Best Laid Plans Planner Review Planners

BLP #16: Wonderland 222 Review

November 9, 2020

It took me about 30 seconds after seeing the Wonderland 222 planner before deciding I had to try one. I reached out to the company and one of the creators Liisa Roberts (photographer + designer) wrote back and offered to send one to me for review. The planner was developed by Liisa as well as her business partner/co-owner Andy Panske (graphic designer).  

Therefore, in full disclosure I did not pay for this planner. But I am being genuine when I say I see myself purchasing products from them long into the future.

I love this planner.

It has almost all of my favorite elements of the Hobonichi, plus more. One cannot deny the similarities between the two: both have very similar (if not the same) Tomoe River paper, both have the same size gridlines in a very similar style, and both have weekly/monthly/daily pages (plus more).

Wonderland 222 is divided into two books instead of one, and has even more features. For a detailed tour, definitely check out the episode above!

But in brief:

There are two books that comprise this system, a Planner (shown to the left) and a Notebook. They all come in 3 colors: black, pink, or dark green. You can buy them separately or together and there are A5 and B6 sizes available.

(Mine is the A5.)

Shown here is the dark green Planner on the left and the pink Notebook on the right, nestled into my 2020 Hobonichi Cover.

Here is the system on its side. Yes, it’s fairly thick but not tight. I do wonder what will happen when the pages get more used. Time will tell and I will definitely update!

After some index pages and printed yearly calendars come a compact yearly spread. You will see some filled out pages below but I could not bring myself to write on 2021 pages yet!

I plan on using this as a health/illness tracker for the family. (I used the Hobonichi’s annual page for something similar in the past and liked having the info.)

The tabs you can see along the side are to delineate the months (this planner book contains Nov 2020 – Dec 2021, so it’s not hard to get a little lost). I used these from Jetpens though Wonderland sells tabs, too.

I love this next section – a little quarterly calendar with blank spaces to the right! I am going to track goals here (will adapt it to my ‘quintiles’ method somehow!).

Then come Gantt-style charts for every month! On my November page below, you can see I am tracking daily habits + the books I am reading. I think it will be fun to see how long each book takes to read.

Each month is flanked by Overview and Review pages. They both have the layout below. I am going to use Overview for goals/events and Review to track progress on various goals + financial progress (savings) as well.

Having the Review pages is a reminder to celebrate the wins each month. I love that.

The monthly pages are fairly standard. The weekend is very lightly shaded, which I like. You will never make the mistake of thinking the week starts on Sunday. I use this to track big events / call schedules

Weekly pages! I admit – I first was concerned when I saw that there were no separate columns for Sat/Sun. But there is plenty of real estate and it has been a complete non-issue so far. I divided up my page to include workouts, meals, and to do lists along the bottom (separate for work vs home).

Dailies! I’m including a few examples. You can see that there is some show-through. This is a reality with Tomoe River paper (same with the Hobonichi). If you want think luscious entirely opaque paper — this planner is not going to be for you. (For me, it’s a fair tradeoff for being able to carry around so many pages at once. I also feel pretty used to it as a Hobonichi user for years!).

The first two are real. The third is fake as I was playing with layouts!

Note: there are about 80 blank grid pages in the Planner and the Notebook contains 365. I probably would have preferred a touch fewer in the Planner for a slimmer system (maybe 40-50) but having these two books and so much flexibility means there is no need for any accessory notebook like I was using previously.

Pen test!

Basically, the pens that work well in this system are the same as those that work well in the Hobonichi. I prefer the Uniball Jetstream plus some brush pens for accent. Gel pens will smudge. Pigment pens will smudge too (the Uni Pin was the least smudgeproof of the ones I have tried below). My beloved Pentel Gel Clena is a total no-go on this paper. Surprisingly the Clean Color Dot pens do not bleed through (they do on many other types of paper!).

I absolutely love this planner and am planning on using it for 2021 (though I am keeping my Hobonichi avec around because it is always possible I will need a fresh start in July).

