I am now in the second year of my graphic design course which means I need a planner that works for my needs. I’ve used many planners but none have been quite right. Recently I came across the Study Planner which is part of Paperchases’ back to school range and I thought it would be great if I could keep my academic work separate from everything else. However this planner turned out to not be as useful as I had originally thought.
The study planner is a ring bound planner, its slightly larger than A5 size and has plastic front and back covers. This is great for taking with you to class because the plastic will stop the planner from getting damaged.
Inside the page designs are very simple, it has no extraneous details which I like from a planner. However the actual design of the pages in this planner is unusual. Either it has been a long time since the people at Paperchase went to school or this planner hasn’t been designed with higher education in mind.
It starts out with a timetable spread. There are columns for Monday to Friday and enough rows to create a 9 to 5 layout. However there is 20 pages of these timetable sheets. That makes 40 spreads. That means there is enough to cover a full year, however my timetable doesn’t change.
Maybe some courses that span over three semesters will have timetable changes more often. I know university timetables tend to change week to week. But I know I’m lazy enough that I wouldn’t fill out a timetable every week. Especially if it isn’t going to change. That means we have 20 pages of useless sheets.
And then comes 12 weekly pages. The very left hand column is a ‘subject’ column. Each row is for a class, this works out great because you can write everything needing done on a specific day for each class.
However there are only 12 of these sheets. Which makes it seem like you should be using one per month and not as weekly pages. The heading at the top of the page says ‘month’, but there is space at the bottom for writing in evening events. And there isn’t an evening box for Thursdays. The more I look at these pages the more I think the designers at Paperchase don’t really know what a student needs in a planner.
As you can see from the image I used this spread to lay out a time plan from a previous four-week project. Even though I don’t have dates on the days of the week, it did work really well. I would remove these pages and use them for a large-scale project. Heck, I would buy a full planner with just the ‘monthly’ pages. But I feel like this isn’t the way Paperchase have designed the planner to be used.
The fact is this planner retails at £6, I paid £1 for it. You could even get it for free depending on the 3 for 2 sale. But still at that price I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy this planner. The pages in this are nice, but this planner is unusable in its current form. I even checked to see if this was just a manufacturing error, but it’s not.
I keep wondering if it’s partially my fault that I don’t like this planner. That I’m not using it the right way. But as far as I can tell the pages haven’t been designed right. It’s almost like Paperchase is taking advantage of the back-to-school season without putting any real thought as to how it would be used. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m better off just creating spreads in my bullet journal.