Pipsticks®+Workman® Gift Line
A month ago I was approached to do a review of a new planner line created by Workman Publishing and Pipsticks. I was given an option to choose one of three themed packages, and my choice was “for the Dreamer…”. This set was quoted to be perfect for the creative spirit.
I was intrigued. I love stationery and planners. I am proud to admit that at any given time I use at least two, sometimes three, planners. I have also tried different planner systems: Happy Planner, Filofax, Erin Condren, Bullet Journal, etc. I was excited to try out something new, especially since I was promised tons of stickers. And anyone who knows me knows that I collect stickers like there is no tomorrow.
I did an unboxing video on my YouTube channel, in which I open the package and I give my first impressions of Pipsticks+Workman planner. In the package that was sent to me, I received a planner, a notekeeper, and a sticker book.
*Please note that all photos in the review were edited and the colours you see might be slightly different from a real-life product. However, the pen test photos were left as.
My first impression was relatively positive: everything was bright and cute. The sticker book does have a lot of stickers. Moreso, stickers can also be found in the planner (it has sheets with seasonal stickers) and even the notebook (which is called the notekeeper).
However, once I started using them, I found out that some of those stickers are very thin, can’t be repositioned without ripping paper - but some can be, you only have to be very careful - and many are very similar. Indeed, the set has over 800 stickers, but many of them are repetitive. For example, there are 3 sheets with different food stickers, but not enough word stickers for events.
There is, however, a whole community of Pipsticks stickers lovers on Instagram and there is a subscription to Pipsticks Printables Library, where you can get lots of lists, meal planners, goal trackers, and more. I did not explore this option at the time of the review, but it is something to keep in mind for those who are into printables!
I like the notebook. It is called “a creativity pad for dreamers”, and it has 2 pages with stickers, but other pages are just notepaper with lots of different designs. I think it will be cool to use those pages for writing letters and notes to people.
The Pipsticks+Workman planner itself is bright and colourful. It has a sturdy cover, but the coil is not very flexible, and the cover gets stuck a bit at times. The planner opens up with a small pocket.
There are a card and sticky tab notes/flags inside. Then there are 6 pages of seasonal stickers, the calendar view for 2019 and 2020 (which makes my crazy planner soul very happy), the list of all holidays (including Canadian ones, yay!), the goals tab, and then 17 months of monthly and weekly spreads, and at the very end - a couple of notes pages. There is also a pocket at the back.
The planner has 2 elastics: one, the gold one, to keep the planner closed and the other, the pink one, to mark the page. I have never had a planner like that with an elastic as a bookmark.
I found the layout of weekly spreads a bit confusing. It is horizontal, but each day is also split into 3 vertical boxes. I initially thought that they are supposed to divide the day into morning/afternoon/evening, like in an Erin Condren vertical planner, but one box per day has “YAY” written in it, which I found a bit random. Not sure what I am supposed to write in there. Plus, as you can see in my pictures, some of the stickers did not fit the boxes, so I am not sure why the days were split into 3 sections anyway.
There is also a quiz question on each spread. I find that cute. The bottom of the page, though, has a wide strip with days of the week and stars on the side. It seems like it is supposed to be a space for a weekly to-do list, but I found it awkward to use.
I like monthly spreads way more. The spreads are clean, simple, and the boxes for each day are big enough for my handwriting. Each month has a little creative challenge in the corner, which I am not really liking for some reason, but some might find interesting.
My biggest concern, once I unboxed the Pipsticks+Workman planner, was the paper. It felt really thin, and I worried that it wouldn’t hold against my pens. I used one of the note pages to do a pen test. And I was a bit surprised by the result.
You can see in the pictures that even though there is a bit of bleed through (especially, with the Tombow calligraphy pen and alcohol based markers), but not so much with other pens. You can see the ink and outline still, but that is because I tend to press on paper really hard.
Overall, I liked the idea behind the Pipsticks+Workman Planner. My biggest problem is with weekly spreads, however, as I struggle to figure out how to use those 3 sections. I do not always use morning/afternoon/evening to plan my day. The stickers are adorable and good quality, but I have seen similar stickers at Michaels stores, so the designs aren’t very original.
If I had to give the rating to the planner, I would say it is somewhere around 3.5 stars out of 5. I liked it, but some things are not well suitable for me as a planner. Since it is a 17-month planner, I will try to use it till the end of 2018 to see if I will get used to it or if I will have to get another planner for 2019.
Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of the planner for review.