Planner Review – Webster’s Pages Color Crush Planner

IMG_0143

When I first saw the Webster’s Pages Color Crush planners they really appealed to me. Perhaps because one of my words for the year is Creativity and the inserts seemed aligned with that. So I bought the light teal planner from Create and Craft.

IMG_0140

IMG_0142

 

 

IMG_0153

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I paid around £35 for my planner and definitely feel they are more like Paperchase planners in quality rather than Filofax, even though these are leather planners.

My understanding is there are 6 sets of dividers and each colour planner comes with a different set. The light teal came with the Be Happy Be Bright Dividers. The divider sets are available to buy separately and I am slightly tempted to buy more sets.

IMG_0172 IMG_0170 IMG_0168 IMG_0162 IMG_0161

 

In my opinion the inserts are exquisite. Unfortunately I don’t understand how they work on a practical basis.

The Write It Down inserts have sections for Thoughts, Ideas and Dreams on the front and then a lined sheet on the back. I have no idea what the real difference is between Thoughts, Ideas and Dreams but maybe they mean something specific to the more creatively minded. It’s a sweet idea though.

IMG_0163

The next inserts are Memory Keeping. Now these inserts make sense and I could see the front working really well if you do something like Project Life or a photo a day.

IMG_0167

The back of the page seems more limited since they’re supposed to cover the whole month and I would have preferred more freedom in what I choose to record.

IMG_1596

The Lists to Love inserts have ‘to dos’, ‘monthly goals’ and ‘plan to do’ on the front and a menu plan and shopping list on the back. But the menu plan appears to be for a week so is this insert supposed to be used each week, and if so why are there monthly goals on the front?

IMG_0169

The Staying Inspired inserts are like scrapbook papers.

IMG_0171

Finally the calendar pages are month on 2 pages all together and then week on 2 pages. On the back of the monthly pages is another page to record daily memories. Exactly like the memory keeping page. Why?

IMG_0174 IMG_0176

Generally I like the inserts but because they’re pretty, not because they’re practical. I feel creative just looking at them. I don’t think the binder itself is worth the money; it does feel, and smell, quite cheap. I’ve kept the inserts but given the binder to my daughter. It does seem more suited to her.

I would say that I received a really poor quality planner from Create and Craft. The binder was dented and the rings weren’t aligned (although they were much better after I played with them for a bit). The inserts weren’t cut or punched properly and many pages were stuck together. When I first looked at the ruler I thought I was misunderstanding how it was supposed to work until I realised they’d just punched it wrong.

IMG_0164IMG_0173

Create and Craft did offer to replace or refund as long as I packaged it and took it to a Collect+ place. I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of finding a store and taking it there. If you’re thinking of buying one I recommend buying from Craftie -Charlie or anywhere other than Create and Craft.

Oh, I also bought the Folio Kit. Definitely not worth the money!

IMG_0150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webster’s Pages Color Crush Planner

IMG_0143

When I first saw the Webster’s Pages Color Crush planners they really appealed to me. Perhaps because one of my words for the year is Creativity and the inserts seemed aligned with that. So I bought the light teal planner from Create and Craft.

IMG_0140

IMG_0142

 

 

IMG_0153

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I paid around £35 for my planner and definitely feel they are more like Paperchase planners in quality rather than Filofax, even though these are leather planners.

My understanding is there are 6 sets of dividers and each colour planner comes with a different set. The light teal came with the Be Happy Be Bright Dividers. The divider sets are available to buy separately and I am slightly tempted to buy more sets.

IMG_0172 IMG_0170 IMG_0168 IMG_0162 IMG_0161

 

In my opinion the inserts are exquisite. Unfortunately I don’t understand how they work on a practical basis.

The Write It Down inserts have sections for Thoughts, Ideas and Dreams on the front and then a lined sheet on the back. I have no idea what the real difference is between Thoughts, Ideas and Dreams but maybe they mean something specific to the more creatively minded. It’s a sweet idea though.

IMG_0163

The next inserts are Memory Keeping. Now these inserts make sense and I could see the front working really well if you do something like Project Life or a photo a day.

IMG_0167

The back of the page seems more limited since they’re supposed to cover the whole month and I would have preferred more freedom in what I choose to record.

IMG_1596

The Lists to Love inserts have ‘to dos’, ‘monthly goals’ and ‘plan to do’ on the front and a menu plan and shopping list on the back. But the menu plan appears to be for a week so is this insert supposed to be used each week, and if so why are there monthly goals on the front?

IMG_0169

The Staying Inspired inserts are like scrapbook papers.

IMG_0171

Finally the calendar pages are month on 2 pages all together and then week on 2 pages. On the back of the monthly pages is another page to record daily memories. Exactly like the memory keeping page. Why?

IMG_0174 IMG_0176

Generally I like the inserts but because they’re pretty, not because they’re practical. I feel creative just looking at them. I don’t think the binder itself is worth the money; it does feel, and smell, quite cheap. I’ve kept the inserts but given the binder to my daughter. It does seem more suited to her.

