Confessions of a Plannerholic: American Envy

 

I want a Day Designer™. I can’t help it. I have a sudden hankering for a coil-bound planner or notebook that I can fold back on itself like my Happy Planner, and an entirely separate but related craving for a daily planner that will let me keep my blog thoughts organised even when I’m not on the computer.

(Trello is great, Trello is good, but Trello is not omnipresent and you just can’t beat paper and pen no matter how hard you try.)

And, thus, cue three whole days of window shopping.

Pinterest is my friend. So is Instagram. Simultaneously, they are my worst enemies because they show me all the pretty things I want but can never have. (Because, you see, I’m not a billionaire despite my crafter brain trying to convince me otherwise.)

 

Happiness Planner
“Focus on what makes you happy.” Planners. Planners make me happy.

 

At the end of those three days, having ogled Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner and Googled aught from Plum to Happiness Planners, I settled on a Day Designer because why not. (And also because it seemed to fit me the best.)

Don’t get me wrong: my Happy Planner is more than enough for my normal needs. I don’t do a heck of a lot in a day, usually, and I don’t have many appointments or visitors to keep track of. 👀

 

Simplified Planners
Simplified Planners from Emily Ley

 

But blogging is a whole other story and I often find myself stumbling across ideas when I’ve already put the computer and the iPad to bed. It would be awful nice to have some place to write them down.

And so, having very little money in the bank, I decided to buy myself a Day Designer. (I mean, just look at them. They’re so pretty.)

 

Day Designers
Pretty pretty Day Designers

 

I got all the way to the checkout and–

–laughed my blubbery arse off because what the ever living hell.

 

Shipping Estimates

 

Shipping to the United Kingdom would cost me a whopping $49.75. The planner itself is only $59!!

Why? I mean, seriously, just why?

 

KitKat in the window
I like to think KitKat feels my pain.

 

Let me be clear: I don’t blame Whitney English and the guys who produce the Day Designer entirely for this. Shipping from America has been ridiculous for as long as I’ve been into the whole planning schtick and it’s only gotten worse in the last few months.

But fifty freaking dollars to ship a freaking book?

I just. I’m flabbergasted. I can’t even. Just what.

And the problem doesn’t end there.

 

Spoiled for choice

 

You’ll notice I titled this post “American Envy” and not “Why I won’t be buying a Day Designer” (which was honestly its original title before I combined two separate posts).

That’s because the Day Designer is just one symptom of a much larger issue I have with the planning world.

Don’t get me wrong. Planner gals are some of the kindest, most helpful, most creative, and most generous people I’ve ever met. Aside from the odd rotten apple, you couldn’t meet a nicer bunch.

But I can’t help but be envious of our American pals. They’re spoiled for choice. The list of stationers only available to the American public seems never-ending. Companies that do have stockists in the UK (such as Rifle Paper Co. or Me & My Big Ideas) limit what they make available to British stores. And even those stores that offer international shipping (such as Target) want you to pay astronomical fees for the privilege.

Unless we’re very lucky to have American friends willing to spend a fortune on postage, we’re left to ogle their pictures and wish that our own stores offered more variety.

 

British choices

 

“But we have Paperchase,” you might say. “W. H. Smith’s is a great stationery store, too.”

You wouldn’t be wrong. Yet I spent an entire week searching the British corner of the internet for a spiral-bound planner like the Day Designer and do you know what I found?

Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

(There are some that have similar pages but that are plain and ugly on the outside. There are some that almost match but that are case-bound. There are prettily covered agendas available, but guess what? They’re all weekly or monthly or journal-style “day per page”. There is nothing like the Day Designer or Simplicity Planner in the UK.)

And, look, maybe you like cutesy owls or plain black pretend-leather on your planners. Maybe the British stationery styles do it for you. They just don’t do it for me.

 

My confession of the day

 

So, okay. America has stuff I want. I could deal with that. But as I’ve previously said, Pinterest and Instagram are my best friends — and my worst enemies. The planner community is rife with inspirational photographs. It’s wonderful… and sometimes daunting… But mostly, I just can’t get away from the fact that America has better stuff.*

* I have acquired a lot of gorgeous planner supplies from UK stores, such as my foil tapes from Hey Little Magpie and the marine tape and stickers from The Lovely Desk. Unfortunately, many of the brands I gravitate towards are not British and must be imported, so they still feed into my American envy.

