Planner Season: The FranklinPlanner Catalog | Giftie Etcetera: Planner Season: The FranklinPlanner Catalog

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Planner Season: The FranklinPlanner Catalog

This arrived in the mail last week.

I have no time or money (especially the money part) to even browse the newest FranklinPlanner catalog, but that didn't stop me. I must have paged through it at least 10 times. I treated it like a child of the 80s treated the Sears catalog at Christmas time. I plan to trash it, but before I do, some complaints whines ...ahem, we approach the new year, or as I like to call it, Planner Season.

Let the judgment commence. (Now would be the time to grab some popcorn.)

*The layout of the FC Studio bound planners is fabulous, but why can't they offer something similar in ring bound? And in a compact size?

It's a horizontal weekly layout on the left side with days/dates of the month along the top. To the right, it offers ample space for notes, weekly to dos, and memories/journaling. It comes in some great colors and truly uses the maximum space on the page. (One thing I hate about FC is when they color in otherwise usable space with greens or blues.)

*There are more options for "One Page Per Day" layouts for compact FC planners, including colorful designs like Sweet Life, Serenity, and Retropop, along with the more traditional Monticello and Originals, but they still insist on either ZERO color or such bold designs that part of the page is wasted.

I'm sticking with my Quo Vadis daily inserts for now. That sucks, since those need to be cut and hole punched. I'd pay for the convenience, if FC just designed something like Blooms in compact size.

*There are tons of planner accessories in the new FC catalog, but most are not visually pleasing.

Take the pen loops, for example...

...or the hole punch.

*FranklinPlanner has upped the game with some fabulous binders (comparable, in my opinion, to Filofax), but they are incredibly expensive and the ring sizes tend to be 1" instead of the far superior 1.25". Also, the rings no longer appear to be interchangeable.

My favorites are the Color Nobelessa Open Binder (compact, 1" rings) in navy, orange, pink, or purple for 87 dollars...

...and the Lizard Embossed Binder (compact, 1.25") in charcoal (also available in orange) for 158 dollars.

Now, you know I love me some planners, and I'd be drooling and celebrating if the Lizard one arrived in my hands. But, seriously, I will NEVER spend 158 dollars on a planner. So I sit in judgment and hope to win the lottery.

*There are bags that I covet, but they are also out of a reasonable price range, considering the quality issues that I've had with Franklin bags in the past. Without one in hand, I have no way to check if the quality issues continue today.

*There are some interesting organizing gadgets available on the website, but only a handful of those are featured in the catalog.

Ultimately, I am still a FranklinPlanner/FC fan. I think they made some long overdue improvements in the product selection, but may have priced themselves out of the market. That would be a sad day.

I figure the best thing for them to do at this point is to hire me as a consultant, don't you? ;)



Bree said...

I used to shop at their store in our local mall. I've tried to order from their web site twice, but they were out of stock on the items I wanted. I get the emails, but not the paper catalogs.

I agree that FC needs to do some market research - paper planning will probably never be the majority again (was it ever?), but it is seeing a resurgence and they are missing the chance to make a major impact. They are obviously following some trends (FC Studio = attempt to capture Erin Condren customers), but missing others (decorating pages, which not my thing, is very trendy!). Same with the planner/wallet combo.

I do get Day-Timer's catalogs. I wish they made more page options in Portable size. The paper quality is really good (similar to Quo Vadis), but the printing quality has gone down. Colors and designs are often out of alignment. One month was so bad and blurry I thought something was wrong with my eyes.

I want a slender binder with a few card pockets, a secretarial flap for loose papers, solid rings in decent size and a snap tab. This has been surprisingly hard to find!

I want someone to design a monthly/weekly/daily pages with wider line spacing. I just can't write tiny and read what I read later. I'm reduced to buying notebooks and chopping up the pages to get decent lined paper. If I ever get the time, I'm going to design my own pages. I've got the graphic design skills, just not the time.

Unknown said...

I like a lot of FC inserts and designs, but don't see the point of pages that are half unusable because they're filled in with colours and patterns. I'd rather stick to my Filofax pages, where I can actually use all the page. said...

I agree about the dark colors that take up writing space. I use just about every part of my planner for something. That's one reason I've never gotten Her Point of View. That picture takes up a huge amount of usable space. And one year I got the Seven Habits but hated it because the edges were so dark I couldn't write on them.

I noticed the increased prices, too. Wow! The binders have gotten expensive!!! And since there are no more stores, I can't look at them.

I had high hopes but was disappointed again. It's still a superior system, but . . .

Claudia Volkman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia Volkman said...

You know... FC is looking for a product development director -- how tempting is that!

n Utah? We're hiring a Director of Product Development. This position will develop and manage the product roadmap and product lifecycle for all FranklinCovey paper planners, cut and sew items, and partner product lines. Check out the entire job description on our website. Come work with us!
Career Opportunities | FranklinCovey

Denise said...

Saw this one:,73759::4984::prod830048::62886

Denise said...

It has a full page of blank space that could be customized for your needs

WellPlannedLife said...

I got their catalog, too, and I love looking through it. I often wonder why they make only certain layouts/designs for certain sizes. You would think that making them for all sizes would increase sales...? I say this only because I might have purchased a pack or two at some point but they were not available in the size I was looking for. I can't imagine that I'm the only one.

I didn't notice the price increase, only because I don't shop with them enough to know. It stinks for their loyal customers, but seeing how many people shell out hundreds of dollars for mulitple Gillios, they might figure that people are willing t pay top dollar for a good binder. But I don't see people flocking to FC the way they have been to Gillio, so maybe they will lose customers with the increase.

Ah, planner season, my favorite time of the year!

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