Keeping Tabs on the New Year: a Review of “Doodlehouse” 2017 Coloring Planner by Lang with Artwork by Susan Winget

January has arrived and with it came this year’s planner which I ordered from Amazon — the Doodlehouse 2017 Coloring Planner by Lang with artwork by Susan Winget. Lang makes a number of different coloring planners. This planner is 6.25″ wide  x 9″ tall. It is spiral bound. The front and back covers are made of heavy cardboard. An elastic strap keeps the book closed. The inside pages are medium weight paper. The paper is good for coloring with colored pencil or gel pens. Magic markers would not be appropriate because they would bleed through the paper to the other side. Unlike other calendars I have seen, every page has something to color.

1% of the net profit of this particular calendar is donated to the Dreaming Zebra to purchase art supplies for underprivileged children around the world.

The planner has a couple of pages at the start with a heading of “Personal Notes.” That is followed by two pages showing yearly calendar views of 2016 and 2018. The following page is a list of 2017 holidays. The final introductory page is titled “Birthdays and Anniversaries.”  The planner then begins with month views for January through December 2017. Each month is a two page spread. Those are followed by weekly views for the year. The left-hand page of each weekly spread is a coloring picture (approximately half the page), a Notes section takes the next one quarter page, and the bottom quarter of the page is a current monthly calendar plus monthly views of the previous and following months. The right-hand page begins with Monday at the top and ends with Sunday at the bottom of the page. Each day is a given a fair-sized area for writing in your appointments. The final pages of the planner following the weekly views are a few pages for addresses and exactly one single sheet, front and back, for notes.

I find the personal notes, birthdays, addresses, and notes pages to be a waste. There are not enough of them to make them worthwhile. If I’m going to keep lists throughout the year I will need to buy a notepad.

The calendar sections however, I like very much. It is nice that the monthly view includes this year’s holidays written in a small type size that doesn’t take up much space. The small calendars on each weekly view are very convenient.  I also find the small notes section on each page to be quite handy.

I have always enjoyed Susan Winget’s artwork. The coloring pictures in this planner are very cute and detailed. Pages include pictures of snowman, birds, stars,.Easter eggs and bunnies, strawberries and pumpkins, pencils, paint brushes, hearts, animals, and inspirational quotes. Much of the detail is small, perhaps a bit too small, but with a gel pen or sharpened pencil the coloring can be accomplished. I particularly like the size of the half page coloring pictures which can be completed in a fairly short amount of time.

The planner is not perfect but it is one of the best that I looked at. It is a fun book that will serve me well this year.

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