Study Hacks Blog

My New Planner + The Time Block Academy

October 14th, 2020 · 58 comments

Longtime readers and recent podcast listeners know that I’m a massive advocate of a productivity technique called time-block planning, which is at the core of my strategy for getting important things done in an increasingly distracted world.

After years of hand-formatting generic notebooks to satisfy my time-block planning needs, I decided to design my own planner optimized for exactly this activity.

Here’s the result…

The Time-Block Planner will be available everywhere books are sold online on November 10th and can be pre-ordered today (UK link).

I’ll share more details on the planner and the method it encodes as we get closer to the publication date. In the meantime, however, I wanted to discuss a special event I’m organizing for those hardcore time blockers who pre-order the planner before November 10th.

The event is called Time Block Academy.

It’s a live Zoom webinar that will be held November 13th at 3pm eastern. During the event, I’ll answer both live and pre-submitted questions about time blocking, productivity more generally, or whatever else is on your mind — sort of like a live episode of Deep Questions attended by a select crowd.

To gain admission, pre-order the Time-Block Planner at your preferred retailer, and email your proof of purchase to My publisher will email you back with details about the webinar, as well as a link to a video tutorial I created that gives you a sneak peak of the planner and how it works.

(US Residents, 18+. Ends November 09, 2020. See terms at this link.)

58 thoughts on “My New Planner + The Time Block Academy

  1. Sawyer says:

    I would love to see some pictures of the inside, how the pages are laid out, etc. Will a few screenshots be posted to the Amazon listing?

  2. Dawid says:

    Hi, Cal! The Time-Block Planner looks really cool (I mean: its cover looks cool 😉 )! Can You share some photos of what is inside? Thanks!

  3. Lois Cooper says:

    I’d love to see sample pages before I buy.

  4. Woody says:

    The cover looks nice. Will there be pictures or mock ups of what the inside looks like soon?

  5. Claire says:

    Very disappointed that this won’t be offered for non-US pre-orders. It’s available in the UK on Amazon on the 13th. Any chance of accessing the video recording later at least, if the live version isn’t possible?

    1. Deb says:

      Cal alluded to uploading video clips of his podcast on YouTube, he could try kicking off the channel with recording of the live event.

    2. Amy says:

      Its available on and they have free worldwide shipping

    3. Raphi14 says:

      Yup, same here. 3 pm eastern = 9 pm in France, so i could easily have participed (or just watch) the conference.

      But i guess it has something to do with the US law for this kind of offer… it would probably have been more complicated for penguin random house to open this offer to non US citizens.

  6. David Cimino says:

    Cal, excited about this. Will there be a sample page released at some point?

  7. Carl says:

    This looks great and I’m definitely interested.

    However, I’m in the UK. Given this is a zoom webinar (i.e. not restricted by geography) and given I can preorder the planner in the UK (I checked on Amazon UK), what’s the rationale for restricting uptake only to US residents?

    I’d love to take part in this and take advantage of the offer – especially as I am also taking part in the first round of Life of Focus (making this doubly timely). Is there a reason for this restriction? And if so, will you be repeating the offer in the UK at some point?

  8. Martin Law says:

    Would be great to see inside, but have ordered anyway. For UK buyers, a nice non-Amazon choice might be Blackwell’s:

  9. Lorne says:

    Could we get a couple images showing what the pages look like?

  10. Aidan McGrail says:

    Just ordered. Looking forward to its arrival.

  11. Looking forward to this and the Time Block Academy!

  12. Alexandru says:

    I agree with David. A sample page view (usually standard on Amazon) would be very useful to see before ordering.

  13. Study Hacks says:

    The inside pages are being uploaded into Amazon…should be in their system soon. I might post some here as well…

    1. Steve says:

      For anyone who wants to see the sample pages, you can view them at the Penguin Randomhouse website below, click on “Look Inside”.

      1. Steve says:

        Seems to be that the preview has been removed.

        Lets wsit for 10th Nov.

      2. Dianne says:

        Thanks, Steve! The pages visible on the Penguin website gave me all the information I needed to make a decision to buy. While I agree that Cal’s work is worth supporting, I also cheerfully agree that I like to see what I’m buying. Cal, this is a terrific new implementation of your past advice on time blocking. Congratulations.

