Monday, September 30, 2013

Ask Plannerisms: A4 size day per page planner in the US?

I recently received this email from Russell in the US, searching for an extra large day per page planner:

I've bought daily planners from Book Allys and Moleskine before, but I need an extra large daily planner and neither makes one any more. !?

Any suggestions on here to find a daily planner about 8.5"x11" or larger?

Thanks in advance!


First of all, I didn't realize Moleskine no longer makes their A4 daily planner, which is a bummer because it was a nice option. 

Here in the UK, A4 day per page diaries are easy to find because businesses use them. But in the US hardly anyone uses this size so they are much harder to find.

I did let Russell know he could order a daily A4 from Collins or Letts in the UK, but then he'd have to pay international shipping.

So, does anyone know where Russell can get an A4 size bound day per page planner in the US, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store?

Thanks everyone for any info!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Free For All Friday No. 3: brand-new planners

I love this time of year when the 2014 planners are flooding the market and the maximum variety of planners are available. It's especially fun to see what's new this year. Have you found any planners that are brand-new this year?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss anything planner-related!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Plannerisms planners: detailed photos of all the features!

Sorry but the Plannerisms planners are all sold out for 2015. I have ended my partnership with the publisher and am considering possibilities for a new one. Watch this blog for news!

Here's a quick summary of the Plannerisms Going Places Planner features:
  • Weekly layout with all seven days as vertical columns plus space for lists and notes. 
  • A column before Monday to list your daily goals. Then just check your goals off in each day's column, no rewriting!
  • Month on two pages planning calendars.
  • Two-page spread between each month's calendar for monthly goals, lists, financial tracking, household tasks etc.
  • Pages for year and quarterly goals, and pages to write your annual review.
  • Annual overview calendars for the current and next year.
  • Soft-touch cover and super-smooth paper are so pleasant to use!
  • Notes booklet, back pocket, two ribbon bookmarks and elastic closure.
  • 5 colors available: black, pink, purple, blue and turquoise.

Read on for lots of photos and details of the features!

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has asked about these planners! And huge thanks to everyone who bought a Plannerisms planner in previous years! Click here to see the wonderful things customers have said about the Plannerisms planners!

After years and years trying dozens (hundreds?) of planners, I designed the Plannerisms Going Places Planner as My Ideal Planner. 2013 was the first year they were published and I've had wonderful feedback from customers. I'm so happy they are back again for another year! I know I couldn't function without my Plannerisms planner!

The Plannerisms planner has weekly pages, monthly pages, loads of goals pages throughout the book, and monthly themes with weekly tips on goal setting, time management, organization and life management.

The planners measure 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches and are only 1/2 inch thick, so they are very portable.

The pages are designed for flexibility of use, and there is no prescribed way to use them. Each person uses the planners a little differently. They are easy to adapt to your own needs, even when your needs change during the year.

I'm so excited to show you the planners!

The cover colors this year are black, pink, purple, blue and turquoise.


The Plannerisms planners have a great unique weekly layout with all seven days as vertical columns plus a column before Monday to write all your daily goals so you don't have to re-write them each day. Just check them off in each day's column for a quick-glance indication of whether you are reaching your goals!
Below the daily columns there is space for your weekly lists and notes. Click here for more tips on different ways to use the Plannerisms weekly pages. You can use them differently every week if you want!  Click the links in the sidebar to see how customers are using their Plannerisms planners.

There are big month-on-two-pages grid calendars to give you the overview of each month.

There is a two-page spread between each month for goals, monthly task lists, monthly reviews, budget and finance tracking, and anything else you want to make note of. Click here to see how I use these pages in my Plannerisms planner.

There are Annual Goals pages:

Quarterly Goals pages:
 

And pages for your end-of-year Annual Review:
 
Click here for lots of tips on how to use the goals pages throughout the Plannerisms planner.

There are loads more features in the Plannerisms planners. Let me take you for a walk through the book.

The soft-touch cover is firm yet flexible.

The moon and stars logo is the only branding on the front cover, and is subtly embossed in the lower corner.

Here is the meaning of the moon and stars logo: The phases of the moon represent passing through time. The waxing moon represents optimism and growth. The stars are reminiscent of celestial navigation and represent finding your way in the world. The summary meaning is optimism and growth as you move through time and throughout the world! The Going Places Planner is designed to get you where you want to go, in life and in the world.

