We’ve been advertising The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner since the start of December and I realized we haven’t written about it here in The Pink Tarha blog. I guess we were just overwhelmed because during that time, it was also the same week as The Pink Tarha Mornings 4.0. We would like to thank everyone who has bought the planner. It’s been an awesome experience meeting readers. In this entry, I will finally tell you the details of The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner. What is the fuss all about? Is it worth its SR 50 price tag?
It’s A Story. The Riyadhizen Planner is inspired with the Filipinos’ love for planners. In the Philippines, we have a lot of planners, in different kinds and styles. The most popular would be the Starbucks Planner that is produced every year. But you don’t just buy it off the coffee shop. You have to buy a lot of coffee drinks to fill the sticker booklet. A person can spend more than 1,500 pesos (approx SR 150) for the coveted planner. Other popular planner brands include Bell De Jour, Giving Journal, Design Your Life, and others that you can see and read about here. I used to buy one of the planners during my Christmas vacation before I go back to Riyadh. And I thought, why not have one here in Riyadh? And I just don’t mean the boring, generic kind.
So I suggested to the other Pink Tarha ladies that we make our own planner. It should be customized to people like us… Riyadh dwellers. And since we have The Pink Tarha experiences in our belts, we thought of incorporating a lot of articles and tips for the Riyadhizen in this planner. We browsed several planners that we had and jotted down items that we want to see in our planner. We had this planner idea since last year but it wasn’t coming into fruition because other things were happening in our lives and the idea got shelved a couple of times until Eid vacation came and I told the ladies that we need to decide whether to push through or not. Finally, we managed to get up on our asses and make our ideas a reality. As for the design… hmmm. We brainstormed a bit and came up with designs that speak about ourselves: how do we see ourselves? What’s our individual style? What is our planner vision? Now, we don’t have a Fine Arts or Graphic Design background. I for one just like tinkering with Photoshop once in a while when I need to do something. I just Google how to do things and follow how-tos. And we don’t have any money to have someone design it for us so what did we do yanni? I prayed, haha. I mean I prayed for inspiration to come. And it worked!
During the Haj vacation, I spent a few days designing and laying out the planner. While designing it, I was also writing the articles inside. I was winging the design and the articles, haha. Sheila contributed a few filler articles while Reina were seeking out potential advertisers. Since this is the first time we’re coming out with a planner, I wanted to give our all on this. It should be a multi-tasking planner that is filled with stuff important to people living and working in Riyadh. The general feel would have to be like The Pink Tarha – classy, sophisticated, yet fun and happy filled with positive vibes and colors on each page. And so, The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner was born.
Riyadhizen, noun – a person living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (regardless of nationality).
The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner – a planner especially made for the Riyadhizen.
The Riyadhizen that we made is now more than a planner. In each planner, you will find a friend because it has every thing that you will need in living a more beautiful 2015 in this unique city. And this planner will urge you to do something new every day! Now, you can write your life because hey, it’s too short to just let is pass you by.
So let me break down the planner for you:
What do you think of the cover? It has green and gold… it couldn’t get any more Saudi Arabia than that. Haha!
At first, each of The Pink Tarha lady created a cover that shows our style and personality. Sheila came up with a simple, sleek black cover that is great if we only had means to come up with a leather cover for the planner. Reina created a pink and black/gray cover that depicts her bold personality, her uniqueness in a desert of boring ones. Haha! While I went for a chic, posh look that’s a bit crazy and fun. (I told you, ako yung crazy, hindi lang halata haha!) The original cover that I picked was the one with a pink tinge instead of green but the ladies said it’s too feminine. And we kind of embraced the mint green over time. We wanted the planner to cater to everyone. I mean we know guys are probably not the types who carry around planners, much more write in them, but who knows?! Haha! We do not discriminate. 😛
A Quick-Glance Calendar. Who gets confused with the use of Gregorian and Hjri dates in their work? We are! And so we’re sure most of you would benefit from having both in one place.
A Magazine and Book In One. When you get your hands on the planner, you would think it’s a book. That’s what Reina had in mind when we first saw it. The texture of the pages will remind you of a magazine though so we thought wow, that would make it a book slash magazine slash planner… what more can we ask for? Haha! Aside from the texture, the articles available inside that opens each month would make you read for a few minutes. After a short article, the opposite page has a few tips on a lot of topics. Examples are Romantic Restos in Riyadh (February), Riyadh Malls We Like (May), Apps You Need (August), and a lot more! Oh, and it also has spaces for your goals each month. Talk about serious goal-setting huh?
The Month At A Glance. One of the most useful tool in this planner is the month-at-a-glance spread which contains small boxes per date that is just enough for you to jot down important events and birthdays. It also has spaces for Notes, Reminders, To-Do List and Checklist. This spread also has one valuable tool: the Prayer Time Guide. You don’t have to ask anyone for the prayer time anymore! In this city where our lives revolve around the prayer times, this will help you greatly.
