I am a paper planner: I prefer to organize my life using paper instead of a device. Paper planners have many things that make them better than digital tools, but to me, the most important quality is their flexibility: instead of having a device tell you how to use it, you use a paper planner the way you want to.
“Paper planners work because they are flexible and with that flexibility eventually comes an awareness of how you work …not how it works you.”
For the last couple of years, I have used classic Moleskine notebooks to keep myself kinda organized. This was OK until my husband and I started to have some health problems. All the medical appointments required something a bit more structured to keep everything straight. In the midst of my search for a new planner, Keith and Melissa from Scraft Artise asked me if I’d like to give their undated coloring planner and coordinating double-ended markers a try.
Scraft Artise kindly sent me a copy of this planner/coloring book. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while using this book. This post does contain affiliate links.
Introduction to My Days in Color
My Days in Color is an undated “freestyle” design planner with 12 two-page single month views and 26 two-week spreads.
As it is undated, you can start the calendar any time: no need to wait until January 1st. Also, if you have a period of time with no appointments or to-dos – like when you are away on vacation – you can skip it and pick up again later. You have the flexibility to design it the way you want it.
In addition to the monthly and weekly pages, this coloring planner also includes:
- an Information Page,
- a two-page spread with Multi-Year Mini-Calendars for 2016-2019,
- four pages for Notes,
- two pages for Goal Setting,
- two pages to record Important Dates,
- six pages for your To Dos,
- four pages for you to use as you want,
- and three full Coloring Pages.
You can color on every page. The front and back covers also have colorable areas, but for these, you will need very sharp pencils or ultra-fine markers or pens.
Here’s a quick video flip-through to give you a sense of the book. (My apologies in advance for how “primitive” it is – I am working on improving my video-making skills!)
Almost every page in this planner has a generous black and white patterned border for you to color, along with a few pages at the end of the book solely for coloring. Most designs extend over two pages, and each is unique. Some illustrations are purely geometric or abstract, while others include elements such as flowers and butterflies.
The designs are hand-drawn, but they do repeat within the two pages. For example, a hand-drawn set of leaves and flowers is repeated several times in the border around the two pages.
Line work is medium throughout. Most illustrations do extend to the very edges of the paper.
My Days in Color has almost 100 pages and is 6″ x 9″, so it is easy to throw in most handbags, and any tote bag or backpack. The front and back covers are very sturdy board that make writing and coloring in the planner easy to do anywhere. The covers also protect the inside pages. After two months of use, the covers on my copy are as good as new!
The wood-free paper is heavy (120 gsm, just under card stock weight), smooth and bright white. Alcohol-based markers will bleed through, so I don’t recommend them because pages are printed on both sides. Water-based markers, including the Scraft Artise double-ended markers, gel pens, and colored pencils all performed beautifully. Water-based markers blended nicely and only just started to bleed through when I laid down several heavy layers. I found that colored pencils lay down evenly and smoothly, but there was paper show-through – “speckling” – unless I added layers, used a heavy hand, or burnished with a colorless pencil.
The My Days in Color planner has a heavy-duty, double loop, lay-flat wire binding, another feature which makes it very durable and usable. You can lay the book flat at any page, and can easily fold it back on itself when you want to write in or color on a single page. Some designs do run into the spiral binding, but it is minimal and doesn’t impact the overall coloring experience. All of the planner function areas are free of the spiral binding.
It is easy to clip a pen or marker to the inside of the spiral binding so you can always have one at hand.
I found the designs in My Days in Color to be easy-to-medium. There are not too many dense details (except on the front and back covers), and the small size of the planner itself means that you will never be intimidated by a large expanse of black and white lines waiting for color.
This book is a double-whammy stress-reliever: it will help you keep organized while giving you mind-easing designs to color. Since it doesn’t look like a coloring book, you can pull it out any time you need a coloring break.
I enjoy sitting down with my planner at the end of each day, reviewing the month’s and week’s pages and updating what I need to. I talk with my husband about our plans and double-check my next day, week and to-do’s. While coloring, I think about how I am using my precious time. A very relaxing way to stay on top of things!
If you love coloring, even on the go, and being organized, then this is the planner for you. The undated concept is flexible, and the planner includes all the elements you need to keep your life organized. The coloring designs are interesting and varied, the paper high quality, and the double loop spiral binding and rugged covers hold up to tough use. My Days in Color has earned a permanent spot in my purse! 5★ out of 5★.
For more information on how to use a paper planner effectively, read this post from Tree Hugger.