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Archive for the ‘Planner Reviews’ Category

I love pocket planners, but most don’t include a usable monthly calender with the current week. This has always frustrated me, so I created a set of small Monthly Calendars that are available as a free download at www.journalingarts.com.

Free Calendar Downloads for Your Moleskine, Ciak, Cartesio and Rhodia Planners are available at www.journalingarts.com.The Monthly Calendars measure 4¾” x 3¼” and were designed to fit into Moleskine, Ciak, Cartesio, and Rhodia planners and will also fit into the back envelope for storage. Use one as a bookmark and you’ll always have your month to view where you need it.

Use the Monthly Calendar as a Bookmark to Keep Your Monthly Overview Where You Need It.

Slide a Monthly Calendar into your Moleskine planner and use it as a bookmark to keep your monthly overview close at hand.

Each season is designated by a color and design. The free downloads are in color, but will print beautifully in black & white on your laser printer.

Each season is designated by a color and design. The free downloads are in color, but will print beautifully in black & white on your laser printer.

There is also a free download of lined Notecards that was designed to fit on the back of the calendars, but can be used alone for adding Notecards to your planning. You can print these out on the backside of your calendars by printing on both sides of your paper. The Notecards and Calendars were designed to line up properly when printed on both sides.

Free Notecards download can be used alone or with the Monthly Calendars for additional organization.

Free Notecards download can be used alone or with the Monthly Calendars for additional organization.

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With the introduction of Leuchtturm notebooks to the US market this year came a new selection of journals and planners with strong organization abilities. The 18 Month Master Book Planner takes this theme to a new level in planning and includes some extras you won’t find in other planners.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Planner Measures a whopping 8¾" x 12½" and is at home on your desk or table. Thee size is also consistent with a laptop computer and may fit comfortably in your laptop bag along with your computer.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Planner Measures a whopping 8¾" x 12½" and is at home on your desk or table. The size is also consistent with some notebook computers and may fit comfortably in your laptop bag along with your computer. You can order the Leuchtturm Master Book Planner at http://www.journalingarts.com.

The first thing you’ll notice is the size. It measures 8¾” x 12¾” or 22.5 x 31.5 cm and is larger than a standard sheet of paper. You won’t be able to carry it in your pocket or purse, but you may find that it will fit alongside your computer in your laptop bag. The size makes the interior print easy to read, gives you lots of room for scheduling and  gives the act of planning a sense of importance.

The Planning Pages
There are 18 months of planning that start September, 2009 through February 2011. This is different than the popular Moleskine 18 month planners that are dated July 2009 through December 2010. Because if this, it may be better suited for business than school, but would work well for students who start school in September. The additional month or two of overlap in January and February would be convenient, however, if you were migrating towards a more traditional 12 month planner for 2011.

An example of the right planning page from a 2-page spread. Vertical daily columns. small monthly calendars and plenty of room for notes.

An example of the right planning page from a 2-page spread. Vertical daily columns. small monthly calendars and plenty of room for notes.

The planning pages are laid out in a vertical planning format in 24-hour time starting with 7 and ending with 22, giving you 16 slots each day for appointments. Each week is spread across two pages with the week number in the lower corner of the right page. Below each day is a boxed area for notes that measures about 2″ x 3¾” which is more than ample. Each day is clearly noted by a large date and a smaller day. The right column has small monthly calendars for the previous month, current month and following month, with the current week shaded in gray.

Because the pages and type are larger than normal, you would think that the pages would feel overbearing, but the use of a subtle gray ink keeps things toned-down but still readable. Like all of Leuchtturm’s notebooks, the overall design is clean and orderly and will appeal to your organized side.

The Extras

Project Planner
In addition to the planning pages, you find this planner has some unique extras including a 2-page project planner for all 18 months. There are two grids, each with 14 spaces arranged vertically, spanning the dates from September 2009 through February 2001.

The Master Book Planner includes a 2-page project planner that spans 18 month.

The Master Book Planner includes a 2-page project planner that spans 18 month.

Monthly Calendars and Monthly Planning Section
There are two sections with monthly calendars. The first includes three pages of small calendars, January 2009 through December 2011 along with their respective week numbers. There is not much room here for notes, but this format would be most useful for highlighting  or color-coding weeks/months to be consistent with the Project Planner or other scheduling system.

Leuchtturms 18 Month Master Book Planner provides a 2-year overview using small monthly calendars.

Leuchtturms 18 Month Master Book Planner provides a 2-year overview using small monthly calendars.

