After a somewhat crazy 2016 that left me very little time to do work, 2017 is the year I’m getting back to work. This year, I’m going to get my life in order and start working for what I want in my career and personal life. Previous years have proven that there’s no use for planning if it’s not followed by hard work and execution of the step-by steps.
When I was deciding on which planner I should use in 2017, I stumbled across Get to Work Book on instagram and felt intrigued. After reading some reviews, watched run through videos, and found their Australian stockist (I purchased this planner at Up & Atem), I decided to purchase Get to Work Book as my primary planner in 2017.
Get to Work Book is created by Elise Blaha Cripe, who has been blogging over the years on eliseblaha.typepad.com about her daily musings, goal settings and insights as a small business owner. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband and two daughters. I haven’t really read much about Elise, but I love the fact that there’s a background story about the creator behind the product I’m using. Go to Elise’s blog to read more about her.
After using Get to Work Book for one month in January, I am more convinced that this is the perfect planner for my year of getting back to work. Read my full Get to Work Book planner review and more photos after the jump!
Get to Work Book really stands out from the rest of the planners in the market, and I really like it for being so straight-forward. No, it doesn’t offer rose gold coloured coil binding or metallic edges, their covers are not adorned with gold foil lettering or preppy stripes, and the only colours that you will see from cover to cover are black, white and light grey. They do offer classic chipboard cover which is kraft brown material, but it sold out pretty quickly, so I got the black bookboard cover one instead.
I won’t lie to you, this planner does not look fancy. But after years of using fancy planners with all the unnecessary bells and whistles, Get to Work Book is a nice change, and it actually inspires me to be more productive.
The good thing about having a non-fancy planner, is that I don’t have to be too careful with it. It doesn’t bother me if I accidentally get a few pages folded or if my handwriting is not very neat. I don’t even feel the need to decorate the pages when I don’t feel like it. I have to admit that I haven’t been very careful with my GTWB. It has been thrown around in the car, my baby has somehow managed to grab it by the coil binder and roughly dropped it on the floor, and I have been eating kimchi noodle soup next to it…. but the bookboard cover and the black coil binding is sturdy enough that it hasn’t shown the wear and tear it should already have. Not only are the monthly tabs laminated, they are also thick enough that they haven’t suffer from the case of bunny ears like other planners I’ve used in previous years.
The first planning page in the book is a 2017 at a glance spread. This is where you can write down any appointments and planning for the whole year as soon as you’ve set the date. At the beginning of the year I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for the last half of the year, but I’m sure that they’re going to get filled up within the next couple of months.
At the beginning of each month, you get to reflect back on the previous months and look at what you’ve accomplished and what are still in the works. Next to it there is motivational quote arts printed on perforated heavy stock that could be removed. There are 12 different monochrome quote arts and they look so good you can frame them as workspace motivational prints. These quote arts are the only decorative features within this planner, but the fact that they’re removable allows you to decide whether you need them in your planner. I prefer not to have these quotes in my GTWB because removing 12 sheets of heavy card stock from the planner certainly makes the planner A LOT lighter and easier to bring around in my bag. You can view all 12 artworks here.
The monthly reflection page is great, because I find that the questions are not overly detailed and they give us room to brainstorm ideas for the next month. The white spaces allow us to add functional stickers or lists that would be useful for our individual planning needs.
What I love the most about Get to Work Book is their planning pages layout. The design is minimalist without being too plain and corporate, but the fonts and colours don’t distract you from what you’re supposed to do with it in the first place – planning. You can make it as decorative as you want, or you can just simply plan, just like what I’ve done in January.
I do plan to be more creative with this planner in the coming months, but let’s face it, when you are actually working, who has time to play with decorations and pretty handwriting and doodles.
Their monthly spread is quite standard. The fact that it starts on Sunday bothers me a little bit. You will find a small calendar of current and previous months at the bottom left hand side of the planner, and there are plenty of space to add functional stickers or write your own lists at the bottom of the pages. Each month I have my must do list which consist of three things that I must do. I also have don’t forget list for things that I’d like to do but it’s not that urgent. I use colour coding for my planners, and I specifically use the Kikki K felt tip pens because they are great to write with and they don’t bleed.
