2020. I think we’re all about done, am I right? And goals? Those were shaken up and tossed out around April of this year! Good news – it’s time to start thinking about 2021, and fresh starts, and new goals! This is the time of year that goal setting systems are releasing, and I’m reviewing a relative newcomer – Makselife Goal and Weekly Planner.
Makselife is now a year old – and this review will share the “Makse 2.0!” After a wildly successful banner year, Sierra Friend, the creator and owner of Makselife, has updated and improved the flagship planner and added some exciting new products to the lineup!
As always, my reviews are lengthy and detailed – it’s everything I look for when I’m considering a planner purchase. There will be detailed photos and as much information as I have to share! If I have a price, I’ll share it. If you don’t see it listed, it’s because it is not yet known.
Thank you to Sierra and the team at Makselife for sending these products my way so I can share with you! Disclaimer: there will be links in this post, and they are affiliate links. They cost you nothing to click through, but if you find this post helpful and use my links, I may earn a commission, and for that I’m truly grateful!
This post has many, many parts and a lot of details to cover with you:
- Bulleted overview list
- Comparison of Makse and PowerSheets goal setting system
- The new Makse 2021 covers
- A tutorial for how to Interchange your Makse covers
- The detailed walk through of pages with goal prep, monthly pages, vertical weekly, hortizontal weekly, and the rest of the planner.
- New, A5 quarterly companion goal setting booklets
- The new dated sticker book, snap in bookmarks, and functional sticker book
If you’d like to compare the changes to last year’s planner, take a look at last year’s review!
Let’s get started!
2021 Launch Details:
- Launch: October 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm EST
- Economy & Expedited shipping available
- International shipping option through Ship-It-To service
- New, branded shipping boxes
- Many updates and improvements to the original Makselife goal and weekly planner
- Calendar year dated January – December 2021
- 21 pages of streamlined goal planning + instruction
- Page size: 7 x 9 inches
- 326 Pages
- Thick 120gsm, recycled* bright white paper
- Full color printing on all pages with soy-based ink*
- Different color scheme each month
- Hard cover with linen textured surface
- Coated Wire-O binding
- Reinforced elastic enclosure
- Two-page Monthly calendar spread
- Two-page Weekly calendar spread
- Weekly Notes page *plus* 13 pages of notes in the back
- Accordion pocket inside of the back cover
- Double-sided pocket folder for additional storage
- Sturdy mylar-coated tabs
- Page of matte goal-setting stickers
- New products for the October 2020 launch
- A new product coming in November 2020:
- More new products coming December 2020:
- Dot grid notebooks
- Adhesive Pen Loop
- Magnetic book marks
- Time washi and dot washi – designed to be written on with standard pens, and designed to fit the lines of Makse exactly.
- The hourly washi is a good way to turn a vertical planner into an hourly planner
- New Makselife planners ship October/November 2020
- If you’re on Facebook, join the Makselife Facebook group for a December Planning series to help you set up your 2021 planners!
Powersheets or Makselife Goal Systems?
Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets have been a goal setting staple for years. The PowerSheets have been through many iterations and updates through the years, and the company now offers a wide variety of accessories to match their vibrant and colorful PowerSheets.
I’ll share some comparisons with you, in as neutral a way as possible, because I do acknowledge that both of these systems are good tools – if you use them! These are just my observations having used both systems. Read through these comparisons and go with the system that you’re most likely to use – because in the end, if you don’t pick it up – if it’s not intuitive to you – it doesn’t matter how amazing the planner is!
- Purchase here
- Hard cover
- Wire-O binding
- Year of goal planning
- 120 gsm paper
- Is a full 12 month planner with weekly spreads for each week of the year.
- Quarterly assessment sheets
- Coiled in stickers
- 7 x 9 inches
- 1 coiled in laminated front/back folder pocket AND an accordion pocket in the back that holds a generous number of things (the entire Makse sticker book)
- Attached elastic band for the planner
- The colors and design choices are much more neutral in Makselife – there is color, and there is design, but the cover choices vary from feminine to minimal/neutral, and the interior pages are clean and quiet.
- Yearly prep: is very streamlined. Last year, I really took my time to try to be intentional and think through everything, and was able to complete the yearly prep in 2 hours. The annual prep is very guided so if you’re someone that gets lost with abstract evaluation questions, the Makselife goal system is for you. The Makse system evaluates based on 8 specific life areas and these areas are designated and defined. You many not have a goal in each area, but you do need to maintain and pay attention to each area for balance in your life.
- Because the Makse Life Compass uses designated areas of life (8), it also provides pre-set goal categories with the same names.
- The Makse system is very action-oriented – the compass assessment/evaluation of your life is guided and concrete. Then you’re immediately directed toward taking actions based on that compass assessment.