The next section has vertical monthly planning, six months per 2-page spread dated September 2009 through February 2011 across six pages . Each column represents a month and indicates the date and day of the week allowing one line of planning for each day. Because of the size of the planner, this section is more useful than most allowing plenty of room for scheduling.

For more detailed monthly planning , there are vertical monthly planners with a slot for every day of each month. Because of the large size, there is plenty of room for your plans.

Blank pages for Notes
In addition to the notes sections throughout the planner, there 22 acid-free, plain, blank pages for notes, doodling, phone numbers and the like. According to Leuchtturm, as of August of 2009, the paper in all journals and planners is ink-proof, meaning that there will be no bleedthrough on the reverse. I haven’t had the chance to try this out yet, so I can’t confirm or deny it.

The expandable pocket will hold 8½" x 11", letter-sized paper without requiring it to be folded. Other items such as magazines, reports and large photos will fit, no problem.

The expandable pocket will hold 8½" x 11", letter-sized paper without requiring it to be folded. Other items such as magazines, reports and large photos will fit, too. Items shown in the pocket are a template insert and labels that re included with the planner.

Large Envelope Hold Letter Sized Documents and More
One plus of using such a large planner, is the envelope in the back will hold an unfolded sheet of letter-sized paper in addition to thin magazines, large photos and a variety of other things.

Miscellaneous
There are also a few other features including:

  • Labels and stickers for archiving
  • Ribbon book mark
  • 8 perforated, plain detachable sheets
  • Grid and lined template insert

Final Thoughts
Leuchtturm’s Master Book 18 Month Planner is big and would work well for business and family scheduling. The large size is easy on the eyes and there is plenty of room for detailed planning and note taking. But because of its size, it is not portable or convenient to carry and is best suited for  a desk or table. However, if you carry a computer in a laptop case or backpack frequently, you may find this planner convenient enough to take with you.

If you do decide to give the Leuchtturm Master Book Planner a try, you will find a clean, orderly planner which will allow you to organize even the most chaotic schedules with ease. It opens flat to give you easy access to your schedule and is large enough to hold additional items in the back pocket. The project planner allows you to see your long term plans and progress at a glance and the extra plain pages in the back give you the ability to get your thoughts and ideas on paper at a moments notice.

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Over the years, Rhodia customers have requested a weekly planner. In response, Quo Vadis introduced the Rhodia Weekly Notebook for 2010. It is available in two sizes, and two colors-black and orange. In keeping with Rhodia’s famous notepads, the notes pages are gridded. For those of you who use fountain pens, the large edition (6″x 9″) is fountain pen friendly at 90 gr.

Rhodias 2010 Weekly Planner has a flexible black cover with the Rhodia logo embossed on the cover. A vetical elastic strap keeps the planner closed and compact.

Rhodia's 2010 Weekly Planner has a flexible black cover with the Rhodia logo embossed on the cover. A vertical elastic strap keeps the planner closed and compact.

For this review, I will be exploring the Pocket sized Rhodia Weekly Planner that was provided by Karen Doherty at Exaclair. Unlike it’s larger, 6″ x 9″ sibling the 4″ x 6″ Rhodia Weekly Planner has 64 gr. paper, not the best choice for fountain pens,  but more than adequate for ballpoint pens, pencils and even some markers. According to the folks at Rhodia, these are the specs for the 2010 Rhodia Weekly Notebook.

  • Weekly format, yearly calendar
  • Measures 4″ x 6″
  • Week on left, Rhodia’s famous grid for notes on right
  • 12 months, January to December
  • 8am to 7pm schedule
  • Extra white, super smooth paper
  • Crisp two color print – grey and orange
  • 64g, acid-free and pH neutral paper
  • Tear-off corner opens to week in progress
  • Sewn binding
  • Attached address book
  • Elastic closure

The Exterior

The cover of the planner is stiff, but flexible and has just the right amount of give. The leatherette finish is attractive and has as the slightest texture of leather. When viewed from a distance, it has a matte finish which is subtle and sophisticated. A vertical elastic strap wraps around the right side of the planner that keeps the planner compact.

The overall measurements are 4″ x 5¾” x 3/8″ thick. Since it is larger than most pocket sized planners, you’ll have a little more room on the inside to write, but you may find that it doesn’t fit your jeans or shirt pockets. The Rhodia logo and “2010″ are embossed on the cover and are quite large relative to the size of the planner.Luckily, the color is subtle so it is less obtrusive than it could be.  If you are prone to collect little black books, this could be a good thing since the large logo will stand out from the sea of black.

