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OH, HELLO



I'm Kayla. A millennial obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time. #catlady

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12.26.2018

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box + WIN A BOX!

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

The day has finally arrived. And it can only be outdone by the actual box release date. I've somehow managed to keep my spoiler-loving butt from spilling ALL the secrets about the contents of the first #ohhellobox. That is, until now. So let's dive into this packed box filled with items you won't find anywhere else on OhHelloCo.com! 

When I decided to make the subscription box, I wanted it to be more than just stationery supplies. Sure I'll be sure to include pens and notepads galore, but there's also going to be a ton of lifestyle products coming your way. This first box is themed "Brunch Bunch" and has a gorgeous embroidered apron ($30) with adjustable neck and waist fabric. 

Each subscription box will contain an enamel pin ($7) designed exclusively for each box. So as you receive boxes, you'll be able to collect enamel pins from each one. And I posted a handy DIY enamel pin frame tutorial on YouTube so you can get prepared.

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

This box truly represents where Oh, Hello has been and where it's going. I wanted to include a lot of products that represent who we are, but also start to shift to what I want Oh, Hello to become. So the stationery products are more abundant in this box, as a nod to Oh, Hello's history.

There's a pocket traveler's notebook ($37) with an exclusive cover design as well as a pocket dot grid insert ($4). It wouldn't be an Oh, Hello box without stickers! There are two custom sticker sheets ($6) as well as a bunch of die cuts ($4) of all the brunch bunch characters. 

On top of three sets of sticky notes ($9), you'll also receive our first ever keychain ($8). In the shape of an egg. It's keychain perfection.

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

The first subscription box by me wouldn't be complete without a squishy ($5)!! It had to happen. Nothing brought me more joy than when a giant box packed full of donut squishies landed on my doorstep. 

What's Inside the First Oh, Hello Box

So there you have it. The first box is officially out in the world and will be available for purchase on January 5th. Boxes will be $44.95 plus a flat shipping rate. And as a thank you for supporting me and Oh, Hello I'm giving away a box to one of you!  


Don't forget to subscribe to the Oh, Hello Box Newsletter to stay up to date on launch dates and future boxes!

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12.24.2018

Spaces Planner Review & Giveaway

Spaces Planner Review

Let me first start out by saying the Spaces Planner* is by far one of the strangest, most unique planners I've come across. Full stop. It has me so intrigued in so many ways, but also makes it alarmingly clear just how uncreative I am. Shall we?

Spaces Planner Review

The planner kindly has a page to describe the best ways to use the planner to help you start your spaces journey. And oh what a strange journey it will be.

Spaces Planner Review

I love a good overview page. There's room to jot down a few upcoming events or memories from each month in one place.

Spaces Planner Review

The planner itself is quite large and a lot longer than most "standard" sized planners. You can really see the size difference in the monthly spread as the boxes are a lot longer than most. I'm sure you could still go sticker crazy, but you'll want to gravitate away from functional stickers if it bugs you that they don't fit perfectly.

Spaces Planner Review

Now on to the weekly pages and what really sets this planner apart from the rest for me. Each week is divided into boxes. Some are labeled, but the majority of them are left blank for you to customize to your own needs. There's a handy little weekly list at the bottom for at the glance planning.

It's weird. But like, weird in a good way? I don't know. I've talked about this planner a few times now (including in the video I've linked below) and I still don't know how to feel about it. Hence why I'm giving it away to one of at the end of this post. Maybe you'll have more luck sorting out your emotions over this planner than I have.

Spaces Planner Review

Like I get it. If you think of your life in categories this could be fantastic. But I worry that the way I do my planning (heavy on the daily lists), this won't ever work for me. 

Spaces Planner Review

Plus the price has me a bit uneasy. It's a $48 planner without any of the customization options other planners in the same price range have. It seems quite expensive for what you're getting. 

I do love how unique it is, but it's the type of planner that will either work great for you or it won't. There's no maybe with this type of layout. I'm impressed with the commitment to a style, but it's just not my cup of tea.


