Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More things I love about the Minister

Here are some more things I love about the Minister:

1) The FAINT lines!!!! They are just guidelines, not dark or glaring in any way. They don't clutter up the page or make it look too busy, which helps my handwriting stand out on the page. (Which is the goal, isn't it, to easily see what I need to do?) I also like that there are no lines for the half hour, which makes the day columns look more open and clear. When I briefly used the Visual earlier this year, the lines on the half hour made the page look too busy for my liking. When the QV Trinote came out with darker lines, people rebelled (scroll down to the reviews). Take note, Quo Vadis: we like our lines faint, but visible.

2) The days as columns. If I don't get something done on the day it's written, I can just draw an arrow over to the next day. These arrows are also a good visual indicator of procrastination: the more arrows on my page, the more I am procrastinating. This is one of the reasons why I wish Sunday had its own column right next to Saturday, so if I don't get my weekend tasks done on Saturday I can arrow them over to Sunday.

3) Easy to find multiple calendars. This is a big one for me, because I really use all the different calendar types in my book. (See my Monthly Calendar Insert post.) In my Mole I was always thumbing through the many pages at the beginning of the book to look for the monthly calendars and annual calendars, marking them with sticky tabs, etc. It's so easy with the Minister. The 3 year calendar is located at the very back of the book. Super easy to find. And, the anno-planning calendar (which I will go on about in a moment) is at the very beginning of the weekly pages. I tear off the corner tab at the end of each week (I already took out two to be able to find this week), but I left the corners on the front pages of the book and the first page of the anno-planning calendar. So when I hold the right corner, it opens to my week. When I hold the left corner, it opens to my year overview. Easy.

4) That anno-planning calendar!! Now don't get me wrong, the Moleskine has the calendar with the months as columns too. But it has two months per page, so to see the whole year you have to turn a few pages. But the Minister has the months as columns with 6 months to a page, so the entire year is spread out in one view. Yes there is more room to write in the Mole month columns. But, I really prefer to see the whole year at once. I use this calendar format to show travel, and we travel a lot. My husband travels at least once per month for work, I travel by myself occasionally, and we all travel as a family several times per year. This calendar lets me see when we go, and where. It also helps enormously to avoid mishaps such as my husband traveling during birthdays, which has already been narrowly avoided by rescheduling a trip early next year. Love the anno!

5) The priority box at the top of each day is big enough to write my own stuff in (which I do often), but also has lots of holidays and the phases of the moon. Yes I love the phases of the moon on my calendar. And, I really need to have the holidays pre-printed on the days. I live in a country where the holidays are different from the ones we celebrate in the US, and in the past when I have used calendars without holidays pre-printed I felt disconnected from what is going on in the rest of the world. Seeing the holidays, especially for the US and UK (where I travel frequently) is especially useful for me.

6) The maps. The maps. The maps! The people I know travel a lot, and to odd places. Frequently in the course of a conversation I find myself wondering something like, "Where exactly is Djibouti?" For those of you who don't have a Minister planner handy, Djibouti is located between Somalia and Eritrea. I use the maps ALL the time.

7) The paper. For those of you who use a traditional Minister, you know the Clairefontaine paper it contains cannot be beat. The whiteness, the thickness, and the incredible smoothness is unsurpassed for writing. My Minister is of the new Equology line and uses 100% recycled paper. Even though I can tell it is recycled, I would never guess without already knowing that it's 100% recycled. It isn't as silky smooth as the non-recycled Clairefontaine paper, but it has a velvety texture that is very pleasant to use, and nice white color with only the slightest hint of gray.

8) Other things: The print colors (teal and gray) are easy to look at. The top right corner of the weekly layout: monthly calendars with current week highlighted, week number, beginning and end dates of the week (actually I would like if these dates were printed larger for easier visibility), all of these make the planner very useful. The book is a good size for portability but with a nice large page for plenty of writing space. I use the removable address book. The book is pleasant to hold and the paper is nice to touch. I've already discussed the categorized task list boxes and how they keep me organized.

Okay, I have to stop myself for now. Expect more Minister love soon. Mole who?


  1. Great and comprehensive review! I tested 17 fountain and ink duos in the Minister. There was mild feathering with some though about what one would expect with recycled paper. The bigger issue was bleed-through. With a planner both sides of the paper are essential. The mild but ever-present dots of color on the reverse will be off-putting to some die-hard FP users. Otherwise the Minister is a great product.

  2. Thank you very much for that inkophile, it's good to know. I don't use fountain pens so it's great to hear from you about how the Equology paper does with them.

    Hope you don't mind but I've just added your blog to my links list at the right, love your blog!

  3. Thanks for the link to my blog. I just wrote a post about planners with a link to your review. :)

  4. inkophile, I've had the same problem with the paper on the QuoVadis Memoriae. It really isn't meant to be for FP. Such a shame because I really love using a FP for special 'books'. Is all the QuoVadis line like that?

  5. Trinote or Minister? I like that the minister has lighter lines. I hate clutter. MInister is a little smaller, does it have more note pages by chance?

  6. Kat, the Minister, like the Trinote, only has one Notes page.

    Personally, I prefer the Trinote over the Minister for these reasons:

    1) The Trinote's daily columns are wider.

    2) The Trinote's daily Notes spaces are perfect for those non-time-specific things, or to jot things that come up during the course of the day.

    3) A big one for me: the Trinote's "Sunday situation" is better than the Minister's. I prefer having the Sunday over to the side with space to schedule things and make notes. Unless you do absolutely nothing on Sundays, the Minister's Sunday scrunched under all the other days could be an issue for you.

    That said, the Minister is a slightly narrower, and therefore slightly more portable, book. The Minister also has cover options that include an elastic strap to hold the cover closed. Those covers with an elastic strap are Habana and Smooth.

    Here is Quo Vadis's Minister website: