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Archive for August 12th, 2009

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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