Happy to answer questions!

54 Comments

  • Reply Susan November 9, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Okay, I ordered this and yes, totally obsessed! I’ve been a bullet journal girl since 2015 but this set up is what I was spending time doing, and in the 222 it’s done for me!

  • Reply Vicky November 9, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Arg! Seeing this makes me feel like I jumped the gun buying the Inkwell Press 2021 inserts!
    I grapple with the guided nature of the Inkwell and the self-directed nature of the Wonderland. But I’m starting to lean towards, now that I’ve used a guided style for a while, something like this would allow me to tailor the planner to what works best for me. The weekly on its own isn’t very expensive… I’m thinking I may go for it! (I hate “wasting” money…. this is hard for me!)
    Thanks for the review!

    • Reply Vicky November 9, 2020 at 10:51 am

      By the way, this may be a weird question, but does pencil work on this paper? The way you describe it, it seems like it may not? My meetings and such move around too much to be able to use pen! Also, I make SO many mistakes when I write. I want to use all of these cool pens, but ugh, might not be for me. Thanks!

      • Reply Wonderland 222 November 9, 2020 at 11:55 am

        Yes to pencil, my business partner, Andy uses pencil in his. His schedule is also very dynamic.

      • Reply Catherine November 9, 2020 at 11:57 am

        I use pencil all the time. No problems.

        • Reply Vicky November 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm

          Thanks!

  • Reply Young November 9, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I got a Wonderland 222 planner too!! I got the B6, though, and the planner-notebook combo for that size was sold out, so I could only get the planner. Thanks for the link to the tabs! I lamented the lack of tabs and didn’t even realize that I could just buy some. I also don’t want to start writing anything on the 2021 sections. I already started writing in the November tracking section. The one thing is, I would like a cover especially one that has ribbons or some kind of band so I can mark my place. I’ve been browsing Etsy. I wonder if Hobonich carries covers for the B6.

    • Reply Lori C November 11, 2020 at 9:08 am

      Salty Kate has a beautiful jelly cover with holographic stars you might like. I bought the clear one. I think Lauren Phelps Designs has clear ones too. Both have pockets.

  • Reply Gillian November 9, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I already bought a 2021 Hobonichi, but I may be getting this and gifting the Hobonichi to someone else. I hate the condensed schedule on the Hobonichi daily pages. I love the idea of having this more expanded spread on the left of the page.

    Hmmmmm, decisions….

    • Reply Rinna November 9, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      I find that condensed schedule annoying as well. End up rewriting it effectively. Was just about to buy the Hobonichi, but this one is also cheaper (when considering shipping to Canada).

  • Reply Meghan November 9, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I bought this one after seeing your pictures of it and just started using it yesterday! It’s very helpful to see how you’re using it. I like it so far! Now to find a cover…

    • Reply Meghan November 9, 2020 at 11:22 am

      FYI, I bought the tabs they sell on their site. They were super cheap, a little over $2! They are numbered on one side with the month on the other side. There are also tabs for Monthly, Weekly, Daily, and Freely. All repositionable.

  • Reply Sarah S. November 9, 2020 at 10:11 am

    The Wonderland222 is exactly the planner I was looking for. I always wanted the weekly and monthly layout of the Hobonichi without the daily pages. I love how this one adds tracking and monthly overview pages. I use the blank pages for bullet journal type content so having about 70 is perfect. I saw the first picture on this blog and purchased one immediately even though I prefer academic year duration planners. I’ve been using it without a cover because it slides into my laptop case for transport. Book darts also make good page markers for the weekly, monthly, and tracker pages in the absence of ribbons or tabs. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Hannah N. November 9, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Holy cow – I am 100% purchasing this planner! This year, I have mostly created my own layouts/pages in a bullet journal but this checks of so many boxes. I plan/set goals on a quarterly basis since that works well for my particular career (love to celebrate the end of tax season in April!!) and love that this has that already built in! Thank you for the review!

