The Planner Society Kit Review

The Planner Society Kit Review header image.

I wanted to do a kit review for the Planner Society for a while now. I’ve been getting this kit for a few months, and every time I was just too excited and tore into things before sitting down to take some proper photos. This month, though, the kit arrived a few days earlier than expected, and I convinced myself this meant I can wait long enough before playing to take some quick photos. Please enjoy August’s Planner Society kit!

Box labelled "scarlet lime Planner Society"

The kit arrived in this adorable box, which is both wonderful and terrible. It’s great because it’s so cute and very easy to open and reuse to store the pieces of the kit while I organize myself, but it’s almost too cute to throw out!

Opened box with text "hello Planner Society girl" written on the inner lid. A colourful envelope is inside.

I love being greeted with “hello Planner Society girl” when I open my monthly kit, but Mr. Martie watched this time and wondered whether there were any sad planner boys out there. I haven’t met any that are vocally into decorating their planners, but surely..??

I snapped this photo without disturbing anything, including the packet of pen refills that sat mysteriously atop. I think this was because I had a loose pen refill in the envelope – this may have been a replacement for a broken packet?

A look inside an envolpe filled with stationary.

This is always the best part – peeking into the envelope! I took this for you even before I started pawing about greedily. I love the colours for this month. Vibrant yellows, greens, and pinks are absolutely my thing, and I was thrilled with the theme.

A pile of stationary items, including a pen, washi tape, stamps, and a colourful clip.

The kit spilled out onto my desk! What would you reach for first?

A pen laying atop sticker sheets.

The pen is always the most exciting thing for me. This month’s design was really cute, though I preferred the previous version of the crown pen, which had a shorter tip. For my tiny hands, the shorter the front part of the pen is, the more control I feel I have. I did appreciate the additional refills, though!

There were five mini sticker sheets this month to go along with a sticker sheet/embellishment album. One of the reasons that I got myself the subscription is to actually learn to use my supplies – so instead of hoarding these they will definitely be used. Having five sheets means a lot of decoration is coming my way!

Journaling cards.

This month’s journaling cards matched the stickers, and I loved the colours. I preferred the rounded corners that came with the kit a few months ago, but I really liked how bright these were. I’ll be rounding and laminating them myself.

Colourful paper embellishments.

The embellishments! I’ll probably laminate my favourites out of these as well, and then use washi to stick them here and there. I really like the fact that the planner girls are purposefully left blank so you can colour the skin and hair colour in yourself to whatever you’d like.

Wooden embellishments.

This month included some gorgeous wooden embellishments. I haven’t used these before, but I think I may add them to a shaker dashboard I’ve been meaning to make from the confetti in a previous kit:

A small pot of spilled confetti atop colourful paper.

This is the confetti from last month, including a little container I wrapped in that month’s washi tape as well. I think this month’s wooden embellishments will really work well with the cute colours in the confetti!

Two rolls of washi tape and a decorative flower clip.

Back to this month’s kit! The clip is from The Creative Bee who partnered with the Planner Society. Love that glitter! I wish the green pieces were laminated, or plastic, because I can see myself creasing those lovely leaves.

This month also featured two rolls of washi; I adore the bright happy yellow floral so much!

Colourful tabs, label stickers, and stamps with the days of the week and numbers.

These are a few of the more “practical” items; tabs, labels, and stamps. The tabs are wonderful, as I am perpetually making a mess of adding tabs to my dividers. I had these in a previous kit and they made things so much easier. I laminated the dividers before adding the provided label stickers, and was able to restick the stickers when I changed my mind, too. Love that!

The stamps this month are also really great for me. They feature a little banner with room for the day of the week and date. It’s frustrating writing the day for every page on printables, so these will help. I’m also really looking forward to using this in my journal! These stamps are really quite tiny, too – almost the same size as regular handwriting.

A pen laying atop colourful sticky notes.

This month’s sticky notes! There’s a good deal of room to do my writing, which always makes me really happy. I’m a stickler for the stickiness of sticky notes (hah!), though – I find that nothing short of Post-Its reaches my high standards. These notes are not as sticky as I’d like; I stuck one to a cabinet in the kitchen and almost lost it in the oven. No issues when sticking them onto paper though – thankfully no curling, which drives me batty! So they’re perfect for your planner, as intended!

A leather album with clip closure.

