Cartesio and Moleskine daily planners are similar, but each has it's own unique features.
Cartesio planners have recently been introduced to the US and they are nice. Available in both weekly and daily formats these planners come with all the standard features and a few more and they are gorgeous. In many ways, they are similar to Moleskine’s Daily Planner, but there are a few differences that make the Cartesio Daily Planner a standout in the battle of the planners.
Both planners have the following features:
- Outer dimensions of 3½” X 5½”.
- Daily planning format, one-day-per-page
- Acid-free, archival quality paper, ivory in color
- 24 hour time slots numbered 8-20
- Will lay flat when opened
- Pocket in the back
- Ribbon placeholder
- Personal information page
- 2010 – 2011 monthly calendars
- International holidays
- Time zone charts
- International dialing codes
- Weights and measures
- Clothing size conversions
- Additional pages in the back for notes
The outer dimensions of the Cartesio and Moleksine are the same 3½" X 5½". The Cartesio 's cover is made from recycled leather, the Moleskine's is oilcloth. A small, raised logo is centered near the bottom of the Cartesio's cover.
Cartesio- As with the other Cartesio planners and notebooks, the recycled leather cover is firm yet flexible and has a pebble texture. Colors available are red, orange, turquoise green and black. There is a small, black, square logo near the bottom of the front cover with a white C. It appears to be inlaid and is slightly raised above the surface of the cover. Tempo, Made in Italy is embossed near the bottom of the back cover and is about 1″ wide. Small notches in the top and bottom of the covers hold the elastic in place.
Moleskine - In keeping with the Moleskine tradition, the cover is oilcloth. The black covers are either hard or soft and the red colors are only available as hard. Colors available are black and red. The front of the cover is smooth and undisturbed by any logos or marks and there is very little texture. Moleskine is embossed on the back cover that is about 1½” wide.
Cartesio features a heavy duty rounded elastic that is seated in notches made in the cover that keep the strap aligned. Moleskine features a flat elastic strap that is thinner and lays flat on surfaces.
Cartesio – A heavy-duty, round, vertical elastic strap wraps the planner. Small notches in the cover keep the elastic in place and aligned. The elastic strap goes through holes in the back cover and through the flapped envelope and is secured by small metal bars.
Moleskine – A flat, vertical elastic strap wraps the planner. The ends disappear into small cuts in the back cover and are glue in between the oilcloth and cardboard. The flat profile makes the planner lie flatter than the Cartesio, but it does move around and does not stay aligned.
Cartesio's planning pages are printed in 2 colors, 6 languages and include current and next month calendars. Time slots are broken down into 13, 1-hour slots with dots designating the half-hour mark. The hours are spaced wide enough for including appointments on the half hour. There are no lines for notes, but there is a small, blank area for notes at the bottom of each page and a ruled section in the back.
Moleskine's planning pages are printed in 1 color and in 1 language. Time slots are broken down into 13, 1-hour sections using 24 hour time. There is no room for adding appointments on the half hour in between, but you can divide the lines in 2 with a vertical line to add half-hour appointments. There are 6 lines below the time slots for notes.
Cartesio – The inside is printed with 2 ink colors, black and dark red. First impression is that this is a step above most planners in this price range. The paper is slightly more ivory than the Moleskine and feels equally smooth. The paper feels slightly thinner than the Moleskine but it has the same opacity so I imagine that it will have an equal amount of showthrough. Thinner paper creates a thinner planner that is ¼” slimmer than the Moleskine. Good news if you would like a daily planner that is less bulky.
Moleskine – The inside is printed with a soft lack or nearly black ink. The paper is slightly thicker than the Cartesio’s paper, so it may be a better choice for wet pens.
The Cartesio daily planner is thinner than the Moleksine daily planner by about ¼". This combined with a thinner, more flexible cover makes the Cartesio more comfortable to carry with you and is much less bulky. If you have avoided daily planners becasue of their bulk, the Cartesio may be a good option for you.
