Recollections Planner from Michaels

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.

Function

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Aesthetics/Design

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Fit

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.

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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.

Loves

I love the stickers. I do. They are adorable. The little alpaca sticker is to die for.

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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.

Nopes

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! 🙂

xo
Ara

bloom daily planner

bloom daily planners is a versatile planner with prices ranging from $15–30 and products designed for grade school students learning how to plan and organize for the first time to moms trying to keep track of busy schedules in a bright and happy tool. The founders of bloom, Kaylyn Minix and Michelle Trincia, clearly spell out their company’s mission on their website:

“We understand that a planner is more than just a planner – it’s a diary of your past and a stepping stone to your future. There is true power in putting your dreams and goals down onto paper, and there always will be. It is through prioritizing and organizing your tasks and goals that you plant the seeds of your future and give yourself the opportunity to flourish and grow.”

I love this small paragraph–it succinctly states the mission of the company and it explains why paper planners are still important tools. As you can see, they stick to the theme of “bloom,” to the point where it is defined in the first pages of the planner:
bloom (v.) – To grow or flourish with youth and vigor. To shine or glow.”

I know that bloom has been around for quite a while–I even remember buying a planner from them on Amazon for my little cousin when she was in college a couple of years ago. But I could not find anywhere on their website the date for when they launched! Either way, they offer a huge selection of planners. They have academic and calendar-year planners with around 30 cover options to choose from. They have small soft cover planners (6″ wide (with binding) x 8.25″ tall x .4″ thick, 10 oz.) for $15.95, hardbound versions (6″ wide (with binding) x 8.25″ tall x .6″ thick, 12.7 oz.) for $19.95, and vision planners with a little more content (7.5″ wide x 9″ tall, 1 lb 2oz) for $24.95. bloom also carries multiple types of planners, from academic year, calendar year, vision planners, undated teacher planners, wedding planners, and more.

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bloom’s vision board, from their website: https://bloomplanners.com/pages/whatisbloom

I will be reviewing the 2017-2018 bloom planner, softcover.

Function

bloom planners are weekly planners (despite the company name of “bloom daily planner”) in a horizontal layout. There is a lot of room on the page to write down school assignments, notes for each day, a list of To-Dos, reminders, etc. The lined spaces provide flexibility and function. I found that the space adjacent to each number (in pink) is great for writing big reminders for the day. Each weekly spread also includes the month and year at the top right, as well as a mini monthly overview. Sometimes there are questions, messages, or challenges dappled into the weekly layout, as well.

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bloom planners also include monthly spreads on two pages. Major holidays and important dates are flagged in pink (check out the cute detailing for September 22, the first day of Fall!). There is also a section for Monthly Goals and Notes, and a tiny month-at-a-glance for the month preceding the current month and the month following it. The monthly pages are bright, pink, and cheerful. Weekends are shaded in pink, as well. Each monthly spreads includes a motivational quip, like September’s “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

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There are also several pages at the front of the bloom planner that cover things to do, class schedule, contacts (addresses & numbers), notes, and a vision board. There are several notes pages and things to do pages in the planner, ideal for jotting down quick notes, drafting your class schedule for the next term, or keeping a running to-do list of important tasks.

 

Aesthetics/Design

This planner is designed to be cute, portable, and feminine. The specific planner I have, the academic planner in the Vintage Floral pattern, has bright pink accents throughout. The paper is okay–nothing to write home on or about but it can handle a standard ballpoint pen. But you aren’t buying this planner for the quality of its paper–for $15 or less, this planner provides lots of content pages, portability, and an aesthetic statement. It’s a budget planner that still has personality, which isn’t always easy to find.

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The planner’s coil is a strong coppery plastic (it feels like plastic, but it could be thin metal wiring coated in a thick plastic), but the quality increases with the hardcover version and the vision planner. The interior covers (front and back) have built-in pockets as well as year-at-a-glance calendars. Corners are rounded and the planner is thin enough to slip into your backpack, purse, or even on-the-go bag. Portability and lightness are part of this planner’s appeal. There are several different cover designs, but they all veer towards a cute, playful interior. This is not a Board meeting planner. This is a planner you pull out of your school bag to jot down the week’s homework or write in social engagements. It’s a fun, inexpensive option and is completely self-aware about it.

Fit

Honestly, this planner is best for students or moms who are trying to keep track of their children’s school schedules. The planner has a class list section, which is meant for tracking your weekly schedule and the time, class, professor, and room. There are four pages for you class schedule, which I appreciate. Not everyone is on a Semester system–for instance, I went to a university on the Quarter system, which has four terms instead of two.

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This planner also includes a couple of contact sheets for jotting down group study information if you’re in college, or for keeping in touch with other parents involved in your kid’s playdates and sleepovers. It’s a great, inexpensive option for your child’s first planner. Someone could proudly tote this around in 5th grade, middle school, high school, and/or college. If you have a child who desperately wants their own planner but you’re worried about shelling out a lot of money for something that might get destroyed, try finding a bloom planner on Amazon. The multiple cover options allow you to choose an aesthetic that best fits your style.

I mocked up a weekly spread with my schedule in early August of 2017 to illustrate how someone might use the bloom planner:

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Mock-up of my schedule during the first week of August.

Loves

I really like how the bloom planner has lots of space in its weekly layout. The planner maximizes space and provides tons of lines for writing out to-dos, schedules, reminders, etc. I also like the pink flag reminders in each monthly spread and the generous amount of things to do checklists and notes pages. The variety of cover options is great, as is the portability and size. This planner has an excellent price point, and if you are planning on a budget but still want some extras, look no further.

Nopes

The bright pink interior just isn’t for me. I appreciate bloom’s dedication to a feminine, cheerful interior layout that corresponds with their pink daisy logo, really I do. I can get on board with a consistent aesthetic. But this planner simply doesn’t fit my needs–if I were in high school, however, I could see coveting this planner and using it for all my homework assignments. Also the name “bloom daily planner” confuses me, because it is a weekly planner.


There you have it! My review for the affordable & adorable bloom daily planner. Do you have a bloom planner? Are you a #bloomgirl? Leave a comment! 🙂

xo
Ara