Take a gander at this video where I show you the Spaces Planner along with two other planners you probably haven't heard of (unless you regularly read the blog).

If the Spaces Planner seems like something that might work for you or someone you know, enter my giveaway! It's open internationally to anyone over 18-years-old or with parental consent!


Are there any other planners you'd be interested in seeing a review for? Let me know in the comments!
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12.21.2018

Introducing Oh, Hello Living


New name, who dis? I never know how to start posts like this so I'll settle for awkward and dive into the point of it...

After a lot of thought and consideration, I've said goodbye to MicroscopeBeauty and hello to a new chapter in my life. Quite literally "hello." Although things are definitely not perfect yet (I have so many broken back links and my old url won't forward to my new one), I'm still too excited to share this new transition.

So. Welcome to Oh, Hello Living. Not much will change besides the name. It just felt time to branch out, get a name that makes way more sense with my brand, and move on.

Here's hoping that the back links will get fixed and old domains will forward to the new one, but for now, I'm just going to keep doing my little happy dance and buy new business cards.
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12.19.2018

Why Hiring an Assistant was the Best Thing for My Business

Why Hiring an Assistant was the Best Thing for My Business

Hiring my assistant Meghan is by far one of the best things I did for Oh, Hello in 2018. It took me far too long to take the plunge and commit to hiring someone part time to help me. Of course I should have done it years ago. Same ol' Kayla, always dragging her feet to do anything that will be good for her. 

Above all else, hiring an assistant gave me time to not work IN the business, but ON the business. Although I love scrolling on Instagram and managing fun activities like our yearly card swap, I found myself spending so much time just trying to stay afloat and get everything done. I wasn't doing anything to help my business grow. The assistant helped take some of the smaller things off my plate so I could focus on bigger projects, like the subscription box.

I've been working with just my husband so long that I forgot what it feels like to be able to bounce ideas off of someone else. She helps bring new ideas and insights to the table. A different perspective is always needed in small business, despite my paranoid little brain thinking otherwise.

At first I had a hard time delegating out projects to Meghan, but when we started travelling a bunch near the end of the year, everything changed. I relied on her to get sales going while we were on airplanes, she posted on social media, and kept everything running smoothly when I couldn't. 

I feel like a lot of these things now sound like no brainers. They could sound like that to you. Like, "Of course Kayla, having an assistant means you have HELP." But I genuinely didn't think I needed any until I hired an assistant and realized just how much time I was spending on things I didn't need to. Everything doesn't just rest on my shoulders anymore. Like Samwise Gamgee always says, "Share the load."

So if you're in a place where you're thinking about hiring an assistant. Do it. It's life changing. You'll find yourself with more time to expand your business and keep growing. And that's the whole point, right?
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12.17.2018

How I'm Preparing My Business for 2019

How I'm Preparing My Business for 2019

It's very unlike me, but I'm eager for the new year to start. I'm excited. And I haven't felt like that in a really long time. With so many projects and plans for the 2019, here's how I'm preparing my business to start the new year off with a bang.

A few weeks ago I sat down and made a marketing plan for the entire year. I mapped out a year's worth of sales, promotions, and sales goals. This really helped me to visualize the entire year at once. It became obvious that some months were heavier with sales than others. I spaced everything out and have a clear road map for the year ahead.

I'm terrible at this, but I'm trying to get better at delegating more. I have a small but mighty staff that I've been passing off more projects to so I can focus on big picture things like our subscription box I mentioned in my last blog post. Plus a big goal for 2019 is to get into retail!

Despite being excited for all the work things next year, I'm also scheduling time off for self care and travel. I want to make sure I have time to recharge, shake off an burned out feelings, and seek creative inspiration.

I'm brainstorming. A lot. Like writing down any possible idea that pops into my head. I always brainstorm best right before I fall asleep, so I keep a notepad by my bed for scribbles in the dark I have to try and decipher the next morning. I've mastered the ability to not accidentally write over other ideas in the dark. Do you think that's a skill you can endorse on LinkedIn?