This month’s “surprise item” was a small wallet for stickers or embellishment. There are 20 pages to slip something in, each page being a little larger than a credit card. They’re big enough for the sticker sheets that came with the kit, but I’ve crammed this wallet full of my embellishments. I used to store those in a larger 4×6 photo album, but found it hard to fish them out of the pockets. Stuffed full like I have it, this little album doesn’t close, but that’s fine by me. It seems very sturdy, and the cover and button are tough. I can see this being a great thing to slip into your purse, too.

A sticky note with writing on it.

Lastly, a quick preview of the pen! As you can see, it does get a little bit scratchy at times, but again, I am a ridiculous purist about these things and have a personal preference for medium tipped pens. The ink is a wonderful dark black.

And, as an added bonus, you can also have the Green Tea Frap recipe that I scribbled above as a test for the pen! See the end of this post for it!

I’m a fan of the Planner Society kit – it’s a kit with a broad range of items, and many of them feel “practical” in making my planner work for me. They’re beautifully designed, and the quality is high. The kit comes to around $45 CAD including shipping, and for me, it definitely makes sense. It’s much cheaper than ordering similar items separately, or buying the pieces at Michael’s. I also love the fact that the creator posts sneak peeks throughout the month on her Instagram. Getting these sneak peeks sustains my desire for acquiring new craft items, and has definitely helped keep the craft budget in check! (That and the fact that I promised myself not to set foot in a Micheal’s while I’m subscribed to the kit! So far so good!!)

Are you subscribed to any planner kits? Which are your favourites??





Martie’s Melty Matcha Mix:

Blend the following:

1 cup ice

1 cup milk (I use So Delicious soy milk)

2 teaspoons vanilla matcha (I get mine from DavidsTea)

2 teaspoons of pure matcha (Again, DavidsTea!)

1/2 teaspoon agave or honey

120 mL vanilla ice cream

Enjoy! (I tend to like my matcha drinks fairly light on sweetness, so this may not be to everyone’s taste!)



“Why do you have more than one planner?”

"Why do you have more than one planner?" at

I’ve both seen and personally gotten questions like this: “Why do you have more than one planner?” “What do you put in them all?” “Why don’t you just use your phone?” and “How do you keep them all updated?” I know I’m not the only one! Today I thought I would write out a list of the planners I’m using, and what’s actually in them. I hope this post will answer most of these questions!

I had hoped to do this as part of my planner walk-through series, but I think this will be a bit more comprehensive! Be warned, it’s fairly dense!

"Desk" written atop a planner.





Desk Planner
This is an A4 with five tabs:

  • Day
  • Week
    • This is the page that I typically keep this planner open to on my desk – sometimes straying into Day or Month depending on how busy things are!
  • Month
  • To Do
    • Short term tasks that I’m not sure the order of, or whether I’ll be able to squeeze them into a given week.
  • My Tasks
    • Longer goals – typically projects to undertake around the house.

This planner stays open on my desk, and I glance in it constantly during the course of my day.

"Purse" written atop a planner.





Purse Planner
This is another A4 with six tabs:

  • Personal Information
    • This has contact information, and any info that I need when out. (Coupon codes, etc.)
  • Schedule
    • A schedule for busy days. I plan this ahead of time, and list any addresses or phone numbers that I’ll need at a glance when running errands.
    • I also move the week (or two) from my desk planner here to take with me.
  • To Buy
    • A simple shopping list, updated as things run out.
  • To Do
    • A list of errands that I need to run that aren’t urgent and can be done when I’m in a given area.
  • Notes
    • Who doesn’t need a notebook when they’re out?
  • Purchases
    • A multi-purpose section. I jot down purchases here to transfer into my budget software later if they don’t come with a receipt. I also have a pocket for receipts to file, coupons, and giftcards.

This is the planner that goes everywhere with me!

"Home" written atop a planner.





Home Planner
This is an A5 planner that lives in “neutral” territory in the kitchen – that way neither Mr. Martie nor I are digging in each others’ desks for it! It has six sections:

