Planning for 2017: Plum Paper Vs. Purple Trail

Welcome to another edition of my Planning for 2017 series. In this edition I’ll be sharing a battle of the brands with Plum Paper vs. Purple Trail. I reviewed each planner separately so be sure to check out the series here.

Disclaimer: Both planners were sent to me for review for this series. All opinions are my own.

As always be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.

What Is Plum Paper?

Plum Paper is a stationery company based in San Diego, CA. While starting out making simple note cards and wedding invitations, it wasn’t long before the line of planners and notebooks became their most popular and favorite product. Each of their products are handmade from start to finish in their San Diego office.

What is Purple Trail?

Custom invitations, stationery and gifts, and of course planners. Purple Trail provides you with inspiration and tools, and lets you do the rest! The site is loaded the site with professional designs to choose from. You can easily pick one; add your details and you are done. Or, change it up a bit by moving things around and adding special touches. The possibilities are endless.

I compared Purple Trail in a previous review to Personal-Planner.

To make it easier to compare the two planners I decided to categorize what’s important: coil, cover quality, size, layout, add-ons/customization, pricing, paper quality, and shipping. I decided to compare these two planners since their layouts and designs were similar.

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There are many things I enjoy about both planners, but unfortunately this comparison was too easy for me. For starters, when it comes down to the coil and the cover, Purple Trail trumps Plum Paper. Plum Paper now has interchangeable covers, but the quality of the coil and heavy lamination of the Purple Trail cover is top-notch. Other than that, I’m in favor of the Plum Paper.

The sizing of the Plum Paper and Purple Trail is very similar, especially since both brands offer an 8.5″ x 11″ option. If Purple Trail was the same size as the Plum Paper, 7″ x 9″, it wouldn’t be as bad. The smaller size makes it even thicker with all the add-on’s.

Speaking of add-on’s, both planners are pretty down the middle with these. The add-on’s aren’t expensive for either, but keep in mind that they can bulk up the planner, weigh it down, and let’s not mention how thick it’ll get once you add stickers.

Coming down to the layout they both have a similar flaw. Plum Paper duplicates the week. For example, December 26th-January 1st is placed in both December and January. Why plan the same week twice? There was no need for the duplication. Purple Trail takes it even a step further by cutting off days if they’re not a part of the month, yet put the same days in the weekly spread of the next month. I’m not sure why this is their design, but it’s a major flaw to me that I can’t even view as practical.

I do love the rest of the design aside from the wasted paper of both designs. Both have lines and Purple Trail has lines all the way down which I enjoy more than the lines and then 3 bullet points in the Plum Paper. Plum Paper wins overall in design with the goals section at the beginning of each month.

Paper quality of both planners are amazing. Plum Paper has the extra point with their silky smooth paper. I had no problem with bleeding or shadowing in either planner and I’ve used an array of pens from a Pilot G2 to a Paper Mate Flair.

What really gives Plum Paper the extra edge for me is that you can start the month when you would like. Each point you would start it at is an additional price as their standard planners are 12 month. Purple Trail offers 12 and 18 month planner options and while you can choose your month to begin followed by the 12 or 18 month option, the planner can end in a weird spot. I chose to begin the planner in September 2016 and it goes to February of 2018. That’s a long commitment to a planner that I’m not interested in.

The greatest downside to Purple Trail, aside from the amazing quality, the shipping is really expensive. While people in the U.S. can deal with the prices, it’s upwards of $40 to ship internationally. Maybe in the future this will be fixed as the brand evolves, but it is a setback for someone overseas to pay nearly $100 for a planner. It’s meant to be functional not a dent in the bank.


ppHands down I have to give this win to Plum Paper. I think I would have enjoyed the Purple Trail planner more in the 8.5″ x 11″ size and used it as a memory planner/scrapbook instead of the smaller size. Plum Paper also gets major points for being easier to manage with it’s 7″ x 9″ size. The Purple Trail planner is like carrying a novel around. Of course, when planning it comes down to personal preference, but practicality is key and Plum Paper wins in that area.

Unsure of what planner to use in 2017?

Check out the entire Planning for 2017 series here.




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