 

Confessions of a Plannerholic: American Envy
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Your confessions

 

So, tell me, guys. Am I the only Brit turning green with all this American envy or are you fed up of the limited options, too?

And, knowing my style and that I have to shop online, do you have any stores I should check out? 😇

 

Remember how this is part of a collaborative series?

 

Go check out these other awesome women!

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22 Replies to “Confessions of a Plannerholic: American Envy”

  1. I have been waiting a day designer for ages but shipping totally puts me off. I really wish we could get pretty ones here.

    I have bloomdaily planners which are gorgeous too and cheaper, also from U.S they are available on IG and EBay. I might get one for next year:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I discovered the Life Styled luxury day planners from a trio of lovely British ladies on Instagram just a couple of days before this post went live. From the looks of it on their Instagram, it’s exactly what I wanted from the Day Designer, and they have a few gorgeous covers to choose from so I’ll probably be getting one for Christmas (or my birthday since they warn that they have only a limited number available and I really want the Jungle one…)

      Before that, I literally could not find a darned thing that wouldn’t have to be imported. I’ll add the Bloom Daily to my list, though, thanks. ;D

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  2. I’m with you on the American envy but if you think things are bad being in the UK, try being in Ireland – shipping from America to Ireland is equally ridiculous (and then you inevitably get caught with customs tax) and half the time I can’t order from UK stores either because the postage is also too much or else they don’t even deliver to Ireland!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously?! That’s a bummer. I mean, it’s just a little channel for the postie to cross. 😦

      If you want to give me a list of your favourite shops, I’ll let you know whenever I’m doing a shopping trip to them. (Online only, I’m afraid, though.) We can work out shipping between us, especially if it’s just light-weight stuff, or I can send to your PO box like we were talking about for KitKat’s giveaway?

      I do wonder why shipping is so high, though, considering that you can get stuff all the way from China for free and it’s much further than Ireland is from mainland UK. I could almost understand about America, given all the ocean between us, but it still seems a leeeeeeetle bit ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so kind of you to offer! But maybe it’s best if I don’t – if I had access to a few extra shops, I dread to think how broke I’d end up (although I imagine I’d have many pretty things!). Limitation at the moment might work in my favour and make me spend less overal because I’m relectant to buy expensive things – anything that can stop me spending on craft and planner supplies so I can instead put the money towards my masters degree!
        I do just wish though that shipping wasn’t such a big issue. Apparently there’s just this invisible barrier surrounding the Republic of Ireland and once goods pass through it, the prices just jump up. It’s very strange because things get to Northern Ireland just fine so it’s not the water crossing, just that small border, it’s just very costly to cross that line apparently xD
        I was in the Disney store up in Belfast and I was looking at something, a teddy maybe and it was something like £12 but it also listed the price in euros on the same label and it like €18 – even when the euro was at it’s weakest that price conversion doesn’t make sense! The same thing with the Paperchase store. When I was in Bath I bought a pocket planner for £12 – one the European webstore it’s listed as €19. Before the pound weakened, if you I think £12 was around €15 – make sense of that!
        I’ve found ways of dealing with the limitations (go cheap stuff with free postage from China!) and when I’m shopping on Etsy I try to stick to Irish stores or stores in mainland Europe. Although admittedly, the drop in sterling this summer is making British shops much more appealing!
        Haha, mini rambling rant over!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome! I totally get why you’d want to avoid the access lol.

        But that’s so weird. Must be something about customs ramping up the shipping costs, or the rest of the world just picking on your part of it. 😦 The conversions definitely don’t make sense, there’s a lot of sneakiness going on there like they think people won’t notice the price jump. o_O

        I’ve recently discovered Ali Express, so. ¬_¬ I’m trying to stick to a limited budget for planner/craft supplies and cancelled my Planner Society box so I can save up for a Macbook. We’ll have to egg each other on! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is weird, and here I thought everyone loved the Irish!
        But ya, it’s just a lot easier to resist buying supplies when you don’t have access to them!
        I’ve recently discovered Ali Express too, it’s where I bought the A5 ring planner I used for my pet scrapbook – I got two for only €25, such a bargain! But I haven’t been back to the site since because I know that’s just asking for trouble 😀 I’ve bought a few things this month but I’m going to try my best not to buy any more planner, craft or stationery for the rest of this month and carry that on into September! I have €10 set aside for a few more mini alphabet stamp sets and that is all I am allowed spend! Now, just to see how that goes!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. XD Good luck! For my part, I like to order a ton of stuff that’s under £1 each. I think it’s because, growing up, my mom did the same for us for Christmas: she’d spread a ton of crap over the settee and it was like Christ–oh wait. But I never really got past that idea that “£30 for one item = aww, but 30 items for £30 = yay!” I haven’t been able to do it for years, though, because I can’t get to the pound stores and everything online (even ebay stuff from China) is more than a pound, even if only a bit. Ali Express is like a sweet shop to a kid for me. xD

