This planner gives me peace.
Day Designer Flagship Planner
Midyear 2017-2018, Unboxing, Flip Through, and Review
This Day Designer is the Flagship 7.5×9.75″ Midyear planner for 2017-2018.
See all the product details on the Day Designer Website.
A Good First Impression
My first impression was that this is a beautiful and very sturdy planner. Everything about it was MORE than I’d anticipated. The coil and cover appear to be more durable and heavier than I’d expected. The paper is heavier and smoother than I’d anticipated for a daily planner. The colors and foiling was more vibrant and lustrous than they appear in pictures online.
This planner is beautiful.
The Pen Test
I love a good planner, but I have a borderline obsession with pens. The very first thing I put in every new planner is my pen test. I usually use a page toward the back, but since this planner started back in June, I have plenty of dailies to play around with.
I tested a huge variety of pens. I mostly use black but do have a huge pen collection, and I like to know what I can use that I won’t regret when I turn the page. I’ve really been enjoying using my Tombow markers to color in my bullet journal, so of course I had to test those, too!
I can be a little… picky about shadowing and bleeding, so when I flipped the page I was thrilled with the results. The only ones that showed through remarkably were my black markers and Sharpies. None of the pens bled at all and had very little shadowing only when I used them to thicken lines.
I already knew I loved the layout of the daily pages because I downloaded a free printable from Day Designer to try it out. I was using them for nearly a week before I ordered.
Buying a Day Designer is an investment. However, if you’re replacing other planners and will be using it every day it is probably worth it. If you’re thinking about this, definitely try it out first.
There are two reasons I went with Day Designer over other daily planners. (1) The Monday start monthly calendar and (2) the size.
(1) Monday Start Monthly
I have been converting or DIYing my own monthly calendars for years. If I want a Monday start monthly in my main planner, I either have to purchase planners with blank monthly spreads or I have to cover the days and change the dates. I often keep a separate monthly because it’s so confusing/frustrating/annoying to change it every month. I can never understand why planners (especially weeklies) start on Sunday when every week set-up starts on Monday. I’m sure Sunday-start planners are frustrated too. I just want them to match!!!
The Flagship Day Designers have a Monday start monthly layout. Hooray! I’m not even kidding, this was a HUGE selling point for me.
(2) The Perfect Size
I have been going between a Classic Happy Planner and the Big Happy Planner for several months. While I love my HPs, even the big one doesn’t have enough room for me to write what I want without breaking up the lines.
It’s not just that my handwriting can be huge and loopy (it is), it’s that I have a lot to write down! My weekly plans include schedules for the five people in my family, work to-do’s, home to-do’s, school assignments, personal goals, and food tracking. Oh, the food tracking. That NEVER fits in the box!
I knew I needed more space if I was going to consolidate my planners, and since I’ve already been using a small page-a-day, I knew my pages would have to be close to letter size.
With the simple design of the daily pages, I have plenty of room to write what I want. The columns are wide, and the spacing is similar to college ruled notebook paper (which I love from my composition planning days!). My only issue now is deciding what to put where! But that’s the fun part.
There are a few other design features I want to mention:
The pages are printed in gray.* This is lovely. I love the lighter lines because it makes my own writing stand out. Dark ink with black writing can look crowded and messy, and that makes my day feel crowded and messy. The light contrast is beautiful and a very nice touch.
*Note for people deciding: The freebies print in black ink. I was so pleased when I saw the actual pages were not so stark.
I love the notes pages. They are broken into three lists. There is one on the last page and one only on months that end on the left side – making the notes page the back of the first page of the monthly layout. I almost wish there were more notes pages, but with so much space each day, I probably won’t need them anyway.
This planner has a lot of white space. I’ll be honest, I need more white space in my life. The times of stickering up every inch of my planner is gone. There is still plenty of space to decorate – the monthly and daily spreads have room for stickers and washi. (I mean, there’s always room for stickers and washi, right?)
For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll share something I don’t love.
Each page contains a quote. I don’t like quotes in planners. Apparently I’m in the minority on this because it seems all the top planners come with quotes. I am by nature a little defiant. I don’t like my planner to tell me what to do.
I have to say, though, I can overlook these. I haven’t read every one, but they don’t seem to be repetitive, and they are small and unobtrusive – not printed large on the dividers or up the side of the page. I may or may not put washi over them. That’s yet to be seen.
Overall, I am very happy with the purchase of this planner. It came a day early in a pretty box that I can use. It is a sturdy planner that appears to be well made and durable. The colors and foiling is lovely, and the inside design is simple, beautiful, and organized.
I know that I will enjoy using this planner because I’ve already been using the printable daily pages. Keep an eye out for my next post where I’ll share my Day Designer set-up and how I consolidated my 5 deep planner stack.
Looking for a different daily planner? Check out The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley.