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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BLIP (Big Letdown Italian Planner)

Today I am featuring a guest post by my sister about her Big Letdown Italian Planner. I'm sure we've all experienced similar planner heartbreak at some point, but this one seems especially tragic. Let's read and commiserate...

Long ago, in a far-away land… or, I guess it was really last summer in my office, one of my co-workers and I were discussing planners, bags, and other various life organization tools and accessories. He told me about one of his favorite companies/websites: paperhaus.com. I was interested, so we perused the website, and came across this Italian planner...

… It is called a Settegiorni. I was INSTANTLY excited, for myself, but more so for my sister. This could be The One! It’s got the weekly spread that she likes! The days as columns! The large boxes at the bottom for daily tasks and lists. “THIS IS IT!!!!” I thought to myself. I ordered it on the spot. I loved its contemporary/sexy/cool look. I bought it with the hope that I would love it and I could get one for my sister once I thoroughly tested its possibility of perfection. The size seemed ideal, the cool black flap thing to serve as a placeholder seemed creative yet simple. Oh, how in love I was with this hot Italian number. But, like I’ve heard Italians are notorious for, the Sette broke my heart.

Let’s start with the fact that there are very few images online to show the details of the book. I could tell there were a lot of languages used throughout the book. I noticed that the top of Sunday had a ton of words and numbers in the right-hand corner. I figured it was some kind of monthly view list. But, I didn’t know. I scoured the Internet for images/descriptions to resolve the confusion. I even went so far as to try to translate Korean into English to learn more about it while I anticipated the Sette’s arrival… http://collection.sukima.co.jp/?itemid=930&catid=21
Even more disappointing and frustrating was the close-up image of the notorious top right corner. No matter how much I squinted; no matter how close I pressed my eyeballs to my monitor; I could not make out exactly what was going on. But, who cares? It will ship by the end of September. I can be patient!

But, it didn’t. September came and went. I finally received it in the middle of October. It was an instant disappointment. This planner has so much potential… for an Italian.

Here are the fabulous features:

Columns for days, although a large space is set aside for a “siesta” of sorts from 12:30 – 14:00. I guess lunch lasts at least an hour and a half in Italy. Also, as my sister suggested, I’d have to highlight the words that are actually written in English, since they’re surrounded by Korean, German, and of course, Italian.

The weeks are labeled (in red) on the bottom left of each weekly spread. (Week 1 through Week52).

The daily boxes below the columns are large enough for lists, if you write small enough.

There are some beautiful maps of Italy, Europe, and the World.

If you’re traveling through Europe by car, there is a convenient chart for mileage between cities.

There are also other very useful reference/information materials in the front.

There is a nice address book in the front of the book, if you don’t mind it being before your planner pages, that is.

That black flap is awesome as a place holder!

There’s some cool other cool apparatus that came separate from the book. It’s sticky, and it’s black with some plastic piece… maybe it holds the corner of the book? I don’t have a clue, really, but it looks useful… if only I could figure out its use. Ha!

I LOVE that the edge of the page is a specific color, based on what month it is. This is great for quickly finding the month… if you read Italian.

There is a 2011 2-page spread of some boxes and words that look pretty cool… if only I knew how to use them.

Shameful Features of the Sette:

WHAT is up with the 2010 holiday planning page? The 2010 fiscal calendar? And, how long did it take me to realize that one of the 2010 spreads was a list of feasts of the Saints?! I’m Catholic and all, but it took me a while to realize what an entire spread of this type of information meant:
2 sabato ss Basilio e Gregorio
3 domenica s Genoveffa
Again, being literate in Italian would’ve helped.

The 2010 planning page on the last spread leaves no space whatsoever for planning… I guess it’s just more of a reference than anything.

Bottom line: If I took the time to figure this book out and thoroughly review the pages, I’d probably think of some way to incorporate this book into my life, fall in love with it, and retain a total commitment. But, the truth is, that the language of love can only get you so far. At some point, clear communication is absolutely necessary.