I would say that I received a really poor quality planner from Create and Craft. The binder was dented and the rings weren’t aligned (although they were much better after I played with them for a bit). The inserts weren’t cut or punched properly and many pages were stuck together. When I first looked at the ruler I thought I was misunderstanding how it was supposed to work until I realised they’d just punched it wrong.

IMG_0164IMG_0173

Create and Craft did offer to replace or refund as long as I packaged it and took it to a Collect+ place. I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of finding a store and taking it there. If you’re thinking of buying one I recommend buying from Craftie -Charlie or anywhere other than Create and Craft.

Oh, I also bought the Folio Kit. Definitely not worth the money!

IMG_0150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planners I’m using in 2015

IMG_1582

Sometimes I wonder whether I have the most complicated planning system with my Erin Condren Life Planner, Day Designer, home projects Filofax, general Filofax & blog planner (another ECLP), and this doesn’t include planners I don’t use as actual planners.

This may be the refrain of the obsessed planner nerd but it really does work for me.

Anyway, you decide

THIS IS A COPY OF A POST WHICH WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON STATIONERYBYDEFAULT.COM

Planner Review – A Look at the Erin Condren Life Planner 2015

Possibly another redundant review. What true planner nerd hasn’t heard of the Erin Condren Life Planner and seen countless unboxing videos? I can spend hours on YouTube watching how people use their Life Planner.
I’m not sure whether Erin Condren does any advertising outside social media but I think her following in the UK is definitely built on YouTube and blogs.

International shipping is now available at a flat rate of $19.95. It used to be $39.95 so that’s a great change. However tinyprints also sell some Erin Condren products and their shipping to the EU is $15.

Life Planner covers are customisable. The insides are not. So all planners start with some pages of “frou frou”

IMG_0085

Then there is an 18 month overview from July 2014, which is when the 2014/2015 planners started. There isn’t much space to write notes on these pages but I’ve seen them used as trackers.

IMG_0078

The monthly spread is on 2 pages and has a Sunday start. There is a notes section on the right hand sideIMG_0079

I think there’s plenty of writing space in these boxes but in August the last Sunday and Monday are halved because the month straddles more than 5 weeks.

IMG_1577

Each month is tabbed and the weekly pages follow the relevant month

IMG_0080

but you tend to get the last few days of the month after the following month’s tab

IMG_0081

The weekly layout starts on a Monday which I prefer, although it was slightly confusing at first to have a month with the Sunday start as well. The weekly layout has a goals and notes column on the left hand side and a lined section headed “meal plans, exercise, daily dos, thoughts, inspiration” at the bottom. Each day is divided into a morning, day and night section.

At the end of the planner are some lined and blank note pages, a flimsy folder and a clear plastic pouch.

IMG_0082

IMG_0084

Erin Condren also supplies event stickers and 2 sheets of blank stickers with the Life Planner. It also comes with a booklet for the perpetual calendar and contacts, although I’m not quite sure how this will work in future years. The perpetual nature suggests it should be used every year so will they have it as part of the planner next year or only as an accessory?

This year the covers are interchangeable (if you have something to interchange it with – otherwise they’re just removable).

IMG_0086

The covers are laminated and the lamination on my cover from last year has lasted well despite me uncoiling and putting it in a Filofax. Although my experience with the covers has been fine I know a few have experienced bubbling quite early on.

There are issues with quality control and some people have had problems with customer service. My own experience is that the mistakes they make are frustrating and avoidable but they always put it right or offer credit so I wouldn’t let that aspect put me off.

Each month has a dual colour scheme which is used throughout the month. This is what originally attracted me to the Life Planner. After many years of using plain black and white paper I wanted more colour on the page and I’m not someone who is naturally artistic enough to decorate my planner.

So what about functionality?

Life Planners are 7in x 9in so they’re larger than an A5 Filofax. They are very light though so I would consider them to be portable.

I’ve a seen a myriad of ways people use their Life Planner but stripping it all back, and watching Erin Condren’s early promotional videos, this seems to be designed simply as an agenda. It’s primary purpose seems to be a place to record appointments and events. For this reason the morning, day and night sections make sense. There is also ample space in the boxes to write appointments and events. The space around the Monday – Sunday spread seems to be where to write notes and tasks.

If this is the case then it’s a very expensive planner.

It’s no wonder people have taken to using it for different purposes. But then it seems unfair to complain about not liking the sections to be called ‘morning, day, night’ or not having enough space to fit everything in, because you’re using it for an unintended purpose. I personally think they could maximise the space on the weekly spread better – the date and day doesn’t need to be so big and there really isn’t any need for the gaps between the columns. Since the meal plan, exercise etc heading doesn’t add anything to the lined section they could just remove it.

