Saturday, October 27, 2012

Harris Tweed cover on my 2012 ABP1!

Huge thanks to reader Elsa for sending me her unused 2012 Quo Vadis ABP1 day per page planner!  She read my review of the 2013 ABP1 and very generously sent me her unused 2012 so I can use it right away. (In exchange I sent her the 2013 Quo Vadis ABP2 I won't be using.)

To make it even better, I put on the Harris Tweed cover my mom got for me. (Thanks Mommy!!!) It looks great!! I love the way it feels in my hands, and it's very lightweight. And of course I love that it's made in Scotland!  Doesn't it look great????

I love the colors! That's a leather tab magnetic closure there.

Side view with my snowy front yard in the background!

Open view. I love seeing the colors around the edges of the pages!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lots of Planner Fail lately! How can I help?

Several people have told me lately they are having Planner Fail. Super Laurie to the rescue!!!

If you are having Planner Fail, what are you using and how is it not working for you? I'm sure between myself and Plannerisms reader comments we can find something that will work better for you. Leave a comment and we'll get you on your path to Planner Nirvana in no time!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quo Vadis Covers available for separate purchase from Classic Office Products

Great news! Now you can buy just the cover, ANY cover for your Quo Vadis planner!

I read recently on the Quo Vadis blog (here) that you could order just covers from Classic Office Products, so I emailed them about it. Their very nice reply contained a link where you can now choose from any of the Quo Vadis covers and order them separately from the planners!

Here is the link:

 http://classicofficeproducts.com/shop/quo-vadis-exacompta-planner-covers.html

This is fantastic!  I ordered a couple of covers for my ABP1 so I can change them out seasonally.

Many thanks to Classic Office Products for offering this great service!

PS, they do list other countries available for international shipping, but when I checked the price to the UK for two covers it was nearly $100!!!  Yikes!  So, I recommend this service for people with a US address only.

Friday, October 19, 2012

2013 WeekDate Monthly wall calendar

Here is the 2013 Weekdate monthly wall calendar, I really like the cheery green background this year!
The WeekDate wall calendar uses WeekDate's genius Only Write It Once system. You write your monthly recurring events in the top section, your weekly recurring events in the bottom section, and your current month's appointments in the middle. You never have to rewrite anything, even when scheduling into future months. Everything is in front of you all the time so you never forget appointments or events!


This is the second year in a row I've ordered the WeekDate monthly wall calendar. Click here to see my review of the 2012 calendar with loads of photos and more info on how it works!

WeekDate is an awesome company and made my (short) list of Planner Companies Who Listen To Their Customers!

Unfortunately this might be the last year these calendars are made because their publisher says there's not enough demand. Let's prove them wrong by showing that we like this unique and helpful format!

Click here to see more about the WeekDate monthly calendar!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2013 WeekDate weekly planner

Sorry for the flash glare! I love the soft colors.

Here is the hotly anticipated 2013 WeekDate weekly planner!  I chose the gorgeous Breakfast in Bed cover, which is just one of several cover options for this planner.

With WeekDate's genius Only Write It Once system, you never have to re-write recurring events. Weekly and monthly recurring events go in their appropriate section on the planner, so you never forget an event or appointment even when scheduling weeks in advance.

At the bottom you write your recurring weekly events, at the top you write your monthly events, and in the middle you write the current week's appointments. The back of each weekly page is lined for lists and notes.

Each planner comes with cards for phone numbers and annually recurring events and anniversaries that you keep in a clear pocket, then transfer to your next year's WeekDate planner.

This is the third year in a row I've ordered a WeekDate planner!  Check out my reviews of my 2011 WeekDate and my 2012 WeekDate to see tons of photos of the pages and features to see how it works!

You can see ideas on how to use a WeekDate planner in my post here, and photos of my WeekDate in use here.

You can see more information and the entire WeekDate range at www.WeekDate.com.

WeekDate is a great company and made my list of Planner Companies Who Listen To Their Customers!

Sadly, these planners are endangered. If they don't sell out of their entire stock of 2013 planners, they won't be able to make them for 2014. So please order your WeekDate planners to support this excellent company and their unique products so we can all continue to WeekDate for years to come!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Readers in Japan, please help!

Reader Elsa has asked if there is anyone in Japan who could please send her this Quo Vadis H24/24 planner from Japan:

http://www.quovadis.co.jp/products/view.php?brd=1&style=1&style2=14

She is happy to pay for the planner and postage. If anyone is able to send this planner, please email me and I'll put you in touch with Elsa:  laurie at plannerisms dot com.

Thank you!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Accomplishments This Week

My kids' school gives each student a Homework Diary, which is nice. At my kids' ages it's mostly a way for their teacher to easily communicate to parents what is happening each day, when to send PE kit, and if there's any projects to prepare for.