The Daily Pages. We didn’t know how many pages we can print that is within our budget so the original eight pages for the 30/31 days a month was trimmed down to four pages but we utilized all the space on this one. We only left empty spaces for you to jot down your ideas, thoughts, and daily experiences. All the other spaces were used for a power mantra (because hey, we need to cheer each other on!), a quote from entries in The Pink Tarha blog (because you have another source of info you can read), an inspiring life quote that will remind you how awesome life can be, and something we’re really excited about: a Riyadhizen challenge that you can do for fun! We’re pretty adventurous and we’re really competitive so we need to share notes on those challenges each month! We also placed important events there that you don’t want to miss, for example: Janadriyah Festival 2015 and Independence Days of of some nations. Oh btw, each month has its own color making this planner a very colorful one inside.
Inserted in between the months are what we call filler articles that talks about iqama issues, car and driving issues, and telecommunication and remittance stuff that most expats will find useful in their life here in Riyadh. There’s also a page on Riyadh’s best-kept secrets and organizations you might want to join. Apart from that, we also inserted a travel plan page for you so you get inspired to go on a trip on 2015. And we’re not talking about your vacation in your home country but somewhere else you haven’t been in.
At the end of the whole planner are pages you can use to scribble and doodle on. It will help you to just let your creativity flow when you’re bummed out. Let’s not deny the fact that we get bouts of homesickness or sadness and I tell you, doodling or writing will ease some of those negative feelings. The pages can also be your gratitude log.
Now, apart from the planner’s contents… the planner’s “bookmark” is your entry to the Riyadhizen community. Each bookmark/card has a code that you need to email along with your name, age, and email address. It unlocks a newsletter every month that will be sent to your email address. This newsletter will give you the first dibs to Pink Tarha entries for the entire month, sale alerts, discounts and promos with our partner restaurants, hotels, and stores. This perk is only available to owners of the planner. Now, that sounds pretty exclusive eh? Haha.
And we think that this planner can also serve as a souvenir. If your family and friends in your home country don’t believe that you actually have a normal life in this unique city, they’re in for a surprise. Show them that we don’t live in the desert in tents with camels in our backyard., We actually live in a cosmopolitan city that’s hip and happening in our standards. Haha! So don’t send them a plain postcard! Send them these planners. And since it’s the holiday season, give these planners as gifts too. We know a few friends who already did and their friends and officemates were thrilled.
Each planner is SR 50 and it includes a pen that goes well with its matte pages. We had a minor scare when we first saw and felt the planners because the pages really looked glossy. Turned out it was matte and a regular ballpoint pen will do the trick. Even Sharpies can be used in writing in the pages although we’re not sure why you would want to. Hehe. The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner is available through our online order form: http://goo.gl/pGbBac. And it is available online from Irene’s Closet KSA. We also schedule pick-up points which are posted in our Facebook page. Get more updates through our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We really believe that this planner is worth owning, not because it’s ours, but because there’s no other planner like this. It depicts Riyadh, and Saudi Arabia, in a different light… the light we see each day. Also, this planner is not mass produced. It’s not even that commercial. It’s a planner that is very close to our hearts because we made this. From conceptualizing, brainstorming and marketing with Sheila and Reina and designing, writing, packing, selling and even delivering on my own, this planner is unique and one-of-a-kind and not a lot of people have something as unique as this in the city where they’re currently living. It’s made by Riyadhizens for their fellow Riyadhizens.
The Riyadhizen 2015 Planner will not be possible without the help of our sponsors. We would like to thank Whites, National Distribution Company, Riyadh Marriott Hotel, UBER, Century Properties, NUYU, Almudhan Group, Destination Riyadh, Piatto, Steakhouse, and Firegrill for believing in this project. We would also like to thank Dr. Shaun Louie Sabico, Engr. Oscar Balila Jr., Mr. Ian R. Dimitui, and Ms. Jamila Mae Fernandez for their pledges. We owe you guys so much! Thank you from the bottom of our very pink hearts! To our families and friends who are always supportive, our gratitude goes to you all. And to God Almighty, everything we do is because of you and for you.
We acknowledge the fact that this planner is not perfect. For example, we had a problem with our bleeds that’s why some letters and words are unreadable because the binding ate some space, more than we anticipated. Also, the paper used was not the one we were envisioning. We also wanted a leather or harder cover but we didn’t have enough time to scour for them here in Riyadh. But we had a really great printer guy who helped us print this planner in record time. Even with these glitches, we are extremely proud of this planner. Not a bad outcome for our first time eh? Haha! We, of course, will welcome your feedback.
We love you Riyadhizens! Remember, do something new every day! ~ Janelle