On a side note, I am curious to know why people who use the Erin Condren Life Planner with different heading names or for journalling and who also cover up all aspects of colour on the page actually buy the planner. Why is the planner worth the $50 cost if so much has to be changed? Obviously people can use their planner how they want, that’s not the point I’m making, the question I’m asking is what is it about the Life Planner that still makes it their planner of choice?

Would I buy another Life Planner – who knows? There are so many alternatives available now they would have to offer something more to tempt me again.

If you’d like to see how I used my Life Planner in 2014, I’ve done a video

From the website

– an INTERCHANGEABLE, laminated, heavy duty 10mil cover for protection from daily wear and tear 
– inspirational quotes throughout 
– LAMINATED tabs for extra durability 
– TWO-page monthly spreads w/ reinforced coil-side binding 
– goals and to-do lists for every week and month 
– weekly spreads divided into morning, day & night 
– meal/exercise/lists/etc. section for highlighted daily notes & activities 
– clear, snap-in page holder/ruler 
– over 25 lined and designer blank pages for notes and sketches 
– DOUBLE-sided “keep it together” folder to wrangle receipts, stamps, and other papers 
– 240 colorful stickers to highlight birthdays, special events and reminders 
– bound-in zip lock pocket with 12 gift labels and “let’s get together” cards 
– perpetual calendar booklet for birthdays and anniversaries 
– sturdy aluminum coil that will not bend & allows your planner to lay flat 
– add photo stickers, custom event stickers, matching notepads, a pen holder, marker set, designer sticker sheets, coil clips or even elastic bands to further customize your planner to be as YOU*nique as you are!

Planner Review – First look at the Hobonichi Planner

IMG_0072

I didn’t expect to write a review of the Hobonichi Planner but my husband surprised me with one for Christmas, so here I am. Apparently I have the English version of the Techo Original.

I didn’t know much about Hobonichi before owning one but I’m fascinated by the creativity of Hobonichi users. I’ve found a new social media time-suck. What surprised me is how few examples I’ve seen of the planner being used as only a planner. It seems to go beyond planning.

The Hobinichi website has some of the most extensive information I’ve seen about the contents of their planner, making this post somewhat redundant but anyway

IMG_0073IMG_0074

The planner starts with 2015 and 2016 yearly calendars followed by, what they call, a Yearly Index which seems like a vertical monthly layout. The actual monthly layout is on two pages in horizontal boxes and has a Monday start (yay). There is space on the left-hand side and bottom for notes.

All the monthly pages are grouped together and my planner goes from December 2014 to March 2016 so there’s scope for forward planning. I personally prefer my months integrated with my daily/weekly pages but I think it’s something I could adapt to.

IMG_0075

The month starts with a ‘Coming Up’ page and then there are daily pages with Sundays in red. There is a quote on the left page and its author on the right. The daily pages also have miscellaneous other information such as moon phases and international holidays.

The layout of the daily page confuses me slightly. There is a 12 near the middle of the page and then a fork and knife icon near the bottom of the page. I get the 12 represents midday but I think they could have made better use of space if they put the dinner icon in the blank space at the top of the page.

Based on some of the other planners I think the page could be looked at as if there were a vertical line down the middle with the left-hand side being for scheduling and the right-hand side for notes. The Techo Original has what it refers to as the ‘Secret Line’ for this. If I were using the Hobonichi Planner as a planner I think I’d prefer this line.

Obvious from the photos but worth mentioning is the pages are gridlined – apparently 4mm. The Coming Up pages are lined though.

IMG_0076

After 2015 you have 2 days on a page until 16 January so again some room for forward planning.

IMG_0077

Finally at the back of the planner are some notes pages which consist of red dots. Interesting. I don’t know why they’re dots and I don’t know why they’re red.

After these 20 notes pages are information pages including ‘Spices and Herbs around the World’ and ‘A Guide to Rayokans’. To be quite honest I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of these pages.

One thing to note is the planner is small – it’s A6. That makes it perfect for carrying around. But I don’t feel you’re compromising on space. There is ample room on the daily pages to write as much as you need. Space wise I think there’s more writing real estate than on personal-sized Filofax paper.

The planner lays flat immediately which is wonderful for a stitch-bound planner. One of the main attractions of the Hobonichi is the Tomoe River paper which is thin light paper making the planner very compact. Apparently it’s also resistant to bleeding which makes it suitable for a wide range of pens. I haven’t done a pen test yet but I’m eager to see whether I can use my fountain pens.

The Hobonichi Planner costs £35 from the Journal Shop. I haven’t researched where else it’s available and the cost but I think overall it will be worth the price. We’ll have to wait and see.

I have my planning system for 2015 mostly set-up and rather than thinking of how to integrate the Hobonichi into my system, this year I’m going to use it for my 365/30 Lists. But I will definitely consider using this planner as part of future systems – I’m actually trying to resist the temptation to buy another Hobonichi now to “test run” for 2016, but resist I will.

If you know any good Instagram or other social media accounts which feature using Hobonichi please do leave a comment. I’d love to check some out.