Recollections is a planner line by Michaels and includes a number of different styles, layouts, and binding options. This spiral coil-bound planner is their newest stylistic release and comes in 18 month and 12 month options–or at least, it has in the past. The 2017-2018 line is the Recollections Spiral planner’s second year, and they’ve kicked it up a notch with the number of designs and specific planners they’re offering. Recollections spirals planners now have themes for pregnancy/new mothers, teachers, goal setting, and more. They retail at Michaels for $29.99, but you can usually get them with a 40% off coupon for $17.99. (From Oct 1–7th Michael’s is having a 40% off sale on Recollections planners!) This planner measures 7.5 in x 9.25 in and is coil/spiral bound.
Sweet Kawaii Design on YouTube has a thorough walkthrough of the Recollections line for 2017-2018. There are three options to choose from: vertical boxes, hourly, and horizontal spreads. Each of these spreads has a different design theme and then multiple cover/theme options to choose from. This review focuses on the vertical boxes weekly spread in the “It Girl” design.
This planner includes an interchangeable cover, nameplate page, 2017 and 2018 years at a glance, important dates, one page of contacts, monthly spreads, weekly vertical spreads, and notes pages. Each monthly tab is a rotating color and laminated.
The monthly spread has holidays and important dates (like Daylight Savings) marked in italics. The bottom left of the monthly spread has month-at-a-glance calendars for the month preceding and the month following the month on view. Lots of months in that sentence. There is also a lined sidebar for notes, to-dos, or whatever you would like to write there! One of the things I like about this monthly spread is the pastel color bar along the top of the pages. It’s light enough that you can easily write in it or decorate it. The Recollections planner makes good use of its space and the boxes feel large enough for everyone you might need to write in them.
What strikes me as a little odd is that the monthly spread is a Sunday start, but the weekly spreads are a Monday start.
The weekly spreads vary by color–yellow, blue, mint, and pink. They consist of three vertical boxes with header space. Beneath the daily columns are continuous lines. The Recollections planner leaves the sections blank for you to fill in, which is always nice. Maybe you like to separate your vertical boxes into Morning, Afternoon, Evening. Or perhaps you prefer sections like To Do, To Go, To Remember, etc. The heading for each vertical box is easy to write in and make your own. The lefthand side of the weekly spread consists of a Notes box and a blank box. This allows you to break up the sidebar into whatever sections work best for you!
Ultimately, this planner offers a lot of flexibility with a consistent weekly spread and varied useable sections. You can see a week at a glance or your month at a glance, fulfilling some of the more basic requirements of a functional planner. The spiral coil is thinner than an Erin Condren or Plum Paper coil, but it still does the job and doesn’t seem easy to bend out of shape.
The back of the planner includes a double pocket in bright pink and black polka dot, as well as a clear catch-all bag. The bag is attached to the coil and cannot be removed and then put back in–it’s not detachable, in other words. I imagine that it could easily hold a few sticker sheets, but I wouldn’t pack it full. This planner is a decent size–big enough to write in, compact enough to carry around and throw in your bag. I have heard complaints about the previous year versions of this planner constantly losing their interchangeable covers when thrown into a purse, but far fewer complaints about the 2017-2018 line.
The design of this planner is eerily similar to Erin Condren’s vertical boxes layout, so this year the Recollections planner has spiced things up a bit. Mrs. Mom Next Door did a comparison review of this year’s planners, comparing Recollections with Erin Condren, here.
In general, the vertical box layout of the Recollections planner is designed in pastels, rotating (as mentioned above) in mint, yellow, blue, and pink. The laminated monthly tabs switch between mint, yellow, blue, black, and pink. This particular design, It Girl, is a cute stab at embodying the planner babe. Teacups, thought bubbles, washi, and Michael’s trips galore! This is not everyone’s aesthetic–it may be yours, it may not be. Maybe you prefer planners that are more neutral? This certainly won’t fit that bill. It’s a cute, pastel planner with simple functionality and flexibility.
If, however, you are looking for an adorable planner with a planner babe vibe and a cute homage to how you want to envision the planning process, then this planner might work for you.
The back of the planner depicts a planning party–I used to have planning parties with my roommates and they were wonderful. Obviously, we could’ve used more cookies and brownies. This is a bright, happy planner designed to make you feel connected to planning–if you are the type of planner babe this book is marketing to. My friend Jennie, for example, is in graduate school and would hate the sunshiney vibe of this planner. But, if I needed a planner like this, I would totally dig its sweet and mildly self-aware theme.
Each month has a different design juxtaposed by a lined notes page.
Something that strikes me about the design of this planner is that the It Girl herself is depicted as white. Obviously, the planner community is multiethnic and multicultural! Not everyone is going to click with this depiction of the It Girl. I have seen some planner babes color in the It Girl’s hair or skin to better resemble how they identify and think that the design of the It Girl is easily transformed this way. Perhaps not as easily on the cover of the planner, but in the monthly pages, yes.
This is a great first planner for you or your child, especially if you/they are in high school (Just quickly remove those wine glass stickers and use them in your own planner first!) The Important Dates section at the front of the planner could be used for keeping track of assignment/paper due dates and school deadlines, and the weekly spreads have a lot of flexibility for keeping track of your homework/extracurriculars. Lined spaces at the bottom of each daily column could be used to write down homework, events, or reminders, for examples.
This planner would also be a good fit if you want the flexibility of a vertical layout but don’t want to spend as much money as, say, an Erin Condren planner would cost you ($55-75). Are you on a budget and need a planner that can hold a lot of information and functionality for a $30 or less price point? Then the Recollections planner delivers.
This planner would also work for anyone who is particularly attached to any of the planner line’s themes/designs. If you aren’t digging It Girl, there are other choices with the same vertical boxes. The best way to figure out what you might be interested in is going to a Michaels store and flipping through the options.
If you need a planner that runs your life in the office, this might not be the best choice. Obviously you do you, but if you are trying to operate in a professional environment, this planner might not be the best fit–at least in this design.
This planner’s stickers match its theme, although they could probably be a little more carefully printed. For $29.99 though, I’m pretty happy with the inclusion of stickers at all. The Recollections planner has four sheets of stickers! Stickers help a newbie planner babe explore the wild llama-filled world of planners. Recollections covers the basics, and hopefully, these simple, cute stickers help new planners feel more confident decorating or trying out new functional spreads.
I love the stickers. I do. They are adorable. The little alpaca sticker is to die for.
Also I’m just frankly a sucker for the thematic design of this planner. It’s like it reached into me and said “I know who you are, planner girl. I know what you like.” I both love and fear it. This planner makes me wish for a simpler time when what it offers was all I would need it for. For the price point, it really is a fantastic choice.
The biggest nope for me is that the pages don’t seem to be fully separated from one another near where they are punched for the spiral coil. You have to go through each page of this planner and make sure the pages are all separated, and if they aren’t then you need to very carefully separate them. It’s super easy to rip them during this process, and 18 months is a lot of planner pages to check on.
There you have it! 2017-2018 Recollections planner review, as requested! 🙂 I’m actually giving this sweet planner away as part of my Birthday Celebration Giveaway–details are on my Instagram @plannerisma and deadline to enter the giveaway is October 7 at midnight!
Do you have the Recollections planner? Do you disagree or agree with any points in my review? Leave a comment, let’s chat! 🙂