
- Getting my life insurance broker license (which required passing a state exam) in just 1 month
- Attending 2 conferences
- Crossing a major bucket list item off by seeing my all-time favorite artist in concert in California
- Rebranding this blog
- Creating new 2 new freebie offers for blog readers
- Writing my first fiction ebook
Writing all of those things out was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t even realize I’d accomplished that much this year. I simply just flipped through my planner and viewed my monthly goal sheets to gather all of these accomplishments.
I’ve improved my life in so many different ways from professional and huge milestones to personal growth, health and fitness and finance.
This is another reason why I love the planner. When you use it correctly, it’s difficult to feel like you didn’t make any progress for the year. So how do you use it exactly?
How I Use the Planner
I start at the beginning of the month with the Monthly Goal worksheet. I jot down my top 3 goals for the month and sometimes this requires some thought because I need to narrow down my ambitions. Then, I categorize smaller goals into various different areas of my life.
Next, I narrow down a top goal and get straight to work.
I often use the Goal Crushing Worksheet if I’m going after a goal that requires a lot of work or determination. If I’m planning a project for my business, I use the Project Planning and Brainstorming sheet as well.
- I don’t use the Monthly Budget sheet much as I use my own budget worksheets since I find them more versatile, but I do like that this is an option.
- I use the Month at a Glance page to plan out my month and highlight important dates. This is more of a general section so I don’t get too specific with anything on this page.
- The section that I use the most is the Weekly Planning section. This is where I write out my daily schedule. There is space to plan out your day by the hour which is one of the top things that attracted me to this planner. I love to be intentional with my time because time is a valuable resource that we can’t get back.
- With planners I used in the past, sometimes I’d get frustrated at the small space allotted to list out your tasks for the day. Once I filled in the white space, I was still confused because I didn’t know what to do first.
- With the Living Well Planner, I take advantage of being able to plan out my day by the hour so I know what I’m working on in the morning, when I’m taking breaks, and why I transition to another task. Below the hourly planning section is a space where you can list your top 3 priorities for the day. Below that, there is space to plan out your meals.
- Using the meal planning section when I was trying to lose weight was helpful because knowing I had food prepped and ready to go helped me avoid the temptation of eating unhealthy stuff.
I can’t finish this Living Well Planner review without sharing some of the bonuses that even most people who use the Planner don’t know about.
The planner comes with Weekly Wizard™ and Daily Do It™ sticky notes FREE. I got these last year with my planner and they are helpful for people who really want to narrow their focus down and accomplish one major thing for the day or focus on meeting a deadline.
For example, let’s say you were racing against the deadline for open enrollment (which just ended by the way). These sticky note sets would be great for organizing what you need to do in order to lock in the healthcare plan you wanted in time.
Ordering this planner also gives you access to a private Facebook group along with video and email content providing you with more instruction to help you get the best use out of this planner.
I love that Ruth provides this instead of just selling the planner and expecting you to make it work. She really wants you to use this planner to help you succeed.
What I Like About It
Here are some of my top pros for the Living Well Planner:
- Fun and colorful appearance
- Structured and organized – it comes with plenty of instruction to make sure you use it properly
- Goal setting worksheets to help you stay on track – encourage you to improve every area of your life
- Can plan your days by the hour for better daily task management
- Available space to prioritize your goals and plan out meals
What I Don’t Like About It
There are a few things I wish could be improved about the planner, including:
- The size – I use my planner every day and take it with me but sometimes the size of it has been inconvenient as I can’t fit it into a smaller purse, so I have to carry it or keep it in my car. It’s not heavy at all but it’s about the same size as a notebook so probably not travel size friendly.
- The calendar weeks start on Monday – This actually doesn’t bother me much, but it may throw some people off if you’re used to Sunday – Saturday weekly planning
- You have to set the planner up yourself – The planner comes as a blank slate. You have to use the stickers and labels provided to create markers for the months, and you must write in the dates on the monthly overview and weekly planning pages. Again, I don’t mind this given all the pros, but it can seem tedious to do this every month so you may want to just fill out the dates and months for the entire year in one sitting.
Who Is This Planner Best For
Overall, I’d still give the Living Well Planner a 10 out of 10. That’s because I feel it’s the best planner I’ve ever purchased and that could be because I’m the right type of person for the planner.
So who would best benefit from using this planner?
I’d say it’s someone who’s goal-orientated, but has a lot going on. Perhaps you’re tired of setting goals you never reach, or you’re just overwhelmed with your daily schedule and need direction.
This planner is also best for creatives (bloggers, entrepreneurs, side hustlers) and people who like to plan out projects and go after huge milestone goals.
I can also see busy moms getting good use out of this planner. You can plan out every aspect of your day, meals and even your personal development and leisure goals to create a well-rounded lifestyle.
There are always sales going on for the Living Well Planner if you’re interested in grabbing one for yourself or a friend.
I asked my hubby to get me another one for Christmas 🙂 This particular planner is also the priciest one I’ve ever purchased but it’s worth it for the results I got. I used it every single day of the year so that averaged out to just $0.10 per day for the value.
Are you using a planner for the new year? Why or why not?
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