In case you missed it, in November of last year I introduced My 2018 Plum Paper Planner and discussed its features, its appearance, and my [non-sponsored] love for Plum Paper. This summer (why did I do it so far in advance?) I put up a Twitter poll asking if a review of that planner – one year later – would be of interest to anyone. A few people voted (thank you!) in favor of such a review, so here we are. I’ve set this post up in the same fashion as the one I’ve linked above to make sure I relay all my thoughts as clearly as possible. Oh, and before I dive in, I just want to mention that this planner starts with January; the “year in review” refers to the length of time between that introductory post and this one. And in case I didn’t make it clear enough, this is not sponsored in any way by Plum Paper. Okay, let’s get started.
[Tear-Proof and Waterproof] Cover: Not torn and not water damaged! I’m prone to forgetting to screw on water bottle tops all the way before putting them in my bag, not to mention in extreme heat [like we experienced this summer], the condensation from a water bottle filled with cold water has the potential to wrinkle paper. But through all of that my planner is A-OK. I still love the pattern I chose and the look of my monogram. The plastic that goes over the actual cover is a little scratched but that’s the nature of using it and throwing it in a bag every day, so no complaints here.
Size: I miss my go-to 8″ x 11″ size. I switched it up for this planner (7″ x 9″) because I thought it might be easier to carry around, but I’ve found that its thickness and very large metal ring binding present more of a struggle than a planner with the dimensions of a piece of paper. The smaller size fits in more of a variety of bag sizes, but what it lacks in height it overwhelms in depth. I now know that my preference is thin over thick.
Spread Preference: I still love the Horizontal 2 Spread (Mon-Wed on one page, Thu-Sun on the other), as well as the multicolored tabs and month pages. There’s enough space for each day and I heavily used the Notes box at the top of each weekly spread. The Monthly Highlights page (the first for every month) was used based on my mood at the beginning of the month. If I was feeling optimistic or knew I had a lot of things planned I filled them out in advance. But if the transition from one month to the next was busy or hectic I ended up just leaving them blank.
Length and Extras: I was so excited that Plum Paper started offering a Blog Planning section, and added it when I created my custom planner. Alas, I have barely used it. I like how the months are sectioned and formatted, but I’ve realized that I like more of a note-taking style of planning rather than the pre-formatted planning layout for my blog. I mostly used the Income & Expenses and Blog Stats sections of each month, but I don’t have a lot of either so there is still quite a bit of wasted space. The Monthly Tasks and the general Blog Post Ideas pages were the pages I used the most – because they are set up very simply and gave me flexibility when it came to writing things down. I could have used the Giveaways & Reviews pages more, but I ended up not liking the sizes of each column; it was easier to just replicate the headings in a notebook where I had more space to write (my handwriting is quite large). The Advertising & Sponsors pages went unused because I haven’t been seeking out advertisers or sponsors.
Basically, this extra section made me realize that a plain old notebook with nearly endless possibilities for formatting is my preferred method for blog planning. I think it’s a fantastic add-on for more serious bloggers with more commitments and responsibilities, but I could certainly make do without it.
Price: In case you didn’t read my introductory post, my Plum Paper Planner cost $40.75, plus $4.50 for the blog planning add-on. While the latter was more wasted than worth it in my case, I think it’s still an incredible price for the amount of pages you get. Same goes for the “base” price of the planner. For the amount of customization options available – and compared to other planners out there – it is priced extremely well.
Overall: My 2018 Plum Paper Planner has been easy to use, has many great standard features, and the custom quality is of great value to me. I am glad I tried the Blog Planning section, even though it taught me that I don’t need such a structured planner for my blog. This and the size “issue” are both things that can be changed in a new planner, so once again I am quite pleased with Plum Paper.
Now, if I may be so bold to assume, you might be wondering what I’ll be choosing for a planner in 2019 (my current planner runs out in December 2018). Well, I am going to do something I have never done (I have used a Planner – with a capital P – every year since 5th grade when we were given agendas): I’m going to use a notebook/journal to keep track of my daily to-dos and notes. I already use several monthly calendars (including the one in my planner) for planning events/tasks more in advance, and I will continue to do this, ultimately cutting down the number of places in which I keep track of those things. I’ve been getting better at making lists each day of things I need to work on or get done, so I’m going to throw myself into that type of scheduling and planning. I know this won’t be a mind-bending step for a lot of you BuJo enthusiasts and Moleskin aficionados, but it’s very new and foreign to me so it’s worth mentioning. If you’re interested in seeing how I get on with this, follow me on Twitter; if I have any gripes about this new-to-me method I’ll surely place them there.
My decision to do this is not really related to Plum Paper – I still really love my planner and all of their products! I just want to try a new way of organizing my days and months, because lately I’ve felt that the way I’ve been doing it just isn’t working – I feel overwhelmed and hectic all the time, and my life isn’t so busy that I should feel like that. And I thought my plans for how I’ll be organizing myself in the new year fit better in this post / I didn’t want to write an entirely different post explaining this. 😎
So in case you need or are looking for a straightforward, one-line conclusion to this review, here it is: I highly recommend Plum Paper Planners because of their remarkable custom options, the add-on potential, and how quickly it will get to you (I talk about this point in this post).
Do you use a Plum Paper Planner, or have any planner recommendations of your own? Share below in the comments, and/or tell me how you’ll be scheduling and planning in 2019!