Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Listed: 5 Cute & Functional Planners for 2017 (Part 1)

Nothing makes my day more than seeing cute, pretty things on my desk, more so if those "somethings" also help me organize the month and make me feel productive af.

To give you a brief background of my planner-love journey, I started collecting planners around 2014, when I discovered and Kikki.k (those were wonderful times). Ever since, I've fallen in love with the art of planning my life on cute organizers.

(Read: A Planner Addiction | My New Kikki.k Planner | Personalizing Your Starbucks 2016 Planner | FILED 2015 Planner | FILED 2014 Planner)

This year, I am in a DILEMMA. Ever since my awakening, I've eagerly hunted for other brands I could try out for the next years, and the list is far from short. I've reached brands based in Singapore, Sweden, The United States, and the UK just looking for new planner designs and features. Now, I am in the mood to purchase a planner for 2017. The question is, which one should I go for this time?

My planner choice often depends on two major factors: aesthetics and features (regardless of size, though I'm not a fan of small/personal-sized ones). As of the start of October, I've come across planners which fit my needs.

1. Hobonichi Techo 2017 + Sherbet Cover

After I purchased the Kikki.k last year, I continued looking for planners. I joined a local Planner Facebook group where I could pre-order and buy planners and accessories and came across this Japanese brand.

I am in-love with the daily layout. It may look simple, but the possibilities are endless. With a lot of room to write about my day and include small stickers and photos (plus, the grids will allow me to do lettering without worrying about the margins), the Hobonichi is definitely one on my list. 

This planner costs around Php 2,032.00 (JPY 4320) rounded off for an A6, which is inclusive of tax. With shipping, a total of Php 2,689.41. Of course, there are local sites that bulk order the Hobonichi and therefore charges less for shipping and taxes. 

You may check out its features and other product photos here: Hobonichi

2. The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

Her planner's cover designs are to-die-for, most especially because they have gold corners, has gold monograms (for your initials if you'd like) and has a layout that leaves plenty of room for doodles and notes.

The daily edition
They offer weekly and daily editions, and it's always a hard choice between the two, at least for me. The daily edition has gold rings and hard matte cover while the weekly edition has a leatherette cover. Both look premium too.

The weekly edition

Both editions are sold for $58 dollars (that's Php 2,803.00 rounded off, but it's worth every penny. I'm not sure how much it totals with shipping and tax, but for a premium, it's a price you'll have to be willing to spend.

Order your Simplified Planner 2017 here: Emily Ley

3. Design Your Life Planner by CNS Designs

Want an equally cute and functional planner but don't want to spend so much for shipping and taxes? CNS Designs is here for you, because it's a brand based in the Philippines and they offer incredibly awesome planners (also with gold corners!).

When I discovered their planners last year, I came close to regretting the Kikki.k (but of course, that would never happen - I love my baby), if only because I realized I could've gotten a planner with great aesthetics locally, for a way cheaper price (again, I'm not regretting buying the Kikki).

For just Php 550 - 595, you can get a planner that offers function and form. For it's price, one can afford all three and still have enough for Starbucks or a full meal at a restaurant. This year, I'm having a harder time deciding because of this brand in particular. Just look at its layout inside.

They've got really cute stickers too, and a no-tear pocket inside.

Pre-order your Design Your Life planner 2017 here: DYL Planner

4. FILED's Scribble & Keepsake Planner

Among the planners on this list, FILED's planners are the only ones I've used twice for two consecutive years. I just love their compact design and the ease of ordering from them, plus an option for getting your name customized by hand on the covers. This year, they've stepped-up their game with gold-foiled lettering and gold corners on the sleeve cover (like the others listed above).

They have two editions this year, the Scribble and the Keepsake planners, both with their own charm, purpose, and layout. I am leaning towards the Scribble more, but I love the dotted layout on the Keepsake.

Given it's price (Php 695 for the Scribble with Sleeve & Php 645 for the Keepsake with Sleeve), I am tempted to buy both editions (like I am with the DYL planners above) if only to get the best of both worlds. I currently have 5 planners which I use for different things, so I'm sure I'll find each one a purpose eventually.

I skipped their planners last year as I already purchased the Kikki.k, but I might go back to my first planner love for 2017.

Pre-order your Scribble and Keepsake planner here:

5. Livewell Flex Planner by Inkwell Press

I just discovered this brand today and I live for it. It has a hard cover, has SO MUCH FREAKING SPACE, has gold rings, a strap to hold things together, and a large inner back-pocket for anything you can fit in there, among other fantastic features.

