I have both the Panda Planner and the Simple Elephant Planner. I like both, but I prefer the Simple Elephant planner.
The panda planner is really nice. It's got a nice hard cover that feels elegant and nice, heavy paper. It's somewhat like a journal and planner all in one. What I don't like about it, is that it is only 3 months, and for the price, I feel like it should be a full year. Also, there are parts of it that I'm not sure what to do with, so I just use those spaces to take notes, or I would end up wasting the space entirely. Additionally, it comes with videos and a lot of what I consider to be spam mail. I don't feel like I should have to watch videos or get spam mail to use a planner. The goal is to get organized, not waste time learning how to use the planner.
In the weekly section of the planner, I do like the project planning page sections and the goal sections. I can take or leave the last week review sections. I do not care for the planning upcoming week sections, because it is just too cumbersome to fill out every week. My family/work/personal/relationships all sort of overlap, and I don't have that much to say/do, really. Habits, learning, and passion projects are all incorporated into my weekly schedule, so I feel like those pages and sections are just kind of wasted space.
In the monthly section of the planner, again, I feel like there is just too much to write. I appreciate the planning section with the goals to accomplish and the distractions to avoid, but I don't care for the review section of wins and insights gained. In the daily section, I like being able to set priorities, having the schedule and task lists, and even the end of day review. I don't care for the morning review. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with the affirmation section or the exercise section, and again, I don't want to watch a video or read a mini-book to figure it out. A sample page filled out in the beginning of the planner would have been nice.
The Simple Elephant: The cover is not nearly as nice. It is still a hard cover, but it's kind of a soft hard cover and the planner overall feels cheaper in quality, and in fact, is lower in cost. The pages are about half the weight of the pages in the Panda Planner, and the overall feel is not as elegant. It has the same basic assembly as the Panda Planner with three ribbons to mark your place, and the elastic to hold it closed. It has one "Focus" section at the beginning of the planner, so instead of a daily or weekly focus, you set out yearly goals. Here is where they put their affirmation and "grateful for" sections. These still are not necessary to me, but at least they only take up one page, and I don't have to look at them everyday. Monthly sections are simple with just the month, goals, and space to write notes. Weekly sections consist of the week with goals for the week, successes and what can be done better. I like this a lot better than having an entire "weekly review." Also, the Simple Elephant has the entire week right in front of you, where the Panda Planner has one day per 2 pages. Which is kind of frustrating if you have an actual schedule you need to follow. Furthermore, in the Panda Planner, your weekly reviews are in a separate section from the daily views, so it's not very logically laid out. Had I designed the Panda Planner, I would have done the weekly view, with 7 daily views immediately following.
All in all, they are both great planners with great features. If you're looking for more of a journal, then you may want the Panda Planner. If you are looking for a planner to keep you on task, without all of the work and fluff, then I would go with the Simple Elephant.
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