  14. Zulema says:

    Yay!!! So exciting ?. Just pre-ordered. Thank you Cal for your awesome podcast and books and your jokes on the podcast make me laugh out-loud.

  15. Terry says:

    Ordered. I would like to comment on all of the people that feel the need to “see the inside” before buying. Cal offers so much value for FREE – Podcast + Blog – that spending $25 to support him – even if I never use the book – is worth the investment. Order the book if you can.

    1. Tom says:

      I have the same feeling. Cal’s books really changed my professional way of working, and especially the time blocking method. I’m really grateful for this. So I’m very curieus to learn more about this topic. What is 25$ when you are lucky to have a job, and you can even do better your job, and with a bigger satisfaction thanks to this book ?
      But Cal, why not open your webinar outside the US ?

    2. We don’t blindly follow Cal like cult members. When he tries to market something, the public should expect basic and images and details on what’s being purchased.

      1. Terry says:

        Just to clarify my point. I have gained $25 or more worth of value from Cal for Free. The Planner offers me an opportunity to give back.

      2. Rakesh Gupta says:

        Yes, Corey, you’re right. You can refer the penguin randomhouse link provided by Steve in one of the comments. It will lead you to a sneak peek into the planner.

  16. Tomer Ben David says:

    What’s inside?

  17. Tomer Ben David says:

    I think the planner should also contain example pages of

    1. Easy day everything goes as planned
    2. Mid day something’s for worng
    3. Horrible day nothing as expected

    So I know how to use my planner in these situations actual screenshots from your real planner.

    The more example pages it contains the better I would prefer a planner with your 20 example pages and 80 empty pages than 100 empty pages so I hope it contains such as many examples.

  18. NM says:

    Hi Cal, looks great but what about your loyal readers based out of India? How can we order sire? Why this injustice to us? How can we beat the productivity dragon when ‘powers to be’ are against us?

  19. CloseTheDoor says:

    Hi Cal,
    I’d love to participate to the Webinar but I’m not sure about the hour.
    If I am not mistaken, you are based on the East coast (New York time zone?). This means 3 pm corresponds to 10 pm in Rome.
    Could anybody help me to check this piece of information?

  20. Paulien says:

    I will order anyway because I want to try the product, but would it be possible to join or get a recording as a European as well? Provided I pre-order of course.

    I also have a really nice website for the planner, with a high quality video of me using it, explanation for the system, etc., almost done…should be ready soon.

    1. Study Hacks says:

      You can join the recording regardless of where you live. Also, we’ll be recording it so that people who pre-ordered will also get a link to watch it later…

      1. Claire says:

        Ok this is now very confusing. It specifically states US residents only, so that’s really not actually the case unless people break the rules. I’ve not seen this clause on previous preorder offers of yours so perhaps it has it been included erroneously?

  21. Prog says:

    Could the video be recorded and sent to non US residents who pre order?

  22. Joe says:

    The constant whining in the comments here is embarrassing. Cal doesn’t owe us anything, yet almost everything here is “why not my country” or “upload sample pages.”

    Be patient, or just grow up. The offer is what it is. The images available for the pre-order are what they are. If he wants, he’ll upload more. If he wants, he’ll open things up beyond the US. If he doesn’t, that’s his prerogative.

    Nobody owes you anything, be grateful instead of immediately looking for something to piss and moan about.

    1. JP says:

      He just tries to sell us a product without providing any details – asking for sample pages is not whining, it is thinking. Cal does not owe anything to anybody here – true, unless he wants to sell us something; then he owes us minimum information about the product 🙂

    2. confused says:

      Did we read the same comments above? Absolutely nothing here was close to “constant whining.” People were just asking politely to learn more about the product before they buy it or sharing their wish to be part of something. Both reasonable things. I’d suggest that maybe you pause before making a needlessly negative comment.

    3. Johnnie says:

      Very well said Sir! Amen!

    4. Joe your passionate cultish defense of Cal is troubling. If Cal wants people to send him $25 for something, we expect details and images on what’s being purchased.

    5. Hmmmmm says:

      What whining?

      Are we reading the same comments?

      I read a few asking for inside images (which makes sense, given that’s what you’ll use throughout the year).