  • Reply Rebecca November 9, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    This planner looks amazing and a great Hobonichi alternative (since they are even harder to come by in Canada)!
    However – I really prefer horizontal weekly layouts with no time schedule. Does anyone have any recommendations for this same type of minimalist planner, with monthly pages and trackers as bonus, but with horizontal weekly layouts? My days are generally filled to the max with meetings so I really want to track the to-dos and some other daily points. Worst case, I’ll customise a spread in this 222 planner, but would love to know of any recommendations.
    I’ve seen Leuchtturm and Moleskine options…

  • Reply Rinna November 9, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    I am so in with this planner EXCEPT I love the Hononichi Avec version, where it’s separated into 2 volumes. I really like keeping it thinner, Hmmm…on balance still leaning towards trying this out.

  • Reply Lou Mitchell November 9, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Oh I really want one of these… but the cost to the UK is pretty fierce adding shipping (not that bad) and UK VAT and import tax (22.5%)… quite a bit more than from Japan. Why don’t they have a European wing?! Maybe for 2022. See how you get on with it. Till then, I stay in the (a6, writing small!) Hobonichi.

    • Reply Abigail mcMillan November 14, 2020 at 6:16 am

      oh yikes – I forgot to add in the VAT and import tax. My comment below was maybe a bit hasty *goes back to analyse budget*

  • Reply akapulko2020 November 9, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I actually bought a Wonderland222 notebook lately after wanting a Tomoe River notebook for quite a while.
    It’ll probably be my next bullet journal notebook , or I’ll wait till 2021 to start it, we’ll see.

    The planner looks SO great in your photos but Monday week start is unfortunately a deal breaker for me , as the week starts on Sunday where I live 🙂

  • Reply Rinna November 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    So, on the daily pages, do you have to write in the date yourself?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 9, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      yep 🙂 I actually enjoy writing the date and hand lettering the day of week on each page – kind of a meditative way to start the day!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 9, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I think this might be the planner for me when I return to more serious planning – maybe in 2022? I have majorly scaled back my planning since having our son and we are having a 2nd in December so I know my planning will be sparse again for 2021… but that will give me time to use up my bullet journal!

    That pink cover is so pretty. I do feel like I’d need a cover for this since you said you weren’t sure about the durability of the cover… but if I continue this mostly-WFH approach then durability isn’t quite as important since I won’t be transporting it all that much.

  • Reply Mommy Attorney November 9, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Arg! I already ordered my planner….. Maybe I can ask for this as a Christmas present?

  • Reply Grateful Kae November 9, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Have you ever used one of the Hobonichi Plain Notebooks? I currently use just a basic monthly planner with a weekly spread from Target that I carry with me and is kind of my master calendar. (I do my daily planning/time blocking in Google Cal each morning and keep to dos in Google Tasks/ transfer to my weekly pages).

    I then have a grid paper notebook that I do NOT carry with me- I keep it in my desk drawer- which I have turned into my “accessory notebook”/ bullet journal type thing. This is where I have my monthly/ quarterly goals, my 20 for 2020 list, lists of books, etc. I have 1 page for each month too for monthly goals/ the back side is my habit tracker.

    It seems many of these planners are designed to carry all of that “extra” stuff with you all the time, along with the monthly pages, but I really don’t want to. I have a weird fear of like losing my purse or leaving it somewhere and having someone have access to all of my personal goals, lists, etc. So I like having that at home, more private. I want to keep my notebooks though for memory sake though and to look back on and my current notebook is literally a big old Five Star notebook. WAY too big to keep using long term each year and keep. I’ve never used anything hobonichi but am wondering if maybe the plain notebook would fit the bill for what I’m talking about.

    • Reply Grateful Kae November 10, 2020 at 6:56 am

      Also, forgot to say- about that yearly page in the Wonderland where you are planning to track illnesses. Another thing that could be cool for is writing a short gratitude entry there! It would be neat to see an entire year of gratitude on one spread. 🙂 (if one could write small enough)

  • Reply Danielle November 9, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Oh! I actually get to be glad that I procrastinated on buying my 2021 Hobonichi Cousin. I’m excited to get this and as I roamed around their website I’m even more excited. They are based in Tacoma, WA and I’m in Western WA….so it’s a local purchase as well!!