I'm also trying really hard to listen to ideas from other people. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm too close to my business. It's so valuable to listen to new ideas because they're seeing my business in a way that I physically can't, from the outside.

But above all else, I'm celebrating the victories of this year. 2018 marked the year of trying to slow down and appreciate accomplishments more. Take a second to breathe, look around at how far we've come, before moving on. As the year comes to a close I'm proud of what I've done, but excited to see what's next.
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12.12.2018

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

2018 has been a dozy of a year for me. From some serious highs to some even lower lows, the year has been one for the record books. And through it all I found myself to have fallen out of love with Oh, Hello. That truth made me miserable. Alex and I have worked tirelessly for over four years to craft our business and I just felt...exhausted. I started to question why I was even bothering. Things got pretty bleak there for a while, but luckily this is a happy story.

I went through a lot of personal mental health stuff in 2018. I want to dive into it in more detail later (because I think mental health deserves to be talked about no matter how good or bad), but it's not really the point of this story and it always has a way of overshadowing things anyway. Luckily I found solutions and the help that I needed so that as we entered autumn, I had a new positive outlook on things. It wasn't all doom and gloom. I had help both literally and metaphorically and I could finally breathe. I was ready to fall back in love with my business.
How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

Alex and I have talked about doing a subscription box for years. It always felt too risky, too much work when we already felt drawn thin. But one morning I woke up and it felt like time. And then I didn't sleep. For weeks. Every time I'd try a another idea would pop into my head, another box theme, another product. The idea storm became so bad that I sometimes crept into our guestroom to work in the middle of the night to let Alex sleep. I felt alive and invigorated for the first time since 2014 when I had the idea to start Oh, Hello. 

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

The Oh, Hello Box was born. A box dedicated to self care, self love, and some fun thrown in. With so many subscription boxes out there I didn't want to just add to the noise. I wanted to create something simple, beautiful, and packed to the brim with high-quality products. Over $100 in lifestyle and planning items every month for under $50.

How I Rekindled My Passion for My Business

I haven't felt this passionate about my business since its creation and I'm loving every thrilling and terrifying second of it. The first box launches on January 5th, and if you'd like to get more updates about the box there's a newsletter you can sign up to. 

I cannot wait to continue to share my business journey with you as well as box themes and products. It's going to be an amazing start to a new year.

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12.10.2018

How I Pack for Travel

How I Pack for Travel

2018 was the year of travel and we still have one last trip to go before ringing in 2019! After forgetting quite a few things during the first trip I vowed to get my shit together to not run out of clean underwear again. Here's how I keep from under/over packing and forgetting things.

1. I made a list
It kinda seems like a no-brainer, but I needed a list I could revisit, revise, and reuse for each trip we went on. I used to just write things down fresh each time which led to a lot of mishaps and forgetting common things I thought for sure, "I wouldn't forget." 

So I opened up a word document, typed in all of the items Alex and I need to travel with. At the top of the list I put spaces to write where, when, and for how long we will be there. That way I can make sure to pack accurate amounts of clothing depending on trip length. Then I duplicated the list so there were two on the page. I printed it out on sticker paper and cut it out. Presto. Custom packing list I can put into whatever notebook I'm using at the time. I felt like a bloody genius and showed Alex the list way too many times. One time would have sufficed. But no. I kept shoving my creation in his face like a proud parent. But I digress....

2. I start early, but not TOO early
So the thing about me is I worry. Like a lot. I'm the type of person that'll pack a suitcase two weeks in advance out of anxiety and have to keep going back into the suitcase to grab things I need. This ultimately leads to me thinking something's in the suitcase when in fact I took it out five days ago and forgot. So I've trained myself to still pack early, but not so early that it causes issues. I try and start the initial packing stages about three days before we leave for a trip. That way  I can make sure I can clean anything I might need and have plenty of time.

