welcoming a new addition to the fitbook family is always a momentous occasion - especially when that addition happens to be super cute. but this baby is much more than just a pretty face. weighing in at a healthy 14.6 oz, it’s 8” long, 8” wide + barely 1” thick, meet our fitspiration PLANNER! we sat down with our principal planning pioneer - aka our chief fitlosopher - to get the full scoop on this latest little bundle of joy (just in time for the holidays!)
[why did you want to create the fitspiration PLANNER?]
well, for the same reason that i've created most of our products: because i wanted one! obviously it’s not a stretch for someone who uses fitbook to plan out their workouts to also be the same person (aka, me) who also uses a paper planner for keeping to-do lists, errands + jotting down things like birthdays. it got to the point where i had my fitbook for my workouts, my planner for my personal life + then a slew of sticky notes scattered everywhere in between, but that left me always scattered not knowing what was where. as an entrepreneur, it’s important that i use my phone calendar for work meetings so i can easily schedule with my team + business partners, so i also keep most of my personal appointments + plans digitally as well. but for me, the phone could never replace having an at-a-glance view of my week, not just from an appointment perspective, but little to-dos like, if i need to send a birthday card next week, i buy it, slip it in my planner + there it is as a reminder when i flip the page. and as much as my phone keeps me on-time + on-schedule, it could never replace the pen + paper approach to jotting down quick to-dos – and the subsequent joy of checking them off. checkboxes are like little mini-wins for us planner people!
[where did you draw inspiration for the design/functionality?]
the idea originated from a concept i actually envisioned LONG ago for fitbook, but never could figure out how to make it work. one way paper can fail is that it’s not nearly as much of a nuisance as technology. i mean, if i set a reminder on my phone every day to nudge me to go for a 20-minute walk, i will be reminded + more than likely, do it. same goes with goals – out-of-sight, out-of-mind. my vision was to create a journal (which i had no clue how) that would keep my goals in front of me at all times. and what do you use every single day? your planner, of course.
[genius! walk us through some of your favorite features.]
how long do we have? haha! well, to expand further on reminders that’ll keep your goals top of mind, my solution, which i think is fairly brilliant (haha, can i say that!?!), is the monthly goals bookmark system. i love this thing: you write your monthly goals on the bookmark insert – and on the back, there’s space to write things like birthdays, events, travel, etc. (and p.s. i give you 14 – 2 extra inserts in case you mess one up or lose one, because my fellow-ocd’ers will attest that it’ll drive you bonkers to stare at a typo ALL month long.) so, you insert that lil’ guy into your planner so when you’re setting your weekly goals (on the left) you have your monthly goals right in front of you. and when you’re taking daily actions (on the right), your weekly + monthly goals are right there just staring right back at you. this method has been so effective in keeping me focused on my goals - not just when i set them at the beginning of the week, but every day.
for example, it’s been on my to-do/goal list forever to get my italian passport (si, mi famiglia es italiano). but every month, i'd revisit to my goals and i still hadn’t made any progress! this simple little top-of-mind solution put my goals into action. so, when i go to set weekly goals, i see that monthly goal staring at me so i add it to my to-do list: “research which consulate has my family documents.” check. the next week, i move my handy-dandy little removable goal-setting bookmark-thingy to the next week + i'm reminded yet again of my goal. that week, “set appointment up with the consulate in los angeles”…check. it took a few weeks to get this actually scheduled + on my calendar (note to the consulate – non molto bene), but point being, previously these goals would just slip by me + it would be another month and i'd be irritated with myself! no mas. (wait, that’s why my italian family tells me i speak “spitaliano”… a spanish-italian hybrid language, ha!).
so that was the inspiration from a goal-setting perspective, but i would say my aha-moment for the fitspiration PLANNER came about when i realized that every week, i had the same items for my weekly routine that us health nuts do every single week: plan meals, grocery shopping, meal prep, plan workouts, schedule my group fitness classes. it dawned on me: these are things i do every week – and so does almost every fitbooker out there. that's when i realized i was onto something – and that feature became the weekly-prep checklist. it became my mission to create a planner for the fitness enthusiast…for the healthy goal-getter, hence adding fitness + nutrition goals each week.
from there it only made sense to add features like the daily water tracker because, hello – hydration, and the weekly habit tracker – which again, fairly awesome idea, where each week you choose one habit you want to home in on, i.e. floss every day, read a daily devotion, knit – whatever it is. then you check it off each day that you complete that habit, giving you an surprisingly fulfilling sense of accomplishment when all 7 circles have a slash.
