Picking a planner is like a beauty pageant to me. I start by looking at Manila’s coffee shops that offer free planners if you collect enough stickers per coffee purchase. As expected, none of the Starbucks kind spoke to me. Gone are the days (circa 2005, to be exact) when Starbucks planners were more functional and didn’t try so hard to be appealing.
Next I visit bookstores. I browse through every Pinoy-made planner and compare them to the more expensive European and American prints. I flip through every page, scrutinize every layout, and even look for extras such as free postcards, stickers, and coupons. I also check out if the DIY refillable planners that took over my youth still appeal to me. The answer is usually no.
I visit fashion and retail shops such as Muji and Heima to see if they’ve come up with their own planners. Then I browse online. I take a second look at the planners I saw at the bookstores, and read the reviews to see what customers have to say about their products.
Once I’ve narrowed down my choices to my top three, I visit the stores again to look at my finalists for one last time before crowning the winner. If I find nothing to my liking, I just purchase my default Moleskine, which has served me well for years.
This year I found the new winner of my planner pageant:
Made by the same company that created the best-selling Belle De Jour Power Planner (sister company of BDJ Box), Navi speaks to compulsive note-taking travelers such as myself. While last year’s version of Navi didn’t appeal to me, the 2015 version won me over for the following reasons:
1. The coupons are no longer attached to the main journal. They’re in a separate booklet, making the main planner less bulky. If you must know, I’m a coupon-cutting grandma.
2. The hardbound back cover gives off a modern-meets-vintage vibe, thanks to the grid and embossed map of the world.
3. There’s a popular travel destination featured in each monthly divider.
4. The planner is peppered with travel quotes and geographical tidbits.
5. Each weekly page is placed next to a blank note page—a major feature I always look for!
6. There are wanderlust pages that help you plan your trips and make random notes.
7. There are trip checklists, plot lists, a bucket list (which I will ignore because I usually make my own), and many other lists. Maybe I’ll make a list of… lists!
8. There’s a free sheet of stickers.
9. There are plenty of free space for vandalism—something I constantly do to my planners.
Burning with travel envy? I’m giving away a Navi planner (plus a bag of travel goodies) to one loyal Philippine-based reader for Christmas. Stay tuned to this blog and my Facebook page for mechanics coming soon!
Navi 2015: Your Life Navigator costs P598 and is available online and at all branches of Powerbooks and Fully Booked, and selected branches of National Bookstore in the Philippines.