A Review: BiS Planner – A Month In

When Blessed is She announced WAY back at the end of last summer they were coming out with a liturgical planner I was excited — at first it was *only* going to be for the academic year, but as soon as Jenna announced a 2017 calendar year version I jumped on the pre-order.

I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had about the planner after using it for a whole month. Which I realize isn’t an overly long test run, but I do have some thoughts that I figured as I’m a blogger I might as well share with the internet. 😉

//what I like:

  • the monthly calendar view — I LOVE the layout of this calendar.  It’s not only beautiful but very well thought out.
  • the liturgical colors — the colors that Erica and Jenna chose to use are stunning 🙂
  • novena reminders — Something this girl certainly needed.
  • the lists — I really like that there is a big to-do, groceries/shopping list/meal plan sections.
  • prayer intention/self-care sections — This was a big driver for me wanting to get this planner for 2017.  2016 was rough, and having little spaces for prayer intentions for the week, a section that asks me what I liked about myself and what I’m grateful for daily helps me focus, and if I’m unable to fill out those two sections, even if the thing I’m grateful for is silly, then I know that I need to regroup the following day.

//what I don’t like:

  • four pages per weekly spread — for me it feels a little, clunky?  This is an opinion that *may* change by the end of the year.
  • the size — when I upgraded from my B&N planner to my PPP in 2015 the size was an adjustment, but it worked well.  The BiS planner feels MUCH larger than my PPP was — which means it’s NOT as easy to toss into my work backpack and go, and part of that beings me to my next point…
  • cover and coil — unlike others I’ve had the BiS planner has a VERY ridged cover.  The lack of flexibility from the cover combined with the size makes it hard for me to want to take it with me – and if I do I feel like I have to put the planner in it’s own tote bag.  Also the binding option looks great, but overall I’m not impressed with the twin-loop style.  It simply doesn’t keep the last few pages secure enough for me.
  • lack of extras — while there are the four pages per week which give ample space for notes, I miss having some extras that other planners gave me. These include a folder in the back to toss things like appointment cards and bills into, a space for addresses, a few extra sheets of note paper, a 2018 at a glance in the back.
  • price — I do love that I’m supporting a wonderful Catholic womens’ ministry with purchasing the planner. I interact with the BiS online groups and read the daily devotions.  That said, the cost of the planner itself was on the high side, and was definitely a decent splurge for me.  The paper and other components are high quality, but I think if it could be offered for a little less in future editions it would be an overall benefit so more women could fit it into their budgets.

//what surprised me:

  • hourly days — When I initially ordered this I was excited to have my weekdays laid out hourly, buuuut turns out this really is NOT my planning style.  I DO need space for each day, but with how I’ve done things to this point, hourly doesn’t work for me. Personal planning style.
  • intentions — I will say that a month in, that this planner has helped me refocus more on family and prayer life.

//thoughts so far:

Overall I am happy with the planner, but at this point I’m not sure I’d want to get another BiS planner for 2018.  I think if I were a sahm or a homeschooling mom this would be AWESOME for my needs.  I actually took it with me to Houston mid-January to show my mom, and she’s in agreement.  It would have been a great option for her, though she liked the Michelle Quigley planners that she used size-wise better (they’re maybe a third of BiS).

I’m currently looking into a way to change my cover and binding out to see if that will help me with my main hesitation to toss the planner into my bag and take it places.  I’ll probably post an update in a couple months, especially if I figure out the cover/coil situation and if that greatly improves my experience using it.

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