I am living for this. The font and colors work great together, there's so much room for doodles and other reminders you might need to write - just everything I want a planner to be.

This is priced at $54 (about Php 2,609.53), and as if that isn't enough to give me a heart attack, they don't ship to the Philippines. This planner gets to be enjoyed only those living abroad (the US, UK, and other countries in Asia), but if you've got relatives living in any of these places, you can use their address and have it delivered to you from there.

You can also try ShippingCart to process your orders from any US online store (yes, even those which don't ship to Pinas) and have it shipped directly to you in the Philippines. They give you a virtual US address (like your personal PO Box/storage) and once you're ready to ship, just trigger their button and your goods will be on their way. I've used this a few times already and it has saved my life. Haha.

Get your Livewell Flex Planner here: Livewell

Product images © belong to the respective brands.

Do you have your sights on any of these planners? What brand should I include on my next planner list? Let me know in the comments!

Ciao, bellas!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Listed: 5 Things I Love this September

Boy, do I love happy endings.

Since it is the last day of the month, I figured I'd list September favorites, just to share what I've been getting into (partly also because I want to see summaries of each month in my archives when I want). I really hope I can keep this up! Each month gets busier and busier at work!

So sit back, relax, hit play on the Spotify playlist I have set up for you below (containing music I've discovered and/or grown to like this month) and read about what's made September awesome!

BTW, if you have your own monthly favorites post on your blog, leave the link when you post your comment. I'd love to read it!

1. Udemy's Online Courses

I'm not a stranger to online courses as I've joined a few in the past (Read: Skillshare, iMazing, and The Online Writing Exam & 10-11/366: CalArts), and the main reason I do is because most are free and can be taken when you want, how you want at your pacing. Work is always busy, so when I find a course that interests me, I see the timeline and course specifications. If I see it fits my busy schedule, I go for it.

I'm currently enrolled at a course about Social Media and I am loving the lessons so far. The good thing is after you finish the course, you'll have lifetime access to the lessons and videos. Sweet, right?

Try it out for yourself at Udemy or Coursera or Skillshare.

2. Swift Playgrounds App

I love code. I may not be the best coder, and I may not know every programming language there is, but I love learning and having hands-on experience. I started with HTML5 and CSS3 in high school, learned ActionScript 3 in college, and now, with programmers to my left and right, I'm starting to pick up Swift for iOS and others.


This year, Apple came out with an app called Swift Playgrounds, an app designed for kids to learn Swift programming for iOS in a fun and easy way. While they intended it for young people, an adult like myself can use it too. I've already begun with the first lessons and I can say it's going to be exciting. If you have a kid who you think will love this (or you can try it yourself, haha), download it for free on the App Store. Swift Playgrounds is only available on the Ipad.

3. Apple TV (3rd Generation)

Last year, Apple released a new Apple TV, one which allows you to access and play apps on the big screen and use Siri to search for movies and music. It's pricey for sure, but I had always wanted to buy one for myself. I had to choose between the 3rd gen and the 4th, but in the end, I chose to purchase the former version. I figured since the new Apple TV was still yet to be populated with apps and stuff, tried and tested would be the way to go.


Well, Php 4,790.00 wasn't a bad price to pay for everything, including the HDMI cable required for it. We enjoy watching Netflix and Youtube on it, and if we've had enough, I mirror my mac's screen (or my ipad pro's) to the TV and use it like a bigger monitor for whatever I'm doing. (You've GOT to play Counter Strike on a bigger screen. Holy smokes.)

I might have to sell my 3rd Gen by Christmas to upgrade to the 4th, but you never know. If you love entertainment and doing more with your HD TV, I highly recommend purchasing an Apple TV.

4. Sing! by Smule

Everybody who knows me have an idea about my love for singing. I breathe singing, to be more accurate. So, when I had the chance to go premium on Sing! by Smule, I did so, and it's been a real trip from there. My following has upped a bit, and I get to sing any song I want from the library.


If you're not familiar with the app, it basically allows one user to duet with another no matter how far they are from each other, as well as sing in groups or solo, in audio or with video. You get scored when you hit the right notes and you can get featured on the app.

I've formed some friendships from there, and we get along well because we both love music and singing. I've yet to meet them in real life though.

