We are experiencing El Niño storms in California so I was happy to receive this planner and work on it during this rainy day! It is the 2016 Action Coloring Planner from Action Agendas, which I purchased from Amazon.
Ever since I started collecting and using planners from Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, I enjoyed keeping them both for work and personal goals. However, I was not able to complete the stickers from these coffee companies during my previous visit in the Philippines, where I initially got them. I searched online and found that these planner promos were limited to some countries in Southeast Asia, and where given away in exchange for stickers only in the Christmas season. But I still wanted a planner. I have always loved to write, and have always believed that writing is more personal and human. There was this effort to handwriting that "tapping" or typing could not quite achieve. I feel I am able to channel my intentions better when I put them on paper. And I wanted to carefully and whole-heartedly write down my goals for this year.
I wanted a planner but I wanted something more in it! The coffee planners had inspirational quotes and interesting tidbits about coffee and their respective brands, so I could not bring myself to just randomly get one from Staples. I ended up choosing between this coloring planner and a "Cabinet of Curiosities" planner. The latter, even if I was naturally inclined to get it as an anthropology major, was a little too small for my liking, while the former was available in two sizes: medium (7" x 8.5") and large (8.5" x 11"). Since I was going to be in the business of coloring it as well, I opted for the large size.
I was pleasantly surprised with how the book has this plastic acetate cover both for the front and back, as it protects the planner from stains or spills. Note that though this was mentioned in the product details as "rugged covers", it's easy to miss this detail since the pictures don't show it. The colorful front cover is made from cardstock while the back is a simple, black cardboard. I would have preferred both the front and back as hardcover, but the planner still feels firm.
Coloring books have made a recent come back as a form of stress management for adults. I have always been curious if it would work for me as well. Now I would be able to try it out and organize my life with this coloring planner. It might not have words of wisdom for me to read, but the drawings are beautiful enough to engage me in some therapeutic coloring time. There are pages solely dedicated for coloring, and smaller drawings in the corners of the planner. It even includes ones sized to the dimensions of Facebook's cover photo, in case you want to share your work online.
Getting the planner in large also meant more writing space. The calendar and agenda pages were pretty basic. I do miss the blank and ruled pages of the coffee planners though, since I've been used to sketching and writing longer notes.
The planner included these miscellaneous pages below, so in the end, there was actually something for me to read. There were maps, conversion tables, and even tips on camera phone photography. But I was awfully distracted by the quality of printing, as some words seem too faded. It seemed like these pages were originally in color and then reproduced in black and white. It somewhat defeated the photography tips, as the examples would have been better appreciated in full color.
The last page was dedicated to long term goals in the front, and an address book in the back. Again, I wish there were more pages for freestyle writing. But maybe that's just me being demanding!
Overall, I am pleased with the planner. I have not really done anything to it yet as I am still enjoying its "blank beauty". That said, I have yet to figure out how my pen and color pencils look on the page. I will write a follow-up once I do!