3. I reference the list
I mean that's what a list's for, right? Since I do start packing a few days in advance, I can't pack everything at once. So I make sure to check the list regularly to know what I still have left to pack. There are always those last minute items you throw into a suitcase right before you leave. The list is great at making sure those aren't missed in the sleep-deprived early morning rush to get to the airport.

4. I bring the list for the return journey
Usually I'll just use the same list to make sure we bring everything back home that we left with. No forgotten cell phone chargers in hotel rooms for us.

5. I update the list
I realize that the point of this post is to go on and on about this list I made, but seriously. It's a huge help. Once we get back from a trip I'll revise the list to remove anything we didn't end up bringing and adding any items I hadn't thought of previously. That way when the next trip rolls around, I'm more prepared than ever before and my anxiety is being well managed.

Even if it's just a document you print off on computer paper and keep in a folder, having a regularly updated list can save you a lot of stress when it comes to packing for trips. Plus it's a great way to help pack for other people. Alex is much more carefree about travel than I am, so I like to pack his things ahead of time for him. The list helps to make sure we're both on the same page and I'm packing things I know he needs and he knows what's going into the suitcase. 

How do you pack for travel? What's your technique?
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12.07.2018

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

This wouldn't be a planner, beauty, and lifestyle blog if I didn't go through a bi-weekly planner crisis right? Today's YouTube video goes into more detail about my current crisis and the planner setup I'm in, but a lot of the turmoil comes down to The Rifle Paper Co Planner putting a wrench in things again. 

I've used the Rifle Paper Co planners on and off for the past three years and they always seem to pop back into my life when I need it most. It's such a simple layout for a planner, but it's perfect if you have a ton of to do list items but not a lot of meetings or appointments. I had just started to feel at odds with my daily hourly layout when this gorgeous beauty landed on my doorstep. It was a like a sign from the gods that a planner shake-up was in order.

How I've Been Using My Rifle Paper Co. Planner

I'm currently using the planner similarly to how I have in the past, but I've added in some functional stickers to mark any timed events that I may have. Every Sunday I'll sit down and space out any to do items I need to get done the next week. I love having the entire weekly view visible at one time so if one day seems particularly heavy with things, I can always move them around to another day. It's also easy to see anything I missed from the day before that I still need to get done.


Check out today's video if you fancy seeing what other planners are currently in rotation!
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12.05.2018

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Let's talk about goals. I suck at them. I can't tell you the number of times I've written a blog post full of goals only to immediately forget about them as soon as I hit publish. Not to mention how many lists of goals I've written just to lose the list a week later. A change has to be made. No good business person (hell, no good person in general) can go through life without goals. 

The solution on how to make better goals became clear after seeing PlanwithLaken's YouTube video reviewing the Cultivate What Matters Planner. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This could be the tool to answer all of my goal setting problems. The holy grail to get my ass into goal-setting gear.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

When my gorgeous planner arrived stickers greeted me. Always a good sign. A planner that has its own stickers knows what's up and who they're catering to. In my excitement I showed Alex the planner expecting him to be like, "Yeah, yeah. Another planner..." Shock is the only word to describe my reaction when he seemed genuinely interested in this one. I tentatively asked if he wanted to work on it together. He said yes...and I did cartwheels in my head.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Fast forward a few months and here we are now. Every week Alex and I meet to do a few more pages in the planner. I talk about this a lot more in the YouTube video below if you're interested in how it's impacted my relationship. I want to keep this post more review based. But seriously, it's been marriage-strengthening.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The first 40+ pages are all about figuring out who you are, what you think is holding you back, what matters to you, and why you're taking steps to make better goals. It's fabulous and difficult at the same time. Each page breaks things down in a clear, concise way, but the entire planner is designed in a way that you can easily set it down and pick it up based on your schedule.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

Once you've completed the initial pages and have your goals, you move into the action plan stage. This is where you figure out the hows and whens of your goals. 