  • Monthly
    • Used to keep each other appraised of various family dinners/shopping trips, etc. We used to use a digital calendar for this, but found it frustrating trying to juggle various operating systems/environments, and our personal and shared appointments.
  • Weekly
    • This is where this planner usually lies open. One page features the days of the week, where we plan out groceries/trips to the gym/errands, and another page is lined sites. There we leave each other notes/suggestions which get copied into our personal planners as we take responsibility for them. We’ll also jot shopping list items there when it’s not convenient to grab our “outside” planners.
    • This section also has, on journaling cards, the chores that we do seasonally. We have four cards for each of the seasons, and they’re distributed throughout the year. These get moved from week to week as we work on the list during that specific season.
  • Chores
    • Our chore charts! The master list of the annual chores resides there, as well as our individual monthly/weekly/daily lists. These get copied into our own planners in whatever way works for us individually.
  • Lists
    • A very multi-purpose section, which includes single pages such as:
      • Answers to Common Household Questions! – “How many cups of water does the ice tea pitcher hold??” “What are the default settings on the rice cooker??” and other silly things that we found ourselves needing to figure out every few weeks.
      • Shared To Dos – things that aren’t exactly chores, but things that we want to do together at some point. Renewing our first aid classes is next on the list!
      • Logins – when we need to look something up and the other isn’t around. A bit of a warning here: this it not recommended for sensitive information! We do not have people walking through our kitchen, and this planner never leaves the house, so we’re fairly comfortable having this out. But if you don’t want your kids’ friends logging into your blog/email/netflix account, you probably don’t want to leave this kind of information in a busy place!
  • Meal Plan
    • Pretty self explanatory! So far this is just a weekly list, including a side list of things that we have that need to get eaten that week so recipe planning is easier, and so when we grab a spontaneous snack it isn’t something that expires in the distant future. I’d like to work on a better system some day!
  • Finances
    • For a bit there I was trying to manage our budget without the use of software, but it got to be a bit too much. Nevertheless, written out here is a list of our expense categories, and how much we expect to spend on each category monthly and annually. There’s also a section where we tuck receipts in as soon as we come home, and I add these every week to the budgeting software.
      I also use this section to keep track of planner box subscriptions and our Chef’s Plate deliveries. Fun!

"Creativity" written atop a planner.





Creativity Planner
Another A5, this is a work in progress and currently only has two sections:

  • Blog
    • Ideas for entries, a schedule that I (fail to) keep to, and a list of goals that I’d like to accomplish on!
  • Book Review
    • A section to manage book review lists and submission deadlines.

This is a planner I definitely want to expand upon, but it’s taken a back seat (in a very very long car) to some of the other more urgent planners. I want to add my gardening information here, eventually. Basically – this is where I manage my fun!

"Life" written atop a planner.





Life Planner
This A5 planner is a doozy, which now has six tabs. Originally I had tried to put everything related to my life in it – all my tasks and my creative plans and my household projects and my health information and my passwords and my gardening planner and and and it started to get really hard to close. Or even turn the pages.

The current tabs are:

  • Calendar
    • This is not a calendar of events or appointments, but rather it’s for all those things that I need to know such as “when did I last..?” or “when should I next..?” I primarily use it to manage my plants, my kombucha brewing, and my starter yeast feeding. This is on a weekly page layout.
  • Health
    • Summaries of visits to doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Any health information that I want to keep track of.
  • Activities
    • This is primarily lists, and includes things like “Events of the Year” and “Sick Days.” The latter so we know how much time has been taken off work, and the prior being a list of what date we did things such as change the batteries in the smoke detector, when we opened/closed any accounts, when we used a call at CAA, etc. A list of all the little things that don’t quite fit anywhere else, but need to be find-able.
  • Followup
    • This section, when I put it together, was such a wonderful life-changer. This is where I put all the scraps and bits and pieces that I want to follow up on. For example, where previously I had a pile of papers on my desk that included promotional coupons, alumni mailings, stacks of cards from an expo or festival, scrawled URLs, menus, not-yet-registered loyalty cards, now I have a checklist, and a pocket for things I can’t toss.
      Any relevant information gets written into the checklist, and the original paper is tossed. I no longer hold on to alumni newsletters for months because they have all the relevant information about a lecture series I want to attend at the end of the year, and I’m not there in my planner sheets yet. This is a catch-all that has replaced piles of junk and it’s made me so much happier.
  • Homework
    • A tongue in cheek section which holds information about more labour intensive tasks that I need to do, often related to learning goals.
  • Passwords
    • I know, I know. But I figure that having them in a binder on my desk in an office nobody visits is a lot safer than having them saved over a million browser password managers, right?

This exploding planner is, ultimately, why I seem to have wound up with so many planners; the physical limitations of binder rings that don’t magically expand, and the terror that Mr. Martie’s face showed any time I told him “Oh, that’s in my planner, help yourself!” when he asked a question I was too busy to look up.

I think that answers “Why do you have more than one planner?” pretty well! I find planners to be a very useful thing in many aspects of my life, and I’ve found that they decrease paper clutter enormously for me. I love the versatility that the ring bound system offers me especially, because I can move beyond what is typically found in a planner and really customize to suit my individual needs.