[nice! any other features you couldn't live without for this project?]
in a word, yes. ha! other design features that were absolutely imperative: gratitude + inspiration. because the best way to describe the type of person i strive to be is a grateful goal getter. like i wanna show gratitude – and then be that person who achieves amazing things. and what better way to inspire action than a motivational kick in the pants every time you peek at your planner? it was probably my favorite part of the editing process: picking which 52 inspiring quotes made the cut!
another element that was really important was having a format that was structured enough, but undated so i could start any day or date or year. but i was also mindful that we need certain things at our fingertips when planning – so at the very front you’ll find a page that lists all the major holidays for the next 3 years so you’re not having to google what date labor day falls on next year while planning your family vacay.
and that was another thing: i wanted my whole year in ONE planner, but i didn’t want lugging it around to be a workout in and of itself. so, by combining weekly planning on the left with the daily layout on the right, the planner itself is compact + fairly small, but packs a major planning punch with 52 weeks all in one perfectly-portioned little planner package.
next, a non-negotiable was including stickers – but to serve a functional purpose. planning should be fun - and what’s more fun than stickers? from stars + smileys to workouts + words of wisdom, you’ll be obsessed with these 3 sheets of seriously cute stickers so you can add colorful reminders to meal prep, shop, workout - or just to motivate you. small details that may not matter to some, but this is my blog + i'll ramble if i want to: i added a clear plastic sleeve to store the stickers + extra bookmarks, but it also can be used to store little things like coupons, cards + keys. then behind the plastic sleeve, we added in another 20 pages of blank lined + dot-grid pages - perfect for random acts of journaling or desires to doodle.
last but certainly not least, in addition to all the planning perks inside, i wanted to create an ultra-classy planner with a format that could easily go from the cubicle to crossfit, from the boardroom to barre class. and can i just say that i'm obsessed with how beautifully they turned out? honestly, trying to choose between the sleek slate grey + elegant champagne gold was like asking me to choose whether i like coffee or wine better. i mean, seriously…impossible. (any guesses on which color i went with?) what i love is that while they’re beautiful, they’re also sweat-proof + durable, complete with wire-binding so they lay flat (not flip-flop) + have a sturdy elastic strap to keep them safely shut. and because it's small, it's easy to tote in any purse, gym bag, or briefcase.
whew, can you tell how intentional every darn detail is? but to me, when we create something for you (yes, you) – every detail matters.
[who is this product perfect for?]
this is perfect for the paper-loving planner people (hand-raising emoji, right here) who want to up their goal-getting game, integrate their fitness + nutrition into their week, and have one spot to organize everything from business to personal and everything in between – in a super cute way. it’s important to point out one key thing: this does not replace fitbook or even your fitspiration journal for that matter. yes, it has a water tracker – but i want to be clear that this wouldn’t be a good fit for logging your food details daily or tracking sets + reps…there’s not enough space each day. (there’s a fitbook for that.). nor would this be for a guided gratitude journal since yes, you focus on gratitude weekly – but this won’t quench your daily need to journal thoughts or get grateful daily. it's merely building a few of those elements into your week – but i just don’t want to confuse people on how it might work with other journals that you might be using!
that said, the fitspiration PLANNER could be ALL you need if tracking daily details isn’t your thing. if you just want a little dumbbell icon to show you crushed your workout + a little colorful way to log your daily step total for the day, there are stickers included in the PLANNER for that. but if you want to seriously dial in your fitness, i'd still say fitbook is your go-to. (or fitbook lite.) want to be more focused on gratitude or flexing your faith muscle? give our guided journals a go.
[what are you most excited about with launching the planner?]
well, it’s two-fold. a) i'm ecstatic to get this in the hands of my fitbookers – like those hard-core, health nuts, who have are hopelessly devoted to planning, tracking, sweating + setting (goals, that is!). and 2) this opens up an opportunity to reach a whole new slew of people who may identify as planner addicts, but might also be seeking a way to make healthier choices every day - they just haven’t found what works for them. making just one or two healthier choices every single day, like drinking more water or creating one new healthy habit, can add up to seriously sustainable long-term results. if i had to pick one product that i feel makes a healthy lifestyle seem much more attainable, this would be it.
p.s. raise your hand if my numbering no-no in sentence one of this paragraph seriously made you cringe. you are my people.
[why is it better than any other planner on the market?]
please see novel, er answer #2. or get one + see for yourself. oh yeah, did i mention that it’s affordable? it’s under $40, which breaks down to a fabulously-frugal 76.9 cents per week. not too shabby when you’re basically getting a goal-guru meets health-coach all in one. i wanted this to be accessible, affordable, functional + fab. i'm so confident in this product that if anyone (anyone!) reading this blog gets our fitspiration PLANNER + doesn’t fall madly in love, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org + i'll legit give you your moolah back. well, after you tell me why, of course – because if i ever miss the mark, it matters to me. totally not tooting my own horn over here (okay, maybe a tad bit), but i honestly think we (not me, we…fitlosophy…it takes a team), crushed it on this one, fitbookers. and i honestly can’t wait to see what you think!
your giddy goal-getting chief fitlosopher,
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