Posts Tagged ‘Planner Reviews’

The Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper is in full swing at Diane’s Pocketblonde blog. Be sure to check it out for this month’s best review on pens, pencils and paper.

For those of you who crave information on the latest journals be sure to check out these journal and planner reviews.

Why keep a journal? Well, Snarky’s Machine has a list of 10 reason’s why you’ll be cooler if you do.

Chris of Pens’nPaper reviews the 2011 Exacompta Prestige Journal 21 Daily Planner and includes lots of pictures of all the extras that come with this planner (for the picky at heart, it’s a treat!)

Zequenz Notebooks, which are as flexible as kittens but easier to write on, gets a great post at Journaling Arts.

Lauren, formerly of Pennington-on-Paper, has a new blog (unhalfbricking) and an introspective post on journaling that’s a lovely read.

Katie of Orange Circle Studio sent in this introduction to the new Edgewise Journals.

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For those of you in the US looking for a 2011 Leuchtturm planner, you will have just one choice this year, the Master Book Daily Planner.  According to the distributor, they are in the process of some slight redesign and will be offering the full line of planners for the 2012 planning year.

Leuchtturm's Master Book Daily Planner is large. It measures 8¾" x 12½".

If you must have a Leuchtturm Planner for 2011, the Master Book Daily Planner will be your only choice unless you are willing to order from a non-US vendor.  To help you decide whether it’s right for you, I have put together some information and photos to give you a complete look at the planner. If you think it is a planner you would like to have, email me at Cynthia@journalingarts.com or leave a comment. If I have enough interest, I will stock some at journalingarts.com.

Box-style monthly calendars for 2010, 2100 and 2012 are in the front of the planner.

The Master Book Daily Planner is a big planner. It measures  8 ¾” x 12 ½” x 1” thick and tips the scale at 3.25 lbs. It’s a little large to lug around with you, but it you prefer to keep your planner on your desk, you might find it to be quite useful. The large size gives you large type and well-space lines which is a relief if you have large hand-writing or have trouble reading small text.

A spreadsheet-style project planner can organize your complicated long-term projects.

Typical of Leuchtturm notebooks and journals, the paper is ink-proof, so if you use fountain pens or other wet pens, you will be very pleased with the paper. You won’t have to worry about bleed through, show through is minimal and there is little or no feathering. The paper is heavier than most and appears to be consistent with other Master Book journals, which is 100 gsm., although it is not marked on the planner or the label.

Keep track of holidays around the world with the International Holiday chart.

The planner includes a variety of pages, but not so many as to overwhelm you. In addition to the daily planning pages, you will find monthly calendars for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Vertical planning pages for 2011 are 3-months-per-page and give you plenty of room to plan for the long-term. A 2-page spread includes International Holidays and there is a convenient project planning spread which is designed like a spread sheet. At the end of the planner, 20 plain pages are available for note taking, sketching or pasting memoirs followed by an expanding pocket for stashing things.

Vertical, monthly planning calendars are good for organizing trips and holidays.

The daily planning pages are clean and simple, printed with subtle gray ink. Sixteen spaces represent hourly time slots and have ample room for even the most detailed plans. The hour time-slots are designated in 24 hour time using small text, but the ink is pale, so overwriting the time slots with your own times would be no problem. A large blank area for notes is below each planning area if you need more room. At the bottom of each 2-page spread are 6 box-style monthly calendars, including the past month, current month and 4 months ahead at the bottom of each 2-page spread.

Each daily planning pages consists of sixteen planning slots, an area for notes and 6 months of box-style calendars.

There is a lot to like about the Leuchtturm Master Book Daily Planner if you don’t mind having a big planner. If you try it, you might like it and decide that bigger really is better.

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Contact Keeper

Contact Keeper comes in three sizes, pocket, medium and large. Please note that while the stitching on the Keepers appears red in the photos, it is black. For some reason my camera saw the stitching as red.