I hope reading about the planner sections I have has given you some ideas for your planner – or maybe given you the excuse you need to buy another one! As always, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!







A tiny Kate Spade Wellesley Planner Review

A Kate Spade card holder and keychain atop a planner.

This past weekend I visited a Kate Spade outlet store for the first time! I was mostly curious about seeing if there were any purses that caught my eye (oh my yes!), and figured that there may be a tiny chance that they’d have a Wellesley planner in stock. They did! A ton of black ones, and one last pink one in the back! Guess which I got?

Pink Kate Spade Wellesley planner with pen atop.

I’d seen these planners on Pinterest and Instagram, and the slew of pockets and zip around closure appealed to me a great deal for a purse planner. I love my little kikki.K, but I sometimes worry something will fall out of it. I tend to do a lot of tucking of slips of this and that when I’m out.

I’ve already moved, and I think the Wellesley is going to suit me just fine. It’s a little longer than the kikki.K, but a touch narrower. The pockets can hold all the cards/coupons/parking tickets that I may need to grab on the fly.

Interior pockets of a Kate Spade Wellesley planner..

I also loved the quality of the paper in the inserts that came with it. My experience with kikki.K paper is that it’s apparently made of tissue, and while my Filofax paper immediately went to Mr. Martie for his planner, it seemed really good. (Yes, I converted him, though he’s not on the decorating bandwagon.)

The inserts were fairly standard, with a week on a two page spread with the months interspersed throughout on their own two page spreads. Additionally, there were birthday, restaurant, address, and to do and notes pages. I liked the designs, too – the calendar pages were nice and neat, and the additional pages all had a cute graphic that didn’t take up too much page real-estate.

Opened Kate Spade Wellesley planner with lined paper and pen.

I’m pretty pleased, though this has started a bit of an avalanche effect in my planner system. This may be a good thing, though – my “main” A5 was fairly exploding under the weight of everything I’d crammed into it. It was actually getting really hard to even fold it closed… I’ll do an updated entry on what my system is in a few days! I’m really happy with it, and while I’d love to put everything into one planner, it just doesn’t work for me.

Oh, and of course, I picked up a few other goodies while I was there, too.

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-251" src="http://martie view×1024.jpeg” alt=”Two bangle bracelets with bows atop a roll of washi tape.” width=”780″ height=”780″ srcset=”×1024.jpeg 1024w,×150.jpeg 150w,×500.jpeg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />

Anyone else have planners they always carry? Let me know!



#washiwednesday Collection!

I’ve been busy with work lately, but thought I’d put up a few of my Instagram photos for #washiwednesday! It’s always a gorgeous tag to peek at, and a lot of fun to take photos for! All the tape below is from Michael’s, except in the last image – which is a bonus peek at my whole collection!

Gold, pink, and mint washi.

This roll is probably my favourite! It’s light and delicate, and the mint brings the colour scheme in my teal planner to a more pastel realm! I’ve also snuck in two tapes from different sets!

Rainbow watercolour washi stack on a desk.

Whenever I have a really busy day, I tend to turn to these rainbow watercolour tapes. They’re really vibrant and make a task list much more cheerful! (They seem to get used every weekend…!)

White washi with green leaves surrounded by fresh lavender.

I think these two tapes were the first I got at Michael’s. They’re so delicate and beautiful. I’ve used small snippets of them to create stems for punch-cut flowers.

An irregular stack of colourful washi.

And this is just a stack of colourful silliness. I tend to save these for special days, such as birthdays.

Washi tape in a box.

And this is the box that I’ve allocated for my washi! I’m limiting myself to what I can fit in here, and no more! It’s getting tricky – I could probably still pile some on top of the rolls and manage to close the lid…..? (Most of those are from Micheal’s, but the majority of the second row from the bottom hails from Tchibo years ago, and a few on the bottom row I got from online stationary shops.)

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear about your favourite washie – if you have photos, even better!


Victoria Day Weekend in my Garden!

Lilac blossoms.

May was such a busy month for us, not least of which was Victoria Day weekend, during which my family typically does all our garden planning and planting for the year.



We don’t tend to have many flowers – no room! – but this year I finally got these little things. The smell is amazing, like soft honey, and I love looking at their cheerful little blooms. We still haven’t actually planted these in the ground. I really should have thought about space a bit more!


Fern sprouts.


The ferns unrolling is one of my favourite gardening moments. They were such a surprise when I first found them years ago – I had no idea what the big brown knotted thing in the ground was.

