Get your 2020 planner at Starbucks
By Low Teck Mee
I know it’s odd and not quite sensible in the age of Google Calendar (or Apple) to suggest that a paper planner is a desirable thing to own. You see, I am still very much into paper (and the perfect partner of Pentel Energel pens). I like how it feels and how it smells. Coffee sellers sure know something about what seduces the nose, which could explain why Starbucks is in the business of selling paper planners. But these are no ordinary ones; they’re by the Milanese notebook manufacturer Moleskin.
Which means these are hard-back planners with binding similar to the best book on your shelves (I am assuming, of course, that you’re not a Kindle or Kobo die-hard). The cover of the planner feels good to the touch, and has the texture of kid leather. Only thing is, Moleskin is on the same path as—my fellow contributor Mao Shan Wang told me—Stella McCartney: no animal hide. So what you’re holding is in vegan leather (okay, that’s as oxymoronic as vegetarian bacon), which, given how the world is now, is probably a better choice anyway.
One little peeve I can’t ignore is the content of the weekly planner. Like smartphones with much disfavoured bloatware, the Starbucks X Moleskin contains significant pages that are best left out. Just after the double-page spread, following the personal info recto, that shows 2020 in a glance, there is another that lists, by month, the new Starbucks outlets opening in Asia in the coming year. And as intro to each month, a shout-out for the highlight stores of the region. The admittedly handsome Reserve store in Jewel at Changi Airport gets to preface June. Month after month, I shall be reminded that the entries I will make are on pages co-created by an American caffeine vendor.
And the undeniable plus: at the Moleskin store in ION Orchard, similar weekly planners are going for S$37.00. It’s at least a ten-bucks savings if you purchase yours at Starbucks (with a S$30 top-up of your Starbucks card, which you know you’ll use). Problem is, these are extremely popular, as their baristas have been telling or reminding me, which could mean that by the time you read this, you won’t be able to find one, even if only to caress the caressable cover.
Starbucks X Moleskin 2020 planner, SGD28.90 (with “reload”, as the store calls it, of SGD30 in the Starbucks Card), is available at all Starbucks stores. Photos: Jim Sim