I know it has been almost a year since I have last posted, and a lot of it has been because I have fallen away from planning altogether. The last time I touched my planners to decorate was September due to how busy my semesters have been. Recently, I have been drawn back into stationery, and my trips to Michael’s and Amazon site have dramatically increased. As I’ve been trying new pens, markers, and styles of planning, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to hop back on here and share some of those ideas with you. I don’t know how consistent these posts will be, but I will write when I can!
Another major update- I likely will not be posting new printables just because I have not been sticker planning myself. However, I have plans to share tips and tricks for making your own stickers including where to find art for free, resources for inspiration, and how to use silhouette studio for planning. Since I’m no longer making stickers, I am open to sharing documents and resources that I used for free printables and for printed stickers from when I sold them nearly two years ago.Something new and exciting for me is calligraphy and bullet journaling! I recently decided to dive into bullet journaling and figure out new creative ways of planning, and I think it would be cool to share what I’ve learned so far since a lot of people are also starting new journals for the beginning of the year.
In general, I just want to have fun with this blog, and I hope you stick around!
So for my first review, I decided to start off super basic, reviewing a cheap product that intrigued me. I was at Target the other day looking for post-Christmas clearance, and I found this $3 pack of colorful highlighters in the dollar spot. I have tried loads of stationery items from the dollar spot including note pads, page flags, Washi, calendars, and even planners, but I’ve never used their pens mostly because I was skeptical of their quality. If they end up being terrible I can always see if any friends or family want them or just accept that I lost $3 plus tax.
As mentioned, these come in a pack of 12 colored highlighters for $3. Target dollar spots are stocked differently from store to store, so you may not find these at yours. Dollar spot displays and products are very seasonal, so I imagine these will be around as long as the planners are. Price breakdown comes to 25 cents per highlighter. When I first bought these, I thought there were 7 different colors with some duplicates, but looking at them more there is a subtle difference between some of the purples and pinks. We will see if it makes a difference at all when writing.
I would not consider myself knowledgeable with highlighters at all, as I mostly collect pens and lettering markers, which is why I thought these would be a new thing to try. I only ever use highlighters for school as the neon colors in a chisel tip don’t look the best in planners. One side is a classic chisel and the other is more rounded fine tip. These remind me most of the Zebra Mildliners because of the double tip. I haven’t used those markers since high school and I no longer have them in my collection since the ink ran out and the tips wore down, so I don’t have them to compare directly, but I’ll do my best.
As I mentioned earlier, the most highlighting I do is with a standard chisel tip sharpie highlighter, so that will be my baseline for comparison since that type seems to be the most universally known.
I swatched these on standard printer paper to compare colors, and I tested them on thicker planner paper and standard notebook paper. Some of these colors were not the stereotypical neon like the coral pink and the two purple shades. The rest were pretty standard in my opinion. I’m not sure if the duplicates were intentional but I found that two of the pinks and the yellows were the same. You may be able to notice very subtle differences, but you would only notice if they sat side by side.
Next, I swatched the orange on notebook paper next to a typical pink thick chisel sharpie and did a couple of smudge tests over my favorite pens. The chisel on the target highlighters is thinner than the sharpie’s and it is a lot harder, which could be because I haven’t used them as long. I also filled in a circle with the chisel tip, and the result was not that great so definitely would not recommend these to fill in any sort of larger space. The most important test for me was to compare smudging over dry ink. I did four swatches with a black Pilot Juice 05 pen, one of my all-time favorites. I checked to make sure the ink was totally dry before running the highlighter over it. As you can see the result was not pleasant, which is definitely something to consider. I then wondered if it was the pen’s fault, so I tried a maroon Pilot G-2 07, another classic, and yet again the ink smeared across. The pink swatches at the bottom of the page are using the same pink Sharpie from earlier waiting the same amount of time for drying. It’s clear that these “cheap” highlighters don’t compare. I’ve also inserted the backside of the page to compare bleeding and ghosting. Bleeding was definitely present in both the pink sharpie and the orange Target highlighter. The filled in circles bled for both, but more intensely with the dollar spot brand. Every highlighter I tested on this page ghosted, but again, notebook paper is not the thickest, so that was expected.
I did a final swatch in my Recollections Planner since the
paper is very smooth and quite thick. I tried a pink Sharpie (top) and a pink Target marker (bottom). Here you can see more clearly the difference in thickness. The second photo is the back of that page showing some ghosting, but not much. The cheap highlighter did start to bleed through this paper, but it is only very slightly noticeable.
I was curious to see if I could try lettering with these, but like most highlighters, a lot of ink lays down initially so it is very clear to see where each stroke is in the lettering. Thus the color isn’t even and it just looks weird. The thin tip worked fine for standard cursive lettering as long as I kept a consistent pace and didn’t pick the marker up too often.
The Final Thoughts!
Is it worth it?
Probably not. You do get a ton of highlighters for the price, and that is definitely worth considering. However you really do get what you paid for and unlike a lot of dollar spot finds, these aren’t anything special. The bleeding and smudging compared to the standard sharpie were a huge con, and it made it difficult to continue using them. After doodling with them and swatching repeatedly, the chisel tips started to wear down quickly and the lines were not as smooth. These could be fine for just playing around with, but I personally would get frustrated using these in a book or in notes. I do like some of the colors like the purple, coral, and blue, but a lot of the others aren’t different enough to warrant keeping.
If you’re desperately in need of a bunch highlighters for single use, maybe check these out.
Thanks for joining me! Hope to see you again 🙂
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