Friday, December 12, 2014

Sugar Paper Planner Comparison & Thank You to SweetSimplifiedLife

First, I wanted to quickly thank the really lovely YouTuber SweetSimplifedLife.  I recently began following her and was even fortunate enough to win one of her giveaways! She sent me this pretty pink and gold 15"x12" wall calendar (similar).  It's got nice big spaces to write all our activities in and plenty of room for notes too.  I love the pretty script font used for the months! Thank you so much!

The then new planner & calendar line by Sugar Paper at Target was how I found her channel, as I was looking for reviews.  Her video gave me a sneak peek at the new products for 2015, even though technically they had been released, they were late in arriving at my local Targets.  At first I felt 1) odd that I was the weird planner stalker lady and 2) somewhat relieved by the YouTubers sharing their Sugar Paper hauls.  I wasn't the only person anxiously awaiting these planners!

I used their pink 8.5"X11" planner last year and I really liked the size, basically it's like a spiral notebook.  I get so many schedules and notes from my kids' schools that it's easiest to clip them to the back cover for quick reference.  The plastic covers are sturdy enough to hold everything securely. I like having everything all in one place without having to cut down or fold any of the notes they bring home from their teachers.  While it is bigger than many other planners, since it's spiral bound I'd just fold it in half and still be able to see my entire week at a glance.

I also liked last year's format, shown above, which had the week all on one side and then a full page for notes on the other.  This was great for making lists and planning.  All in all, it was an inexpensive but well laid out planner that wasn't plain jane like other planners in the same price range.  For me, that's what made the Sugar Paper products such an anticipated buy for 2015.

I'm not as happy with the new planner layout.  Now the days of the week are spread out over both sides and the weekend days only get half as much space as the weekdays.  There is only one full page for notes at the very end of the planner.  I think Sugar Paper might have switched over to this format for it's weekly layout because it does seem to be more of a standard layout and is similar to the one Kate Spade uses. Also, I preferred the dates to be extra large, like in 2014,  That works a lot better for the visually challenged, like me!  

After taking a look at the offerings this year I did select this design, because it came with a pink interior, but am not sure if I'll keep it.  I won't want to use it if the front gets all gunked up and the front piece is white with gold polka dots.  It's just cardstock weight and not laminated like the 2014 front page was, so I anticipate the white page getting bent up and stained.  Yes it's certainly beautiful, but will it stay that way even with the plastic over protectors?

The main points in favor of the 2015 planner are:
  • Sturdy plastic covers - these are now a frosted & semi transparent versus the full opaque pink color so I'm already worried about them getting dirty looking.
  • Laminated month tabs - same as last year
  • Full month at a glance - nice large format that covers both sides of the page
  • Daily entries now have lines to write on
  • Size - slightly larger than 8.5X11, still perfect for adding notes and schedules that come from school etc without having to cut down or fold.
  • More aesthetically pleasing but perhaps at the detriment of durability & extra reference sheets, see below for more on this
  • Pink is the main interior design color - this is my personal preference versus navy blue or gold.  Glad they provided color choices!
  • Inexpensive cost, $9.99
Drawbacks to the 2015 planner:
  • Thin pages - bleed through and ghosting possible, this is the same as last year
  • Front piece is no longer laminated - by this I mean the first page you see when you turn the thick plastic cover.
  • White front piece - is likely to be easily damaged, bent, etc. mine came with a very slight blemish already on it and the other two at the store were already significantly marked up
  • No "Yearly Overview" page - in the 2014 version an over view page of 2014 & 2015 was provided on the back of the front piece.
  • No "Quick Reference" sheet for important addresses - I liked to add doctor & school information here, to make calling for appointments easier
  • No "States, Capitals & Time Zones" page - I don't really need this but wanted to note that versus last year this feature is missing, without any thing really replacing it.
  • No weekly full page for notes - only one full blank lined page in the entire planner
  • Weekend daily entries are half the size of weekday entries
  • Dates - printed in a significantly smaller size
  • Font - again this is personal, but I wish they'd have used the same pretty cursive font as on the calendar I won, for the months instead of the all capital font they selected.  

All that being said, overall, the 2015 8.5"X11" Sugar Paper planner still delivers an on trend and attractive planner for a very reasonable price.  There is a lot to love, while still some drawbacks.  Not my perfect dream planner and I don't like it nearly as much as last year, but still a nice fit for just $10!


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