On 4 December 2018 I had a pre-holiday Skype with Kerstin Martin. We are blog pals from way back, and meet regularly to chat all things life and self-employment. You may remember from her Working In My PJs interview that she runs a hugely successful business as a Squarespace designer and educator.
So there we were a few weeks shy of year’s end, and she tells me she’s just had an idea to create an analog planner for digital entrepreneurs. She’d tried all kinds of diaries and dabbled in bullet journalling, but couldn’t find the system that did everything. She wanted to make her own.
I was all ears. I freaking love all things stationery and organising. I start thinking about the next year’s planner in July. Plus, Kerstin was one of the most precise, thoughtful and logical people I’ve ever known. If she made a planner it was bound to be a goodun.
It was already December 2018, so I thought, Awesome. I will look forward to her planner in 2020.
But no. This is Kerstin Martin we are talking about. She is a woman of ACTION.
Kerstin was not waiting around for 2020. Before I’d even tucked into Christmas dinner she had designed her planner, hunted down a printer that could print it with paper as good as our mutually beloved Leuchtturm products, and ordered her protoype. Then not long into new year, this beauty was released into the world:
At first I resisted because I’d already settled on a Hobonichi Weeks planner for 2019. But already the Hobo wasn’t feeling right. Its compact pages had worked great in 2018 when I worked on site for a client a couple of days a week and needed the portability. But in 2019 I was working at home most days and generally felt more… chatty! Expansive! I wanted more room to write and doodle. So I repurposed the Hobonichi and ordered Kerstin’s planner.
I’ve now been using the Eule Planner solidly for 7 months so I wanted to share my review. I paid for this planner, and there are no affiliate links – it’s just a planner nerd sharing a good find. Kerstin is my friend but these are my honest thoughts. She wouldn’t want it any other way!
So… the Eule Planner is an A5 size. It has a hard cover but it is a little padded, so it’s soft to the touch. Can you say a planner is cuddly? It feels lovely in the hands. It’s easy to wipe clean if you had to use it as an emergency coaster one time. It has a nice teal blue ribbon so you can bookmark a page.
The planner innards are high quality 50# Domtar paper. The pages feel thick but not bulky. Fountain pens don’t leak through.
The start of the planner is packed with useful tracking charts and tables to keep track of all sorts of business and planning bits and bobs, including:
- Annual and Monthly Goals
- Weekly and Monthly To Do’s
- Year/Month/Week At A Glance
- Daily Schedule
- Track Your Statistics (e.g. Social or Money)
- Monthly Blog Post Planning
- Newsletter Planning and Stats
- Mingling: Guest Hosting and Appearances
- Detailed Project or Daily Task Tracking
You can see what those pages look like on Kerstin’s website.
I’ve found these pages help me to pause and think about my business overall, instead of just lurching from one weekly to do list to another. I’ve made a monthly ritual of updating the stats, and it’s satisfying to quantify ones efforts. Or in the case of the Blog Post tracker, see the lack thereof. Le sigh.
Now to the guts of the planner – the weekly spreads. There are echoes of the Leuchtturm weekly planner layout here, with the dates on the left page and note space on the right. But Kerstin goes beyond Leuchtturm’s lined page, and breaks the right page into two useful columns of To Do’s with checkboxes, plus note space underneath.
I’ve generally settled on using the pages like this:
- Left – Appointments in Column 1, Meal planning in Column 2. Or if it’s a mega busy week I’ll put that day’s work priorities in Column 2
- Right – Work items in Column 1, personal in Column 2. Hmmm but in this photo above I don’t do that at all! Och well, it’s a very flexible format.
I prefer using highlighters to check off completed items as I like being able to still read the words underneath and also effort = colour!
Now an awesome feature of the planner that I’ve not seen in any other is that you also get two full note pages each week. And they’re dotted, which is the greatest of page markings if you ask me!
At first I wasn’t sure how useful two weekly note pages would be, but it always ends up being the right amount to jot notes on a call or two, or to scrawl down some random thoughts that will make no sense to your future self. Having the week’s notes next to the week’s planning makes it easy to find things later down the line.
Overall, this planner is a beauty. It’s thoughtfully designed and logical. I look forward to planning out my week. It’s the first business-focused planner I’ve bought where I actually use all the supplementary pages. It really does have the online biz owner in mind.It makes me feel a wee bit more like a business person and not a rank amateur.
Great job, Kerstin “Action” Martin. I will back for 2020.
If you’d like to take a closer look at the Eule Planner head over to Kerstin’s website.