The cover is slightly stiff, but flexible offering just the right amount of give.

The cover is slightly stiff, but flexible offering just the right amount of give.

The Interior

When opening the planner, the first thing that strikes me is the beautiful paper. It is bright white, super smooth and offers good contrast to the grey and orange print. The planning section includes equal-sized sections for the entire week. Monday through Saturday occupy the left page while Sunday shares the right page with a large gridded area for notes. The weekly planning format is good for scheduling appointments in an hourly format with planning periods 8:00 am through 7:00 pm. There is not much room for adding appointments on the half-hour, but a simple vertical line through the schedule would allow you to add half-hour increments. 12-hour time designations allow you to schedule with ease without having to mentally convert to military time.

The planner lays nearly flat when opened, but I imagine that it will open flatter with time and use. Because of the way it is bound, there is no annoying hump in between the pages when it is opened. The binding is thread-bound and the threads are a bright white like the paper and are only visible in the center of each signature.

Rhodias weekly format features 6 days of planning on the left page and a squared page for notes on the right. Each day of the week has equal planning space, but Sunday shares the right page with the gridded section.

Rhodia's weekly format features 6 days of planning on the left page and a squared page for notes on the right. Each day of the week has equal planning space, but Sunday shares the right page with the gridded section.

Tear-off corners on the planning pages are used rather than a ribbon book mark to keep your palce. Once a day has passed, just tear off the corner. This will enable you to thumb to the current day.

Tear-off corners on the planning pages are used rather than a ribbon book mark to keep your place. Once a day has passed, just tear off the corner. This will enable you to thumb to the current day.

Other sections in the planner you might find useful include:

  • personal notes including room for name, email, website, driver’s license, license plate, emergency contacts, etc.
  • 2009, 2010 and 2011 monthly calendars
  • vertical monthly planning calendars with the entire year at a glance for 2010 and 2011
  • alphabetized address book
  • small ruled page for notes

Overall, the Rhodia Weekly Planner is an interesting new addition to Rhodia line. It offers a everything you need for planning on-the-go in a package of high-quality materials. The size is slightly larger than most pocket planners so it is easy to write in, but it is still small enough to stash in a large pocket or purse. The narrow profile and flexible cover make it feel less bulky than most pocket planners. The paper is thinner than I would prefer, but it is bright white, beautiful and smooth. The gridded paper an interesting combination with the planning pages and would be really useful if you are prone to doodle.

2010 and 2011 monthly planning calendars show the entire year at a glance.

2010 and 2011 monthly planning calendars show the entire year at a glance.

The back of the planner includes a ruled page for notes and an alphabetized address book.

The back of the planner includes a ruled page for notes and an alphabetized address book.

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Cartesio and Moleskine daily planners are compare for form and function.

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 Moleskines is oilcloth.

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.

The Covers

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 rounded elastic that is seated in notches in the cover that keep the strap aligned. Moleskine features a flat elastic strap that is thinner and lays flat on surfaces.

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.

The Elastic

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.

Cartesios 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.

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.

The Interior

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 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.

Cartesios 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.

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.

Moleskines 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.

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.

Miscellaneous

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.

Conclusion

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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I have been looking forward to receiving my first shipment of Cartesio planners. I love the look and feel of the Cartesio’s leather covers and the texture of the paper, so I imagined that I would love the planner. Now that I have one in hand, I must say I was right. I love this planner and I intend to make this my planner for 2010.

Cartesio pocket planner with an Aqua Leather cover.

Cartesio pocket planner with an Aqua Leather cover.

Quality Materials Inside and Out

The cover of the planner is gorgeous. It is made from recycled leather with a pebbled texture that feels good and gives a distinct look to the planner. The color is solid without variation and there is a small, raised “C” at the bottom of the front cover. Luckily it is small and does not detract from the otherwise clean lines. Small notches on the top and bottom of the cover hold a sturdy elastic strap in place and keeps it from sliding off so it won’t open up unexpectedly.

The density of the cover is somewhere between hard and soft. It flexes enough to keep in your back pocket and yet it is firm enough to write on. It is thin, but not as thin as a soft cover Moleskine and it is much stiffer. The spine is flat, which enables you to open the planner nearly flat, not as flat as a Moleskine planner, but it will stay open if left alone on a flat surface once you have broken it in.

50 pages of ruled paper are included after the planning pages. The planner will stay open fairly flat on its own after a short break in period.

