So I ended up getting the planner I had been eyeing up on the Chapters/Indigo site. My mom actually bought it for me as part of my birthday present and I was super eager to start using it, until she said “Doesn’t this planner start in January?”. I am the type of person that even though I am detailed oriented, sometimes I miss the important details when I get excited. So she was correct, as I eagerly opened it up to look inside, it does indeed start in January. So I figured I would give my first impressions and details of the planner, just in case one of you have been trying to decide whether or not to buy, or in case you have not heard of the Orange Circle Studio planner before.
Planner Name: Weekly Orange Circle Studio 2017 HC Spiral Planner in Seafoam.
Price:This planner is a rather inexpensive planner at $21.99 Canadian (Chapters/Indigo).
Size: 11.25″ high by 9″ wide (including coil) and is approx. 1/2″ thick.
Cover: Hard Cardboard with Foil Lettering
Includes: One sticker page with 315 stickers (more details on these below)
This planner includes many of the same standard pages other planners are offering such as, Intro Page, Holiday Listings, Year At A Glance, Month At A Glance, Weekly Pages, Note Pages, and Contact Pages. I will go through the set up of these below and talk a bit about my first impression of each.
The first page you see when you open the planner is not the this planner belongs to page, but the sticker page instead. If you have used the OCS planners before, you know they include small square icon stickers (1/2″x 1/2″)of typical appointments & events. The stickers for this planner are very similar to their other planners but they are a white background with neutral icon. The icon stickers include, Birthday, Holiday, Special Occasion, Vacation, Weekend Getaway, Party, Family Event, Business Trip, Lunch Date, Meeting, Doctor, Dentist, Veterinarian, Appointment, Don’t Forget, Star. In my past OCS planners I did not use these icon stickers and I probably won’t in this one. The last time I used one of their planners was before I was into planning with stickers, but I have never really liked the look of the square icon stickers. I do however like that the stickers are the first page in the planner. If you did choose to use them, there would be easy to locate, and wouldn’t have to flip through pages looking for them. The other OSC planners I have used have been smaller and had vertical columns for each day with a smaller writting area. Since this planner is larger maybe I will use the icons.
The second and third pages are the intro pages. One is just a repeat of the front cover and the other is the standard, this planner belongs to, and in case of an emergency contact. Am I the only one who never fills out this info? I probaly should consider doing it just in case I were to loose my planner.
The next page is the 2017 Holidays. I appreciate that it includes American, Canadian, and International Holidays. I get annoyed when planners use strictly one country’s holidays. I know it would be impossible to include every holiday in the world, but really is it that difficult to include the Canadian and large International Holidays.
Next you open up to the 2016 and 2017 annual calendars. The bottom inch of the pages have spaces for notes. This space I will probably never use, and sitting here I can’t think of anything I could imagine someone using it for. I suppose I could write out the weekends I am supposed to work for the year, but I could just highlight them as well. Comment below if you are a person that uses the note spots on the bottom of calendar pages, and what you use them for.
The next few pages are your monthly calendar spreads. These pages use two pages for every month, so you get a really large month view. There is also a column on the right side page for notes. This notes section I can see myself using. The day boxes are approx. 2″ x 2″ and include holidays written in them for all the holidays written in the beginning of the book. I like that the holidays are written in small print and do not take up much of the box. I also love how much space is in each box. This will give me plenty of space to write in birthdays and events both work and personal. One thing I am on the fence about, is how the monthly calendar pages are all together. I am used to having the calendar page directly before the start of the weekly pages for that month. Not sure how I am going to feel having them all together, but we shall see.
After the monthly pages the weekly pages begin. The weekly pages begin the last two weeks of December (most likely because the first of January begins on a Sunday) The weekly pages are honestly the reason I wanted this planner. It was the first planner I have seen that shows two weeks together when it is laid open. I am used to my Happy Planner that is one week on two pages. Besides my Day Designer that was a page per day, every planner I have used has been one week on two pages. I purchased this planner to be my work planner. As I have said in my past posts, my job is hectic, and sometimes I need to plan my weeks by looking at the next week. Most of my days at work are taken up by a to-list and meetings and although I like the vertical planning in my happy planner there just isn’t enough space for my day. Week days in this planner has an approx. 4″ x 3 ” box with ten lines to write on. The weekends share a box, which will be difficult for me when I work my weekend, but I don’t usually have as big of to-do list on the weekends. Each day has a colour band across the top of it in a neutral colour. I am not in love with the neutral colours but for a work planner I don’t think I will care too much. There are different shades of blue, gray, brown, yellow, green, and purple. I much prefer the purples, blues, and grays to the other colours.
The planner is a one year planner so it ends nicely on December 31st, 2017 which happens to be on a Sunday (since I can be a bit OCD this makes me happy) The page following the last weekly page is a list of the dates of the 2018 holidays. I wish holiday pages told you what weekday the holiday falls on, I think that would be super helpful, but the page next to the holidays is a 2018 calendar, so I suppose I could not be lazy and just look it up for myself.
I was happily surprised by the next to pages. Honestly the pages at the end of the planner, I never tend to use but this planner has two pages dedicated to Notes for 2018. The pages are divided out into blocks like the weekly page blocks but are for each month. I know Erin Condren includes pages that you can fill out Birthdays and Anniversaries for the year and I think that she has even includes in either a booklet so you can move it or an insert so you can clip it in. However that is not what I will be using these pages for. If you have read any of my past blogs you may know I am the manager of a retail store. The store I work for the sales are very seasonally based and each month we take note of when to order certain products next year, or what promotions we want to run again next year. These pages are perfect for that. Although once filled out I am not sure how I would carry them to next years planner (but knowing me I will be in a completely different planner by then 🙂 )
The planner ends with 30 pages for notes and 11 contact pages with space for 14 contacts on each page. These are pages I am sure I will not use. I even ended up using a contact page to do my pen tests on, because I know I am not the type of person to write contacts in the back of my planner. I may rip out some of these pages and just leave one or two in. As for the notes pages I am not sure what I will use those for, or I will at all since the weekly pages do have large spaces for my to-do lists.
If you are still here, one last thing I want to do before I give my overall feelings on the planner, is the paper quality and pen test. The paper is thin. I am not going to lie, the paper is not super great quality. Would I call it ok quality..sure. I used a bunch of pens I typically use in planners and only one type bled through and that was only in places where I paused on the word (at the beginning of letters). However every pen including basic Bic pens show shadows. I will say though, that I tend to press pretty hard when I write, it has always been a bad habit of mine. See the photo of my pen test for more info on how the paper held up to each pen.
My final thoughts on my first impression of this planner. I personally got this planner because of the weekly spreads and how I hope it will help me be more productive at work. Because of that I think I am more forgiving for paper quality. Since it is not going to be a decorative planner I am hoping the shadows from pens won’t bother me. I think the cardboard cover would not hold up if you were throwing it in and out of your purse all the time. However with the size of it, I don’t see myself carrying it around all the time. The coil is small because it doesn’t need to include as many piece of paper as a planner that has a weekly spread on two pages. I think the coil will hold up well because of its notebook size, plus I may even leave this notebook at work on my desk to try to keep work at work (see if that actually happens) Since I don’t plan to do decorating to this planner I like that is has clean lines and doesn’t have quotes or designs on the pages. One of my complaints of my Happy Planner is that because I choose to decorate it heavily, I don’t feel comforable taking it into business meetings. I think this planner will be perfect for that, it isn’t dull with the gold foiling and pretty colours, but it isn’t too scrapbookish like my other planners. All in all I think that this planner will work for the purpose I have it planned for, but I guess I will have to wait till January to find out for sure!