The whole country started Christmas once the -ber months came in, but nothing screams “The Season Is Here” like Jose Mari Chan (we all love the guy) and the tough choice of picking your planner for the next year.
So what is in store after you collect those 18 stickers for the 2017 Starbucks planner? We got an early batch to check out how it holds up to your favorite writing materials (because in case you missed it, you can’t sync your digital schedule to physical paper. For now). Long story short, it is better than the 2016 Starbucks x Moleskine planner in some aspects.
This year, there are two designs and two size options, which gives you four combinations to choose from: a blue sea-inspired cover, and one filled with printed coffee stains, both with regular and large variants. Each boxed pack comes with a pouch, so you can keep your phone and pens in one place. The set also comes with an erasable pen, which works.
The personal information page is bound too close to the first page, so writing on it may be a bit awkward. But you only have to deal with it once.
Each month starts with a question, and the planner invites you to jot down your answers, take a photo, and share it with the provided hashtag, a nice encouragement which hopefully engages planner owners online.
Each month view also includes space for you to list your targets, pretty handy if you want to get fit (finally, for the nth time since 200X) by April (which you/I/we also probably wrote down last year.)
Weeks are printed at the left with note spaces to the right. The space for each day may not be enough, but the full blank page may compensate for whatever additional details that you would like to include in any daily entry.
So, how is the 2017 planner better than the 2016 version?
It is the paper.
Last year’s issue was that it was a Moleskine planner. Infamous brand of notebook with a notoriously thinning paper. Some Moleskine owners would argue that the old versions were better, while others would say that the paper was never actually good to begin with.
In our previous review, we noted that the show through could be an issue especially if you used gel pens or sign pens.
Paper is still thin for the 2017 planner, but the writing materials we used worked well on paper with no bleeding and minimal show through. For coloring materials, however, you might want to stick to colored pens and brushes. Faber Castell pencils were quite a struggle to use.
As for fountain pens, we tried out as many inks as we could. Noodler’s and De Atramentis Inks somewhat bled even with extra fine and fine nibs. Other than that, it went well. The paper also handled the flex nib doodle quite well, and didn’t bleed nor show through despite the amount of ink on paper.
Starbucks’ erasable pen is reminiscent of Pilot’s Frixion pen. It leaves down ink that resembles pencil in terms of color, but you should make sure that it is really dry before you start erasing it, or else you’ll ruin the paper. Also, it works better if you erase in straight lines, not in circles.
Also included in this year’s kit is a sheet of stickers and a magnetic bookmark. Coupons are detachable from the pages.
There is also a back pocket which we hope will be much stronger than the Moleskine one.
In summary, the Starbucks’ 2017 planner allows its users to go crazier with art: use your pens, nibs, brushes, and the paper can take it. Just use your colored pencils elsewhere. Users who usually write more entries per day might find space allotment lacking in both versions, though the blank page next to it can serve as extensions. The pen is a nice addition but please don’t use it to sign documents, and the pouch is a thoughtful inclusion to make sure that all your stuff are together.
All in all, it is a complete package that is available after 9 Christmas beverages and 9 regular drinks at your favorite Starbucks branch.
The next step, then, is up to you. Collecting starts on November 2.
Do you think the 2017 Starbucks planner is for you? What else do you want us to test it with? Let us know! We will also be giving away TWO planners to lucky readers soon.