The most exciting part of the garden, for me, is the herb patch. I love the variety, and the fact that I can pop out there and pick something that changes the entire flavour of dinner, or make a nice tea that will help with upset stomachs. (Nevermind simply sitting there and smelling the lavender!)


French lavender.


I have both French and English lavender – the English, I find, holds a bit more aroma, but the French (above), has lovely long stems that make for beautiful dried bunches.


Golden sage.


Two varieties of sage this year – this one a golden one which looks beautiful. I love using this when I make a tofurky roast.




The oregano was already here when we moved in, and we’ve wrestled it into two pots in the ground to keep it manageable. It certainly didn’t suffer from the procedure. Adding fresh oregano to pasta makes a big difference in the flavour.


Stevia plant.


A new addition this year – some stevia. I’ve never grown this plant before, so we’ll see! I’m really looking forward to tasting it. The dried leaves are supposed to be incredibly sweet.


Various strains of basil plants.


Two different kinds of basil! I adore it as a presto, and mixed fresh with some light cheese and tomato. I usually do this by slicing tomato and fresh mozzarella, and spreading the slices on a platter. Then I sprinkle with a touch of olive oil and a light wine vinegar and a touch of salt. This is then topped with oodles of fresh torn basil.


Sugar snap pea sprouts.


And another new addition – sweet peas! We rotate the crops in our planters, and these were supposed to be good for the soil to recover after last year’s tomatoes. We’ll see how it goes!


Tomato plant.


And a tomato plant. This is what we mostly focus on. We try a slew of varieties, and I’ll share a chart I did last year of how much crop we got out of what kind of plant. This year we have a few new ones, as well, so that’ll be fun to track.


<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-212" src="http://martie Full×1024.jpeg” alt=”Green Red Currant fruits.” width=”780″ height=”780″ srcset=”×1024.jpeg 1024w,×150.jpeg 150w,×500.jpeg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />


We also keep a number of berry bushes, the above being red currants. Last year we had an aphid problem on this guy, but he’s bounced back and hopefully this year won’t be affected.


Gooseberry berry.


And my personal favourite – a gooseberry bush. The berries are coming in for the first time this year, and I’m ridiculously excited. I hope the squirrels or rabbits won’t eat them before I can!

Tell me what your favourites are to grow!



A Brief Garden Tour

I wanted to provide a little tour of some of the plants in our garden before this year’s planting is finished. The weather this year was colder much longer than usual, it seems. Normally I look forward to finally being able to wear a dress for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (entry soon!), but this year included coats and scarves due to a particularly nasty wind. Luckily, the weather got the memo that Victoria Day weekend is planting weekend, and made sure to pick up a bit. I’ll be posting about all the new plants after they’re in the ground, but meanwhile have a few photos from the past week or so from the residents who made it through the winter.

A picked bunch of forget-me-nots.

These forget-me-nots herald from my MIL, who promised that they would propagate all over the garden. True to her word, I am picking them out of the lawn and myriad cracks and crevices. They’re wonderful cheerful little things, and my efforts to introduce them to a particularly clay-like and root filled patch of soil near our trees is going a lot better this year than last.

A small purple blossom.

Nobody remembers planting this little guy, but he appeared appropriately enough in the flower plot, rather than anywhere else. Good job!

Red tulips.

The tulips actually did not get eaten by squirrels this year – not even a nibble! – and burst forth before anything else in a cacophony of red. Not as many as previous years, but that may be because of the furry gardeners not only eating the leaves, but also transplanting the bulbs. 

Sprouting fern.

This monstrosity I was horrified to discover a few years ago, until I figured out that that was where our gorgeous fern was coming from. Unfortunately, it’s at a spot that meets up with a very weedy spot in the neighbours yard from whence these rather frustrating vines creep out. Weeding them is almost impossible; the leaves pop off and the roots stay in. (I’m hoping the forget-me-nots will help push them back a bit.)

Growing chives.

The herb patch is my personal favourite, and I grow and dehydrate and freeze a lot of things for tea. Not so much the above – which is a row of chives. They’re much more delicate in flavour than the thicker store-bought ones, and I adore them on fresh tomatoes visit this web-site

Lemonbalm leaves.

The lemonbalm is coming back with a vengeance – it makes a good tea, but is especially amazing fresh. A tangy citrusey flavour; I love running my hand over it to bring out the scent. 

Mint sprouts.

This mint was here when we moved in, and has since been eradicated from… well, absolutely everywhere, and confined to a pot in the ground. It’s not a very delicate variety – the leaves are thick and rather chewey, but it makes a marvelous tea, keeping the flavour even after being dehydrated. 