The diary itself is a week per page with cute school-themed graphics. At the bottom of each week's page, there is a space labeled My Accomplishments This Week.

I think this is such a great thing in a student's planner, or in any planner. I've seen planners that encourage you to review and evaluate your week, which is great but sometimes I don't want to analyze my week in detail. This way is so simple it's elegant. It lowers the resistance to doing some big critical evaluation. You simply list your accomplishments. Easy.

What a great way to teach students how to reflect on their week and recognize the good things that happened.  Then when they look back through the weeks of their planner, they can see their accomplishments each week. This is also a great way to see how much they've learned all year.

I've decided to implement this in my own planner. No big deal, not tons of detail, no critical evaluation of good or bad. Just my accomplishments.

Do you evaluate your week or list your accomplishments?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Quo Vadis ABP1 day per page planner

Here is the day per page planner I will use for 2013:

I'm so sure, I even cancelled the poll asking which DPP planner I should use for 2013. The choices were between this one, my large Moleskine Star Wars day per page, or the Undercover UK day per page.  The Quo Vadis ABP1 is the clear winner, and I'll show you why.

The ABP1 is an A5 size (5 1/4 by 8 1/4 inches) day per page planner/ diary. Like all Quo Vadis products, it has the spectacularly smooth paper I love (in white, which I really really love). And it just keeps getting better. 

It came with the removable Quo Vadis bookmark/ elastic strap, which is now black and looks great. I like it much better than the brown and tan strap on the other QV bookmark I have

I ordered the Soho cover, which is a soft leather-like cover. It looks super-classy, and feels soft and is nice to hold. I'm very tactile, so a soft-feeling cover is very important to me.

The format is awesome: a timed column at the left that has a line for every half hour from 7 am to 10:30 pm, with two lines above 7am for early mornings. To the right is a large Notes area. At the bottom of the page is a section for phone calls and emails, and reference calendars.

I wasn't sure when I looked at the website if holidays were printed on the day spaces, so I was very happy to discover that all major holidays for the US, UK and Canada are printed on the day spaces as well as major religious holidays, solstices, equinoxes, and phases of the moon. I'm extremely happy about this!
I was also extremely happy to discover there is an anno-planner for all of 2013 at the front of the book, and another one for all of 2014 at the back of the book.  Fantastic!!
There are also reference calendars for all of 2013 and 2014.
There is a detailed and very useful time zones map, and maps of Canada and the US.
Address pages are bound-in, which I will definitely use for contacts, sticking in business cards, long-term notes and reference info.
Here is a view of what the two-page spread looks like. And look!  It stays open flat all by itself!!  Wonderful!!!

The ABP1 has the same page size as the large Moleskine day per page planner, but for me the ABP1 has several advantages over the Moleskine. All the features noted above: smooth white paper, soft-touch cover, holidays printed on the day spaces.  But there are a couple other things that really tipped this for me.

One is that the ABP1 has a refillable cover, which creates these pockets inside the front and back covers.  The Moleskine has a back pocket, but it's a full-width one so anything I put in there disappears. With these, any papers I put in the pockets are still visible, so I don't forget about them.

But the real deciding point was the weight. The ABP1 is noticeably slimmer and definitely lighter than the hard cover large Moleskine daily.
ABP1 at left, Large Moleskine daily at right

Moleskine on top, ABP1 on bottom
I chose the ABP1 over the Undercover UK one because they are about the same weight, but the ABP1 has a larger page size (not to mention the smooth white paper I love so much).

End of dilemma.  I get the full A5 size page in a lighter book with a soft cover, smooth white paper, holidays printed on the days, and front and back pockets. Not to mention I love the daily format.

Now the hard part will be waiting until January 1 to use this planner!  Does anyone know where I can get a 2012 ABP1???

As far as I know, the ABP1 is sold only in the US and Canada. I ordered mine from Alkos, click here for their product page.

You won't find this planner on the Quo Vadis website. I think it's endangered. It was discontinued for 2010 and brought back due to popular demand. In my opinion, this is the best day per page planner that Quo Vadis makes. I hope it's around for many years to come. I'll be asking my mom to bring one with her every year when she comes to visit!!

**Edited to add: reader Elsa very generously sent me her 2012 ABP1 that she didn't use this year, so I can start using this excellent size and format right away!  I am SO happy to have found this planner and am excited to use it right now!  As a trade for her ABP1 I sent her the 2013 ABP2 that I won't be using (because I'll be using the 2013 ABP1 instead).

So now I'm on a campaign begging Quo Vadis not to discontinue the ABP1! I love that it has this large page size and super smooth paper in such a lightweight book. It's a winner!!