I am a big fan of vertical weekly layout, because I find that it’s easier to view and plan my week over a vertical layout. On the left hand side you can find boxes to write your action items for the week. As Elise described in one of her videos, action items are tasks that you’d like to accomplish for that week. You should pat yourself on the back once the three top action items have been accomplished.
On the top of each day’s vertical space, there are three bullet points which you can use for your to-do lists of the day. I personally don’t find three bullet points enough, so I only use them for really important task and things that are due. When it comes to house chores, meals to cook, exercise classes and blog posts to do, I would create my own colour-coded bullet points. There are grid spaces at the bottom of the pages, which again you can use for your own individual planning needs, such as reminders.
It’s also strange that even though their monthly spread starts on Sunday, but the weekly pages start on Monday. I won’t complain because I use the weekly pages more than the monthly, and I do like my planners to start on Mondays.
If you are a sticker addict, these vertical layout has the same width as Erin Condren’s boxes, so you can use your rectangle stickers in your Get to Work Book as well.
Other than the cover pages, year-in-review spread, monthly reflection, quote artworks and the monthly and weekly planning pages, you will also find project pages and grid pages scattered within the planner. You will find these at the end of each month as well as a few more at the end of the book. These are probably the main selling point of the planner. For someone who does project-based work like me, these pages are extremely useful, and the included project pages is not enough to last one year. As of today, I’ve used half of the project pages at the end of the book. Also, they are versatile enough to use for whatever you like. You can set goals, breakdown your project into steps, plan blog posts, execute timeline for your projects and many more. The pages shown above are from the time I was creating a timeline to sell my Passion Workbook on Boxing day.
If you feel that the project pages included within the planner is not enough for you, you can purchase extra project breakdown pad available here.
Pages included in Get to Work Book:
- Year at a glance
- Monthly reflection page (they said they’re reflect and goal-set pages, but I personally don’t any goal-setting qualities in them)
- Monthly tabs laminated and printed on heavy card stock, with grid blank page for brainstorming and project planning
- Quote art prints printed on perforated heavy stock that you can remove
- Month in two pages spread, Sunday start, standard look. Features mini calendar of previous and current months, plenty of note spaces.
- Vertical week in two pages spread, Monday start. Features three action items boxes and free grid space at the bottom.
- 14 project breakdown pages at the end of every month as well as a few at the end of the book.
- Blank grid pages scattered within the book.
What I love about GTWB:
- No unnecessary bells and whistles
- The size
- It’s pretty light compared to other planners in similar size once I’ve taken off the quote art pages
- It’s very straight-forward
- The minimalist layout that inspires me to plan, and doesn’t distract me from my planning activities
- The fact that it’s monochrome means that I can decorate it however I want without worrying about theme colours
- Sturdy and well-made
- I don’t have to be too careful and precious with it
- Vertical weekly layout
- Project breakdown pages – I love it so much that I purchased the pad
- It is THE planner when you want to plan and get work done, and not to worry so much about decorations and prettiness
- The FONTS (oh yes this is important for me. I don’t know how many times I like a planner but I won’t buy them because of the fonts)
What I don’t like about GTWB:
- I don’t really like the paper stock that they use. They are not smooth and it makes certain pens bleed and show-through. They are 100% post-consumer waste, which is a good thing for the environment. But I personally still prefer smoother and more premium paper. Luckily, the pen that I’m using (Kikki K felt tip pens) is good enough for the paper that they are using, so bleeding and show-through problems are tackled.
- There’s no designated pages with prompted questions for goal setting or mission purpose finding
- I feel that I have to do a lot of self-led planning and customisation with this planner
- Monthly spread starts on a Sunday
- Their monthly spread is a little too standard, but it doesn’t bother me so much
There’s no one perfect planner for everyone, and regardless of the things that I don’t like about Get to Work Book, I still feel that this is the perfect planner for me. All the cons about goal setting are tackled by my own Passion Workbook and stickers to add features on the planning pages.
So if you have used Get to Work Book planner before, let me know what you think about this planner in the comments!