Red currant blossoms.

We also have a number of fruiting bushes, the above being a very enthusiastic red currant bush. So enthusiastic, in fact, that a branch which was trimmed last year and stuck into a random pot of dirt on a whim is not only growing this year, but *flowering.* 

Goosberry flowers.

And lastly, the gooseberry bush. This is the first year that it has developed flowers, and I am so excited to see how the fruit will turn out. I haven’t had gooseberries in years, and while I know they’re not the most amazing thing in the world, I’m bubbling with excitement at the rush of nostalgia that I’m sure they’ll bring.

A very self indulgent entry, but I love playing show-and-tell with all my plants! I’d love to hear about your gardens!


Dokibook by Love Doki Review

Dokibook review image.

While I’m happy with a smaller planner for my bag, I wanted an A5 that I can grab on meeting days, or when I have a lot of papers to carry. I am also very meticulous about my stationary, so I wanted something a little cheaper that I don’t need to agonize over beating up in my bag. A Dokibook seemed like a great solution – they’re adorable and inexpensive, and not too hard to track down. I was a little worried, so I thought I would provide a review for others who may be unsure.

I used this seller on SpreeNow to buy the planner. I hadn’t shopped through SpreeNow before – or, honestly, any other similar shopping service – but I found it pretty straight forward. I bought my item, they confirmed everything was fine with the seller, I paid, they got the item, I paid them for shipping, and I got my order. I had a small hiccup in that one of the items I had ordered was no longer available, but they got in touch and explained the situation to me. Overall painless, though I was a bit apprehensive since I didn’t know what the shipping would be up front. It all turned out fine, though, and I think they were a good option for me. Very clear communication, and lots of guides if you have any questions.

The package arrived from Singapore, with tracking, and was fairly nondescript. A plain cardboard box, that nevertheless is always really exciting when you’re a fan of buying things online.

A cardboard mail box.

The planner was simply bubble wrapped and taped inside.

A bubble wrap encased planner.

It came with five gold embossed dividers, a page marker, and a plastic pocket page that loads from the top.

Gold embossed dividers.

I love the dividers. The tabs are blank so you can fill your own sections in. I usually find any provided tabs useless, as I definitely don’t use both a day and a week view in my planner, nor do I want a birthday section, so this was a nice change.

Gold embossed dividers and transparent pocket.

The pocket page, seen above on the left, is nicely flexible and easy to load. Very nice for loose pieces of paper I need to put away quickly. Or, if you want something a bit more fun, pretty ephemera to paste into your spreads.

A page marker resting on a planner.

The page marker is huge. It’s 7.5 cm wide, and takes up about half the page, but I like the transparent dot design. Being able to see through the marker is pretty important to me, so I’m glad they didn’t load it up with a lot. The white also goes with a variety of colour schemes. It’s made of a great stiff material (does anyone else get really annoyed at floppy page markers??).

Now on to the more critical parts of my review. The Dokibook is very well made – the stitches are even, it’s wrapped with a ring protector, and the materials don’t feel cheap. Having said that, there are definitely some quality differences that you can tell as compared to a higher end brand. I’ll be comparing to my A5 Kikki K.

Inner pockets in a Dokibook planner.

The pockets don’t lie flat. I know that’s a silly thing, but I don’t tend to fill my pockets with a lot. I envy people that can attach clips to theirs, as it looks adorable – I just start to obsess over the indents this causes to the material! I slip things in, and maybe attach a decorative clip to the top of a journaling card, but that’s it. So, the fact that there is some rippling is something that I noticed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a fault, but it’s there. (Maybe it’ll help me get over my phobia of clipping cute things into the pockets, though??)

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

The Dokibook is a bit narrower than the Kikki K.

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

As a result of this extra width on the Kikki K, we avoid something that becomes pretty apparent when the planners are closed:

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

The pen doesn’t “tuck in” in the Dokibook. Filling it up with more pages won’t change this, as the divider tabs run flush to the edge of the planner when it’s closed. There’s just no room for the pen, and so it sits outside.

The drama on two planners.

You can also see the thickness of the material when peeking into the elastic slit. The Dokibook feels soft, but it’s made of a thin material with stuffing underneath. The Kikki K does also have stuffing, but the material itself is much thicker.

(I think this is the most stationary geek thing I have ever posted.)

I know the rings are a huge deal to a lot of people, and there’s certainly nothing more annoying than losing pages as you’re turning them.

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The rings in a Dokibook planner.

