Saturday, 26 September 2015

Marion Smith Heart of Gold Planner Review

In the world of planning, you dream or perfect organiser is coloquially known as a "unicorn". The Heart of Gold was my unicorn in this sense, but also it got to the point where I felt like it was a mythological beast I would never see and potentially didn't exist. When I made my purchase with Marion Smith Designs (MSD) on 11th August, it was a preorder and the website advised shipping would begin from the beginning to mid-August. They sold so many that it took longer than anticipated to ship orders and mine didn't depart until September. After paying my £17.09 custom charge (not MSD's fault!), I finally had my Heart of Gold on September 19th and it's a miracle I didn't explode with excitement prior to that!
Unfortunately my binder arrived slightly damaged and one of my items didn't get delivered as it was out of stock which was disappointing as I wasn't notified previously. I had to chase the company for this refund and in that same email I mentioned the condition my binder arrived in. My payment for the missing item was then returned and a new binder is in the process of being sent so my issues are being dealt with. They are a small family run business and I get the impression they are EXTREMELY busy so bear in mind you may have a bit of a wait for your item or email responses but it's apparent they are reasonable should you have an issue and I will now tell you why it's worth it.
Look at it. Just take a second to appreciate how perfect it is! My Heart of Gold planner is the second edition which is made from gorgeous vegan "leather" and is A5 in size. The stunning colour is described as aqua marine and seems to look different in every photo! The inside cover (my favourite part) has this gorgeous gold heart print. One of the differences between the first and second edition is the latter has a dinkier print and therefore more hearts! There's 4 pockets in the front and 3 in the back which are perfect for holding some of my sticker stash and showcasing some of my cute clips. It's a 6 ringer binder and I love the bright gold colour which matches the heart print and the button on the front. The gold dividers, a dashbard and bookmark come with the planner which is a nice touch.
Onto the inserts! They are all on decent quality paper and have this beautiful faux wash design down the inside. I love this idea as I'd suck at putting my own real washi on there and then trying to hole punch it neatly. First up we have the monthly spread. As you can see, they come undated which is great as you can start using them whenever you like and is also fun for those who have pretty writing or are good at calligraphy. For people who hate their handwriting (me) this was a bit of a hurdle but I'm looking at investing in some stamps to make it look prettier.
I will be using my monthly pages to show main events or things I might need to prepare for, such as birthday's or Halloween so I can see at a quick glance if I'm busy that day/need to buy a gift etc. The note column on the side could be used to note a key for any coloured date seals you have or something you don't have room for in the day boxes. As you can see this page hasn't seen much action just yet in my planner but here's a sneak peek of October.
The weekly pages are what get used the most in mine, and probably most other peoples' planner. There are things I do and don't like about these inserts. They too, are undated so at the moment I have nothing past next week in there which is a bit of a pain, I need to dedicate some time to filling out dates. I like how big the day boxes are but as MSD isn't as mainstream as, say, Erin Condren or Happy Planner, it's hard to find stickers designed to fit and fill these spaces. I've trialled cutting out patterned note paper when I made a mistake and it looked super cute so that's something I will be doing more of.
I love that there's the big band at the top of each page to allow for lots of decorating but I'm not so keen on this sort of banner on the left handside and have been covering it so far. I know a lot of ladies who are into planning are big on daily habit stickers to track things like working out, water or veggie consumption so the heart counter on the bottom right hand page is great for that. I haven't really found anything I want to track daily just yet but am thinking of using it for blogging/social media related things. I'm still getting to grips with such big spaces to fill so not 100% happy with my weekly spreads so far but I think they're fun.
My version of the Heart of Gold planner also came with daily inserts. This are good for really busy days and some people use them as a sort of mini scrapbook. I don't use my planner for work so couldn't really see me using them to plan my day and preferred the scrapbooking idea. I wasn't really loving the ones that came with it so picked up these macaron inserts which are super cute and better suited to what I need. Again, I haven't actually gotten round to using them yet but once I go somewhere and use my Instax I'll give them a go!
There's a gridlined page titled "Ledgers" for finances, lined paper for notes and then pen and washi swatch pages. As I'm new to the whole planner decorating thing, I don't really have different pens or really care for anything other than a basic black biro. However, the idea behind these pages are a pretty neat idea for the hardcore planners out there. The hearts are for you to test out how the pens will look over white and black on the paper in the planner and to check it won't bleed through. The line next to it is to make note of which brand and colour it is and where you bought it from which I imagine is useful for those with masses of stationery.
The washi tape page is a similar concept as the pen swatch but also handy as you have all you have all your tapes in one place for quick reference when thinking up a weekly colour theme or washi shopping so you can make sure you're not buying one really similar to one you already have. Another freebie that came with my package was a huge wad of these to do lists. I write about 3 lists a day so these will come in really handy.
I am obsessed with my Marion Smith Designs planner. It's easily the prettiest organiser I've ever seen which I why I parted with what most people would see as a ridiculous amount of money for a diary. They've recently listed a gold and pink version of the planner on the website which is made with a new and improved vegan leather so doesn't include any of the inserts. I've set up an Instagram for all my planner related photos and so I can enter giveaways without annoying people who follow me for my usual content! You can check it out here.
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