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The planner helps you break down a large goal into smaller, bite-sized pieces. It takes something that can feel incredibly overwhelming and makes it seem doable.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

My favorite part? It checks in on you. It doesn't just help you make some goals, pat you on the back, and says, "Good luck." Every month you can review how they're going, what progress has been made, what might need to change, and what happens next.

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

The monthly (and quarterly) check-ins are exactly the type of things I need to keep me accountable. It stays with you the entire year. 

Cultivate What Matters Planner Review

There are a ton of other accessories and items on the website to look over if you're interested including this gorgeous goal-setting sticker book. I love it because it includes stickers you can use in your main planner to remind you to check back in on your goals. 

My biggest complaint about the planner is the coil and cover. I wish they were a bit more heavy-duty and sturdy. It's not the type of planner you tote around with you every day, but one you leave at home to check back in with a cup of tea and an evening free. 


I've enjoyed the process with Alex so far and can't wait to dive in deeper and start really developing our goals for 2019. It's the perfect time to snag yourself one of these Cultivate What Matters planners with the new year right around the corner. Maybe we'll finally be able to keep our New Year's Resolutions after all?

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11.26.2018

Golden Coil Planner Review | The Best Planner for Serious Customization

Golden Coil Planner Review

This year I've been on the hunt for planner companies I've never heard of. I wanted to bring you more than just another raving review over Erin Condren products. I wanted to provide you with tons of options in all price ranges to help you start 2019 right. My journey led me to Golden Coil Planners and it's like I found the mecca of customizational planners. 

Golden Coil Planner Review

The entire planner is customize-able. No lie. From personalizing your front page to picking your layout and adding in birthdays, you can design your planner from scratch. There's a set number of total pages for your planner, but you decide what those pages are.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There are options of pages you can add to the front of your planner before the monthly view begins.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There is a standard monthly view option (that starts on a Monday!). You choose which month your planner starts and ends on as well. So no waiting for the start of the year to dive right in.

Golden Coil Planner Review

There are over 18 different weekly spread layouts to choose from. I opted for this horizontal on one page and weekly to do list on the other since it's a layout I rarely see. You can choose anything from daily pages to standard weekly pages.

Golden Coil Planner Review

Now this is where things get really cool. Once you've picked your weekly style, you're able to fill up the rest of your remaining pages with TONS of add-ons. There are more than 35 different layouts to choose, from baby trackers to meal planning. You're able to choose how many of each page you want and create something completely unique.

Golden Coil Planner Review

Golden Coil Planner Review

Although the planner is around $60, it's a fair price considering you're creating a completely custom planner tailored just to you. The website is so incredibly easy to navigate and use. If you're picky with your planners, this could be a great solution to give you everything that you're looking for.

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11.05.2018

The Planner That's Sending Me into a Planner Crisis | inkWELL Press

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWell Press Planners. I've heard about them for years since getting seriously into the planning game, but couldn't truly understand what the fuss was about until I had one of their disc-bound planners in my hands. I get it now. Oh do I ever.

If you've been following my planner journey for a while, then you know I usually avoid disc-bound planners like the plague because they're usually flimsy and more trouble than they're worth. inkWELL solves all my woes by giving the planner a seriously thick cover. The discs stay firmly in place and I don't feel like everything is going to get beat up if I put the planner in a bag.
  
inkWELL Press Planner Review

This planner has a TON of awesome pages that give it a little extra something. This big events page is a favorite for writing down monthly accomplishments, but you can also use it as an overview of the big events coming down the pipe.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Goals are going to be a huge focus for me in 2019, so seeing a nice section to break down goals into categories has me very excited. Plus it helps you to break them down into quarters for serious productivity. 

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Throughout the entire planner is this gorgeous geometric hexagon theme that I cannot get enough of. It's simple, elegant, and a great place to write out plans and goals for each month. 