- Makse is an integrated planner and goal setting system – the first half is all about goal prep, and the rest of the planner integrates your goals with your everyday plans – from month to week to day.
- Monthly, there are 12 monthly tabs and each month contains a monthly spread, and then a 2 page spread for identifying that month’s goals.
- Weekly, there is a full weekly layout (in vertical or horizontal layouts) and preceding every single week is a weekly action page for your goal-oriented action steps for the week.
- Each month ends with a monthly reflection.
- Each quarter there is a complete refresh with a review, a new compass assessment, and a re-focus on goals.
- Makse now offers a stand-alone version of the Makse goal system in a quarterly companion book set – so you can use Makse with your preferred planner system, whatever that happens to be!
- Purchase here
- Hard cover
- Wire-O binding
- Year of goal planning
- 120 gsm paper
- Contains 12 monthly tabs with 12 dated monthly views, but is strictly a goal-planning system. You’ll have to integrate this into your regular planning system.
- Quarterly refresh sheets
- Coiled in stickers
- 7.75 x 10.5 inches
- 1 interior front-flap pocket (which is designed in a way that it holds very little – maybe one sticker sheet)
- The colors of PowerSheets are gorgeous, but they are decidedly feminine. You’ll find florals everywhere in this planner – a nod to gardening and growth.
- Yearly prep: is time consuming and deep. The PowerSheets (PS) prep takes me days to complete if I walk through every single sheet and prompt. Note: I never found every single sheet necessary, some seemed superfluous, some felt like navel gazing to me – but my personality has a lot to do with how I view that! For me: life is full, I’m pretty self-motivated and goal oriented naturally. I tend to be a, “just get to the point” kinda gal. Your personality type may THRIVE with that type of introspection! So just know that PowerSheets annual goal setting prep goes deep-deep-deep and takes time.
- PS provides 8 annual goal categories but they are completely open-ended – identify 8 goals from the same area of your life if you need to! For some this open-endedness is freeing, others find it overwhelming and don’t know where to begin in setting goals. After creating your goals, you’ll designate certain action items, which you’ll bring forward each month.
- The PowerSheets system is very reflection/introspection oriented – there are many, many pages that provide prompts to help you reflect on many different areas of life and fears and goal systems. Even the end of month assessment is reflection oriented.
- Monthly, you review your goals as well as your agenda, bringing goals forward and listing them on the monthly “tending list” which is a sheet in each monthly section. That’s it for the monthly involvement with PS. The monthly tending list has places for monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily habits. You would keep this sheet handy and use it to direct your weekly planning in your agenda. The monthly prep work can take 20 min – 1 hr each month, and 15 minutes each week to refresh the tending list.
- Each quarter there are refresh sheets to review goals and refresh.
- PowerSheets offers many fun accessories – all theme/color coordinated!
I hope those observations were helpful for you – because this is hands down one of the most frequently asked questions I receive!
My preference — is Makse! I prefer the streamlined, action-oriented goal setting, and really enjoy the guided helps and tips throughout the planner. I love that I can hit the ground running with Makse – an afternoon and a cup of coffee and my goals are set and I have clear action steps! But use the above considerations to decide which goal planning system fits your needs best!
The 2021 cover lineup is gorgeous!
I’ll share a bit about each cover – two were designed by artists, and two are Makse originals!
Top to bottom; left to right:
- Hold Your Vision – This Artist Series design by Thobi Brown reminds you to keep going, no matter what comes your way. Hold on to your vision, and don’t let go!
- Grey + Navy stripe – sophisticated, classic, simple. One can’t go wrong with stripes! The navy in this leans toward royal or pacific blue and the gray is a very light, cool gray that reads almost white. It’s a really fresh combo!
- Watercolor Floral – This Artist Series by Jess Park is stunning in person! When I opened my box and saw it, I knew this was probably going to be the hit of the year! It’s a bold watercolor floral with gold foil accents. The gray background is so chic and makes the florals pop! My prediction: this is the runaway hit cover of the year!
- Color Stripe Linen – Another gorgeous take on stripes, this cover pairs a gray linen background with bold vertical stripes. The impact is simple and striking!
And this year, there is something a little bit special about the covers – you will have the option to buy covers separately, and interchange them!
Interchangeable Covers Tutorial
Wire-o binding is not my favorite binding in the world, but it does offer one unique feature – the ability to separate the binding with relative ease! And if you know how to do that, you can change the covers easily! I put together a little tutorial for you below!
No other wire-o binding planner company has ever offered this before. I think it’s unique and special and really sets Makse apart! Sierra told me that she only has a very limited number of extra covers – so if you are #teamchangemycover then you need to be knocking at the website door the minute these launch because they’re going to sell out fast – especially watercolor floral! Just readin’ the tea leaves for ya!
