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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Zebra are my favorite brand of highlighters – they highlight smoothly, tend to stay straight when highlighting, come in dual tip and a variety of nice, bright colors. But they’re also expensive. The Zebra Mildliner being some of the most expensive.
So why aren’t the Zebra Mildliners worth the hype?
The colors are gross. I hate pastel. It’s too washed out. I also hate the other color-ways these highlighters come in – the colors are too dull.
I purchased the red and grey to try them out. They were nothing special. Then later saw the ‘soft marking pen’ from Daiso which were much cheaper (pack of 5 for $2.80 AUD – about the same price as one mildliner) and the colors were much the same.
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 9 other dot grid notebooks I’ve done pen testing in.
See the full review of the notebook in this post.
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?)… 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 for a planner plus $40 to ship it to Australia is really expensive. It’s great that they let you customise the cover, but there always seem to be issues with things going wrong (e.g. spelling errors), slow customer service and slow shipping.
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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