For those that have made it to the end of this not-so-happy ending of my romantic novel… my Italian love affair turned heart-break… please review the images. PLEASE give me advice as to how I can save this relationship. Or, if you’re as disappointed as I am, please give me words of encouragement to just let it go, realize that it was never meant to be, and realize that it was simply a Big Letdown Italian Planner from the get-go & I was simply blinded by its beauty and sexy style.


  1. Awesome guest post. She should have her own spot here OR start her own.

  2. Hmm... after reading your post and looking at the pictures, I can only tell you that this planner is not for you nor your sister.
    It seems to me this planner was meant to be for someone who is a lawyer, an accountant or a sole trader, in Italy. Here in Spain these professionals would probably use something similar. The Fiscal Calendar is basically a reference calendar for writing down dates when tax payments (and similar) are due.
    The info on the right hand corner is simply another referencing calendar, I can imagine having this planner open on a desk and instead of having to flip to a date to know what day it is, simply use the list and say: "Aha! January the 16th is a Saturday, so we can't have the meeting then!"
    Lastly, the 2011 calendar is a planner, similar like the 2010, numbers and words indicating dates and weekdays.
    I think you should give it to someone who's very business-like and has a big desk, and get a nice, fun, reliable and caring Filofax :)

    Oh, and it's not Korean, but Japanese :)

  3. Sis, would you like to do another guest post about your Filofax experience?

  4. Actually my sister is a marketing executive for an architecture firm. And she has a big desk. But not in Italy.

    When she showed me photos of this planner, I thought it would really work for her, but thought the multiple languages would be a problem. But I had no idea it would be the epic fail it turned out to be!

    And speaking of epic fails, her Filofax experience certainly was one. A future guest post perhaps...?

  5. I've used, and loved, the Settegiorni for five years running now. I don't speak a word of Italian, but have never found that to be a problem using the calendar: when you're actually using it, I think you'll find it pretty intuitive, because the layout kind of compensates for the language.

    As for the plastic thing, I don't know what it's "official" use is, but I've always taken it for, and used it as, a business card holder, which I affix to the front inside of the book (the backing peels off and it sticks right in).

  6. Cecelia, thank you so much for your comment! It's great to hear from someone who has had so much success with this planner. Maybe you could give my sister a tutorial on best ways to use this planner! ;D

    By the way, where do you buy yours? Online, or have you found a local store that carries it?


  7. Laurie, I bought my first one in a store in Chicago. I just happened across it by accident, having looked for years for a planner with the same characteristics you mention that your sister wants. Why are they so hard to find?!

    Now I buy my new Settegiornis online, though (usually through Paperhaus or Fitzsu). You're so right about the terrible online images of the journal-- seems like everywhere that sells them uses the same tiny stock photos.

  8. I'm with Cecelia!! I have also used these books for years and am lost without it!! I don't speak Italian either. I, too, placed the stick-on business card holder inside the cover. I'm not sure how you were stumped by that one....
    Since fitszu no longer stocks these books, I have been on a mad hunt for a new planner. I am soooo disappointed with the tacky, over-priced options out there. As far as planners go, there is nothing more chic, sexy or worldly than the settegiorni! Sure, there is a LOT of features that I will never use (such as the size conversion for men's socks in 5 languages).. but I remain hopeful! Plus it reminds me how much I want to travel. Also- for years, I have used the alphabetical pages to store my favorite websites and passwords. I'm a fashion designer and really have a things for aesthetics. This is the best planner I have found, but if you have found something even better, please let me know. I haven't found a retailer for them and it's now almost February and I've been scribbling appointments and such on scrap paper. I need HELP@

  9. Fitzsu does stock these books, and I'm curious enough to get one now. They say the company only prints once a year, so when they sell out, it's out. Did anyone ever find success with this? Why/how did you find it so essential and useful?


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