I’ve done a lot of research over the years trying lots of different planner supplies… these are 7 planner supplies that (I think) don’t live up to the hype!
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1. Expensive highlighters
Most highlighters are in the same color shade, regardless of price (with the exception of a few which I’ll mention below). I’ve purchased many dupes over the years to compare whether it was worth spending extra, and most of the time, I don’t think it is.
Here’s a good example of a cheap dupe (Officework’s own brand J Burrows) versus the well known Stabilo Boss. If I hadn’t written the brand names, would you be able to tell the difference?
The exception to this for me, is the Zebra Mildliners. It took me a while to buy these as they are far more expensive than most highlighters but they do come in colors that are hard to find. Sometimes you just need a highlighter that isn’t neon or pastel. The Mildliner colors are more unique and that’s where I think it’s justified to spend a bit extra on the Mildliners.
You can buy them individually so if you only want the unique colors try their teal, apple green, orange, light grey and red.
If you don’t want to invest in the Mildliners, see this post for some other options: 4 Similar (and cheaper) alternatives to the Zebra Mildliner Dual Tip Highlighters
2. Jumbo packs of gel pens off Amazon
No you don’t need 36, 48 or 100 etc. packs of pens that have 10 different shades of pink. Instead, save your money and invest in quality pens where the ink doesn’t skip, they write smoothly and the colors are vibrant.
Sure it has a cute cover, but the paper had bad pen ghosting. For all the hype I expected better quality paper.
The pages near the stitching seams lay flat but the ones between not so much. There’s already a hint that the stitching is going to come undone over time.
I feel this notebook is a case of paying double the price of any other generic dot grid notebook purely for the cover and built in pen loop. The paper quality / amount of pen bleed through is basically the same as many other (cheaper) dot grid notebooks I’ve done pen testing in (see more than 50 of my bullet journal notebooks reviews here).
See the full review of the Scribbles That Matter notebook in this post.
Instead of the scribbles that matter, try these notebooks:
- Vivid Scribbles Dot Grid Notebook (bleedproof 140GSM paper!)
- Archer and Olive Dot Grid Notebook (Is the 160 GSM Paper Worth the Hype?)
- Dingbats* Notebook for Bullet Journaling Review (super smooth paper!)
- Slow Journal (160 GSM paper)
4. Icon Stencils
I saw this stencil and thought great, a cheap alternative to planner stickers! However, the cut outs of the shapes are too close together. It’s quite difficult to get a pen in there. I can really only use the symbols in this stencil.
So if you’re looking for a stencil, be sure to check the size and see if there’s a photo someone’s taken of what the shapes look like on paper.
5. Expensive Washi Tape
I really don’t understand the current craze of washi tape that costs $6 + per roll… and then people buying rolls of that tape for the sole purpose of cutting it up into washi samples to try and make a quick buck (doesn’t it lose it’s stickiness after someone else has put their fingers all over it?)… and then people paying a ridiculous price for those washi samples.
I’m all for splurging on things you really want (I’ll admit I’ve bought a roll or 2 of expensive high quality Doodlebug washi tape which I’ve used here, here and here. But multiple rolls of expensive washi tape… you don’t need it.
6. Kikki K Pens
… And most Kikki K things to be honest. I really only buy kikki k notepads and the occasional planner from there nowadays. It’s all gotten a bit tacky looking but still over-priced.
The Kikki K write in rainbow pens are needle tip so if you write on an angle like I do, the ink is prone to skipping. The yellow is also near impossible to see on the page, although this is the case for most yellow pens 🙁 Otherwise the colors are nice, but there’s plenty of other pen brands that do pens in nice colors and write well.
So basically, just because something is by a well known brand, doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to be amazing.
The Ooly ‘just write’ gel pens are very similar to the Kikki K Write in Rainbow pens:
7. Erin Condren
Yes Erin Condren stuff is nice.. but $50 – $65 USD for a planner plus $40 USD to ship it to Australia is really expensive. It’s great that they let you customise the cover, but many planner companies offer this nowadays.
Just about every well-known planner company these days has vertical, horizontal and hourly layouts like Erin Condren but for a much cheaper price.
More planning tips
- 5 Planner Supplies I Don’t Use (And Why)
- 5 Planner supplies you should never skimp on
- Planning on a budget: If I only had $50 to spend on planner supplies, this is what I’d buy
- Agendio Review (custom, personalised weekly planner)
- Ashley Shelly Planner Review – Weekly Planner
- Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer Planner Review
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