For those of you who take notes, have a lot of business contacts and use a daily planner, you might want to take a look at Contact Keeper notebooks for an all-in-one solution. Three sizes of notebooks offer a unique storage/notes combination to keep your contact information for future reference.

These three review copies were given to me by the nice folks at Contact Keeper to review here. I will be giving them away at the end of the work week to three lucky readers. Just leave your comment at the bottom of this post no later than 8:00 PM EST on Friday, September 10th. I will choose a winner using True Random Number Generator at random.org, with the first to reply being number one, and so on. I will contact the winner via email. If you win, you have until Friday, September 17th to claim your prize or I will choose another winner.

Contact Keeper

What’s Included

While the sizes are different, they each have common features. Each is made from what appears to be a vinyl PU or another man-made material that is smooth to touch and feels similar to fine leather, especially the largest notebook. The edges and corners are all stitched with black thread even though it appears red in the photos. There is an elastic strap on each model to keep the notebook closed.

The medium and large Keepers include ring binders on the inside for easy addition and removal of pages.

Medium and Large Keepers

The large and medium-sized models include ring binders along with 30 contact pages, each with a single business card slot. There are also three additional pages with multiple slots per page for contacts that don’t require an entire page of notes. This gives you a total of 42 contacts in the large notebook and 39 in the medium notebook. If you need more pages, you can order additional refill kits online at ContactKeeper.com. There is also a Receipt Envelope, a Business Activity envelope and 15 leaves of ruled pages for additional note taking.

A Receipt Envelope and a Daily Planner are found in both the medium and large Keepers.

A four-year calendar and a four-page day planner are included in the large and medium-sized models, but if you intend you use it as a planner, you will need to order more planner inserts. I can’t tell from the site if you can order these individually or if they only come as part of a set, so you will need to contact the folks at Contact Keeper if you want additional planning pages.

Full page layout includes a slot for your business card and plenty of lines for notes on both front and back of the page. additional pages in the back have multiple slots per page with reduced room for note taking.

Large pockets on both front and back covers of the Keepers offer a convenient space to slide papers along with small clear pockets to slide one of your own business cards. If you need to keep a pen, there is a narrow pen slide on the inside front cover. The large Keeper has one unique feature; a large clip on the inside of the back covers that acts as a built-in clipboard.

The medium and large Keepers have a clear pocket for storing your business card that provide easy identification. A clear pocket on the spine can be used to label your notebook in case you use several for different purposes. Large pockets on both front and back covers store papers, notes, photos and other items.

Daily Planning Pages

A four-year calendar and daily planning pages for scheduling. With only four pages for planning you will need to order more planning pages if you intend to use this as a planner. As-is, it may be useful for occasional seminars or workshops.

All of the Keepers, including the small one, have an elastic strap to keep the contents compact, however the pen slide is only available in the medium and large Keepers. The pen slide is narrow, so if you have a high-end pen or mechanical pencil that has a larger diameter than the typical office pen, it may not fit. My Tombow Ultra did not fit.

Small Keeper

The small Contact Keeper is more like a business card wallet than a notebook. It is sized to fit into your back pocket or purse. With only 2 pockets, an elastic strap and a set of business card-sized sticky notes, it is the smallest and least complicated of the bunch. There is one pocket for your business cards and one for the cards you collect. Notes about your contact are written on the sticky note, and can be applied to your contact’s card for later review.

Note for Artists and Other Creative Folks:

While these are made specifically for business cards and contacts, I can’t help but imagine using them to catalog notes about paint formulas or artistic processes. You could cut business card-sized pieces of your artistic experiments, slide them into the business card slots and keep notes about the process used to achieve the effect or paint color on the card. This would be a great way to keep all of your creative information in one place, handy for future reference.

Remember to leave a reply if you would like to win one of the Contact Keepers. The giveaway is open to everyone around the world and ends Friday night, September 10th at 8:00 PM EST. I will contact the winner via email. If you win, you have until Friday, September 17th to claim your prize or I will choose another winner.