Inside the front cover is my favorite Mark Twain quote, which reminds me to get out of my comfort zone and go for it! It says, "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

There is a page for personal information:

Reference calendars for the current year and the following year:

There is a year overview planner to plan big events like holidays, travel and deadlines.

There are international holidays:

International direct dialing codes:

Weights and measures, and conversions:

There are a couple of pages of tips to get you started using your planner:

There are two ribbon bookmarks to mark your current month and current week.

There is a year overview planner for the following year, so you can start planning next year's dates.

There are several Notes pages in the back of the book.

Also in the back pocket there is a removable Notes booklet for more notes.
There is an elastic closure to keep your book securely shut in your bag.


Huge thanks to everyone for your interest in the Plannerisms planners!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Free For All Friday No. 2: exciting planners

As we all know, I love finding new planners and I get very excited about them! Even if it's a format that wouldn't actually work for me, I get excited about new ideas in planners, layouts, artwork, quotes, spectacular paper, on and on.

Are there any particular planners you find exciting, even if it wouldn't actually work for you?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss anything planner-related!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest post: How Tahlia changed her soft cover ABP1 planner to hard cover

Many thanks to Tahlia for this amazing guest post on how she recovered her Quo Vadis ABP1 soft-cover planner into a hard-cover book!

I wanted to show you some pictures of my recovering of the Quo Vadis ABP1 planner to hardcover.  I decided I liked it best for 2014 and that I wanted to recover it with a hard cover.

So I took and old book and I ripped out its insides and I covered it with pictures I had enlarged on regular paper from my favorite movie "All About Eve" with Bette Davis.  Then I laminated that all around.  

Then I glued in the ABP1 to the cover. I had to take off the original cover for the ABP1 and then glue the front and back pages of the book to the hard cover and used some duck tape too.

Then I poked holes in the back and used an old bra strap to make an elastic closure.  
 

For the pen holder I found that they sell adhesive pen holders you can stick in a book so I bought one on Amazon.com for about $4 and put that in.  

Then I used red paper to line the book.  

Finally I looked on youtube and this girl had a bookmaking channel and she showed how to make a pocket like they have in the moleskine planners and followed her instructions, and I made one and it worked and I glued that in.  
 


Wow!!!! Huge thanks to Tahlia for showing us how to do this! I'm awed by her creativity and style.





Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Showdown: Day Per Page Diary Vs. Undated Notebook

This is a story of trials, tribulations and happily ever after. Or is it? Let's begin.

If you've been reading my What I'm Currently Using page you'll know I've gone back and forth a lot this year, not with my weekly planner (which has consistently been my Plannerisms planner) but with the accompanying day per page diary that I use for daily records and notes.

For most of this year I used (and LOVED) the Time Traveler A5 day per page diary, which I reviewed with lots of photos here.
I absolutely love this diary: the soft cover, the white paper, the full-color maps and loads of excellent features.
For a long time one of my Planner Fantasies was to use a day per page diary to record my whole life for the entire year, so I was determined to follow through with it.

But all year I’ve had some problems with it. In this post I listed the Pros and Cons of using a dated day per page diary to plan and record each day. The bottom line was, it was too heavy in my bag.

Actually, that was only part of the problem. I eventually got used to the weight in my bag, it was fine. But it WAS too much to carry the day per page book AND my weekly Plannerisms planner. 

The two of them together were too much to lug around.


So the result was, I left the Plannerisms planner at home. I carried my daily book around with me everywhere, to capture information and notes throughout the day. The Time Traveler day per page diary does have monthly calendars, so I used those for planning on the go.

My Plannerisms planner became my home planner and goals book. But I still needed the weekly view for planning and it’s also where my weekly lists are. So I had to back-copy things from my daily diary into my weekly planner every time I got home. That was a recipe for disaster.


