2017 is already here. Surely, many plannerds or journal addicts like me are once again enthusiastic in playing with their own planners. Others have scrambled to collect stickers to get the planner from Starbucks. Some have bought a new Hobonichi, while some have probably bought new inserts for their Midori Travelers Notebooks. As for me, however, I’m using the 2017 Muji Planner accompany me for the rest of the new year.
The Starbucks Moleskine Planner That Was
In 2015, I was excited to learn that Starbucks collaborated with Moleskine for their 2016 planners. I got the weekly planner in white despite being concerned about the cover getting dirty in the long run. The writing experience had been fantastic since the paper was smooth. The downside, however, was that the paper was too thin.
For general writing on the planner, I used a Pilot G-Tec C3 pen. I also used other pens, like Dong-A Play On Color, Stabilo Pen G8, and Stabilo Boss for highlighting. While the G-Tec performed fine on paper, the others did not. They ghost through the paper, especially the Stabilo pens. I decorated my journal entries with stamps too, and the stamp inks heavily ghosted through. The planner, however, held watercolor surprisingly well.
Having been disappointed with the Starbucks Moleskine planner, I decided to try using a fauxdori. I got the Quest Journal and was bent on making my own inserts (will probably make a separate post on this soon). The fauxdori was a good replacement, and I loved the freedoms it afforded me since I can design inserts according to my preference. The thing is, I just didn’t have the time to always make my own inserts. And so, I switched back to the Starbucks Moleskine planner.
Wanted: Perfect Planner
For 2017, I wanted a planner that has both form and function. That said, my requirements were as follows:
- A monthly spread before each week
- A week + grid/dotted/blank layout
- Minimalist cover (preferably kraft) and pages
- The pages should hold ink well
- Should be affordable (maximum budget: PHP 1,500.00)
I was actually considering getting a Hobinichi this time, even though I wasn’t quite sure if its pages fit the bill. Then, I remembered seeing beautiful planners at Muji last year. I remembered them having lovely kraft covers and the week + grid layout! And having owned Muji notebooks before, I know their papers won’t disappoint too. So, before I bought myself a Hobonichi, I decided to check Muji’s planners first.
There were actually quite a number of planner options at Muji. They differed in sizes, color, and layout. As for me, I settled for the simplest option available, which suited my requirements of form and function.
My Muji Planner
The cover is kraft and very minimalist. The pages are also simple, printed only with what is necessary.
At the beginning of the planner are 15 blank monthly spreads. No month names are printed on the spreads. There are no numbers too.
There are 65 week + grid spreads that follow the monthly spreads. Each day has its own row, including Saturday and Sunday.
There are 7.5 grid + grid spreads at the end of the planner, perfect for doodles and other whatnots.
Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with its simple, minimalistic design. However, I wish that each month is separated by a monthly spread, instead of all the monthly spreads being placed at the beginning of the planner.
The Ink Test
The first thing I did when I got home after buying the planner was to do an ink test on it.
I wrote on the planner using a variety of pens.
I also tested the pages against stamp inks. And for better comparison, I did the same ink tests on the Starbucks Moleskine planner.
Generally, the inks wrote well on both papers. The gray Stabilo Pen 68, however, is more visible on the Muji Planner (MP) than on the Starbucks Moleskine Planner (SMP). Also, the gray Dong-A Play On Color pen, which I used to write the word “testing” had a sharper color on MP than on SMP.
Another noticeable difference were the stamps. The stamp inks seemed to have spread on SMP, thus making the edges appear thicker.
On the other side of the paper, you can clearly see that quite an amount of ink have ghosted or bled through the paper. On SMP, Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen, Pilot Hi-Tec Point V5, Dong-A Play On Color, Stabilo Boss, the self-inking stamp, and the Best Buy stamp ink didn’t fare well on the paper.
On the MP, Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen, the self-inking stamp, and the Best Buy stamp ink bled through. Pilot Hi-Tec Point V5, Dong-A Play On Color, and Stabilo Boss were also on the verge of bleeding through but still performed better compared to SMP.
FYI: the self-inking stamp had always bled through all the papers I had tried it on. I have yet to find one that can withstand its very generous ink flow.
The Muji Planner isn’t perfect, but its design has really won me over. I like that its minimalism gives me the freedom to decorate the planner however I want. Again, I wish the months are separated by a monthly spread, but it’s one trade-off I can live with.
It comes with a plastic sleeve too, so I guess that makes up for it.
Finally, the paper isn’t the best, but it’s definitely better than what was on the Starbucks Moleskine Planner. And at PHP 495.00, I’m surely one happy plannerd! I’ve been journaling on it for the last three weeks of the new year, and I’m definitely loving it!
What about you? What planner are you getting for 2017?