The picture above is my Kikki K, and the one below the the Dokibook. I would say, therefore, that they’re both pretty comparable. The Kikki K rings that are separate are a bit loose, and when I slip them into place, they stay there until they’re jostled out of alignment. Not a big deal, and my pages haven’t slipped out yet.

With the Dokibook rings, they were positioned like that, and tightly so. It wasn’t a matter of just slipping them into alignment. I followed SpreeNow’s Dokibook ring gap fixing video, and they’re perfectly tight now, with no gap. I’m not sure if all Dokibooks come with such a nice ring mechanism, or if I was lucky. Honestly, without seeing how they hold up long-term, I probably can’t tell you which ring mechanism is superior.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my experience with SpreeNow, and the Dokibook. It’s a nice planner on which I didn’t need to spend a fortune. It doesn’t quite feel as plush as the Kikki K, but it has all the features I’d want, with very few drawbacks.

A closed planner with a charm and journaling cards.

I hope this review is helpful for those of you considering a Dokibook! Let me know if there’s anything else you wish I’d covered, or how you’ve fared with the Dokibook ring mechanism!




Please note for the purposes of transparency that the SpreeNow link is an affiliate link. Meaning, if you use it and buy something, I get some points at SpreeNow at no cost to you. I haven’t received any recompense for this review, and my opinions are entirely my own.

Office makeover!

I had hoped to get an entry up reviewing my new Dokibook, but a great deal on a desk on Kijiji derailed my plans! 

This has turned into a makeover for the whole office, including a new desk for Mr. Martie as well. The end result for now is that my computer is in pieces hither and thither, and I’m posting this through my phone.

Until I can get that entry up, here’s a small peek of my new writing/budgeting/planning space!

A white desk with planners , an iPad , and odds and ends.

I love the shadow boxes as organizers. I still want another of those organization cubes from Michael’s for the left side, though! 

Hoping to update properly soon!


Planner Tour: Filofax Compact Patent

Planner tour: Filofax Patent Compact

I can’t believe that April is almost over. Where did the month go? I think because May is looking so busy for us, April got caught up in the whirlwind of planning for the future. It’s hard to remember the present sometimes when there’s so much to be done!

This post has been sitting in my drafts for too long though, and I really want to get it up. It’s a tour of my first “real” planner (Do Lisa Frank planners from grade school count??), a Filofax Compact Patent in a lovely lavender colour!

I got this planner around Christmas time, and have my wonderful neighbours to thank for its safe arrival! That day, when I went to get the mail, I found a package that belong to someone a few blocks over in our postbox. A few hours after I’d come home from dropping that neighbour’s mail off, someone from a few blocks in another direction knocked on my door to tell me they’d gotten my mail! With no tracking on the package, I’m really grateful they were kind enough to bring it over.

A planner open to the first page.

I love redesigning the cover pages on my planners, but I’ve stuck with this one for a few months now. It’s a simple bit of scrapbook paper, some glitter tape, and a magnetic bookmark that I move as needed. There normally isn’t anything in the secretarial pockets. My loyalty cards are mostly on my phone, and my credit cards stay in my wallet. I did tuck a journaling card in there to give things a dash of mint, though.

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I made the dividers out of simple transparency paper – and full disclosure, it may even have been off some blister packaging for something. Those things are sturdy! I keep changing what’s in my dividers constantly, so a dash of glitter tape is the only thing I use to differentiate between dividers. Any writing would need to be changed in a month!

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

I keep the Filofax year at a glance before the first tab, though I don’t tend to use it that often.

A daily planner page.

The first section is a daily page from (found here, specifically.) I love Arlyna’s printables – neat but colourful and pretty! They’re definitely worth checking out! There are many more on her site.

I use the today pages whenever I have a lot of errands to run. Normally I keep track of my days in a weekly spread in an A5 planner, but whenever a busy day looms, it’s great to write everything out so I don’t forget anything. We live in a large city, and to get to the downtown core takes about an hour’s drive. Not something you want to repeat if you forget to stop somewhere!

The original Filofax pages that came with the planner I gave to my partner to use. I’m not sure if he does, but they were too tiny for me to cram everything into! I don’t know how people who use only a Personal size manage! Tell me your secrets!

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

I decorated my transparent dividers with a bit of washi, some punched flowers, and a journaling card each. The colourful dots are more scrapbook paper. I love that I can restick washi – I change those journaling cards out every once in a while.

A list page in a planner.

This section is a printable I designed for myself. It’s a simple three column page that lets me categorize things and check them off. I use this for stores/items to buy, budget category/item bought, or anything else that needs a reference while I’m out and about. Currently I have a list of errands that need to be run, and clothes I need to buy.