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Classic monthly view, but I love the little addition of the Top 5 to add a few items that need to get done that month.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

Now the weekly view. This is where things have me all sorts of confused. It's a fairly standard looking vertical layout with lines and three large boxes at the bottom for "Top 3" tasks/events. So simple, yet so effective. As soon as this planner arrived I set up a spread for the current week and used the bottom section to write appointments/meetings/events etc. and left the top section for a good ol' to do list. Obsessed.

I've fully come to accept that planner switching is the name of the game so I'm eager to introduce this planner into my rotation officially when it starts in 2019 to see if it works for my current lifestyle. That's the thing about planning my friends and you'll hear me say it over and over, planners need to change and adapt with you.

inkWELL Press Planner Review

inkWELL Press Planner Review

The back of the planner has some gift lists and travel pages, some notes pages and project pages, but I'll leave all the little remaining details left for you to discover on your own. 

The Pros: It's gorgeous, professional, and simple in all the right ways. It leaves a ton of room for customization, but you can still deck it out with stickers if that's your scene. It also has a lot of extra pages to eliminate the need for other planners or notebooks to track travel and gifting. On the website you can choose from a bunch of different layouts as well if the classic layout isn't for you.

The Cons: Honestly, I can't really find any. If you seriously hate discs than maybe that? But even this disc hater is coming around to the idea of it...The color scheme is a soft pastel so rainbow lovers may want more color, but at this point I'm just looking for cons for the sake of it. 

The Price: It varies. The planner I have is around $70 for all of the features. You're able to purchase the pages, cover, and discs separately to build your own planner. So depending on your planner needs your price could be more or less.

Who it's Good For: Everyone. It's a good all-around planner that could work for any age and lifestyle. If you're on a tight budget, this one probably isn't for you, but if you're planning on investing in a planner, this is a great option.
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11.02.2018

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

You ready my planner loving people?! Because we're kicking off weeks of planner reviews and videos leading up to the new year. It's planner season ya'll and I'm definitely ready to start sharing some unique and new planners with you!

So here's how it's going to go down. We're going to cover what's in each planner, pros, cons, price, and who each planner will work best for. There will be a few round up posts, but a whole lot of individual planner reviews. So be sure to sign up to the MicroscopeBeauty newsletter so you don't miss the perfect planner for you.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The Life & Apples Wellness Planner is strictly for motivation and health tracking. It's all about habits, healthy living, and exercise.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The hardcover notebook is set up with daily pages to track gratitude, daily affirmations, and notes. The notes section does give you room to write in events and things, but I'd honestly just keep this strictly health related and not muddle things with a reminder to do the laundry.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

The second daily page is all about the meal planning. I love just how much room is given to write down all the details, rather than just a quick note about the name of the meal. This could also be a great way to calorie count if that's something you're currently doing.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

At the bottom of the daily page you rate how well today went, and I honestly love this. I love the ability to clearly see on a number scale how the day was, but then turn the page and move past it. Plus there's a nice motivational quote on every page too.

Life & Apples The Wellness Planner Review

After each week there's a handy weekly review to wrap everything up nicely before moving on to the next week. I love the mixture of gratitude and health because to me they both go hand and hand. If I'm feeling down, stressed, or unfocused, my health goes right along with it.

The Pros: The notebook is gorgeous, heavy duty and padded. It comes with two ribbons to mark daily pages and weekly reviews and a nice strap to secure the notebook closed. It could easily fit into an A5 Traveler's Notebook if you want to carry it around with other notebooks, but it's small enough to slip into a bag without much fuss. There's even a pen loop!

The Cons: It's not colorful or overly inspiring if (like me) you like bright quotes and fun patterns. It's straight to the point with no fuss. 

The Price: $25 and can be found on Amazon

Who it's Good For: If you want to take your health and fitness more seriously in 2019 or you have to track things for medical reasons, this is a great, affordable option. It's sleek and professional looking while still having a ton of room for information. If you find yourself not needing a huge planner on a regular basis, this could be a good option along with a few other inserts in a traveler's notebook  as well.

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