If you love to sing or just like music and hearing others sing in general, you must download this right now. If you do, please do add me as a friend (click: WWV_Veeyah). See yah there, maybe?

5. My New Portfolio Site

Just recently, I decided to update my art folio and attach it to my domain for good. For years, I've been using Wix and 3rd party sites to host my images, and now, I've finally found a permanent home for them.


There's not much to say about this one, and it's obvious why this is a favorite "thing" from this month's craziness. Please do visit my Art Site and let me know how I can improve your experience.

Shameful plug: If you need my services, please don't hesitate to email me at or via the floating Contact button on the lower right of the screen.

So there you have it! These were my favorites in the whole of September (and still are), though I could add in a few more to fluff everything up, haha. 'Til the next month!

Please leave the post link to your monthly favorites in the comments below as I'd love to read about them!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Ipad Pro Diaries: Three Months In

Just this month, Apple launched iOS 10 and released two new iPhone models, the 7, 7 Plus, and a new Apple Watch model called Series 2. As for the iPad Pro, they haven't released a new model. It's been three months, and my love affair with the iPad Pro 9.7 is still ongoing, admittedly losing a little of its magic.

Image from Apple's site

Let me break it down for you. At the end of June this year, my boss bought me an iPad Pro 9.7 to mark one year working for the company. Of course, the hype was all there as last year around July and September, Apple introduced the iPad Pro 12.9 and added the 9.7 respectively. Of course being the designer that I am, I immediately saw this as a tool I could use to go around my job with less hassle. I had wanted to buy it for myself last Christmas, but was advised to wait for a few more months, so I did. Finally, on the last week of June, the iPad Pro was given to me.

If you've read my other post about the iPad Pro (The Ipad Pro Diaries: One Month In), you'd know that within the first month of using it, I had completely abandoned using a regular notebook and my Wacom graphics tablet. I had found that the Ipad Pro could somehow replace some applications and gadgets I had used before.

Sadly, I'm here to partially retract my statement.

Here's the deal: I love the iPad Pro for what it can do on the go. It's very compact and it helps me organize my life. While it is heavier than my Kikki.k planner, I can use it to not only plan my day but also get ready for a design I'll be using for a project, play games to relax, and browse the internet on the go. However, the ugly truth is that no matter how much it's made my life easier and organized, it still can't replace some applications I first thought it could, 'cause when I first reviewed the device, I hadn't been able to dive into using the apps fully.

However, the ugly truth is that no matter how much it's made my life easier and organized, it still can't replace some applications I first thought it could...

Remember when I said that the Procreate App could replace Photoshop? Boy, was I in over my head right then. It made me think it could replace Photoshop because I could do digital painting on it - but as it turns out, that's about it. You can't copy-paste, you can't crop, you can't do much except paint. It was my error for believing it to be so much more, and now I've been able to look into it much deeper, it can't replace Photoshop. At all. It can replace Paint Tool SAI at some point and Autodesk Sketch, but that's it.

Also, I'm quite disappointed that not a lot of apps are taking advantage of the Apple Pencil's capabilities. I go to the App Store every week to check if there are additions to the "for your Ipad Pro" category, but it's always the same apps. I know it takes a while for developers to create a really good app for iOS, including integration with the Pencil, but it's really getting boring. The most I've used the Apple Pencil for is on the One Note App, which I regularly use in taking notes during meetings and managing people and their workload.

If you go back to my first post about the Ipad Pro, you'll see a photo of my "Create" folder, which contained a number of creative apps I had yet to discover. The thing is though, I've deleted more than half of those. This is what the create folder looks like now:

I don't even use the apps above for work, just during my free time when I have nothing better to do. I keep going back to Photoshop and Sketch for strict designing. I don't know I just feel like I could be doing so much more with the iPad Pro, you know? Maybe it's because I expected more, and maybe I'm being too hard on the product as it IS its first roll-out.

Here is what I normally use my iPad Pro for: digital painting.

I started the drawing above around 3 weeks ago, but I haven't gone back to finishing it off.

Another drawing I created earlier for my alter-ego Nova. :) I just love flowers, and roses are my favorite. Black ones, that is.

So what do I think now? Well, I believe the Ipad Pro can do so much more than it can as of now, but there's not enough apps for me to decide otherwise. 'Til then, I'll be waiting.

How about you? What are your thoughts about the Ipad Pro? Do you know any apps I can use to further test the capability of the device?

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