The Planning Pages
Cartesio – The daily planning pages have thirteen, 7.5 mm spaced lines which cover 12 hours of planning. The lines stops about 5 mm from the edge of the paper. The slots are broken down into hours, but there is a dot spaced for ½ hour segments and because of the wide spacing, there is room to add appointments at ½ hour intervals if your writing is small. Months and days are in 6 languages. Weeks are numbered ascending and days are numbered both ascending and descending.
Each 2-page spread has small monthly calenders showing the current and following month. Below the planning segments, there is a small space for notes, but there is a section of ruled paper in the back of the planner if you need room for note taking.
To me, the design of the pages is more pleasing and less utilitarian than that of the Moleskine. The two colors and variety of type sizes are easier on the eye. I realize that this is a personal preference and some of you may prefer a more spartan appearance. I also like the inclusion of the monthly calendars on the Cartesio’s planning pages and I wish Moleskine would add this to their planners in the future.
Moleskine – The daily planning pages have 20 lines, thirteen numbered in an hourly planning format, 6 for notes and 1 at the top above the planning segments. The lines are spaced about 6 mm apart and there is no vertical room for ½ hour time slots. The lines extend to the edge of the pages offering a little more horizontal writing space than the Cartesio. There is more room for notes in the Moleskine than the Cartesio, which is useful if you are prone to take copious notes. For some reason, there are no time periods printed on Sundays. Weeks are numbered ascending in the lower right corner of each 2-page spread.
Cartesio's monthly planning calendars are in a box style that makes it easy to see your appointments at a glance. There is not a lot or room for lengthy appointments, but enough room for small comments or symbols.
Moleskine's monthly planning section is in a lined format. There is room for more details than in the Cartesio, but the format makes it difficult to see your schedule at a glance.
Cartesio – The monthly planning calendars for 2010 and 2010 are in a box style, and are similar to wall calendars in format. Easy for a quickly summing up your long range plans, but there is not much room for entering information. There are 6 months per 2-page spread.
The inner pocket is more like an envelope. It does not expand like the pocket in the Moleskine. It is easy to use because it opens at the outside of the pages and it has a flap that folds over to keep the contents inside. It is not permanently fixed to the inside of the back cover, but is held in place by the ends of the elastic strap so you could remove the pocket from the planner if you desire.
There is an alphabetically organized address book in the back of the planner, but it is not tabbed. A small section of ruled pages allows for additional note taking.
Three sections are in the Cartesio planner you won’t find in the Moleskine; a 2-page spread which shows the Saint’s Days for the entire year, a worldwide temperature chart and two pages for New Year’s memos.
Moleskine – The monthly planning calendars are in a lined format that has more room for entering information than the Cartesio, but it is more difficult to see and appreciate your long range plans because of the format. Each 2-page spread includes 4 months to view.
The inner pocket is expandable, which allows you to pack it more full than the Cartesio’s pocket. It opens near the center of the planner, so it doesn’t need a flap to keep things inside. Because it’s opening is near the center of the planner, it may be a struggle to get some items inside, but for most items, it works fine.
There is a removable, tabbed section in the back of the planner. The tabs are coated with a plastic material and are blank, so you can fill them out as you see fit.
The Moleskine has two features that are missing from the Cartesio; a 2-page travel planning section and a printer ruler along the edge.
Both planners are of excellent quality in the under $20 price range. I would whole heartedly recommend both planners. Both have well-planned, efficient planning pages and a good assortment of additional conveniences. There are a few differences that contribute to a different feel for each, and may be a consideration when you choose a planner.
Cartesio has a more high-end, European feel and is slightly thinner than the Moleskine. It is less brick-like and more comfortable to carry around. The leather cover feels nice in the hand and overall, it feels more thoughtfully designed, inside and out. It is less common and may be harder to find than the Moleskine, but this is part of its exclusive appeal.
Moleskine has a more utilitarian feel and the single ink color on the interior gives a cleaner, less cluttered feel. If you love Moleskine notebooks and the mystique that surrounds them, you will love a Moleskine planner. The hard cover makes it feel substantial and gives you a hard surface to write on. It is readily available and can be found online and in most big box book stores.
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