**Update: This planner is hard to find, but you CAN get the 2014 ABP1 at Classic Office Products for US and international shipping, click here for the ordering page. If you are in Canada you can order the ABP1 from Quo Vadis Canada.  (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Quo Vadis or Classic Office Products)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Need suggestions! Day Per Page planner conundrum

Ok everybody, I need some help here. I'm trying to decide what day per page planner to use for 2013. I need your suggestions!

For the past two years I've used a Moleskine pocket size day per page planner. While I love the portability, the page size has consistently proved to be just too small. I'm not going to do that to myself again.
Moleskine pocket day per page

My favorite size for a day per page planner/ diary is 12 x 17 cm, 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches. This is the size of the Quo Vadis Textagenda and the Undercover UK day per page diary. I've tried the Textagenda but I really need times down the side of the page.

Quo Vadis Textagenda format

I like the Undercover UK diary, but it's not perfect. I wish the cover were softer to touch, the paper smoother (and white, ideally) and that there were maps.
Undercover UK

But the Undercover UK is a definite contender because it's the perfect size (portable yet large page size) and I love the purple cover.
Undercover UK

My real dilemma begins when I consider my Large Moleskine Star Wars day per page planner. I'm a huge Star Wars fan!  The negatives are the book is large and heavy to carry around, the cover doesn't have a soft feel in my hands, and the paper isn't the greatest.  But, it's Star Wars!!  And, I'd never have to worry about running out of page space each day.
Definitely wins points for coolness!

To add to the conundrum, my mom arrives today and is bringing with her the Quo Vadis ABP1 day per page planner. I can hardly wait to check it out! It will have the super-smooth white Clairefontaine paper that I love, maps which I also love, and I ordered the Soho cover which is soft to touch. It should be lighter than the large Moleskine because it's a soft cover. But for the same size book, would I wish I were using the Star Wars one instead??

Quo Vadis does make the same layout in my Perfect Size, the ABP2. I ordered it and thought it would be the absolutely perfect planner for me, but it turned out to be a devastating Fail. Click here to read the heartbreaking details if you dare.  I get more and more disappointed as that post goes along!
Quo Vadis ABP2


My favorite day per page planner I've ever used is this one, click here to read the details.
My all-time favorite
There were so many things about it I loved: the fuzzy cover was so nice to hold; the paper was white and super-smooth; I loved the international information and full-color maps; and the A6 size was very portable.  Unfortunately this company doesn't make their daily in A6 size anymore, only A5. If they still made the A6 I would most likely go for that one.

The only thing I've found that's close to this is the Aspinal A6 Italian leather diary, but it's out of my price range.

So my friends, I need your help!  Should I use the cool but heavy Star Wars planner, the soft and smooth Quo Vadis ABP1, or the ok but not perfect Undercover UK?  Or, do you have another suggestion for me?  Please vote in the sidebar and add any comments here.

Thank you for your suggestions!!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Daycraft new Desk Calendar

This is the new monthly Desk Calendar from Daycraft! It's a very nice addition to the Daycraft lineup.

The cover is soft PU and comes in a variety of colors. It stands up on its own:
Each month has a page:
There's also a list of International Holidays:
There are stickers that you can use to highlight holidays or important days:
This calendar would look great on any desk at home or work.

Many thanks to Daycraft for sending me this calendar as a sample to review!  Daycraft now has free worldwide shipping so you can get their cool products wherever you are!

Just for the heck of it, I'm going to give this calendar away to anyone who wants it. The first person to email me asking for it, gets it.  Laurie (at) plannerisms (dot) com  :) 

Congratulations to Libbi, she was the first to email me so she wins this cool calendar!  :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Daycraft My Travel Notebook

Here is the new My Travel Notebook from Daycraft. This is an A6 size, hard backed notebook with an elastic closure strap:
Inside the front cover is a space to write your name:
The pages are squared:
with degrees like latitude and longitude on a map:
The paper is thick and off-white, with rounded corners.

Inside the back cover is a pocket:
This would be a great travel notebook: the hard cover and elastic strap make it perfect for traveling, the paper is great to write on and the back pocket is great for all those little mementos and tickets.

Many thanks again to Daycraft for sending me this notebook as a sample to review!

Friday, October 5, 2012

When were you happiest with your planner?

Here is another post I've been thinking about for awhile but didn't know if there would be any interest. But a Twitter conversation the other day with Rori spurred me on to post it.

We were talking about why I feel the need to have an emotional connection with my planner. Her very good point was, it's something that goes everywhere with you all day, and you look at it and handle it all the time. And, it helps you in your life. It's normal, and probably important, to feel a connection to your planner.

Then she asked, when did you last feel a real, emotional connection with your planner?

What an awesome question.

