I’m someone who cringes at the thought of organization, but I long for it desperately. I’ll never argue against the value of organized schedules and spaces, but it’s much easier to fantasize about an organized life than to get my life together in actuality.
I’m lucky to have a brain that (mostly) keeps track of appointments and commitments, but I’m still not organized. Bits and pieces of events and deadlines linger in my brain, without a visual timeline to make them feel actionable. And sometimes, I forget things because you know; I am human.
All of that information is a lot for one busy brain to carry.
So, I recently decided that it was time to use one central, physical planner to get my life in order. With my newly launched writing career, a part-time job, and four kids to parent, my brain power just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Besides, it’s exhausting trying to remember everything.
Enter the Clever Fox Undated Weekly Planner.
Why Did I Choose a Clever Fox Undated Weekly Planner?
Besides the cute fox on the cover and the catchy name, this planner enamored me because of its promise to help me improve my “focus, organization [and] accountability.”
Also, the Clever Fox website promises to help users “focus on what’s important, beat procrastination, live with passion, incorporate gratitude and affirmation techniques and attract the power of the universe by creating a vision board and much more.”
Not only would the Clever Fox planner help me organize my schedule, but it would also help me practice the evasive practice of gratitude and enhance my ability to form habits. Perhaps it would change my life. And all for $24.95 USD.
It’s hard to beat that promise.
Clever Fox Planner Features
The Undated Weekly Planner’s key advertised features drew me in:
- Convenient 8.25 x 5.75 inch size that would make it easy to carry with me on the go
- Thick paper with a promise of no ink bleed-through
- Sections to focus on gratitude and personal affirmations, and a separate 60-page journal area in the back
- Three sheets of cute colorful stickers to help me create visual cues
- “Lay-flat” binding, meaning the pages would lay flat when the book lay open, instead of flipping around as book pages often do
- Worksheets for yearly, weekly and daily goal-setting
- System to track daily habit formation
The Clever Fox Planner arrived in a cute keepsake box stamped with the Clever Fox logo.
I chose a vibrant, energizing orange-colored cover, made of a soft and smooth pleather material. As promised, the planner seemed durable, and I enjoyed running my hands over the smooth cover.
It felt like I had made the right choice.
The amount of fields to fill out with goals and reflections was overwhelming at first, but I dove right in and put this baby to work. My first impression of the planner excited me.
My Experience: How I Used It
Despite the intimidation, I was soon filling in lists of things I was grateful for (that was tougher than it sounds), what I am passionate about, skills and habits I want to adopt, and affirmations. The journal included an insert to guide me through the process, which was definitely helpful.
Then, I was on to planning my week. And my month. Ok, so this planner had really gotten me going. It was fun. Soon, I had my whole week planned out with a breakdown of daily habits to complete and an action plan for some of my long-time unreachable goals. Only a few minutes ago, I’d have thought it would be impossible to do on my own, with only a little guidance.
As a queen of disorganization, my biggest challenge throughout the week was making the time for my planner and remembering to organize each night.
My main goal was to at least look at the next day’s plans every evening. If there were none written, I tried to write one or two goals for the day. Even if those goals meant giving myself alone time to read, I wrote something down—a purpose. Then, every day when I woke up, I’d at least wake up with a purpose (in theory).
I used the planner’s spaces to create personal to-do-lists, plan habits to work on throughout the week and assess my performance at the end of the week. There was also a spot to make goals on improvement for the following week.
Things Went Downhill Quickly
About a week into this experiment, I was finding it difficult to keep up with the goals I set for myself. Each day’s goals I didn’t complete moved on to the following day, but that cycle kept going.
I expected an outcome like this. After all, I am an extremely disorganized person. I made it through two weeks using the planner until I forgot to plan my third week. However, I made great use of the journal and note space in the planner’s back section for things like to-do and grocery lists.
Perhaps this journal is just too complex for someone like me who needs a gentler approach to learning organizational skills. Or maybe, I should have purchased a daily planner instead. Either way, I don’t think it was the journal’s fault, but more rather mine.
And I’m not giving up, I’ll give it another go this week. Practice makes perfect, right?
Clever Fox Planner Pros
Here are features of this journal I loved:
- Elastic strap closure, which kept the planner from flipping open and gave me a sense of closure each time I put the journal down
- The thick pages are awesome, just as promised. No bleeding ink, no easy tears, and they feel good when I run my fingers across them.
- Habit tracking and goal-setting spaces. For anyone who needs organizational help in their life, these are great tools to get you going.
- Three attached satin bookmarks, though one fell out within the first week
- Inner pocket (though I haven’t used it)
- Stickers with symbols representing family time, exercise, work, school, etc. They are just fun and great visual aids.
I love this planner. However, there were a few downfalls to its helping me become organized, such as:
- It’s a little overwhelming. This thing had me wanting to set and learn multiple habits at a time and had me feeling a little sparse on the aspect of gratitude and affirmations (more guidance or prompting would’ve been helpful).
- The pen holder is a great idea, but it’s a bit large to hold a standard-sized pen.
- The weekly format. For someone as disorganized as me, a daily planner would have been more helpful to help break down steps into even small actionable chunks.
Should You Buy the Clever Fox Planner?
The Clever Fox Undated Weekly planner is an excellent tool for those with basic organization skills. You must at least have the self-control to make yourself check into it weekly and each night to find success.
My biggest wish was to have more space in each calendar day to organize my tasks and help me make them more actionable. It’s possible that I really just needed a daily planner, instead.
Other than those aspects, it’s a well-rounded personal planner that can help you improve your life in many areas. It’s durable, cute and fun to use. I’d definitely recommend the Clever Fox Undated Weekly planner to my slightly more organized friends in need of a little more organization.