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Rhodia's 2011, 4" x 6" Weekly Planner in classic, Rhodia orange.

Rhodia’s 2011 weekly planners are now available at Journalingarts.com.

The planners remain essentially the same as last year’s planner and offer everything you need for planning on-the-go in a compact package of high-quality materials. The weekly planning format has a week-to-view on the left page and a gridded page for doodling, day-dreaming or note taking on the right page. Subtle gray and orange inks make organizing your life a more lively experience than traditional monochromatic planner pages and give your planner a unique look. Choose a planner that’s right for you in large or small planner with a orange or black cover.

For a 10% discount on your next order at JournalingArts.com, be sure to enter coupon code SAVE10NOW when you checkout. Coupon code is good through September 30, 2010.

Rhodia 2-Page Planning Spread

Rhodia's 2-page planning spread features the calendar on the left page and a gridded page on the right for doodling, sketching, notes and more.

Removable corners make keeping track of your days easy.

Removable corners make keeping track of your days easy.

An alphabetized address book in the back is great for orgainzing your contacts.

An alphabetized address book in the back is great for organizing your contacts.

A small annual planner gives you an overview of the entire year a a little room for basic information.

A small annual planner in the front of the planner gives you an overview of the entire year with room to schedule your events.

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Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner hack uses a a paper clasp and paper folds.

The Moleskine Volant Daily Planners are are easy to use because of their thin profile and small size, but they lack an elastic strap and a ribbon place marker. This simple set of hacks will bring your Volant planner up to speed and add a pen holder, too. These solutions were shared with me by my good friend Alex, who will be a freshman in college this fall.

A Colorful Paper Clasp Will Keep Your Planner Closed and Add A Pen Holder

I was struck by the simplicity of this hack. Not only does a paper clasp do a great job of keeping  the Volant planner closed, it can also be used to keep a pen with your planner. You can also use it to anchor your planner to larger books or notebooks. Paper clasps come in a variety of sizes and colors enabling you to to create the perfect combination of  function and design.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

Just clip on a paper clasp in your favorite color, fold back the arms, and your planner will stay closed and relatively flat. If you leave a little room between the bottom of the clip and the pages, you can slide a pen along the side. If you prefer to attach the pen using a pen clip, no problem, just slide the clasp towards the top of the planner and clip your pen on the corner of the clasp.

Origami-Inspired Paper Folds Keep You On Track In Style

Organization doesn’t have to be boring to be effective. Simple paper folds for days that have passed create a  beautiful place holder in your planner.  By folding the corners into the middle of the planner, alternating between the top and bottom, a v-shaped indentation is formed. This leaves a perfect, thumb-sized place to open to the current day. If you have days or pages that have passed that you want to refer to quickly, no problem, just color the folds for easy recall.

Moleskine Volant Daily Planner Hack

By folding the page corners of previous days into the planner in an alternating pattern, you can create a beautiful tab for the current planning day. Add colors and change the folds to create the look that suits you best.

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Daycraft’s Vogue 2010 Planners feature striking, modern designs that are uncommon in the day planner market.  These diaries pack efficient planning layouts, useful accessories and beautiful materials wrapped in a thoughtful, beautiful design both inside and out. The Vogue planners are available in four sizes and two formats, and three different cover designs.

Daily Planner

Daycraft Vogue Planners

Daycraft's Vogue Planners are available in both daily and weekly planning formats in several sizes.

Daycraft’s Vogue 2010 Planners feature striking, modern designs that are uncommon in the day planner market.  These diaries pack efficient planning layouts, useful accessories and beautiful materials wrapped in a thoughtful, beautiful design both inside and out. The Vogue planners are available in four sizes and two formats, and three different cover designs.

