Being an actor requires a lot of organization. Between rehearsals, auditions, day job(s), meetings, coffees, bills due, etc, it's hard for me to keep track of it all. I like writing everything I have to do and everywhere I have to go in a planner. Studies have shown that the act of physically writing something down helps you remember it better than typing. Honestly, I write it down so that I don't have to remember it.
For the past few years, I've stuck to basic but cute planners such as Kate Spade or Lilly Pulitzer. These planners are in the $30-40 price range. Both come dated and span 18 months. Each weekly section contains small lined sections for each day of the week. The planners usually come with stickers and a mini pocket for stray paper goods in the front. While I love the metallic accents on the Lilly covers, I currently carry the Kate Spade Paris-themed planner. Both come in very similar sizes; Lilly Pulitzer is 8.87" x 6.75" and Kate Spade is 7.75" x 6". Each company carries a larger size planner as well, but I go for the smaller ones to save room for other things in my bag.
As my Kate Spade planner reaches its end (we are four months out people, this is not a drill), I have been on the hunt for my next organizational system. However, I never thought I'd be writing that I found the perfect planner at Urban Outfitters, of all places. But, I did.
Meet the Daily Planner, a collaboration between UK-based OHH DEER and Urban Outfitters. In my opinion, this is the perfect planner if you are an artist, content creator, or all around busy bee because it blends the right amount of business and creativity in a simple layout.
The OHH DEER x Urban Outfitters Daily Planner comes in one size only (8.46" x 6") and a variety of patterns. I chose a watercolor cactus print, a bold move since it is on a light background and, knowing me, it will get dirty. It normally retails for $24, but I saw a few patterns online for $19 and used a $5 coupon in addition to choosing "Store Pickup" so I wouldn't have to pay any shipping. With tax, I paid $14.88 in total, a super affordable price when compared to other planners. It is a sewn-spine book with a linen cover, so if you are a person who enjoys ripping out planner pages after you are done to lighten the load, this may not be for you. The planner contains 380 undated pages, enough for a little over a year. The planner also has a simple, thin ribbon bookmark that is also sewn in; I use a magnetic page flag so I can easily access what day it is. This will also be my first planner without a ring binder, which I am fine with, especially because when I have my ringed planner rustling around in my bag, it always manages to get caught on something.
At the top of each page is a section to put the day and the month, as well as "Today's Objective." While researching planners (yes, I am that much of a nerd who abuses parenthetical thought in blog posts in addition to researching planners), I came across a comment from a user who described how she saves paper by only filling in the dates for days she has things to get done. Ha! Personally, those days don't happen to me; even when I am on the rare vacation, I still enjoy writing down if I'll be doing an activity or what time my flight leaves or arrives. I do see myself using large post-its to write down things I have to do in the weeks or months ahead so I don't have to take up the task of dating the pages all at once. As far as the "Today's Objective" spot, which is a little small but this planner does pack a punch, I'm not sure how I will use it yet. I feel like I will probably switch back and forth between concrete, literal objectives (do laundry) and more motivational objectives (fail better).
Below that section is a generous, unlined Notes section. I really appreciate that they left this section unlined because I am often scribbling hurriedly and can't be bothered to write inside the lines. Sometimes, I feel like drawing, such as potential changes to blocking after a rehearsal.
Underneath the Notes section is a two-columned lined table. The first column is labeled "To Do" and the second is labeled "Next." I interpreted "Next" in several ways. Maybe if I am done with row 1 of "To Do," row 1 of "Next" could contain thenext step in continuing the same task. Another way I have looked at it is serving as a heads up for the tasks of the day and week to come, so I am not surprised when I flip to find "pay student loans" written on the other side of the page. The width is a tiny bit smaller than college-ruled, so fine-tipped pens are greatly encouraged.
I had been looking to switch to a planner that contained an hourly timetable, but never liked the famous Erin Condren or the Passion Planner; I felt the timetable took up the entire planner and left no room for general tasks that didn't require a specific time. Other planners that contained timetables would only span twelve hours (6am-6pm). If you are an actor, especially one that is just starting out, you definitely have plans after 6pm. The Daily Planner features a timetable on each page's right hand side that spans 18 hours (6am-12am) and has half hour demarcation lines.
At the very bottom of each page are three unlined squares labeled "Objectives/Projects" and a small empty space on each bottom right hand corner labeled "Doodles." I see myself using the squares to make notes or write down ideas on creative projects that I have going on, such as the bilingual sitcom that I am currently writing. If you are a cartoonist, I feel like the three squares will serve as a good exercise to do a daily mini storyboard. Having two different spaces labeled as "Objectives" was a little unnecessary and confusing, but again, I love that this planner is so open to interpretation while maintaining a structured organizational system. Besides it's main purpose, I see myself utilizing the "Doodles" section to put leftover stickers from my previous planners. Unlike most other planners (with the exception of the Passion Planner), the Daily Planner's decoration is limited to the front and back cover. Part of me misses the style of more "pretty" planners; the Daily Planner doesn't even contain a simple place in the beginning to put your name, email, and phone number if it ever gets lost (not that I've ever been in that situation). The Daily Planner is very straight to the point--you open it, and there's the first undated page ready for use.
I think the fact that I wrote so much about this planner shows how genuinely excited I am to use it. The OHH DEER x Urban Outfitters Daily Planner fits both my lifestyle and my personality. I definitely will be posting a follow-up review after I have used it for a few months to see if I still feel the same way.