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Carpe Diem A5 Planner (by Simple Stories) Review & Flipthrough

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The Carpe Diem brand by Simple Stories are well known for their ring bound covers and inserts. If you're not a fan of ring bound planners and inserts (like me) they've released spiral bound planners for 2018!

Quick Facts

  • Hardbound cover
  • A5 size
  • Spiral binding
  • 16 months (from September 2017 to December 2018)
  • Monthly calendar starts on a Sunday
  • Weekly spread starts on a Monday
  • Weekly spread is horizontal, lined with notes section
  • Ample notes pages at the back of the planner
  • USA national holidays pre-printed in the monthly spread
  • Gold metal corners on the cover
  • Tabs for each month
  • Pocket
  • Sheet of stickers

Let's take a closer look!

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The Cover

The cover is hardbound and very sturdy - it also had gold corners <3

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Gold spiral binding. As the planner runs for 16 months it's quite thick (about 1 inch)
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This belongs to page

Love that hand lettering! So pretty

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Dates at a glance

For the previous year and the current year of the planner

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Annual Planning

Same style as the monthly planning pages of most calendars - an open-ended layout you can use for anything you like!

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Monthly Planning & Dividers

Each month features a different design on the dividers.

The monthly planning page is very functional - love how there's so many lists for: birthday's, important dates, don't forget, to do and goals.

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2 Page Monthly Calendar

For whatever weird reason lots of planner companies start the monthly spread on a Sunday but the weekly spread starts on a Monday. The Carpe Diem planner is the same unfortunately :(

See how the 31st and the 24th of December are combined in the photo below? The monthly boxes on the calendars are combined, rather than starting on the top row - this is my #1 pet hate - such as waste of functional planning space!

The dates are in the top right corner of the box (which most planners don't do) meaning you should be able to fit more plans into the boxes.

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Colorful tabs

The tabs are fat so it's easy to flip to the month you need. They're also laminated.

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2 Page Weekly Spread

Simple 2 page horizontal lined weekly spread. The boxes could be be split into 2 or 3 - perfect for list making!

Week starts on a Monday

There are 2 styles of this planner - colorful and neutral. The photo below is the neutral.

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Planner Stickers

Bright functional stickers!

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Pocket Folder

This pocket folder is smaller than most planners - you won't be able to fit many papers in it.

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Pros of the Carpe Diem A5 Planner

  • Hardcover won't get damaged easily
  • 2 page spread for each week which is lined i.e. super functional!
  • Very functional monthly planning page with lots of checklists! <3
  • More notes pages than most planners include
  • 2 styles - a colorful version and a neutral black and white version
  • Pocket folder at the back of the planner
  • Different designs for each monthly divider so you won't get bored looking at the same pattern / design every month
  • The tabs are fat so it's easy to flip to the month you need. They're also laminated

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Cons of the Carpe Diem A5 Planner

  • The monthly boxes on calendars are combined, rather than starting on the top row - this is my #1 pet hate - such as waste of functional planning space!
  • There is a pocket at the back of the planner but it's not very fat and would fill up quickly
  • The weekly spread is functional but rather plain - the kind of layout you can find at almost any planner company or could quickly DIY yourself

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Would I use this planner?

No. While I prefer horizontal planner layouts, this planner is a bit too simple for me. There's nothing special enough about it that makes me excited to want to use it. It has the same horizontal layout you can find at almost any planner company.

The main thing I like the layout of the monthly planning page with all the checklists.

The planners feature a lot of floral accents - I'm not a fan of anything floral.

Overall this planner doesn't suit me but if you want to try out my sister has the planner in her shop (along with 1,000+ other planner supplies!)

Want more planner reviews?

For all my planner reviews (there are many!) click here.