Week 3 of 2018 – Planning my life around coffee

Okay, I admit that I am obsessed with Starbucks planner ever since I graduated from college and started working in the corporate world.

It’s the hipness of this trend that lured me.  But years later, I realized I really enjoy writing on them and their layout is so amazing so why the hell not.

Many money-saving evangelists would discourage people from buying this inane planner. But I guess you just got to pick your poison and I choose this.

I choose this because of coffee. I love coffee. I love the relaxed ambience in a coffee shop. I love that coffee shops decides where I will be from Nov. 2 to early the following year, which is in their shops to get myself a promo sticker for each drink that would later qualify me to get their planner.

For 2018, I prepared to get the Starbucks planner, as per my wont.

However, two other planners caught my fancy:  Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s (CBTL) and Coffee Project (CP).

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For 2018, I am choosing which among these three I would write my thoughts and doodles on

I was not sure which one to use for this year.  So let’s take a look at each of them:

Coffee Project – Php 700

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Coffee project’s springed planner

This is the first time I ever bought this.  I have been to their shop a total of two times in my lifetime.  The place is “Instagrammable” and the coffee is good.

The planner? Well, I believe this is their first.  It came in plastic and placed inside a paper bag.  It was about 1.5 inch thick! My friend called it a photo album!

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Pages and pages of stickers

Not only does it contain the usual journal pages, it has stickers and other extras inside.

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It’s got post cards and a ruler!

The ruler is my favorite part.  I like that there’s a handy one.  But the “unique” part, it starts on the right!

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Usually, ruler’s 0 would start on the left-hand side but this one re-invented the rule and go for the reverse!

However, I find the layout and general look of the planner a bit generic and reminiscent of early Starbucks planner designs.

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Side by side look of the 2007 Starbucks planner and the 2018 Coffee Project planner
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Inside, the layout is the same as the 2009 Starbucks (and most) planner. Top is Starbs, below is the CP
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I also like the hard plastic cover of the planner

In general, this is a functional, cutesy planner.  It costs me only Php 700: Php 300 for the food and drink and Php 400 to actually purchase this.  That was the promo I got.

CBTL – Php 865

I was in Tagaytay for some planning session with the Marketing team when we had coffees in CBTL in Ayala Malls Serin. We were offered the card promo that enables you to get the planner after a number of drinks. I took it. Excitedly at first.  Then found myself gingerly going over CBTL in Gateway Mall Cubao.  Their serving time there is moving at a glacial pace.  Miranda Priestly would surely disapprove.  Their service is so behind of that of Starbucks. Good thing I only have to put up with for about 6 drinks.

Anyway, I finally got their planner before December closed.

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There were about three designs but I chose this one with gold stamping

Inside the planner are pages and pages of stories about leaving a legacy.  And then there’s the usual journal part, the planning part.:)

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At every start of the month, they have this
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There are a lot of gift certificates to enjoy
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There’s also a pocket at the back cover and it contains a lone sticker sheet

This planner exists for a cause and they are dead-serious about it.  But it has good layout inside and classy design on the cover.

Starbucks Planner – Php … well, the whole shebang

And last but not the least, let’s take a look at the Starbucks 2018 planner.  It does not disappoint, people!

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Inside the box: the planner, the leather cover, stencil, pocket calendar and a Starbucks card

I got the 2017 planner pretty late.  So for 2018, I was dead-set to getting them as early as possible. I got mine by November 14, 2017. They had a promo where for every drink you buy, you get two promo stickers.  That expedited my whole chasing game. I was done in no time.

I opened all the three planners at the same time and it was Starbucks that I opened last.  I was genuinely, absolutely excited to open it!  Like it’s still my first time to open one! The box was wrapped in a plastic. Inside, there was  item wrapped in white Japanese paper.  It turned out to be the leather cover, which smelled good (this is not real right, because the real one does not smell nice).  The planner was covered in a plastic. There was a stencil, which is a departure from all the stickers I saw in the two previous ones.  You can see how far this planner has come along compared to the other two.  Game change.  Starbs just changed the game just when competitors were starting to caught on.  It’s also got a pocket calendar in the shape of coffee cup. I don’t get it. Who uses pocket/paper calendar anymore?

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I got a new card!

But my favorite part is the new card.  I love its colors and how Philippine-looking it is: the sea, the colors of the flags!  I just have the usual green one and I was not really considering of buying a new one and replacing that.  But seeing that I have a new, colorful one, well…

Inside are the usual neat, professional layout.  I am amazed at how they keep it androgynous, like it’s not gender specific.  I see men and women in the corporate world using this.

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Start-of-the-month layout
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Weekly layout

I suppose the creative minds of the Starbucks are still at their peak.  I still think it’s got the best-looking planners amongst all of the designer coffee shops in the Philippines.

But what I do not get is, with all the money we poured into this, and emotion/tradition, why doesn’t the gift certificate have PERFORATIONS this year?

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There are fewer gift certificates, sans perforation

I have seen these planners online but I didn’t really read about them.  I want to experience them for myself.  I do not want to be rob of the experience, whether it’s a disappointment or a joyous one. I think nothing tops really touching them and feeling their vibes.

So after looking at these three for two weeks now, I need to decide which one I would use to actually write on because I am just itching to start.  And I decided to use…

the one from CBTL!

I have been using the one from Starbs for the past lifetime and I feel like for this year, I need to shake things up a bit and go for CBTL.  It’s lightweight that I can bring it around and the paper quality is at par with that of Starbs.

I hope I can write/record happier thoughts this year than the last.  And I hope each year tops the previous. Whichever planner I use.