When Deb, the creator of the Joyful Heart Planner reached out to me about doing a review of the planner, I took one look at the weekly spread and said yes – I’m always on the hunt for more unique weekly spreads than the generic vertical, horizontal and hourly!
Joyful Heart Planner
To enlarge the screen of the video, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon).
- Cover is 7″ wide x 8.5″ high
- Planner pages are approx. 6.5″ wide x 8.5″ high
- Cover is water-resistant and tear resistant (feels like thin cardstock)
- Front and back pockets
- Dated for 2018 – January to December
- 2 page weekly spread (vertical / hourly) starts on a Sunday
- 2 page monthly calendar with sidebar (month starts on a Sunday)
- Each month has a lined notes page and a budget page
- 1″ Spiral binding
- Graph & blank pages at the back for notes
- 2017 and 2019 dates at a glance pages printed on the inside of the back cover
- Coloring pages on each of the monthly divider pages (which are made from cardstock)
- Page marker / bookmark
- Price: $35 USD + shipping
Let’s take a closer look!
The front cover of the planner isn’t to my personal taste – I prefer planner covers that feature a pattern.
The cover is thin cardstock – I’m not sure how well it’ll hold up over time as the cover isn’t laminated and there’s no clear plastic cover to protect it either.
Printed directly onto the back of the front cover is the bucket list and pocket folder. The planner also comes with a coordinating bookmark – very handy!
There are 2 pages per month like most planners have. The font is very bold – if you normally wear glasses you probably won’t need to when you use this planner.
The boxes aren’t split when the next date extends beyond the 5 rows, an extra box is added. While I’m glad boxes aren’t split into 2, it would make more sense to re-start the numbering on the top row rather than sacrifice the ‘gotta do this month’ section.’
USA national holidays are pre-printed in the planner. The font is really small so it gives you plenty of space to write what you need in each day’s box.
Each month has a lined notes page and a budget / expenses page:
The weekly spread crams a lot in!
- Weekly goals
- Notes / brainstorm/ dream / doodle space (similar to the Passion Planner)
- Weekly sidebar is a good idea for meal planning, cleaning, most important task for the day etc. Each day runs 12 hours from 7am to 7pm
- 3 checklists per week – contact, do, get
I’m thinking about using a header planner sticker or some whiteout to cover up the titles of the lists on the page and switching these to must do, should do and if I have time checklists.
The weekly goals section is so small – the lines are really close together – you won’t be able to write more than 1 or 2 words in this section.
The monthly and weekly spreads both start on Sunday which is great as not all planners keep the day the week starts consistent. It drives me nuts when they don’t so I always check!
There are plenty of graph & blank pages at the back for notes.
Love the jumbo size of the notes, brainstorm etc. quote for this section.
The tabs are some of the sturdiest laminated cardstock tabs I’ve seen in a planner. I also really love the huge tab at the back for the notes / ideas section
I tried various ballpoint and gel pens – there was some pen ghosting but no bleed through 🙂
Pros of the Joyful Heart Planner
- Big, bold font for the days & dates – if you normally need glasses, you probably won’t when using this planner
- Compact size
- While the dividers are thin cardstock, the laminated tabs are very sturdy
- Monthly budget pages which most planners don’t include
- The week / month is printed on the top left of the weekly spread so you can easily find the week you’re looking for when flicking through the planner
- The 3 lists per week
- National holidays for the USA pre-printed on the monthly calendar and weekly spread
- Weekly habit tracker
- Paper feels nice and smooth
- There was some pen ghosting but no bleed through
- Page marker / bookmark (loose, not built into the planner)
Cons of the Joyful Heart Planner
- The daily columns are very narrow
- The cover style is not to my personal taste
- I’m not a fan of the colors, font style and overall ‘busy’ aesthetics of the inside pages – I prefer simple, clean spreads with coordinated colors
- The cover is made from very thin cardstock – not sure how well this would hold up after a year of use
- The weekly goals section is so small – the lines are really close together you can’t fit much in this section
- Because there’s so much color already on the weekly spread if you wanted to color code the spread will end up looking busy and the colors may clash
Would I use the Joyful Heart Planner?
As I mentioned in the video, if I use the planner I’ll need to use a sticky note to list weekly tasks, allocate a number then just put the number in the columns for each day as the width of the daily columns are too narrow.
I wish the planner was full page size as then I think the proportions for each section would be perfect!
Disclaimer: I was sent the Joyful Heart Planner for free in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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