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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quo Vadis Textagenda (UK edition)


My new Textagenda is here!  This is the UK edition of the Quo Vadis Textagenda.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know I have a special fondness for Textagenda diaries.  I keep coming back to these diaries because they are excellent.  I have a Textagenda from the US, one from France, and now one from the UK!  It's becoming quite a collection!

The Textagenda is Quo Vadis's day per page diary in the academic-year format.  This UK edition has pages of UK-specific information.  I'll walk you through the book.

Interestingly, according to the inside cover, the diary was made in the USA and the cover in Canada.

The next page is Personal information, and a reference calendar for July 2010 through June 2011.


The next two 2-page spreads are for recording your weekly schedule.


Next is a feature I absolutely love in Quo Vadis diaries: the Anno-Planner, with the entire academic year across a two-page spread.

I find the Anno-Planner extremely useful for planning out my year.  Near the back of the book there is another Anno-Planner for the following academic year for future planning.

Next comes the day per page section.  The Textagenda's unique layout has several excellent features.  (Click to enlarge photo.)


The schedule area at the top of the page is good for those of us with few appointments.  Below that the Priority box highlights the major event of the day.  There are lines over most of the page, and at the bottom of the page there is a boxed out area to highlight important notes.  The bottom corner of the page is perforated to tear off, so that the book opens directly to the current day's page.

I was very glad to see that US holidays are printed on the day spaces as well as the UK holidays.  The holidays are shown in the priority box, without taking up too much space:


Scotland-specific holidays are indicated (which I appreciate very much).


Even Equinoxes and Solstices are printed, which I love:


There was a debate awhile back on the Quo Vadis blog about whether people like the blue ink color (in the Textagenda and Notor), or if they prefer the gray ink that was used in previous years.  As I commented on the blog post, I think the circle looks nicer in blue ("more cheerful" as Gini Cooper commented).  The blue lines interfere with my color-coding system a little bit, but really not enough to be an issue.  The lines are dotted and fairly inconspicuous. 

As we all know, I love the monthly tabs at the edge of the pages.  I mean, I really really love them.  I wish every planner in the world had these.


After the last day's page (which is August 4, 2011) there are lots of pages of very useful information.

First are the maps, and Quo Vadis makes great maps.  There is a very useful and accurate Time Zone map, and maps of North America, Canada, South America, and a map of Europe that explains who belongs to the EU and who doesn't (which I never can keep straight).  There's also a good map of the British Isles which is very handy for those of us who live here.

After the maps there is the Anno-Planner for the 2011-2012 academic year that I mentioned before.  After that are some pages of UK-specific information that I find very useful.  There is a chart of "distances between principal UK towns," which I was a bit miffed to discover does not include Aberdeen. Next is a page of emergency and other useful phone numbers, which I really appreciate.


Next is a chart of international telephone codes, and a chart of international holidays.  I really like having this information in my planner.


There is a page of conversion tables, which is especially useful for me since I'm not all that used to the metric system.  There is also a page to record your website usernames and passwords but it seems too risky to keep such sensitive information in a book that I carry around with me. I'll find a different purpose for this page.




This is very handy: there's a page to record birthdays for the year:


After that there are several pages to record addresses and phone numbers, which I will definitely use:


At the very back of the book is a reference calendar for the 2011-2012 academic year.  At the right you can see how the cover of the book fits into the refillable Club cover. I like to stick papers and cards in this back pocket.

In my opinion, the Textagenda is the ideal size for a daily book.  At 4 3/4 by 6 3/4 inches (12 x17 cm) it's the perfect size and shape. It's pleasant to hold in my hands, it fits easily into any of my bags, and the page has plenty of room to write. It's smaller than A5, which can seem too big for a daily planner (unless you're using it as a journal), and it's larger than A6 which might not have enough writing space each day.  The Textagenda's size is just right, substantial yet portable.


The Textagenda has that super-smooth, extra white Clairefontaine paper that is my very favorite in the world for writing. There really is no comparison with any other paper. The paper used in the Textagenda is a little thinner than the paper used in the Quo Vadis weekly planners, to make the daily book not too chunky.

I ordered this Textagenda from the Quo Vadis UK website www.quovadis-diaries.co.uk, and I have a few issues.

When I placed my order, second class postage was included in the price, which was nice. However, I wanted my diary faster so I tried to find a way to get Airmail, but that was not available as an option.  (Maybe there is a minimum spending amount you have to reach to get the option to buy faster delivery?)  I placed my order on Sunday, got the notification Monday morning that it shipped (which is superfast processing), and received my diary today (Thursday).  Like I said, that's great for free shipping, but I would have liked the option of buying faster shipping.

This is the Club cover in Grenadine Pink, which turns out to be not at all what it looks like on the website. On the Quo Vadis UK website (click on Swatches) Grenadine Pink looks like a true pink (on my screen at least).  But in person it is a reddish orangey pink that I would call Coral Pink.

I'm very disappointed that the color is not what was shown on the website, and if I had known the true color of this cover I would have chosen the Aqua color instead. It's not a terrible color, in fact it's bright and cheery, it's just not to my liking and not what I expected the color to be.  As it is, I will probably remove the cover and instead use the purple cover from my Textagenda I bought in France in 2001. I hope the books are the same thickness so that the purple cover will fit.

