**Updated: See this post... **
Finally, the Journal that bravely challenged the Starbucks Planner!!!!
This notorious Journal I'm talking about is This Journal will actually Change Your Life!!!TM, which we will shorten as JOURNAL for your reading convenience.
And oh, I actually do OWN one of the "This Journal will actually Change Your Life!!!TM" planners.
And just a reminder, this post was not created to uplift the JOURNAL's credibility, it's just an objective look at the features of two of the planners available in the market today.
**photo credits: a screen shot from the website Free Speech Publications
Segment 1: PRICE
The JOURNAL is neatly priced at Php 850. Although it’s still on its pre-sale marketing stages, you can already pre-order your very own JOURNAL 2009 at www.freespeechpublications.com.
On the other hand, the Starbucks planner appears to be free – since you can have it after 21 – 25 cups of their Christmas brews which for me are quite the treat if you’re an avid coffee drinker. Hehehe. That means, at the very least - let's just assume that each cup of coffee would cost you Php75 - then 21 cups x Php 75 = Php 1,595... The JOURNAL would still be a great bargain!
Segment 2: AVAILABILITY
The JOURNAL is available at all Powerbooks and Fullybooked branches, also, you can order via the website Free Speech Publications.
And of course, the Starbucks planner is always available in Starbucks branches.
[Finish this post by clicking on "Read the rest of the story here..."]
Segment 3: COVER & OVERALL DESIGN
The 2008 Starbucks planner has a soft faux leather cover with embossed leaf designs on it, which in my opinion is quite durable and classy. Together with the nice cover comes a striped band which serves as a fastener. And let’s not forget the square-ish tag that says Starbucks 2008.
I like the JOURNAL’s cover because of its unique design. I love radical looking graphics especially on such formal things like planners. Its background is dark brown (not the plain dark brown, but with blotches/drops of darker brown paint - not embossed), and the fonts used are not common mind you. The inside sections are also of the same color scheme, but it never appeared boring. All in all, it looks really good and very much apt for yuppies like me, and for those who’re thinking yuppie-ly.
The disadvantage of the JOURNAL cover thought is that its of the hardbound type. A tiny nick at the corner can immediately leave a scar. A few more bumps and scratches would definitely leave some parts engraved with silhouettes of what actually hit it or permanently leave imprints of such things. Anyway, let’s go on.
Segment 4: BULK
The Starbucks planner has an average thickness of about an inch, including the cover. The JOURNAL is not far behind, with a thickness measurement of 0.9 of an inch, also with the cover.
Segment 5: EASE OF USE, Categories, and other NIFTY FEATURES
The JOURNAL, to my surprise and curious amazement has several sections unique to its kind. It features a whole month calendar section every start of the month, with the official Philippine holidays nicely tucked on the appropriate dates, with the Philippine flag as an icon. Aside from that, it also has other countries’ holidays including the radical ones like World Frog Day and International Ask-a-Question Day, all courtesy of Earth Calendar and Brownie Locks.
Each date has generous space for you to doodle and squiggle things in. Several interesting useful and not-so-useful facts are also peppered generously between dates, so you don’t get all the more stressed while fixing your schedules. It also has nice icons and graphics, all the more to delight your visual senses.
A mood monitoring section is also included month which helps you monitor your everyday mood; there’s also a page for Strategy notes and other such spaces. Several articles for your reading pleasure are inserted in between pages, and every after two quarters, there’s a section where you can take note of medical examination findings, just to help you monitor your health. Other activities for your creative side are included – which makes this planner more than a planner. It also boasts of a one-page personal finance management chart where you can take note of your income and expenses. On the first few pages is the section for writing down basic personal details just in case you misplace the planner, and a column for “For Emergencies” contact details. At the last sections of the planner are cute sections for contacts and addresses, an in-planner address book for you to jot down new contacts and networks while in a meeting, conference, or whatever.
On the flipside, the Starbucks planner has no such categories and sections. Just several month-separators which consist of Starbucks marketing media. Although nicely designed, still they just want to remind you where you got your planner and where you can have another one.
Segment 5: BINDING and PAPER Quality
The JOURNAL is hardbound, typical of planners available in the market today. So far, the leaves/pages don’t separate themselves from the binder itself, and I think it will hold out just fine. The paper is thick enough not to make your sign pens blot, and nicely textured that any kind of ballpoint pen will write out nicely and it’s color matches the overall design, look and feel of the planner. No sticky pages too! The planner also includes two, I repeat – two, bookmarkers, although they’re just ribbons, they’re still markers.
Although Starbucks has the same paper quality in terms of thickness and texture, nothing beats its re-usability factor. Since it’s ring bound, the pages of the previous year can be conveniently changed into the next year’s planner pages. Any kind of refill will do for as long as it fits. You can even choose to use it as an ordinary notebook if that’s what you fancy.
Segment 6: SOCIAL AWARENESS
While the Starbucks vows to make a donation out of the proceeds of their planners’ sale to Spark a Hope foundation, the proceeds of the JOURNAL’s sales will go “to the building of wells and schools, and the planting of trees all over the world” as what’s said in the 2nd page. This is to be done in coordination with www.ineedalifeline.org. Social awareness is also being spread around by inserting several advertisements and campaigns for other charity organizations. None of which were solicited by the planner’s publisher, and there were no payments received from the organizations, too.
So this basically ends our comparison post and I hope you pick the right planner that fits your needs... Just leave your comments, suggestions, or inquiries using the comment form found at the end of this post, or click the "Leave a Comment" link...