        But yeah. Not spending too much time on there for obvious reasons. ¬_¬

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Haha, I totally understand that! When I shop online I’m always trying to find all the cheaper craft things so I can get more, even if I don’t need those things as much as I might need something more expensive – like right now I kinda would like to get a scoring mat because it would mean I could do a whole lot more crafts easier – but whenever I start looking them up I think ‘well, I could get it…or I could get loads of these ebay stickers instead!’ There’s a shop here in Limerick called Dealz and everything is €1.50, every time I go in there I come out with things I don’t need because sure, it’s only €1.50!

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      6. LOL I’m so the same! Like, I don’t really need these 30 items for £1 each, but I do need that one thing that’s £30… but I’ll buy the 30 for £1 instead because it seems like a better deal!

        I recommend Martha Stewart’s scoring board if you mean that and not, like, a cutting mat or something. I’ve got the 12 inch which is great for making pockets for my planners as well as cards and stuff, but I want the smaller version to fit in my planner/craft bag, too. I think you can only get them from America, and there are probably cheaper versions, but I like mine and it looks pretty too. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I just added the Martha Stewart scoring board to basket on amazon! not that I’m going getting it yet – because I’m meant to be not spending money…maybe I’ll get it for my birthday which is october 6th, that’s in keeping with my no buying for the rest of this month and september. I had been wondering if I should get a 12inch scoring board or a smaller one but I think I’ll go for the 12 inch, I feel if I got a smaller one I’d just immediately find a bunch of projects to do where a 12 inch scoring board would be easier to use and then regret my purchase.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yep, if you use 12x12s a lot (or even a little bit, or A4 papers), the 12inch board is best imo. (I have the 9-inch Fiskars trimmer which is great for smaller papers, but I have to get tricky with anything bigger than A5 or the Planner Society pages). It’s not very portable, but it will fit on a Kallax/Expedit (33×33 cubed Ikea) shelf if you turn it one way rather than the other (I think one side’s longer). (I mention the Kallax because most of us crafters seem to gravitate towards it for storage lol)

        My birthday’s a few weeks before yours, on September 26th! 😀 Does that make us both Librans? I wonder if star sign has anything to do with craftiness… Likewise, I’ve set aside a budget to buy myself birthday presents. XD I know I’m going to spend spend spend for that and November’s sales, so I figured I’d at least try to curb just how much I allow myself and still be able to set some aside. 🙂

        How’s the no-spend going? Mine is actually… discounting the budget I’ve allowed myself, it’s going pretty well despite Ali Express. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I don’t actually have too much Ikea storage in my craft really. My storage solutions are a little different to most peoples – my twin works in an off licence and sometimes is able to take home the nice wooden boxes that the wines comes in so I just have a selection of different size wine boxes sitting on shelves! xD They pretty handy and quite nice to look at too!
        As for paper trimmers, I have the Fiskars Portable A4 one, it’s supper handy. I’m never really cutting 12×12 pages down so A4 is the biggest. The portable paper cutter is nice because it’s got the extendable arm that just folds neatly away.
        I don’t about libras and craftiness. Aren’t libras meant to be good at balancing things? I have a terribly unbalance life! xD
        And my no spend is going pretty good so far – I did buy some printable dividers on Etsy for my new A5 planner but they were only €5 so that still falls into my €10 limit for the month!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I only have the one Expedit/Kallax, a 2×4 unit on wheels supposed to serve as mobile storage for all my crafty needs (papercraft on one side, sewing and crochet on the other). It doesn’t work the way I wanted it to, but if you don’t have a sibling who can get you pretty boxes, it’s probably the next best thing? XD I tend to think it’s a good way to standardise things across the crafting world, though; so many pictures are taken of stuff on or in a Kallax unit, and they’re the only storage (that I know of) that have consistent measurements across the range. So many other bookcases and shelving units are a kind of “guess or measure yourself” in terms of the space between the shelves. Or I dunno, maybe I’m just obsessed with Kallax. Your wooden boxes sound lovely!