Another misleading thing on the Quo Vadis website is the image of the inside pages of the Textagenda.  On the Club cover Textagenda ordering page, the image of the pages is actually of the EuroTextagenda, which is a multiple language format.  I did not want the multiple-language version, and I had to download the Quo Vadis catalogue and look through it to verify that the Textagenda in the Club covers has the English-only pages (like the US version seen here).  QV, please update your website accordingly.

I'm absolutely thrilled that my Textagenda is here, and I've immediately put it to heavy use.  My next post will detail how I'm using my daily Textagenda diary alongside my weekly planner.

14 comments:

  1. Love your review and the pictures.
    I love the appointment planner on top of the page and lots of room for notes at the bottom.

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  2. Enjoyed the review. I am a bit disappointed it is a bit more coral so that is very useful to know if I order a similar notebook. I love that you love purple. It is my favourite colour too. Look forward to seeing how you use this as well as the purple cover!

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  3. Superb layout! Do they also offer these as loose-leaf option for filofaxes? I vaguely remember Steve mentioning that?
    Off to the UK site to check it out ...

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  4. Hi Jotje
    Yes the page per day format is available in looseleaf format as well, although you will have to check the site for sizes I can't remember at this hour!

    Steve

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  5. Great review! I’ve been reading (and loving!) your blog for awhile now and when I saw this, I just had to comment on it. I’ve never used a Textagenda before (actually, I don’t think I’ve ever used anything from Quo Vadis before), but two days ago I was in Barnes and Noble, saw a lavender Textagenda, and on a whim, bought it. Since I don’t really need it, I have been trying to figure out how to work it into my “organizational life” since then. So I can’t wait to read about how you use it. How lucky --- it must be kismet!:)

    Since I am a Quo Vadis/Textagenda newbie, I read your review, then went back through it again with the Textagenda in hand. I noticed that several of the features you mentioned are missing in mine (weekly schedule page, all of the information pages, the password page, and the birthday page)and there are some small differences (i.e., reference calendar is on the last page, rather than at the beginning). I'm not sure if it's because I'm in the U.S. or because I bought it at Barnes and Noble (so maybe it's not of the same quality...?), but it would be great to have some of that stuff. Do you know if there is any difference between buying it in a retail store versus straight from the vendor, or if the US version just doesn’t offer as many features as the UK version?

    And regarding loose-leaf --- as soon as I got it home and flipped through it, I wished that I could use it in my Filofax (so much so that I even considered going back to purchase a second Textagenda that I could try to take apart and put in it!). I contacted the Exaclair/Quo Vadis customer service to see if they sold the Textagenda pages in loose-leaf format, but they told me they didn't make them at all and have no plans to do so in the future. So it seems like you in Europe get better dibs not only on Filofax stuff, but also on Quo Vadis stuff as well!:(

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  6. Hi Christy, to answer your questions:

    Yes the US version of the Textagenda has different information pages than the UK version, or other countries for that matter. Back in 2001 when I bought my French Textagenda I was amazed at all the information pages that my US Textagenda didn't include: everything from French local information, to reference charts for geometry, math, English verb translations, on and on. Each country's version of their planners/ diaries have different information.

    France is where the parent company for Quo Vadis is based (which is why they have the most variety in the diaries and formats available, lucky Steve for living there!).

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  7. Jotje this daily format is available on the UK site in loose-leaf format in the Timer 17 size (which I think is Personal size, Steve do you know if this is right?), but in French only:

    http://www.quovadis-diaries.co.uk/acatalog/TIMER_17.html

    It's the "one day to a page academic year refill" which for some reason on the UK site is only offered in this Timer 17 size.

    Hope this helps! :)

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  8. Yes Timer 17 is Personal size. Timer 21 A5, Timer 14 Pocket

    Steve

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  9. Many thanks Steve! I can't seem to keep them straight, although it's not that hard since the numbers go sequentially by size. :P

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  10. Thanks for the information, Laurie!

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  11. Yes Timer 21... 21cm Timer 17 17 cms but Timer 14 is 12.5cm the odd one out!

    And to repeat myself.... Timers 17 and 14 fit Filofax perfectly... holes correct

    Timer 21 needs to be re-punched to fit an A5 Filofax. But it works fine..

    I now have all three sizes in use...

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  12. Wow Steve I guess I didn't realize you are actively using all 3!! I believe we have a QV convert here! :)

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  13. I am a bit late commenting on this post, but I did read it as soon as it was published, and really enjoyed it!
    The Textagenda looks very pretty although I agree with you. The swatch on the web is a stronger PINK, while in your pics it does look coral.

    I really wish there was a store that supplied Clairefontaine products, including QV and Rhodia.
    That way I could go there to check out their products. I already am a Rhodia convert, and the QV business planner that Karen sent me was very good. But when I bought a QV Habana Notebook, I didn't like it. I didn't try out the paper, but it was too thin and too 'yellow' for my liking. The same happened with their Memoriae line; the paper isn't that friendly with FP and the shade is just too yellow!
    I am really looking forward to seeing it in person when we finally meet in November! And I might just order one, too, even though steve's already bringing me my QV refills for the pocket size :D

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  14. Yes unfortunately the paper in the UK Habana notebooks is thinner than the US versions. And, the UK paper is ivory, not white like the US versions. I prefer the thick white paper, personally.

    The paper in my Textagenda is white and smooth, and slightly thinner than in my Habana. I think the Textagenda paper is 64 g, and I know the Habana paper is 90 g. It's wonderful! :)

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