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Friday, January 7, 2011

Paperblanks daily and weekly planners

Some of you may remember my post My Ideal Planner where I speculated on what might be my ideal planner for 2011.  I received a lot of great planner suggestions from people in the comments.  One of those very nice comments was from Zed who said, "Laurie, I swear by Paperblanks' Dayplanners (I'm a sucker for anything beautiful). Have you considered any of their books?"

Here was my reply:

 "Zed, I agree the Paperblanks planners are beautiful. But, (and I am going to sound like a major snob here), I don't like that the covers are fake. I don't want a book that looks like it's leather-bound but is actually a paper cover. I'd rather get a real leather-bound book. Or covered in Sari silk, or Moroccan or whatever. That sounds horrible but I'd rather have the real thing or not at all. And, they don't have a vertical weekly + notes format."

Chris, who works for the publishers who make Paperblanks planners and notebooks, noticed this comment and very graciously emailed me.  First, he pointed out that Paperblanks actually does sell a vertical weekly planner with notes space on the weekly pages, in Europe, which I had not been aware of.  This version is not available in the US because the horizontal format is much more popular there.

Second, he very kindly offered to send me some Paperblanks planners to review here on Plannerisms.  And of course I happily took him up on his offer!  Thank you very much Chris!  He sent me a weekly planner with a beautiful purple cover, and a daily planner with the leather-look cover that I was so quick to diss in my comment. 
Here are the labels with info about each planner. Click on photos for a larger view.

Let me say this: yes I would prefer an actual leather cover.  But many of us (myself firmly included in this category) can't afford to shell out multiple tens of dollars/ pounds on a leather-covered book that can only be used for the one year.  The other issue is having to be careful not to get a leather cover messy, which can be inconvenient (and has caused me to abandon a planner before, which you can read about here).  I have to admit this cover looks really darn cool:
The purple cover is absolutely gorgeous and looks like silk:
Even the spines of the books are gorgeous, and these look amazing on a shelf:

Both of these planners are the Midi size, approximately 4 3/4 by 6 3/4 inches, which means they are very portable. In fact, in my opinion this is the perfect size for a day-per-page planner. It has plenty of space to write each day, but the book still fits into just about any bag.

The daily planner has a day-per-page format on the weekdays, with Saturday and Sunday sharing a page:
The weekly planner has a horizontal format with a space under Sunday for notes:
In both formats, holidays and phases of the moon are printed on the day spaces, which I really like.  Also you'll notice both formats have monthly calendars printed on the pages, to help you visualize where you are in the month.

Both books have loads (LOADS) of features including notes pages and current year planning calendars:
International holidays:
Monthly calendars with holidays printed in the day spaces:
Useful numbers and websites, and conversion charts:
International dialing codes and time zones:
Space to record travel planning, birthdays and important dates:
At the back of each book there's a calendar for the next year and list of holidays:
There's also a forward planner, and several lined pages for notes.

Both planners have TWO ribbon placemarkers, so you can keep your place in your daily and monthly sections.
Each planner has a closure.  The daily planner has an elastic strap that you can use to close the book, mark your page, or if you prefer not to use it it can stay discreetly in the back of the book. Also in the back of the book there is a pocket and removable address booklet:
The weekly planner closes with a magnetic flap, here is what it looks like open:
The weekly also has a pocket and address book in the back:
I don't know what the weight of the paper is, but it is thick and smooth.  It has a slight ivory tint that adds to the classy look of the books.

Click here for the Paperblanks website to see their products and find a retailer near you.  See their planner selection here and browse the interior pages of their planner formats (daily, weekly etc.) here.

Many thanks again to Chris for sending me these planners to review!  I have to admit the covers are beautiful, the books are well-made and have loads of great features. Now I finally understand why these planners are so popular!


  1. Hi Laurie

    Interesting.....I bought a Paperblanks planner a few years back (WO2P vertical appts), but had to abandon it because the right hand flap just *wouldn't* lay flat and kept 'popping up' and interfering with the writing of the diary. What's your experience with the ones they have sent you? Did they include any with the small fold-round magnetic clasp? I think those are the least good for the flap/clasp interfering with writing.

    Also, have you tried to see how one will take a fountain pen? That would be a major plus for me....I *hate* the bleed-through on a lot of papers.

    Am on a serious crusade to have more things of beauty in my office this year (its been a bit of beige Muji-esque paradise for too long) so I would be interested. You can email me if you prefer - you have my address!


  2. Hi David,

    The purple weekly planner has the magnetic flap, but it seems to stay out of the way okay. I wonder if it has anything to do with the size of the planner and therefore the flap, so it's heavy enough to stay down.

    Sorry I can't tell you how the paper does with fountain pens, since I don't own any. The paper is nice and thick, but I know its performance depends on the nib width, wetness of the ink, etc.

    Has anybody used a fountain pen with a Paperblanks planner and can tell us how it does? Thanks!

  3. Wouldn't this be "the one"? What does it not have?

  4. The weekly planner is not a contender because 1)the day spaces are not big enough for me, 2) the days are not arranged as columns, and 3) there is not enough space for notes each week. I need about half the weekly spread space for lists. The book is pretty small which is great for portability, but I need a larger page size.

    For someone who doesn't need tons of space to write each week, this would be a great option.

  5. Oh Laurie, I absolutely LOVE this post!!
    I am a HUGE (understatement) fan of Paperblanks! In my experience, no other notebook has come close to its paper quality, except maybe for Clairefontaine/Rhodia.

    I have two Paperblanks in current use:
    - a large ('ultra') unlined which I use as a sketchbook,
    - a medium('midi') lined, which I use as my journal.
    Both have different paper, but with the same superb quality.

    To answer David's question about the FP friendliness, in my experience, these notebooks love them! I only use FP (Lami Vista w/ blue ink) on my journal, and sometimes I also use it for sketching in the other book. There is absolutely no bleed through, no feathering and no show-through in both of them.
    So David, you should definitely get your hands on one of these!
    I've already got 7 notebooks, some still waiting to be used :)

    Laurie, these planners are lovely!! you're so lucky to have gotten these amazing samples, it's too bad that you need more daily space, because I'm sure you would enjoy simply writing on them. :)

  6. Oni, thanks for your comment and for letting us know that these work great with fountain pens!


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