Daily Planner

The page-a-day or daily planner I reviewed has 408 pages. It has a flexible, brown, suede-like cover imprinted with an abstract floral that wraps around both front and back covers. A vertical ribbon embellished with a plastic repeat of the floral design adorns the front. At first glance, it appears as though this is an elastic strap, but it is not, although you could slide a piece of paper or notes underneath. While I love the design of the planner, I am not a fan of the plastic charm and I think it would get caught on things over time. Fortunately, it can be easily removed. The daily planning format includes hourly lines for 8:00 am through 10:00 pm in addition to three lines for notes at the bottom of each page.  A small monthly calendar is in the bottom, right corner of each two-page spread.

Daycraft Daily Planner

One-page-per-day planning format has hourly lines from 8:00 through 10:00 pm. Each month is distinguished by a color bar at the top.

Daycraft Daily planner

A monthly overview and lines for notes are at the beginning of each month.

Dayraft Daily Planner

A forward, monthly planning calendars in the back of the planner allow for future long-term planning.

Weekly Planner

The smaller, pink diary has 232 pages and includes a weekly planning format. The cover is flexible and has a spongy feel similar to the cover on the Rhodia Webnotebook. An abstract, circle design has been embossed on the front and back covers. This planner also features a vertical ribbon embellished with a plastic charm. Each two-page planning spread displays one week with Monday through Wednesday on the left and Thursday through Sunday on the right.

Daycraft Weekly Planner

A colorful ribbon and plastic charm decorate the cover of the planner. The ribbon is not elastic and it is only on the front of the cover. Its primary purpose appears to be decorative.

Daycraft Weekly Planner

The planning format is one-week-per-page.

Daycraft Weekly planner.

Each month is preceded by a different color and design and a monthly planning calendar.

Daycraft Weekly Planner

Each month is distinguished by a different color and design.

Daycraft Weekly Planner

The Daycraft Weekly Planner includes beautiful graphics which are perforated for use as notes or labels.

Daycraft Weekly Planner

An address book in the back of the planner is great for storing contacts.


Both planners feature colorful designs throughout the planners with each month having a different color and design that is displayed at the top of each page. Each month starts with a full-page of colorful design, a monthly calendar, lines for notes and a quote. A color-coordinated ribbon bookmark helps you keep you on track.

Small monthly and yearly planning calendars and tons of informational pages are included in the planner. You’ll find information on public holidays, world time zones,  IDD codes, conversion tables, pages for notes and a large address books. Information on Hong Kong banks, airlines, hotels, telephone numbers and rail systems are included, too.

I am unsure if the paper is acid-free or not. The color is fairly bright, but the paper is thin and somewhat translucent. It is on par with the paper in Moleskine’s planners and not suitable for wet pens or markers. It should be fine for those who use ballpoint pens , but anything else has showthrough and a substantial amount of bleedthrough.

Final thoughts

Daycraft’s Vogue planners are beautifully designed, efficient and packed with lots of useful information. The design stands out from the plethora of simple, black planners and would be a good choice for those who crave something unique. The materials appear to be top quality with exception of the paper, which is a bit thin and translucent for my taste. If you are using ballpoint pen or pencil, though, you will be more than satisfied with this planner.

Unfortunately, these planners are not available in the US at this time, so if you want one, you will have to find one from an overseas supplier.

These planners were supplied to me as review samples by Hong Kong-based Daycraft who produces a large line of beautiful diaries, notebooks, sketchbooks and corporate planners. Their products are designed in Hong Kong and manufactured in Dongguan, China by the Tai Shing Diary Ltd.

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Moleskine 18-Month Planner

Moleskine's newest 18 Month Planners are now in stock at JournalingArts.com.

For those of you ready to get started on next year’s planning, Moleskine’s 2010-2010 18-Month Planners are now in stock at journalingarts.com.

New this year are 18-month red weekly planners in both small and large sizes. These planners feature a horizontal planning spread across a two-page spread. This format is different than the black 18-month planners which have a week to view on the left and a ruled page on the right for notes. The 18-Month red Twin Set planner has been discontinued for 2010-2011.

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