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Archive for August, 2009

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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Ever wonder what to do with your abandoned planners and journals? I have a large variety of leftover notebooks and planners that I have filled and I just can’t bear to toss them out. In the spirit of recycling, I decided to see what else I could do with some of my discards that would be useful or fun.

This colorful pinwheel was created using an old Moleskine planner, markers and a little bit of glue.

This colorful pinwheel was created using an old Moleskine planner, markers and a little bit of glue. The round shape was created by gluing the pages and covers together.

This project falls into the fun genre. While I am sure it could be useful to someone somewhere, this was purely a project for art’s sake. I was inspired by paper lanterns and wanted to use the pages in the planner to create something something similar.

I chose to use a rainbow of colors, not because I like rainbows, but because I wanted to use my colors equally to make my markers last a bit longer. I colored each page with a single color and if I had used just a color or two, a few of the markers would have been spent.

The coloring process took a lot of time, and I was tired of it by the time I was finished. To keep the rainbow smooth, I had to pattern the colors repeatedly. I made a few mistakes in the beginning, but it was not a problem, there were plenty more pages. I simply cut out the pages I screwed up and moved on. Fewer pages would make the pages spread out more and show larger sections of color, so I was happy to do it.

The honeycomb was created by folding the corners of each page and gluing them to the adjacent page.

The honeycomb was created by folding the corners of each page and gluing them to the adjacent page.

After the coloring was finished, I moved on to creating the honeycomb by folding the corners of each page. The top corners were folded towards the front of the book, the bottom corners were folded towards the back.  I applied adhesive to the folded corners, one page at a time and press it into the adjoining page and moved on to the next. I attached the outer pages in the same manner to the front and back cover.

This is what the planner looks like if you open it on a flat surface. To make it round, I would need to glue the front and back cover together.

This is what the planner looks like if you open it on a flat surface. To make it round, I would need to glue the front and back cover together.

At this point, the planner was a semicircle. I could have left it this way, or glued the cover together to form a honeycomb that is circular.

I imagine that you could create a really beautiful pinwheel by illustrating the pages with textures and following up with color. If your planner is filled with writing, this would make an interesting background and could be combined with a limited color palette with striking results. If you want remove some of the pages, the honeycombs would spread wider, showing more color and emphasizing the honeycomb.

So I have to ask, how would you use this? Would it be a party decoration, a home decor item or something more interesting. I would love to hear your comments.

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If you have been looking for a fountain pen ink to use in your Moleskine journal, Private Reserve Ebony Blue received a thumbs up in a review at Inkyjournal . Woodworker put the ink through its paces and the results were impressive. For more information and some great reviews, see the Inkyjournal blog at: www.inkyjournal.blogspot.com

Moleskine friendly:
I give this ink a thumbs up for Moleskine-friendly ink. You can use the other site of the page without making a mess of it. I like the greenish-blue color with the creamy pages of the Moleskine paper. I leave this ink some time in this Lamy 2000 fountainpen.

Private Reserve Ebony Blue

Private Reserve Ebony Blue

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Guest Review

This review is by Julie, whose blog “Whatever” features reviews and articles on pens, inks and paper, postcards, letter writing and journaling. You should check out her blog when you have the chance.

The Ciak Multicolor Journal

This is a small journal perfect for a pocket or purse, here is the product description from the Journaling Arts website:

• Buttery-Soft, Gorgeous Black Cover
• Sleek, Italian Design in a Rainbow of Colors
• Patented Elastic Closure Keeps Everything Compact
• 128 Leaves, 256 Pages of Multicolor Paper
• 32 Pages Per Color
• Smooth, Rounded Corners Don’t Get Stuck in Your Pocket
• Acid-Free Paper Resists Ink Bleed through
• Hand-Crafted in Italy
• A Ribbon Place Holder to Keep You Organized
• New, in Original Packaging, Measures 3½” X 5½”

The Ciak has no back pocket, but honestly, I’ve never used the pocket in any of my journals. I tend to just stick things inside the front or back cover or between the pages.

Ciak on the left and a small Moleskine on the right.

The Ciak has 256 pages vs Moleskine's 192. Here you can see the layers of multicolor pages which is why I bought this journal to begin with. I love color.

The Ciak journal does not lay flat when opened up which may be an issue for some people, but that has never been a concern for me.

Finally, the ultimate test - withstanding fountain pen and ink. The Ciak performs admirably - no feathering, no bleedthrough and just the smallest amount of show through which I think most of us can easily live with.

Be sure to visit Julie’s blog at: http://okami-whatever.blogspot.com/

inks and paper; talk about postcards, letter writing and journaling; and, of course, our Akitas (that’s them in the photo), but you just never know.

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I love Moleskine’s Pocket Watercolor Journal. It is perfect for toting around in your back pocket and just the right size for capturing small details or thumbnail sketches of future projects.

This watercolor was created in a Moleskine Watercolor Journal a couple of year’s back. It was inspired by an old marker illustration I did in the 1980’s of a Clown Fish I bumped into on a dive trip in the Pacific. At the time, I wanted to create large 3-D sculptures of undersea images and this illustration was a study of one of the fishes I intended to do. I never got around to creating the sculpture I had envisioned, but thanks to sketches in this journal, I can always revisit the idea later.

Watercolor of a Clown Fish done in a pocket sized, Moleskine Watercolor Journal.

Watercolor of a Clown Fish done in a pocket sized, Moleskine Watercolor Journal.

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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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