50 pages of ruled paper are included after the planning pages. The planner will stay open fairly flat on it's own after a short break in period.

The interior of the Cartesio planner features high end materials and beautiful design. The thick, ivory paper has been printed with black and red inks which add a sense of sophistication. The pages are substantially thicker than those in a Moleskine, nearly identical to the paper in the Cartesio ruled notebook except the finish is smoother with less tooth. Pens performed about as well on the paper as they did on the Cartesio ruled notebook reviewed in an earlier post, with showthrough on darker, wetter inks. I used my Tombow Fountain pen with a medium nib on the paper with only a minimal amount of showthrough.

The Planning Pages

The basic format of this planner is a vertical weekly planner. Like so many others, the weekly planning pages show an entire week across 2 pages. Monday through Wednesday on the left page, Thursday through Sunday on the right page with Saturday and Sunday sharing a single column.

A vertical weekly format spreads across 2 pages and includes 2 monthly calendars and room for notes.

A vertical weekly format spreads across 2 pages and includes 2 monthly calendars and room for notes.

The details inside of the Cartesio planner, however, are upgraded and include a few extras including a small monthly calendars, spaces for notes and a ruled section in the back of the planner. Small monthly calendars at the bottom of each planning spread show the current month and following month.  I wish more planners included this so I am glad to see it in the Cartesio planner.

Additionally, there are three small boxes for notes at the bottom of each page for short notes and phone numbers, although they don’t allow for serious note taking. If you need more room for notes, you’ll find 50 lined pages in the back of the planner to be more than adequate. If you have loose notes or other items you want to keep with your planner, there is an envelope in the back of the planner that provides storage for small memos, photos, etc. It does not expand, but it does have a large flap that folds over and keeps the contents from spilling out.

The planning pages are printed with 2 ink colors, red and black. The vertical format is organized in 14, hourly time slots.

The planning pages are printed with 2 ink colors, red and black. The vertical format is organized in 14, hourly time slots.

The format of the planning pages is arranged in a vertical format broken into fourteen, 1-hour slots, giving you the opportunity to plan from 8 AM through 9 PM. The time slots are numbered 8 to 21 in a 24 hour time scale or Military Time, so this may take a little getting used at first. The time slots are spaced 6 mm apart, and have plenty of room for large handwriting.

A years worth of monthly planning preceeds the planning pages.

A year's worth of monthly planning preceeds the planning pages.

An envelope in the rear of the planner has a flap that folds over to keep imtes inside.

An envelope in the rear of the planner has a flap that folds over to keep items inside.

An extensive Time Zone Chart keeps your international travel on track.

An extensive Time Zone Chart and Temperatures keeps your international travel on track.

The Extras

The Cartesio, like many pocket planners includes additional planning tools that help keep you organized at home or abroad.

  • 2010 and 2011 long range planning calendars
  • 2010 monthly planner with space for notes
  • Detailed, worldwide time zone chart
  • Alphabetized worldwide temperature chart
  • Weight and measures conversions
  • International clothing sizes
  • International holidays chart
  • Address Book
  • International dialing codes
  • 50 pages of lined paper in the back of the planner

Final Thoughts

I love this planner and plan to use it for 2010. It is a pleasant deviation from the common “little black book” and it packs some great features that I have missed when using a my Moleskine planner. The paper is heavier and accepts a greater variety of pens with less showthrough or bleedthrough and I love having the monthly calendars on each planning page. The color and texture of the leather cover is great and it makes using a planner an enjoyable task.

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I have received my one and only shipment of Ciak Academic Planners for the 2009-2010 school year and have listed them at www.journalingarts.com. I have very limited quantities of black, red and orange planners and expect to sell out quickly.

Ciak 2009-2010 Academic Daily Planner

Ciak 2009-2010 Academic Daily Planner

There have been a few minor changes from last year’s planner but for the most part, they look and feel like the 2008-2009 version. The planning format is daily, with a day per page for Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday share a page with Saturday having 2/3 of the page. The planning pages are dated from August 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 giving you a full 17 months of planning.

The Ciak daily planning pages are one-day-per-page except for Saturday and Sunday which share a page.

The Ciak daily planning pages are one-day-per-page except for Saturday and Sunday, which share a page.

One change is that the ink is limited to just one color. Last year, Sundays stood out with a large, red number for the date, while this year’s version has smaller, more sophisticated black number, aligned with the outside margins. There are a couple of new sections this year including:

  • Day-by-day Schedule
  • List of Courses
  • Consulting Hours

Small, monthly calendars help you with long-range planning.