This is pretty useful, as I tend to buy clothes purely on aesthetics. And sure, having a million a-line dresses is fun, but not when you don’t have any shoes to go with them!

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

An occasional embellishment may sneak in once in a while-!

A monthly spread in a planner.

This next page is pretty self explanatory. I’m not sure at this point where these monthly sheets came from – they’ve been in my stationary drawer for some time. I use these to jot down appointments and any unusual times that I am busy in the month. Makes agreeing to plans a bit less stressful! I do actually use my phone for this, too, but I find that seeing it on paper helps me visualize my time a bit more. Plus, my digital calendar is full of mutli-country holidays, sunrise and sunset times, moon phases, and a whole mess of things that makes it hard to quickly see if I’m free or not!

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

Possibly a bit of an exaggeration on this journaling card, because the next section simply is….

Blank note pages in a planner with decorative embellishments.

Blank lined pages! For ideas, scribblings, musings, recommendations, and anything else that comes up. I’ve always carried a notepad with me, and having it in a planner keeps my purse a bit neater.

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

Again a bit of cheekiness with the message on this card, (“Sometimes that thing you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all” in case the gloss makes it hard to read), because this next section is where I am constantly looking.

A two pocket page in a planner.

A double-pocket page I made which I use incessantly. Receipts, notes, parking slips, and any other ephemera I accrue while out goes in here, to be properly sorted when I come home.

A planner divider page featuring a journaling card.

The pocket page probably doesn’t need it’s own divider, but I love this card combined with those colours of flower and so have separated the next section off anyway!

Planner pockets holding store giftcards.

Here I have a card page, and a zipped pocket. Coupons and giftcards go in here. I love that it’s in the back, because I can easily flip to it when I’m standing in line at the checkout without holding anyone up. Usually the zip pocket is crammed full of Michael’s deals….

A journaling card with contact information peeks out of a planner pocket.

And in the back I keep the Filofax registration number, as well as my contact information on a journaling card. I also keep a sample A5 page in there in case I quickly need to measure something in stores. (It came in very handy when I was buying a box to store my spare A5 printables in!)

A pink bunny charm rests on a paper gold-embossed embellishment.

And, of course, what planner is complete without a little charm hanging off it?

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love to hear if any of you have multiple planners, and if you carry any around! I was pretty torn about having one for my purse and desk, but it’s working out for me! What about you?




Dressing up your planner with… Stamps!

Dressing up your planner with... Stamps!

I love decorating my planner! A pop of colour or a fun shape, something to brighten up the list of tasks. I figure if it’s fun to look at, I’ll be more likely to look at it more often!

There are lots of choices out there – journaling cards, stickers, stamps, decorative tapes, adorable paperclips and magnets..! It’s hard to narrow down what you want on your page. I like to keep it simple, otherwise I lose track of the main goal of my planner – the things I’m planning to do!

A decorated monthly planner page, and some ink pads.

This is an example of my monthly pages. I decorate each month differently, and use these pages for tracking my personal development goals. I have a small glossary, and put down a coloured whorl if I accomplish a goal, or an “x” if I don’t manage. With some goals, like keeping my daily journal, I allow myself to catch up a few days later. Others, like keeping a reasonable bedtime, sadly don’t allow for catching up!

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The stamp sets I’m using are a spring set that I found a bit ago at a Michael’s. They’re from Recollections, and I was drawn by the lovely rainbow print on the backing paper. Pictured is the first set I got – it’s versatile in the size of the stamps, and seemed like a great way to perk up my planner (or decorate note cards, since I don’t thank myself on a regular basis!)

A sheet of clear stamps on a monthly planner page.
I returned a few days later and, having enjoyed the first set so much, I snagged these two as well. I love the feathers on this one! The arrows are great for dividing pages and paragraphs.

A sheet of clear stamps next to a planner.

This set will probably be a bit more useful for notecards than planners, but the smaller pieces are great to use as shorthand for some repeating tasks. The little party banner fits perfectly under the date on my weekly pages to highlight special days!

Three stencils and some ink pads.
Each of the stamps came with a stencil that I haven’t used yet, though they’re giving me ideas!

A planner page titled "entertaining checklist," featuring colourful stamps and an "Easter" heading.
Paired with my ridiculously bright and colourful inks, these stamps made this Day Designer entertaining checklist that I used to help plan Easter dinner with my family a lot of fun to look at!

How do you decorate your planners? Are you a fan of cluttered and colourful, or more subdued?

Thanks for reading!