Day 3 of my Twelve Days of Custom Photo Gifts series is here! Today’s pick is custom notebooks, journals and planners. I’ve made custom notebooks for myself before and as gifts. I haven’t done a planner before, but the concept is similar. What’s great about this gift idea is that there’s quite a range price-wise depending on how customizable you want to go and in some cases how many pages you want to make. The only downside I see is that they’re so nice, you might be apprehensive about writing in them!
CUSTOM PHOTO NOTEBOOKS & JOURNALS
I made a notebook from Tiny Prints for myself with photos of my little guy. It contains about 100 lined-pages (200 if you count the sides). The paper feels like the notebook paper you used in school and is wire bound (like the spiral notebooks you used in school). 🙂 The Tiny Prints version sports a cover that appears to be a textured plastic laminate that won’t show fingerprints.
There are several designs to choose from. It’s not a fancy notebook, but a place where you could jot down things you don’t want to forget or a to do list. You can find this type of notebook at Snapfish, Shutterfly, or Tiny Prints with various design options priced from $9.99 to $14.99. I think they would make a good and fairly inexpensive stocking stuffer.
Snapily, a company that specializes in 3D printing and animated effects has its own twist on the notebook. It allows you to select two photos that appear to morph from one to the other. The type of photos you select can therefore create some interesting effects. Think of taking one photo where your subject is making a serious face and then in the second photo is making a funny face. You can imagine how that would look right? I just thought of a couple photos I have where this type of effect would be perfectly suited. We have a series of photos that a tour guide took of my husband and me on our honeymoon. We had gone to the New Zealand movie set of the home of the Hobbits – the Shire from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (now this was just one stop on our honeymoon, not the entire honeymoon mind you!) For those of you familiar with the story, the ring causes its wearer to become invisible. See what I mean below. Hmmm…maybe I have to make one of these now! This type of 3D action may be of special appeal to kids (and to adults too). They’ve got lots of colorful backgrounds to choose from. You could also do a 3D effect (requires only one photo). Snapily does not appear to offer this product anymore.
I’ve also made a custom notebook for my mom from Blurb. This notebook is different from the rest because you can customize the entire interior of the book versus just the cover. Because of the level of customization and quality of the book (you can get this softbound or hardbound) it costs more. It would make a nice gift for someone who likes to sketch or for someone who likes to journal. Just as with photo books, there’s no limit to your creativity. There are pre-made templates, but you can also create your own. If you want more details, check out my Blurb custom notebook review.
CUSTOM PHOTO PLANNERS
I haven’t made a planner before, but the concept is similar to making a notebook. TinyPrints offers monthly and weekly versions complete with fun stickers. They’re at a higher price point than the notebooks. For a fully customizable version, similar to Blurb’s custom notebooks, you can make a custom planner with complete control over the interior pages. There is no difference in pricing between Blurb’s notebooks and planners.
Below is a quick chart of some companies that offer custom journals, notebooks and planners.
Custom Notebook and Planner Comparison Chart (Updated Pricing 11/2014)
||Product||Cost||# of Pages & Size||Special Features|
||Notebooks & Planners||Depends on page count and options. Starts at $17.59 softcover; $32.59 hardcover imagewrap; Addtl pgs $0.12||100 pg default notebooks; 134 pg default planners (up to 440 pages)
6 x 9
5 x 8
|Every page and cover is completely customizable. Two sizes for planners. 6 x 9 for notebooks.|
|Snapfish||Notebooks||$14.99||200 blank or lined pages; 6.75 x 9||Customizable cover;
|Shutterfly||Notebooks||$9.99 & $14.99||150 lined pages; 8 x 5 & 8.5 x 11||Coil bound, personalize cover|
|$14.99 ($54.00 for monthly planner; $60 for weekly planner)||8 x 5 (notebooks) 80 pages; 7 x 9 (planners)||Wire-bound; Planners come in monthly and weekly versions; Personalize cover|
|Photobook America||Notebooks||$14.99||8 x 5; 150 lined or plain pages||Wire-bound; Personalize front and back cover plus inner covers.|
HOW DO I GET A DEAL ON NOTEBOOKS, JOURNALS & PLANNERS?
Check my Coupons and Deals Page
Since many of the photo book companies also offer these types of custom gifts in their product line-ups, I also post these deals along with other photo gift deals on my photo deals page. Additionally many companies will have 40%, 50% and sometimes 60% off site-wide which would also apply to notebooks etc.
Check my Groupon Tracker
Don’t forget about those crazy Groupons and daily deals – you can typically get upwards of 60% off using a Groupon. I keep track of all the photo related Groupons and Living Social deals on my Groupon Tracker page across the U.S., Canada and many international cities, so you don’t have to sign up under every city to find out where the deals are. Remember you don’t have to live in that city to take advantage of an offer. Since these companies operate online, you can buy a deal from Cleveland if you live in NYC. I would recommend that folks stick to their deals within their own country however and be sure to read the fine print as each deal can have different details.
DAY 4 COMING SOON!
Be sure not to miss any of my gift ideas! I’ll be archiving all of them on the main Photo Book Girl gift page as we go through all 12 days so be sure to check back! I’d love to hear if you’re planning on making any of my picks for someone on your list! Comment below.