2020… well among all that the year taught us, it showed us that there was almost no sense in making any plans, not even within a day! Like me many of you may have ditched you diary or planner in March and never picked it up again. But I am determined that 2021 is going to be a different year. Are you an avid planner or do you simply need reminding to water the house plants? Either way keep reading!

After years of trying different forms of diaries, calendars or planners I have not been able to find a format that works perfectly for me. Often I start strong and by March the diary is at the bottom of my handbag and I have reverted back to just using my head to organise myself!

I am pleased to announce that I may now have found the perfect diary/planner. I present to you the REAL planner…

This planner has been beautifully designed and created by an idol of mine, Safia Minney. Safia is well known for creating the ethical clothing company People Tree, as well as a whole host of other projects and work in the wider arenas of sustainability and human rights.

Together with her team, Safia has set up an organisation called REAL Sustainability. REAL represents Regeneration through Education Action and Leadership. The organisation is “dedicated to helping people and business transition to zero carbon and sustainability by 2030”.

The REAL Sustainability website is packed full of information and resources focused on all aspects of sustainable living and leadership. Its a treasure trove for anyone who wants to learn more about how to create postive change.

So, now let me tell you why the REAL planner is so great. Firstly, it is made using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. It is entirely free of plastic or leather, unlike most diaries on the shop shelves. The planner is also printed in the UK by an ISO 14001 certified company. So it ticks all the boxes on sustainable production.

Now on to the design and layout. The planner comes in two colours, black or my absolute favourite shade of bright yellow. Its a hard cover book so perfect for surviving in your handbag or work bag with out being trashed.

This planner is undated, the days of the week are written in, but no months or year so its really versatile and can be started at any point.  Its set up as a quarterly planner, so over a year you will use 4 books. I find that this format makes it perfect for trying out without committing to a planner for a year and it also eliminates the wastage created by many diaries that are dated. If you dont feel like it for a week, you can just start again the following week without having wasted any paper.

Consisting of 240, A5 pages, each day gets a two page spread, apart from the weekend which share a spread. Each day has space to list three priorities for the day, a schedule and then a large section for lists and notes. The last feature on each spread is a space to write up to 5 daily gratitudes.

The other feature that I really love is the daily quote, these are nuggets of inspiring wisdom shared by the worlds most awesome change makers, most of them are female voices of change which is really great to see.

The front section of the planner has a range of spaces to write both personal and professional goals. These can be broken down by year, month and week. There is some great words of advice in those sections about self coaching and how to set achievable and realistic goals. I find this so motivating and its presented in a really clear way without being daunting. Each week also ends with a review section, that prompts you with questions that allow you to really take in the week that has just passed and to dissect what you learnt from it.

I could go on for days talking about how much I love the REAL planner but I will stop now! I am just so pleased to have finally found a planner that really suits me and I hope that it might be the perfect solution for you to. Lets make 2021 a year of hope and postive change.

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