When the school year started and I was inundated with the school calendar, after-school activities and new schedules, I hit a crisis point. I was planning on-the-go in my daily diary, and back-copying at home to my weekly planner. I was writing everything in FIVE different places: the monthly and daily pages of my daily diary, the monthly and weekly pages of my Plannerisms planner, and the family wall calendar in the kitchen. I was totally overwhelmed and it was only a matter of time until something slipped through the cracks.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I didn’t have any place to put lists and other non-day-specific information. For example, I needed to plan my son’s birthday party, which would take a couple of pages. I didn’t have a place for that, and I didn’t want to start an additional separate notebook for it. Similarly, I went to a jobs fair a couple of weeks ago and needed a place to take notes about it. Job searching ideas. Home maintenance.  Blog posts. A list of who I’d promised guest posts to. Ongoing multi-step process things and tracking each sub-task. I didn’t have any place to write this stuff. I tried using a small booklet in the back of my daily diary but, annoyingly, the line spacing was too narrow and I couldn’t read my handwriting in it. And the pages were too small.

So I had my weekly planner that really I needed to carry everyplace with me but didn’t, and my day per page diary that I did carry everywhere but couldn’t handle my lists and non-day-specific information. I didn't want to add a third book to the mix. I needed to figure out a new solution.

Just a few days later my friend Rori sent me the link to the Bullet Journal, and it was just what I needed at the time.  After some experimentation figuring out what worked best for me, I settled on using my Plannerisms planner for all planning and goals, and an A5 notebook for recording days, lists, and notes.

The notebook I chose to use is the Daycraft Signature Inspiro notebook I reviewed here recently. I love the smooth paper and soft cover, and the front has advice that is very pertinent to me right now.



The book is almost exactly the same size as my day per page diary, but much slimmer.
The pages are the same size.
Wait a second, you might say, didn’t you try an undated notebook earlier this year and it failed? Well yes, that is true. The reason it failed was the pages were too small.
I do a lot of back-filling of my daily pages, and usually I fill an A5 page each day. If I were to back-fill this pocket size book, I’d have to leave about 4 blank pages each day to give me enough just-in-case space.  
With the A5 book, if I don’t have time to write everything I want on that day’s page, it doesn’t cause a backlog. I just start a new page the next day and fill previous days’ pages later, just like I did in the A5 day per page book.

My Plannerisms planner and my A5 notebook together are about the same thickness and weight of just my A5 day per page diary. So I don’t mind carrying both the Plannerisms planner and notebook with me everywhere.  


Now I have everything I need with me all the time. Planning and recording, lists and notes, and the ability to schedule and look up information wherever I am.

This is similar to how Christine uses her Uncalendar planner and separate notebook, which she guest posted about here.


After some experimentation with my notebook I settled on this system:

I left 3 empty pages in the back of the book, where I put my Index. I numbered all the pages. My daily pages start from the front of the book, and my lists and non-day-specific information starts from the back. I note things in my Index as they happen. So for example in my index I noted that on page 67, Tues Aug 27 I ordered my business cards, and there I can find the phone number and email address of the company I ordered from.

There are so many great things about this system. The best part is, I don’t think about how to use it. I just use it. The Plannerisms planner is the best planning system for me. And the notebook as I’ve set it up is the ideal capture device. I don’t get a backlog, I just start a new page each day. I never have to make decisions about what is worthy of being written on the day’s page for fear of filling it up. I can write as much as I want each day. Some days I write two full pages. Most days it’s one full page. Some days it’s less. Over the weekend I didn’t feel like writing, and that’s okay. With this system I can pick it back up again whenever I want.

I do miss my Time Traveler diary, and if I could function using just a day per page diary that would be the one. But I have to admit I'm enjoying the freedom of not being restricted to a dated page for each day.

Do you use a planner and a notebook together? How does that work for you?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pens, Planners and Notebooks: What I Buy

Kate B recently asked me what pens I prefer to use in my planners, and how that subsequently affects my planner (and notebook) purchases. Great question!!

I prefer archival pens, because I want to be able to read what I've written decades later. My preferred archival pens are Sakura Microns, but they aren't that great for day-to-day writing because 1) I prefer a click pen for quick writing and 2) I prefer a roller ball pen for easy writing. Recently I discovered the Uni-ball Signo RT roller ball with their Super Ink which is designed to last through UV light, water and solvents. So they are my go-to pens now.
But, the Signos have wet ink and not every paper can handle it well. For example.....

Earlier this year I reviewed the Moleskine Turntable planner, and one day I decided to play with it a little bit. I used a purple Pilot V5 pen to write the days at the top of the page, but was horrified by the bleed-through and show through to the other side. So I wrote with my Signo and Micron to see if they were just as bad as the V5.
 