      And a few comments asking about other regions.

      But in terms of “whining” the only comments that are whining are comments like yours about other people whining.

  23. Christina says:

    Hello, how is this planner diffrent from other planners. Thanks

  24. Sandeep says:

    In India, the sites list a planner that has 208 pages. However the one on amazon US has 240 pages. Can you please clarify whether this is the correct one?

  25. JP says:

    Cal, I like your books, blog and appreciate your thinking. That said, releasing this information without any details is kind of rude and unhelpful (you grabbed our attention, but how you did it delivers us no real value), unless you wanted people to pre-order without any kind of thought apart from “this is by Cal Newport”.

    Luckily, there are some details on the penguinrandomhouse webpage (thanks Steve!).

    Does anybody know what kind of paper the notebook will be printed on ( terms of thickness) and what binding it will have?

    1. JP says:

      Anyway, good idea – I might buy it if quality is ok 🙂

  26. JIR says:

    Paper, binding, and size are important to me as well, but I preordered it for the intro, which I expect to be extremely useful and informative, as is Cal’s style.

    I see it is softcover, and if I understand my sizing it is U.S. composition notebook size. Will it lay flat?

  27. Bhinish says:

    Re-upping the link to the sample planner pages here (thank you Steve):

    I think of this as a companion workbook to Cal’s previous books about the subject, so I think it’s worth it after taking a look at the samples.

  28. Grace says:

    Congratulations on your new endeavor! It looks really cool.
    I read this article and I thought you and/or people here at the comments might enjoy:

  29. Heejin Shin says:

    I’ve ordered your diary at Amazon from South Korea. I wonder that how can I use it. Please upload a video or give explanation in order to make me use it. Cheers.

  30. Eruanno says:

    I find it telling that you’re a tenured professor at Georgetown, financially secure, and instead of open sourcing instructions on how to make a notebook using your technique you’re trying to sell another product.

    1. JSM says:

      Cal has given open source instructions on time block planning on regular notebook paper on this blog (

      Also, I think he mentioned on his podcast that the genesis of this new product was the discontinuation (or change in quality) of the notebook he previously used, so he figured he could get with his publisher and create the perfect layout, add in some other features, and then share it with his listeners/followers.

    2. Taylor says:

      There are instructions on Cal’s new website for the planner:

  31. Nirbhay says:

    Please add some sample pages cal

  32. rankar says:

    I just purchased the TBP today and sent the proof of purchase to the email noted in Cal’s post above, but it bounced back.

    Does anyone know if there’s another way to register for the webinar on Nov 13? thanks all

  33. Reid says:

    Is there a specific date that the publisher will send the information and links for the Webinar? I sent the pre-purchase information to the publisher earlier this month but have not received a response yet.

    Of course, I will email them again soon to double-check but wanted to ask if they will send the info out all at once after the pre-purchase event closes.

  34. Sean says:

    Sent multiple emails to publisher at their various email addresses, with the receipt attached. No replies. Any other way to get that link to the timeblock academy?
    Kind regards

  35. Matthew says:

    If you are ordering in the UK, there are two different versions of the TBP.
    I bought one from Waterstones and one from Amazon.

    1) Waterstones one is printed in Italy. It has a paler blue cover and the title on the from is white letter. There is no ribbon ! Paper feels slightly more coated and the lines are slightly darker.

    2) Amazon copy, printed in USA. Cover a darker, to my eye nicer, blue with black lettering. Binding is a little tighert.

    Contents are exactly the same but I much prefer the copy printed in the States – feels a lot nicer to use .

    link to image of them side by side:

    1. Matt says:

      I realised the same thing. The online stores in my country which allowed for preordering didn’t really have much info apart from ISBNs, so it was hard to know what I was getting. I went for the cheapest one, which turned out to be the one printed in Italy.

      Does the US-printed version have a ribbon? Does the cover feel like it’ll bend over time?

  36. WorkTime says:

    I’ve been trying to time block ever since I quit my job to blog full time at the beginning of this year. And it’s not working. These are some great tips though. I need to sit down at the beginning of the week and really list everything out.

  37. Sai Praneet Toram says:

    Would be great if you could release a version with longer pages to time block more of the day.

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