After all the hype surrounding the cute notebooks from May Designs I wanted to get one to see for myself!
- Various page sizes
- Mini 4″ wide x 5.75″ high
- Classic 5 x 8″ (this is what I chose)
- Large 7.5 x 9.75″
- Stitched binding
- You choose cover design from multiple options
- Can personalise the cover with your name or other text
- Dates at a glance
- Minimalist inside pages with subtle color
- Choose between dated and undated
- Daily or weekly spread layouts
- 2 page weekly spread (starts on Monday) or daily planner
- 2 page monthly calendar (starts on Sunday)
Price: Depends on what page size and inside layout options you choose.
Let’s take a closer look!
To enlarge the screen of the video, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon).
The color printing is really good – the marble effect pattern I ended up choosing is very pretty!
The cover feels smooth but has a textured look that I’m not really a fan of.
I chose the 5 x 8″ high page size.
The notebook is very thin – I purchased a 6 month duration – 2 weeks on 1 page planner.
Approx 0.25″ thick
Despite the cute cover, the inside page layouts are very minimalist / basic:
Dates at a glance
Instead of the traditional annual planning page with space to plan stuff for each month, it’s organized by topic:
Week starts on Sunday.
Unfortunately the planner does that annoying thing where it splits boxes in 2 rather than just restarting the numbering on the top row which would make the calendar functional.
Starts on Monday (not consistent with the monthly calendar).
If you follow my blog the weekly layout I chose will come as no surprise: horizontal weekly on 1 page with list format on the other.
If you’re not a fan of this layout there are others to choose from.
I don’t mind the pink accents but just keep in mind that I couldn’t find an option to change the pink to another color.
I also couldn’t find a layout that didn’t combine Saturday and Sunday into the same amount of planning space as a weekday.
As this is a USA planner, the pre-printed holidays are for the USA (as well as some other random holidays).
Like just about every stitched notebook I’ve come across – there are no tabs 🙁
For the price of this notebook and how popular they are, I was expecting the paper quality to be top notch. It’s nice bright white and very smooth to write on, but most pens had bad ghosting.
Pros of the Planner
- Portable size
- High quality color printing on the cover
- Option to personalise the cover with your name (or other choice of text)
- Multiple page sizes available
- Multiple inside page layouts available
- Despite the stitched binding, the pages lay flat
Cons of the Planner
- International shipping is insanely expensive – especially since it’s only a small + lightweight notebook
- Limited inside page layout options
- No extra pages (e.g. no monthly planning pages or checklists)
- Monthly calendar splits days into 2 instead of restarting numbering on the top row
- No tabs
The cost of this planner was:
- $12 USD for 5 x 8′ notebook
- $5 USD for text personalisation on the cover
- $3 USD for weekly planning layout
- Total = $23 USD
- Price after 40% off Black Friday discount = $13.80 USD
- $40 USD for international shipping
- Total = $53.80 USD for a small 6 month duration planner
- Convert to AUD = Approx $75 AUD
I ordered when it was 40% off during Black Friday. Then May Designs later sent an email saying it was 50% off on Cyber Monday. Not cool. It’s extremely frustrating when shops do that – the discount should be the same on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you live in the USA the notebook / planner isn’t as expensive as shipping is only $5 USD. However if you live outside the US the cost of shipping is obscene. I’ve ordered many planners from the USA – only the ones that are 7 x 9″ about 1″ thick, heavy, coil bound and sent in a box cost $40 US for shipping. The May Designs book was sent in a letter style envelope wrapped in a cello bag. That’s it. So I don’t understand why international shipping is so expensive through May Designs.
Would I use this planner?
Yes. I do like the weekly planner layout I chose (horizontal weekly 1 page + dashboard / notes style spread is my favorite). It’s a nice planner and it’s great that you can customise it… but the price is just way too expensive if you live outside the USA. Until the international shipping price reduces I won’t be ordering again.
In addition to cute notebooks, May Designs now offer phone cases, tumblers and have a collab with Blue Sky Planners.
More planner reviews:
- Trying out the Uncalendar Planner
- Converting a vertical hourly layout into a categories layout using the Lucky Life Tools Planner
- Agenzio PaperChase Color coded weekly spread
- Bullet journaling on black paper with white & gold pens
- Color coded monthly meal planning using sticky notes
- How to make a planner bookmark (DIY Page Markers Tutorial)
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