This photo below doesn't even show how nasty the bleed through is from the V5 across the top of the page. The back side of the page is completely unusable, and I hardly even wrote anything. I wouldn't be able to use this planner at all. Huge disappointment.
 

So I decided to test a variety of pens in the Moleskine Turntable to see if anything performed any better.
 
Nope. Yuck.

So now let's talk about what planners and notebooks I DO like with these pens, and in particular what I buy.

First of all, my Plannerisms planner works fantastically well with the Signo, and with pens in general. Even though the paper is only 84 gsm, I've heard from fountain-pen using friends that their thinner nibs and not-so-wet inks work well with it. For my purposes, my Signos and Microns work great with no bleed through at all and very little show-through so the opposite side of the paper is entirely useable.
(PS the 2014 Plannerisms planners are available to buy! Email me at Laurie at Plannerisms dot com to order.)

Until recently I was using my Time Traveler day per page diary to record lots of daily details. If you've read What I'm Currently Using you'll know I've gone back and forth on this diary a lot, only because it is thick and heavy in my bag. Aside from that, I absolutely adore this planner and it takes ink very well. I never had a problem with it and my Signo pens.

Recently I switched to using a notebook for recording each day, lists and notes. I did a post here detailing how and why. A few weeks ago I started using this A5 size Signature Inspiro notebook from Daycraft that I reviewed here.
I LOVE the paper in this notebook. It's off-white, super smooth and is a dream to write on. I also like how the purple page edges look next to my Plannerisms planner's purple cover.
A few years ago I used a purple-covered Daycraft Signature notebook as a self-drawn planner, and it was so pleasant to use. I decided to get another one to have on deck when I use up my Inspiro. I haven't even taken the plastic off this one yet.
 

Another brand I'm really liking is Paperblanks. A few days ago I posted about a Paperblanks planner that I bought to use as a notebook (this one:)

Also awhile back I posted about my pocket size Paperblanks Darwin notebook:

I love it so much I wanted a bigger version, so I ordered the Ultra size Darwin journal:

I had a hard time finding it, I think it may be nearly extinct! So I immediately ordered another one so I wouldn't be afraid to use it. (I ordered from First Stop Stationers, www.firststopstationers.co.uk. Super fast shipping!)
Paperblanks paper is great, and takes my pens well. I also like the color of the paper, off white, not too dark. And I love their beautiful covers! My only complaint is that they don't have nearly enough selection in their Maxi ( 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch) size. Most of their notebooks are either bigger or smaller. But I love Paperblanks notebooks and am growing quite a collection!

Recently I bought this Rhodia webnotebook at Costco:
I had never used a webbie before, because even though I love the smoothness and thickness of the paper (from Clairefontaine, my long-time favorite paper), I don't care for the darkness of the apricot-colored pages. But it was such a good price I couldn't pass it up. I'll use this Rhodia for my new job, whenever I finally get one.

Below you can see how dark the Rhodia paper is compared to the Paperblanks paper (background), my Plannerisms planner to the right, and Daycraft Signature paper in the foreground.

Another brand I bought recently is Brush Dance. Awhile back I reviewed the Perennial Grace planner of theirs that I bought:
The paper in their planners is amazing, very thick and can take any pen with no problems at all.

They recently came out with a new line of journals with their wonderful paper. I was wondering how I would be able to buy one, since they don't have international shipping on their website. But I was extremely lucky and thrilled when they offered to send me some to review, which I happily accepted!
I would have bought these journals for myself, given the opportunity.

I have loved Quo Vadis planners for 15 years now (wow!), they have spectacular paper that is a joy to write on. Recently I bought the Quo Vadis Journal 21, which I wrote about here with details on my slightly obsessive search for it. It has that Clairefontaine paper I love, so smooth and takes pens so well.
I also bought a Quo Vadis Space 24 planner, which I reviewed here, because I'd been wanting to check out this planner for so long. And again, it has that awesome-to-write-on Clairefontaine paper.

This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list of planner and notebook brands with paper that works well with wet inks, there are plenty that I haven't listed here. These are just what I have bought recently for my own personal use.

What planner and notebook brands do you like to use with wet inks?