With 2017 winding down, it’s time to share my top 5 picks for planners for 2018.
It’s no newsflash that I am fond of lovely stationery, but I go gaga over new planners. Planners are the mother of all stationery, a blessed union of paper and ink, printing and binding, layout and design. They are both tool and creation, a space for both organisation and inspiration.
Seeing my planner gets a gruelling 365 days of daily use, I don’t rush the selection process. My planner must tick all the boxes. Of course, looks are an important factor, but ultimately a planner has to be supremely useable.
- A full combination of spreads: yearly, monthly, weekly and daily spaces, because they all have their uses.
- Not too bulky: My handbag is heavy enough without adding the weight of a phonebook. ON the other hand…
- …Not too pokey: I need room to write, remind, draw, plot…
- Sturdy: It has to be able to withstand the vortex of death, aka my handbag. Rounded corners and a sturdy cover required.
- Quality paper: No thanks to blinding blizzard white, yes please to soothing, restrained ivory – with a smooth finish s’il vous plaît.
- Lie-flat binding: I like a planner that opens all the way without wrestling it. And forget the icky spine-breaking nonsense. I dislike wire spiral binders that get in the way and render half the writing surface a no-go-zone.
- Bonuses: A ribbon page marker is helpful. **Stickers** are fun, the icing on the planner cake.
My Top Five Choices for 2018
- Milligram 2018 Family Diary – Weekly Notebook – A5
- Pilot 2018 Diary for Writers
- Kiki.K Leather Planner – Sweet
- MochiThings 2018 Flowery Weekly Journal
- Hobonichi Techno Cousin
Milligram Family Diary
Up first, the 2018 Family Diary from Melbourne’s Milligram (formerly NoteMaker, one of my favourite Australian stationers). Having just rebranded, they’ve launched their own line of Milligram diaries. They’re onto a good thing with this fantastic family-friendly planner. The weekly spread has two pages where everyone’s activities can be noted along with meal planning. There’s a budgeting page and other cool features, like **stickers**! I especially like the gorgeous cover designs and pleasing page layout, created by designer-illustrator-author Beci Orpin.
This planner is perfect for busy families, but as a new empty-nester, this one isn’t the best fit for me now.
Pilot 2018 Diary for Writers
This one is a handy tool for writers. The Pilot 2018 Diary for Writers is chock-a-block full of writerly information, inspiration and wisdom in the form of quotes, competitions, festivals and awards. There are pages to track submissions, record lent and borrowed books, and list interesting TBRs.
Three cheers for the excellent paper and targeting writers’ needs, but one frowny-face for the spiral binding.
Kiki.K Sweet Large Leather Planner
Okay: it’s leather. And it has Pugs. And kittens. Say no more.
Nobody in the stationery business does ‘whimsical’ like Kiki.K. They also do ‘gorgeous,’ ‘stylish,’ and ‘wow,’ but I’m smitten with the range they call Sweet, with its cute hand-drawn pugs, kittens, ink bottles, cacti, and more. The Kiki.K Sweet Planner is white leather printed with the Sweet motifs. Inside is lined with a beautiful shade of eggshell blue. It has customisable tabs, is refillable, and comes with **stickers**.
It’s gorgeous but a little too bulky for me.
MochiThings 2018 Flowery Weekly Journal
MochiThings is a wonderful online stationer selling a full range Korean paper products, from basic to deluxe, plain to cutesy. Planners come in a huge variety of sizes and styles – seriously, they have all kinds of binding, every size, layout, and design you could want. The one I like is called Flowery Weekly Journal. It features a floral cover, is compact in size with a week-to-a-spread, and has the all-important lie-flat binding.
This is very similar to the MochiThings diary I chose for 2017, which worked out great except that I found the B5 size a little too tight.
You’ll want to check out the array of planner accessories for sale at MochiThings.com: there’s washi tape out the wazoo and **stickers** galore. Check out this scrummy Scheduler Kit.
Flowery Weekly Journal – US$22.95*
Hobonichi Techno Cousin
Hobonichi planners are a premium Japanese product with a worldwide cult following. Why are so many people crazy about Hobonichis?
- The one planner has it all: year, month, week and day pages.
- 180º lie-flat binding
- Tomoe River paper (high quality smooth but thin pages to reduce bulk)
- Daily quotes and quirky information
- Graph paper pages for design
- A dazzling array of cool covers to dress up your planner and reuse year after year.
- Covers have a built-in pen holder and two ribbon markers.
- A variety of sizes: Weeks is long and narrow. Techno Original is a compact A6 size. Cousin is larger, A5 size.
J¥ 7,020* for Cousin + cover
And the Winner Is…
Hobonichi Cousin 2018. I am trying out the larger A5 version called Cousin to give myself additional room for jotting notes. As mentioned, B5 cramped my style.
Going with the larger version means I have to read my dates in Japanese kanji, but I think I will manage. Although I won’t be able to enjoy the quotes (and information about quirky things like stretching, Japanese fast food, emergency preparedness, and Japanese holidays), but I can read the days and dates thanks to my years of living in Asia and studying Chinese (and a little Japanese). If Cousin’s language thing is a deal breaker, the good news is the Hobonichi Techno Planner (smaller A6 size) comes in an all English version.
I thought I’d try the variety called Avec, which breaks the year into two volumes, halving the weight of the planner.
Choosing from the 19 different cover designs for Cousin was fun. I picked a happy shade of yellow with white polka dots and an ice blue interior. Isn’t it darling? I can’t wait to start using it.
Over to You!
Got a favourite planner that I should look into (for 2019)? Do you stick with the same one year after year or, like me, keep hunting for the perfect planner? I hope you find a good one for 2018.
Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash
Planner images via various retailers’ websites
*Prices are approximate and correct at the time of publication.