  • Reply Son November 10, 2020 at 3:44 am

    For those looking for a very minimal and lightweight cover I found it fits the Midori MD notebook clear cover a5 (the individual planner, not both books).

    I bought one after the original commentator suggested it and would very much second having a European distributor. after tax and shipping the planner alone came up to more than I would have paid for the hobonichi Avec which includes all the daily pages. I like it but it was quite spendy.

  • Reply everydayhas November 10, 2020 at 6:14 am

    Love!! I actually just bought one and started using it yesterday so it was great to see your layouts. Now I am worried about getting a cover for it though…..

  • Reply Janna November 10, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Yes! I agree with all points about this planner. I bought one when you were talking about it and showing pictures a few weeks back. It is PERFECT for my remote teaching schedule right now. Love the habit tracker, that it fits in my hobonichi cover and the layout of the pages. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply Megha November 10, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Sarah, do you save your planners? I have a tough time tossing them as they are sort of time capsules and fun to look through what my week was like …say 5 years ago, but probably not a great use of space (kon mari). Curious if you ever get attached??

  • Reply Katie November 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    This looks almost perfect, just a bit leery of the thinness of the paper. I’ve never used a Hobonichi so don’t have that reference. Do you know if a Paper Mate Flair pen (my very favorite) would be ok with this planner?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 10, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      I could not use a flair with this paper personally – too much smudging would occur.

  • Reply Laura November 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    I love this but couldn’t quite tell from your post or the website – are there enough Daily pages to have one every day?

    • Reply Wonderland 222 November 12, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Laura, The weekly planner book has 75 undated daily pages but the Notebook has 365 undated pages. Enough for a page per day. 🙂

  • Reply Funkygirl1977 November 10, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    I heard your podcast on this Planner and I’m very excited to order one now that I’ve taken the leap and looked at your actual notes!! I’ve literally been creating my own pages almost identical to this in a bullet journal. I will ask though are the upcoming planner reviews going to make me want to order those as well? Or can I order this one with confidence today? Thanks for branching out and doing this I’ve been listening to you and Laura for two years now and both you ladies are my driving companions every Tuesday (and now Monday).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 10, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Haha I never know what is coming down the pike, but I’m pretty sure I’m personally using this for 2021. At least the first half 🙂

      • Reply Funkygirl1977 November 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        Alright I took the plunge! Hoping you can delve more into how you plan and also how you’re able to move yourself forward to complete and action the things you plan for yourself. Thanks! Here’s to more doing in 2021!

  • Reply Lori C November 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Ok, how did no one mention Pen15? And I almost fell off the chair with the secret sneak peek of a future interview!!!! Unless the cars out of the bag and I missed the memo 🙂 SO EXCITED for CN!!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 11, 2020 at 5:35 am

      shhh 🙂 it’s a subtle hint. lol.
      (PEN15 is a TV show if that’s not clear . . . it’s totally cringe comedy and also hilarious)

    • Reply Alyce November 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      I was surprised no one else seemed to catch that!

  • Reply Delia November 10, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Sarah, I am one of those that ordered this planner before you finished the episode. I have always been intrigued by your Hobonichi but the Japanese always scared now I an beyond excited! I especially love that there are no daily pages as they have never proven useful for me. I cant wait to try this planner and hope it is delivered soon!

  • Reply Life in categories - Grateful Kae November 11, 2020 at 8:11 am

    […] systems. Maybe that will help me evaluate them a bit. I’ve been super intrigued by Sarah’s post and podcast episode about the Wonderland222 planner…looks pretty amazing but it would require […]

  • Reply Theresa Garton November 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Can someone suggest a place to find covers? TIA!

