Starbucks 2024 planner is here once again. But is the Philippines’ most famous planner actually the best out there?
To find out, we borrowed the rose gold version one to check how it holds up to the usual fountain pen test and against the 2023 version. We also brought out non-nib pens just like what we did with the Manix Abrera’s Terror Prof Blue Book.
The short answer is, if you use normal pens, you’ll be fine. But if you use finer writing instruments, you’ll be frustrated. As usual. If you don’t have time to read, scroll down for a TL;DR.
When closed, the rose gold planner features a siren- and underwater-inspired design. The back cover “wraps” around the planner itself and is kept shut by the pen that comes with the set.
Both the front and back covers of the planner feature pockets big enough to fit ephemera.
Inside the planner
Joining the 6-ring binder that can fit A5 size sheets are two accessories that are much different from the 2023 edition: an easily-removable 8-inch ruler, and back-to-back leather pockets with three card slots.
Just like the 2023 edition, you can replace the planner’s pagers with refills once 2024 is done (or when you feel like changing everything).
Full year view and personal information sheets are found in front of the planner.
The same underwater and siren themes are present in two-page art pieces that divide each month. Some of these dividers also come in postcard versions.
Each month starts with a monthly calendar view across a spread, together with a weekly layout (one week per page).
If the month ends before the pages do, the following month’s days are previewed in light grey text.
Each month is then capped by 10 pages of dot grid paper, except for December. The last month has 8 extra pages of dot grid paper to cap off the year.
So, is the paper fountain pen-friendly?
Just like last year, the answer is… kinda. Or, not really, to be accurate.
Here’s a page tested with fountain pens, featuring handwriting by Lorraine of @calligraphyspot.
And here’s the back portion of that page, next to non-fountain pen writing samples.
To recap, here’s an excerpt from our observation of the previous planner:
The paper feels like it both absorbs more ink than it should… There is feathering, however, especially with heavy ink from the thick Pilot Hi-Tecpoint and the Uni Pin for pro.
…Pencils work well in general (except for some colors), and erases cleanly too. Except for the dirty part which was erased with the Uni Kuru Toga’s built-in eraser. The rest were erased with HBW 4B eraser.
If you’re new to fountain pens, using the Starbucks 2024 Planner will be frustrating, especially when you’re in the phase of trying out different combinations. Seasoned nib folks would know that just like in the coffee shop’s previous editions, extra fine to fine nibs are the only ones that are less likely to have issues with the paper. We say less likely, because even hair line strokes can feather if the ink is a tad wetter than the usual. EF-F combined with dry inks is the way to go if you really want to use this planner.
Paper performance aside, it is also quite annoying to write on the left side of the planner since the pen loop creates a bump. But this is only an issue that can be easily solved by just removing the page you’re writing on.
Pen Noob Verdict
The Starbucks 2024 Planner is more of a desk companion. Project managers we’ve talked with about this planner say that the size is perfect for office work as it provides a view of multiple days at once, with more than enough space for notes.
But if you prefer smaller planners, or those that you can carry around with you, here’s an overview of other planners’ sizes compared to the Starbucks 2024 Planner.
As a journal, however, the Starbucks 2024 Planner is less than ideal as it its paper performs inconsistently across different ink types. There are better options for creative purposes. Especially when you consider that you need to get 19 drinks for this one.
The Starbucks 2024 Planner is just a bigger version of the 2023 edition, with a few new accessories to support the same mid paper. This is not a planner that you’ll rationally carry with you at all times: the soon-to-be-older one does a better job for that. But if you need bigger pages for school or work, and a definite separation for things you have in mind, this is perfect for you.