I am always on the hunt for the newest organizational tools. It seems like planners and notebooks have been on the popularity rise lately, which is great! They all have different goals and purposes. I know my notebook is what keeps me going, containing my schedule and thoughts for when I forget. I have done reviews on the Passion Planner and the Rituals for Living Dreambook+Planner.
I was recently contacted by BASICS Products, who just launched a Kickstarter for their The BASICS Notebook. You may have heard of them and their BASICS Wallet. This planner/notebook has some really great features. They are still in the Kickstarter phase, so physical copies have not yet been manufactured. So I am commenting on the digital layout available online. Disclaimer: I am not being paid to speak about this product. These opinions are my personal truth!
Thoughts on Features
The things I am most excited about with this product are it’s thoughtful features. They are, 1) the pen holder; 2) the inside straps, and 3) the whiteboard paper.
I use a Moleskine notebook currently, but hate the fact that I can’t keep my pen secured on it. I sometimes clip it on to the elastic strap on the front side, but it can get caught on things or fall off. This is one reason I personally prefer spiral notebooks. I typically use the spiral to house my pen. But, I really like the clean look and lines of Moleskine notebooks. The BASICS Notebook has taken this issue into consideration by adding extra space at the top of the notebook to hold your pen. Genius!
The second feature I like are the inside straps to hold the pages down. This is useful for someone like me who lives in a windy area like San Francisco. I don’t use my planner too much outside too often. And when I am using my notebook, I am typically inside having a meeting with someone, flipping back and forth between pages. But this is a great for outdoor meetings or as a bookmark. I can live without it, but it’s still cool.
Something very unique that I have not seen in any other notebook or planner is the BASICS Notebook Whiteboard Pages. These are great for when you are brainstorming ideas because when you are in this phase of planning, things aren’t concrete. This allows you to change ideas easily. The only downside to this is that it seems like you’ll have to find your own erasable whiteboard marker – from the Kickstarter page it doesn’t look like this is included. Additionally, these whiteboard pages are found in the inside back pocket and are not attached to the book. They could get lost since they are loose.
Thoughts on Layout
This is more of a notebook than a planner. I say this because it has more notebook pages than planner pages. It has monthly and weekly calendars for 6 months. It’s also not dated, like most planners. This means you fill in the dates as they work for you. I appreciate this because most American planner start their week on Sunday, and I like to start mine on Monday. The monthly view has space for overall goals and tasks to complete those goals. There is a space for 3 daily tasks. I think this is a great idea. You can put something like, “exercise. say thanks. tidy up.”
The weekly layout is spread out each day from 6 to 10pm. That is too long of a day if you ask me. I hope no one has appointments that late, but can understand that some people work that late. There is a space for daily priorities and the same 3 goals and tasks from the monthly view are found in the weekly view. The weekly view also has an “activity” which could be motivational, but I cannot see what each week consists of.
Like I said previously, this is more of a notebook than planner… hence the name. There are more note pages than planner pages – 111 lined pages which are useful for taking notes during phone calls or meetings and 16 blank pages for everything else. I personally find this really useful I take more notes than I write down each hours schedule for the day.
I think this is a great notebook. It is a notebook that can also help keep you on track with your schedule, instead of vice versa. So if you’re someone like me who doesn’t always keep to a perfect schedule or uses electronic versions like Google Calendar to really keep track, I think the BASICS Notebook is a great alternative to your traditional planner. It has innovate features and a basic layout to get you through the BASICS. Visit their Kickstarter if you haven’t already!