Small monthly calendars in the front of the planner help you with long-range planning. The days on the small monthly calendars are oriented in a vertical format rather than a horizontal format, which I assume hints at its Italian heritage.

Ciaks 2010 Daily planner has a new Schedules chart which helps you organize your class schedules.

Ciak's 2010 Daily planner has a new Schedules Chart where you can organize your class schedules in an easy-to-follow format.

New this year is a section where you can list your courses.

New for 2010 is a section where you can list your course's subject, teacher and program.

Consulting Hours is a new section this year for your to cuse or customize to best fit your schedule.

Consulting Hours is a new section this year for your to use or customize to best fit your schedule.

The build and paper is consistent with those in the Ciak journal and it feels substantial. Ivory, acid free paper is pleasant to write on and heavier than the paper in most planners. If you like the Ciak journals, you will appreciate the Daily planner for the high-quality workmanship that can only be achieved from a hand-made planner.

Ciak 2009-2010 Academic Daily Planner

Ciak 2009-2010 Academic Daily Planner

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The Moleskine Volant Color a Day Daily Planner Set.

The Moleskine Volant Color a Day Daily Planner Set.

The paper in the Moleskine Volant Daily Planners set appears to be the same as is in all of the other Moleskine planners. But many of you have asked about how well the paper holds up to ink, so I ran a quick pen test on the paper to see what pens would work best. The pens I chose were based on what I had close at hand, but my selections are similar to popular pens in the market today. I chose a fountain pen with a medium nib because it will lay down more ink and will be more likely to feather or bleed through the paper than a fine point nib.

Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I do with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc.

The pens I tested:

  • Tombow Ballpoint Pen
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker

These are scans of the pen and paper test. The first page is the front of the page and the second is the back.

I used a variety of pens on the thin paper in the Moleskine Volant Daily Planner.

I used a variety of pens on the front of a page in the Moleskine Volant Daily Planner.

There was a small amount of bleedthrough on the ink samples from the Pilot Precise Grip, Tombow Rollerball Pen and the Tombow Fountain Pen. The fountain pen bled only where I lifted the pen and it was minimal.

On the back side of the page there was a small amount of bleedthrough on the ink samples from the Pilot Precise Grip, Tombow Rollerball Pen and the Tombow Fountain Pen. The fountain pen bled only where I lifted the pen and it was minimal.

The results were predictable, and in line with the results many of you have had with other Moleskine planners. The paper is thin and had a substantial amount of show through with the inks in my test. Three of the pens had a small amount of bleedthrough including the Pilot marker, Tombow Rollerball Pen and the Tombow Fountain pen. The Pilot marker was the worst offender and had the most bleedthrough. The fountain pen had only a tiny amount of bleedthrough that occurred at the end of letters before I lifted the pen where there was a slight amount of pooling.

Final thoughts

I imagine that some of you will have problems with bleedthrough on the paper in the Moleskine Volant Daily Planners if you are using wet writers such as fountian pens and rollerball pens. Using a ballpoint pen or other fine line, water-based marker should work beautifully without problems other than some showthrough. The medium nib Tombow Fountain pen I used had only minor bleedthrough that I could live with, so there are probably other fountain pens that will be OK on this paper. But because of the great variety of fountain pens in use today I will not give it the thumbs up for use with all fountain pens or with other wet writers. However, I can say that a large variety of ballpoint pens and fine point markers will give you satisfactory results.

If you have had success with your Moleskine Planner and a fountain pen or rollerball pen, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment with the details of your specific planner and pen so that others may benefit from your experience. Thank you!

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Moleskine released several new planners for 2010 including the soft cover Project Planner. Whether managing a small, medium or large project we all know the key to success is in the planning. It is the first thing you should do when undertaking any kind of project and Moleskine’s Project Planner can help you achieve your goals and minimize the chaos.

Moleskines soft cover Project Planner is new for 2010.

Moleskine's soft cover Project Planner is new for 2010.

The Project Planner is a handy pocket-sized journal with 54 zig zag pages that fold out for the entire 2010 year. Just like Moleskine’s other planners, the pages are acid free and there is an expandable inner pocket in the back. A soft cover and smaller page count make this planner thinner than Moleskine’s other planners, so if you carry an additional small Moleskine notebook or planner, you can slide this planner under the elastic strap of the other journal without adding too much bulk. The paper feels thicker than the paper in other Moleskine planners, so I am hoping it can handle wet pens with minimal problems. One thing that is missing is the ribbon bookmark, although I am not sure it needs it. If  you really need to mark your page, you could use the elastic strap or a separate bookmark.