Start with your planner, and then open the planner.
Fold the two covers back against themselves on the right side of the coil – so the design side of both front and back covers are touching – and keep the guts of your planner over to the left.
Gently manipulate the coil around so that the seam is facing you.
Now, one at a time, move the prong end of one side of the coil away from the other side of the coil. You do not need a big opening to change your cover – just pull the coils apart about ¼”. Do this all the way down your coil.
Now, you can grab both covers together as I did, or you can do this part one cover at a time, but grab your covers and lift them right through the open coil.
Take your new covers and put them together, design side facing together so you can easily see which cover goes on the coil first.
Take the front cover and carefully work it onto the coil. I found it easiest to slide the cover between the two open parts of the coil and gently nudge it toward the prong side of the coil on the right. Doing so, the cover went on the coil with ease. You should see the design of the front cover facing you.
Now work the back cover onto the coil in the same way. Make sure the design of the back cover is touching the design of the front cover. You should see the interior back accordion pocket facing you.
Then gently begin squeezing the prongs back toward the coil. Do this one prong at a time. I squeezed and pushed mine together so that the prong went past the coil it met – sometimes using both hands – until they all matched together. You don’t want to leave any opening or your covers can fall off so make sure you firmly push the coils back together.
When complete, your coils should all meet together and you should be looking at the guts on the left, and your covers (design sides touching) on the right.
Fold your covers back around to enclose the planner and voila!! Cover change!
Remember that these extra covers are going to sell out quickly with the very limited quantities, but Sierra mentioned that she may do an extra run of covers if this is popular, so be sure to leave feedback on social media if you miss out on an extra cover and would like to see them again!
Makselife planner Goal Prep
Let’s walk through this planner from beginning to end! Remember that after this section, I’ll share details about the new A5 size Quarterly Goal Setting companion books (which is what I’ll be using next year) so be sure to hang around for that! Below I’ll share photos and details, and I’ll share what has been updated on each page.
The cover page is the first page in the planner, and the interior cover pages (glued to the cover) are now laminated for durability.
The first page of the planner includes an introduction from the creator of this planner – Life Coach, Sierra Friend.
The font size has been increased throughout the planner for added read-ability.
The Compass Assessment page is the meat of this planner system. Using this compass you’ll really start to consider every aspect of your life, becoming acutely aware of areas needing improvement, and this concrete tool will help you visually see progress as you move through the year.
Using the assessment scoring page, you’ll quickly and concretely assess various areas of your life. Adding up your ratings on this assessment page allows you to go to the previous page and fill in the colorful compass. Example, if you score 8 in your personal life, you’d shade 8 bars of the compass and that would tell you that there is much maintenance needed to keep that level of satisfaction, and room for a little improvement in a couple of specific areas.
Next, you’ll spend some time considering your 2021 intentions and then start setting annual goals.
I love the guidance on how to write out your goals so that they’re measurable and specific, and the next page is particularly helpful in identifying the three different types of goals:
- Stretch goals
- Progress goals
- Maintenance goals
Step by step, you’ll read through how to set up your long term annual goals, how to chunk those down into manageable monthly goals, and then how to identify the actions, habits, and tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
On this page, the weekly reflections were added to the bottom of the right page.
This page contains a list of ideas for consideration in each area of life – these ideas may be helpful when writing out goals.
The right facing page is a dot grid page – perfect for mind-mapping ideas or dreams for the year upcoming.
You’ll notice that the goals are each color coordinated and those colors follows that goal focus through the planner.
The Annual Goal pages (4 total) now include a place for you to note a special focus within that area.
The next two pages are for you to create a vision board.
And finally, a page of goal setting quick tips!
A new feature this year are the colorful inspirational pages that are before each month (unless it’s a quarterly review month). Formerly, these pages were in grayscale b/w.
That’s it for the goal prep. There are 21 pages of goal prep (including the weekly tips) – designed to help you evaluate, identify, and take action!
The monthly work begins with the two-page monthly spread. You’ll see the addition of more color in this year’s planner; the monthly pages all received a shot of color – January has blue shaded circles to highlight each day of the month. Each month is a different color. You’ll also note that the date numbers have been justified top right in each calendar square (they used to be in the top middle of the square.)
Each month you will bring forward your goals in each area. A new feature is the addition of the “focus” on this page as well as the addition of the monthly name on the Monthly Goals page.
The weekly work always consists of four total pages – the weekly actions two-page spread, and then the week itself. That means that if there are 5 weeks in a month, then there are 10 pages of weekly work within the Makselife planner. That means that this is not a slim planner, thus, not the most portable planner.
By reviewing your monthly goals, you’ll identify which goals you’ll bring forward, and the action steps needed to make progress. You’ll write them down here, and you can also layer in life’s to-do lists and tasks. At the end of the week, you can reflect on your wins, what worked, what didn’t, and what lessons you learned.