For me there have been two planners I've felt a deep emotional connection with. They were very different from each other, and at very different times in my life.

The most recent was my A6 size day per page Time Traveler planner I used the year my daughter was born, which you can read all about here. That was a time when I really didn't have much to plan, but I had little details to record each day of the cute things she did and all those baby firsts. I loved the way the fuzzy faux-suede cover felt in my hands. I loved that little book.

The time before that when I was most happy with my planner was when I first got my Buckingham Filofax and used it in grad school.  My planning needs were pretty simple (compared to now at least). The only person I had to keep track of was myself, and the only things I needed to keep track of were school things. After I graduated, and especially after my kids were born, the Filofax just didn't fit my needs anymore.

The happiest I've been with a planner in a long time is my self-drawn weekly + monthly planner I've been using this year. It functions perfectly for me. But the only thing I don't like about it is that it's hand-drawn, and I prefer printed. Also I want maps, international info etc. Luckily my 2013 Plannerisms planners will be printed soon and they will have all this good stuff in them, so I'm looking forward to that!!

Meanwhile I'm still searching for a day per page planner that I can connect with. I'd love a soft or fuzzy cover. I want an open, unstructured format. I want it to be approximately 12 x 17 cm , between A6 and A5 sizes. These are hard to find!

When was the last time you were happiest with your planner and/ or felt a strong emotional connection to it?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Planner Quagmire

Has this ever happened to you:

You get so bogged down in planner frustration that you want to give up on planners altogether. Maybe you've had an epic Planner Fail or two.  Maybe you've even tried calling the dog, to no avail. The whole aggravating experience has put you off planners, and now you're struggling through your days, plannerless.

That, my friends, is a Planner Quagmire. And let me tell you, it blows.

So how do you haul yourself out of a Planner Quagmire?

The key is to figure out what you want and need from your planner. Do you need mainly to schedule appointments and events? Or do you need to write your lists alongside your schedule? Do you want to record things in your planner too, or just plan?

Once you've decided your planner's main purpose, you can think about  what the planner itself needs to be.  It helps me to make lists.

Which format do you need? What size do you need?  What else do you need from it?  Fountain pen friendly paper? A ring binder system? Write it down.

Then, go a little deeper. What would you LIKE your planner to be? Pretty? Professional-looking? Cool? Cute? Fun? Serious?  List the characteristics of your ideal planner.

Then, list features you would like it to have. International pages and maps? Goal-setting pages? Lots of pages for notes? Or do you want a streamlined planner with none of these?

Then ask yourself some hard questions. Are you in a Planner Quagmire because what you REALLY want is too expensive or otherwise out of your reach, and nothing else will do it for you?

Or do you need a professional planner for work, but what you REALLY want is something cute and fun or otherwise more "you?"

When you have figured out what you actually need and want from your planner, then you are ready to search for it.

Look through the reviews here on Plannerisms for ideas. Google. Go to the bookstore if you are lucky enough to live near one that stocks planners. 

You might find you need to make your own planner. Draw it up in a notebook (I recommend a Leuchtturm dots notebook, that's what I use for making my own planners).  Visit DIYPlanner.com for ideas.  Check out Steve and Ray's plethora of printable planners on Philofaxy.

And if you still can't find what you're looking for, email me!  I don't know all the planners out there, but I know a lot of them, and I'm bound to have suggestions for you.

Whatever you do, don't despair!  A Planner Quagmire is not insurmountable.  With some thought and maybe a little planner research, you'll find the perfect planner for you. Or if you don't, you can make it yourself.  :)

Have you pulled yourself out of a Planner Quagmire? What got you out of it?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daycraft Signature Chromatic weekly diary

This is a new weekly planner from Daycraft, the 2013 Signature Chromatic Diary. This one is A5 size, but they also come in A6 size, and in a variety of cover colors. Click here to see the full range of Signature Chromatic diaries.
This planner is packed with features, detailed below. Click on photos for a larger view.

Planning calendars
International holidays
International information
Gift ideas and special dates
Month on two pages calendars at the beginning of each month, embedded in the weeks
Monthly calendars for the future year
Vertical weekly format
Income and expenses pages
Venue lists
Contacts pages
Notes pages

The colored cover is super-soft and flexible, and the book lays flat easily. The white paper is very smooth and excellent for writing.  There is a ribbon page marker to mark your place.

Daycraft now has free worldwide shipping! You can see their entire product range at http://www.daycraft.com.hk/.

**Edited to add: please note when you click through to their website their prices are in Hong Kong dollars. You can go to XE currency conversion to convert it into your currency. The price of this planner is 259 HKD which is approximately $33 USD. Considering the shipping is free, that's not bad.

Many thanks to Daycraft for sending me this excellent planner as a sample to review!