  • Reply Jamuna November 12, 2020 at 10:12 am

    I think you have me sold on this planner, I will plan on getting for 2020!

  • Reply The Evely Pack November 12, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I’m curious… for the quarterly sections with the month on the left, and blank on the right… you said you plan to use it to track goals… what does an example of that look like? I imagined using the blank area on the right (?)… but then what will you put in the daily boxes on the left? (since your big events are on the monthly pages)

    I love how you can take a blank page and design an entire layout with multiple personalized categories and visually appealing ways to organize them… all my lists/sections just end up looking a mess! I prefer customizable pages, because templates rarely fit what I need… but when trying to design my own, my mind is just as blank as the page! haha!

  • Reply Abigail McMillan November 14, 2020 at 5:18 am

    Ok you have convinced me, this is going to be worth the international shipping fees to get this to UK. I have listened to your Hobonichi enthusiasm for years, but never plucked up the courage to spend so much, but 2020 feels like the right time to go for it. I am reading all the recs for covers and tabs with interest as well.

  • Reply Vanessa November 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I already bought the Hobonichi Cousin for next year but I just went ahead and ordered this one as well. I think it might work a bit better for what I want or I can flip between and see which one I like better!

  • Reply The Evely Pack November 15, 2020 at 8:27 am

    OK, I’m considering taking the plunge into tomoe river land 🙂 but… I have some logistical questions…

    how in the world do you find which day you are on in the daily section… for quick reference throughout the day? I’m so part time that for all intensive purposes I’m a SAHM, so since I’m toting it all over the house I don’t have a “spot” really where I can leave it laid out open to the page …

    so, also… portability… At first I thought I wouldn’t like having a separate book for dailies with the W222 as opposed to the HTC because… one book feels simpler than toting two… however I then realized I LOVE the idea of having the planner laid out open to the week *while* planning out my day in the notebook… but if they are both “tucked in” to the same cover, how much of a pain would it be to take it out each morning to write my plan for the day? I really don’t like the thought of having them in different covers… but I’m not sure how to keep them together for ease of toting just one item, but also easily removable when I want to lay them both out for reference without having to flip back and forth between the two… thoughts? am I just asking too much out of this system? haha!

    lastly, I’m constantly writing down all the *random* items that come up throughout the day bc if I don’t write it down it gets lost in the ether… do you have a strategy for taking random notes throughout the day that get tossed when no longer needed (in a way that doesn’t junk up the nice daily planned pages)… I guess like “scratch paper” that would be part of the whole system to keep it all together…. your accessory notebook seems more for lists to keep with you, but not so much the stuff that’s needed temporarily but gets tossed bc it doesn’t need to be kept for long term planning purposes (for example all the notes I had to take while helping my mom car shop that I needed to easily reference for the many phone calls with dealers…) I do like disc bound for this reason bc I can just keep extra note paper that can be removed and re-upped as needed.

    phew! I’m not going to say thoughts like this kept me up at night, buuuut it’s possible I’m so excited about that these are last and first thoughts of the day lately! so silly, but the planner obsession is real!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 15, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Tape flags or use of a bookmark can help! It hasn’t been an issue for me yet, but remember I do have little stick on “dividers” on there! W222 sells them and so does Jetpens 🙂

  • Reply The Evely Pack November 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Oh I forgot to ask… do you use the pencil board? is it a necessary accessory??

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 15, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Nope 🙂 I only use it as a ruler!

  • Reply The Evely Pack November 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    What are your thoughts on pre-dating the daily pages? Have you or are you going to date each daily page ahead of time? I’m thinking if I need to write a date specific task onto a daily page, I’ll want them pre-labeled, but it also feels like a lot of work to do ahead of time!

    In other news, I’m super excited for the W222 planner/notebook set to arrive!!! For a cover I’m going to try Erin Condren’s on the go folio, but I have a smidge of buyer’s remorse bc I’m not convinced it will work well with the W222, but I guess I can always use the folio for something else, and get a traditional planner cover for my planner…

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