The Project Planner is substantially thinner than the classic, hard cover Moleskine planner, so it can be slid under the elastic strap of your Moleskine weekly planner or other small notebook without taking up too much space.

The Project Planner is substantially thinner than the classic, hard cover Moleskine planner, so it can be slid under the elastic strap of your Moleskine weekly planner or other small notebook without taking up too much extra space.

The front side of the planning pages feature a chart layout

The front side of the planning pages feature an extended chart for day-to-day planning across 54 zig zag pages.

There are 2 planning layouts for tracking long-term and short-term projects. The front pages include an extended chart for day-to-day planning with a month to view on each 2-page spread. Each week is numbered starting with week 1 in early January and week 52 at the end of December. Dates and days of the week run horizontally across each 2-page spread and weeks are designated by a bold vertical line.  Each day includes 11 vertical time slots for you to customize.

Spread open the planning pages for a long term view of your projects schedule.

Spread open the planning pages for a long term view of your project's schedule.

Close up of a page in the Project Planner.

Close up of a page in the Project Planner.

The backside of the accordion pages includes a vertical monthly planner on each page with plenty of room for writing next to each day. Each date and day of the week is displayed and the weeks are designated by bold lines. Each week of the year is numbered with a very small number at the top of each week. There is also a selection of calendars and charts you would expect to fine here including small planning calendars, a time zone chart, international dialing codes etc. This planning format is perfect for scheduling projects, but I think the chart format would work well for scheduling your kid’s school and after school activities and would also be useful as an agenda for the classroom. The long range view really puts things in perspective.

The back pages of Moleskines Project Planner feature a

The back pages of Moleskine's Project Planner feature a vertical Monthly Planner with plenty of room for notes.

Overall, this appears to be a very useful little planner for long term projects, curriculum or even organizing your family’s schedule. If you have used this planner for work or for play, drop me a line and let me know what you think.

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Moleskine released several new planners for 2010 including the 2010 Panoramic Planner. Those of you who are looking for a planner with a unique layout and the inclusion of a monthly calendar on each weekly spread, this could be the planner you are looking for. It is pocket-sized and has a soft cover making it perfect for your back pocket or purse. This planner is thinner than hard cover versions and has a portable profile that feels substantially lighter than the hard cover planners.

Moleskines Panoramic Planner is a New Style for 2010.

Moleskine's Panoramic Planner is a New Style for 2010.

Open the planner and you’ll discover that the planning pages are rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise from what you would expect. This puts the top of the calendar on the left page. At first this seems a little awkward until you write in it. The extra width is more comfortable than a narrower page, and you avoid having to write near the inner margins in the center of the journal!

The Panoramic Format is Rotated 90 Degrees Counter-Clockwise from What You Would Expect. Each Week-to-View Includes a Small Monthly Calendar and a Contacts Section.

The Panoramic Format is Rotated 90 Degrees Counter-Clockwise from What You Would Expect. Each Week-to-View Includes a Small Monthly Calendar and a Contacts Section.

The panoramic orientation also includes some extras you won’t find in the standard Moleskine planners; a small column sectioned into To-Dos, Contacts and Notes. There is also a small monthly calendar of the current month highlighting the current week in bold. I get requests for this feature all of the time so I am glad that Moleskine finally added a monthly calendar to one of their planners.

One Week of Planning Per 2-Page Spread.

One Week of Planning Per 2-Page Spread.

Each 2-page spread displays a week at a time and the planning slots are in a vertical format. The planning periods are broken down into 12, 1-hour slots in military time, 08:00  through 20:00. All of the standard Moleskine planner pages are here, too, including pages for Personal Data, Monthly Planning Calendars for long range planning for 2010 and 2011, International Holidays, a Time Zone Chart, International Dialing Codes, Distances, International Sizes and a Ruler.

All of Moleskines Standard Planner Pages are Here Including Long Term Planning Pages, Time Zones, International Dialing Codes, etc.

All of Moleskine's Standard Planner Pages are Here Including Long Term Planning Pages, Time Zones, International Dialing Codes, etc.

Small but significat changes to Moleskine’s traditional  planners add up to a nice little Panoramic planner with super planning capabilities. You should give it a tyr  if you want a unique Moleskine Weekly Planner with a soft cover and small monthly calendar on each page. The Moleskine Panoramic Planner can be found at www.journalingarts.com.

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