The left facing dot grid pages are a good place for answering the weekly reflections questions. The spacing on all the dot grid pages is the same spacing as on lined pages.
The weekly designation (week 53 on this page) is also a new addition in the 2021 planner.
When purchasing your planner, you’ll have a choice of cover, and also a choice of which layout you prefer – vertical or horizontal.
Both layouts include spaces for gratitude (designated by the mini heart on each day) and a habit tracker for the week.
One of the big changes this year took place on the weekly view pages – the shading in the boxes is gone so that the page is white with the exception of lines. Both vertical and horizontal are lined.
After each month, there is a monthly reflection sheet with guided questions to help you reflect on the past month.
And after 3 months (each quarter), you’ll find a quarterly compass to help you assess your progress and evaluate.
The End of the Planner
The final pages include a two-page spread containing 2021 and 2022 for future planning or for mapping out a year (school days, days off, vacation, etc.). These mini calendars are now colorful with the intention of helping them stand out under mini transparent dot stickers (which can be used to note specific dates).
There are a generous 13 pages of lined notes pages in the back of the planner.
And this year, the folder was upgraded. It’s now a brand-designed, heavy laminated cardstock, coiled in pocket with a flap on both the front and back side of the folder. It holds a generous amount of papers.
There is a new full sheet of coiled in goal setting stickers included in the back of your planner.
And in the very back of the planner, my favorite pocket – the accordion pocket. I included the full size sticker book in the pocket (the sticker book is a separate purchase) to show you just how generous this pocket is!
And that’s it for the main Makselife planner!
A5 Quarterly Companion Books
What if you have an existing planner or planning system and don’t need a full Makselife planner, but you’d like the goal setting system of Makse? Then this brand new product is for you!
Introducing, the brand new, Quarterly Goal Setting Companion Notebooks! These contain all of the Makse quality goal setting system, but the portable and perforated/removable design of the pages means you can add it to ANY existing planner system!
- A5 size, lay flat design notebooks include an Instruction Notebook and 4 Quarterly Notebooks
- Gold foil on the linen textured cover
- Each book contains 1 quarter, or 3 months’ worth of goal setting
- The pages are all 120 gsm, the same quality as the flagship planner
- This is an undated planner, but a set of dated stickers will be available to purchase (separately) to help you date your planner.
- The pages are perforated!!!!
- Pull out what you need for the week, or month and add to your existing planner!
- I plan to disc punch my sheets to add to my existing discbound planner, but you could also punch for A5 rings, or just slip it into the back pocket of your planner! This notebook easily fits inside the pocket of a 7×9 planner.
- These notebooks include:
- 3 monthly calendars
- 5 weeks of weekly actions and reflections
- Monthly Reflection
- Quarterly Assessment
- The pages are identical in layout/design to the flagship planner – that includes line spacing. There are a few small space saving changes:
- There are no tips on the dot grid pages
- Instead of quotes/inspirational pages, there are additional dot grid pages
- Each book ends with a quarterly assessment
- Each book contains 6 dot grid pages
- There is a pocket in the back cover
- These notebooks will be available for pre-order on October 21, and will ship out in early December.
Goal-setting snap in Bookmarks
- Purchase here – $15
- Made in the USA from durable 30ml Teslin material
- Three ombre-grey bookmarks that read:
- “My Vision” with the quote, “Dream Big” to mark your Annual Goals or Vision Board
- “Monthly Goals” with the quote, “Dare to Grow” to mark your Monthly Goals
- “This Week” with the quote, “Just Begin” to mark your Weekly Actions
- Each bookmark measures 5”x2.25”
Dated Companion Stickers
I don’t have any images of the new dated sticker books, but I do have a few details for you:
- 12 monthly sheets of stickers including
- month name
- icon stickers
Functional Sticker book
And finally, the brand new functional sticker book! The sticker book contains 15 pages of stickers following the Makse color scheme! What I love about these stickers is that they were designed specifically to fit the line spacing of the Makselife planner! Here are some examples of the stickers in the two layouts:
It could be worth noting as we finish up this review that every aspect of Makselife was scrutinized for improvements, including the box which is sturdier this year! It’s definitely a keepsake box, or use it to organize in your home/office!
I hope you found this review helpful! Makselife is an extraordinary goal setting system and I think what makes it so helpful and workable is the fact that the creator is a Life Coach with years of experience in this area – it shows in the thoughtful design throughout this planner! In particular, I love how this system has grown to offer more products that fit with any planner system!
Whether you’re ready to recharge your goals after a year that we’re all just done with, or you’re ready to start considering goals for the first time – Makselife goal and planner system has something for you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Happy goal planning!