Planner review – 7 months in

With talk of Christmas and the year seemingly whizzing by I’ve started thinking about my planner for next year. 

Like most planner addicts, I find myself looking at them a lot and I’m back to last year’s quandary of ring bound planner vs. regular planner. I haven’t made any decisions yet but thought I’d review the usage of my current setup and the planner itself. Hopefully it might help the decision making process.

The Grandluxe Executive Portfolio Planner

If you want a full rundown of this planner, the post from when I bought it is here but here’s how it’s currently looking. The thing I love most about this is the size and the ability to transport a notebook in it too, which is really handy for work.

IMG_2943The pockets are really handy but I found out quickly you can’t really keep post it notes in there without it becoming too stuffed and affecting how you write on the left hand pages.

IMG_2945The plastic wallet in the back has been very handy (but I couldn’t show it as it’s full of personal details and the such) and the back cover is very handy for keeping these stick and memos in. Because of the design of this planner you can’t really have proper pockets in the back but I don’t really feel like I’m missing out by not having them.

As you’ve probably seen in my many ‘my week’ posts the set up of the week on two pages is perfect for me. The thing I’ve missed the most is the ability to add in extra bits like to do list pages – and there wasn’t any or any note pages in the planner to begin with – which obviously I’d be able to add in with a Filofax or similar. I did manage to make my own pages using my Silhouette that could slot in but for it to work properly I needed to use card which would have filled up the planner pretty quickly.



I also haven’t liked the month at a glance pages. Partly because they break up weeks and partly because it’s only one page. I think I’d prefer it on two pages to allow me more room whether it be on the days themselves or for notes around the month.

My biggest concern about this planner though is the wear and tear.

IMG_2949This is the middle of the planner. It looks like this on both the top and bottom.

IMG_2955Again, it’s like this at the top and bottom of my planner.

Now, I haven’t exactly been wrapping it in cotton wool the seven months I’ve used this but it never goes anywhere other than a) my desk at home b) my work bag c) my desk at work. I know this isn’t a leather planner but when I noticed this (and the blackening which I can only assume is transferred from the inside of my bag) I was pretty shocked.

I guess this has made one decision for me for next year: if it’s a planner that only lasts a year (i.e. not ringbound where I change the inserts each year) think carefully about how much I spend on it. This was around £40 which isn’t that expensive but considering it’s looking pretty ropey with still four months of use left I don’t consider it great value for money.

On the question of ring bound vs. not ring bound I’m still torn. I love the flexibility of ring bound in terms of what I can put in it and I definitely want to stay A5 as I need the space but there’s not a huge amount of ring bound planners I like. The only A5 Filofax I really like is The Original but I don’t like any of the colours at the moment. I used to like the Malden but I find myself going off it. Plus, both are really quite expensive. I liked the mint green Kikki K but I hate the gold rings of the lilac one (and don’t want to get bitten by customs charges as I know some have). Paperchase’s A5 organisers seem nice but their latest designs are pretty ugly.

Something that does make me really want a Filofax or other ring bound planner is the amazing inserts available for them. I’ve found some beautiful ones on Etsy and through Instagram that I know I’d have instead of the basic Filofax ones (in fact there’s so many lovely ones I’d want a different set each month).

I guess I’m all about style over substance and I’m just going to have to keep looking for the design that strikes me the most and hope that it’s got a practical set up. I know I need a month at a glance on two pages and more room to write (or insert) weekly to do lists or aims for each week and possibly some note pages or the option to add them in but other than that, as long as it’s got a good basic set up I’m pretty easy going on what I go for. As long as it looks pretty.

Have you started thinking about next year’s planner?

Em x

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