        I do want to get a larger trimmer. I use 12x12s on occasion, and while at the moment it’s mostly for pocket folders for my happy planner, there’s the odd “uh, my trimmer’s not big enough for this, how do I measure accurately” moment. XD I’m definitely going with Fiskars again, though. Not only will it make replacing blades easier (because they’ll use the same ones) but I have a long, awful history with trimmers before this one and it’s the first I’ve found that measures accurately instead of “well, that’s ABOUT 2cm, give or take 1cm”. Seriously, my Woodware trimmer measured at a weird angle so you could line the papers up to your heart’s content and still have an edge that was 2 degrees off. My matting and layering looked awful!

        Hmmmm. Yeah, my life’s not very well balanced either, but I do see issues from both sides far more than I’d like. (It makes arguing very complicated lol) So, I don’t tend to think of the balance being for ourselves so much as… other people? XD

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      11. Haha, Ikea’s done wonders for standardisation, hasn’t it. I do actually have a 4×4 Kallax unit but it’s in my bedroom. Would have been handy having one in my craft room but when I was putting my craft room together, I couldn’t afford to go up to Ikea (I mean, it’s two and a half hours away, why is there only one in Ireland!). Instead, I robbed a desk from my twin’s room, a shoe rack from my older sister and a dodgy shelf unit from another part of the house, so nothing at matches!
        I actually just realised yesterday that my A4 paper cutter fits 12×12 pages so now I’m not sure why it’s called an A4 one xD Yes, definitely stick with Fiskars! The old paper trimmer I had, which I only actually replaced with this new one a few weeks ago, was so so bad for measuring. I was never able to get a straight line with the old one – most of the time I was guessing where the blade was going to cut because you couldn’t see to line it up properly. It was so bad and I hated having to use it!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I thought of something about the Martha Steward scoring board that I ought to mention: it only has inches on it. That doesn’t usually bother me, but there are some occasions where I’ve measured in centimetres (because I find it more accurate; I’m crap with fractions lol) and then come to scoring and thought “Ah. Not sure where to score now”. I’m fairly sure it has an extra measuring sticker in cm but you’d have to layer it over the inches, so. I dunno, just thought it was worth pointing out.

        Ikea does have a website so you can order most things online, but it’s £25 shipping for me (might be even more for you? I guess it depends on how far away the warehouse is). That might be worth it if you’re ordering a bunch of stuff, but yeah. Bit expensive otherwise, considering part of the appeal is the (relative) cheapness of their stuff. :/

        Dare I say the Fiskars isn’t perfect, though? XD It’s fine if you know exactly what measurements you need, but if you’re just trimming, it’s a bit tricky to figure out exactly where it’s going to cut. My twangy guideline seems like it might be a bit out of place, though; it keeps snagging and might have stretched.

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      13. Oh thanks for letting me know that about the scoring board. I usually use inches too but in some of the YouTube videos I’ve watched they use cm so if I’m trying to copy them it could get tricky (I always seem to mess up conversions, even when I’m just looking at a chart!).
        As far as I know, the Ikea in Ireland only ships to you if you’re in the Dublin area…oh, just checked and they do delivery to a select few counties outside of Dublin…for…€120…okay no thanks! You’d want to be ordering an awful lot of stuff to justify that price!
        True, and my cutter is better cutting multiple sheets one way than the other and I keep forgetting which way. Gotta hope I get the right way otherwise there’s I get a bit of a kink on the cut line rather than it being nice and straight and smooth.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Woah. I thought £25 shipping was bad!! O_O

        You’re welcome about the scoring board. I find conversions next to impossible, tbh. Very grateful for Google, but it means having the PC “out” while I’m crafting, which means it gets in the way lol. Or do the conversions first and write them down, then put the computer away. Plus, what does 7.6inches even mean in actual inches, you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Ya. I think delivery starts at €35 if you’re in the Dublin area but if you’re outside of Dublin you’re pretty much fucked!
        Oh my god yes, what does that mean! Who measures inches with a decimal point? Not any ruler I know of that’s for sure. Like, is that .6 of an inch or 6/8’s of an inch!

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