Planner fan Lisa Hess peeks inside the Be the Difference Planner, new from Ink & Willow.
I love planners. In any given year, I use at least three to keep track of everything from schedules and to-do lists to various projects. And, as someone with an I need to see it personal style, my preferred planners need to include plenty of space where I can lay everything out (where I can see it).
That said, I have never seen a planner like this one. A quick flip-through of the Be the Difference Planner was not enough. Instead, I brought to the beach so I could sit down, go through it slowly, and savor it.
Not a lot of planners make me do this.
Although you can’t judge a book by its cover, this cover bears mentioning. Not only is it bright and appealing, evoking a global feel in its color scheme and title presentation, but it’s literally flexible. Book-bound, not spiral, it’s harder than a paperback and softer than a hardcover, making it sturdy enough to withstand lots of tossing into this bag or that as its owner moves from place to place and project to project. (Perfect for those with an I love to be busy personal style).
But this consideration for the user doesn’t end with the cover. From the front matter to the layout to the choice of content, the “why” for this planner has been thought through to make it not only user-friendly, but fun to use. Like a book, it draws users in, first with this sentiment in the introduction:
The world around us has always been broken, but as believers, we have been called to do something about it.
And then, in the “How to Use this Planner” section:
Within these pages, you’ll find the space and tools to identify the issues that matter most to you and to help you map out intentional steps to create a meaningful impact.
I’ve seen a lot of planners. I’ve used a lot of planners. But I’ve never found one with a call to action.
Let me pause here for a moment and say that if you’re looking for a traditional planner with monthly calendars and lots of lined pages for to-do lists, this one isn’t for you. But, if you want space to plan out a project that is close to your heart, or to figure out how to find or create such a project, this one is worth savoring.
Laid out in a way that makes it easy to personalize based on your focus (whether you have one focus or many), the Be the Difference helps users to think through their ideas, organize them, and put a plan on paper. Whether you are a big picture thinker or a nuts-and-bolts planner, you’ll find pages in this book to help you take whatever project your heart desires to the next level. Each (undated) month’s pages include a monthly calendar (two-page spread), space for notes, to-dos, brainstorming, references, and contacts, along with an inspirational quote and space for reflection at the end of the month, as well as quarterly reflection pages. The back of the book shares food for thought (“Issues on God’s Heart”), while the front of the book offers space to help users think through ways they can make a difference.
Suitable for individuals and committees, the Be the Difference planner provides guided space to go from idea to action, whether your target is local, national or global. Though its stated function is “planner,” it is much more, and impressively so, making its $16.99 price point seems more than reasonable given its uniqueness and utility.
If there is a project on your heart and you like to think on the page, this planner can help you make a difference. At the very least, it can be a place where you can put your ideas on the page and take the first steps from planning to implementation.
Copyright 2022 Lisa Hess
Images: Canva; product images courtesy of WaterBrook/Multnomah
About the Author
Transplanted Jersey girl Lisa Lawmaster Hess is the author of a blog compilation, three novels, and three non-fiction books, including the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College of Pennsylvania. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.