Tag: planner

Ask The Desk: Traveler’s Notebooks vs. Fodderstack and A5 Refill Options for Louis V. Organiser

Matthew put me to task with this stumper:

If you had to choose one out of the three below for your everyday carry, which one would it be and why?

  1. Nock co. Fodderstack XL ($17)
  2. Paper Republic Grand Voyageur (Passport Size) (approx. $42.31 USD)
  3. Travelers Notebook (Passport) ($44.50)

P.S. – Your pen of choice of course.

Well, Matthew, to be honest, the choice here is seems to be between a leather notebook cover and a nylon sleeve as there is not a big difference between the functionality of the Grand Voyageur and the Traveler’s Notebook. (Update: I stand corrected. The Grand Voyageur is actually sized to hold a Field Notes or other 3.5×5.5″ sized notebook. The dimensions, despite being called a “passport-sized” is 10.5cm x 15cm which is 4.1″ x 5.9″, large enough to hold the larger “pocket-sized” notebooks).  The Traveler’s notebook accept only the passport-sized refills so if you’re looking for something that will hold your copious collection of Field Notes, you might (also) want to consider a One Star Leather notebook cover. They start at $40 for a Traveler’s Notebook style and go up from there.

(Clockwise from top left: NockCo. Fodderstack XL, Traveler’s Notebook Passport, Paper Republic Grand Voyageur Pocket Size, and One Star Leather Field Notes Indie Notebook Cover)

If you are looking for an alternative to leather, than a Fodderstack XL will definitely be your preference. And NockCo definitely offers a lot of colors options as well. The Sinclair and the Hightower also provide a Field Notes-sized  pocket as well as slots for pens.

If you want a larger size, than the Grand Voyageur XL is definitely more appealing since its more of a traditional A5 size. And in general, the Grand Voyageur line offers a wider range of standard colors than the traditional Traveler’s Notebooks.

That said, I’m a traditionalist and I like the long slender size of the original Traveler’s Notebook. It’s not a size for everyone but once you use it, you may find that you like it. If you’re purchasing your first Traveler”s Notebook, and you can afford it, I say you go for the original. There are lots of people making Traveler-style notebooks now but its always nice to have at least one of the the originals, if you can. I prefer to fill my Traveler’s Notebook Passport Sized with Baron Fig Vanguard Pocket Notebooks which fit perfectly.

As for my pen of choice… for my Traveler’s notebook? I usually keep a Platinum Desk Pen with my Traveler’s Notebook. The Carbon ink is bulletproof and the low cost of the pen means I’m not worried about it going astray or getting knocked around. And the needlepoint tip is great for teeny tiny writing in the small books, good for sketching or writing and the tip is so smooth for the price. Now if I could just figure out a way to put it into a better looking body.

Amanda asks:

I have a Louis Vuitton organiser I bought years ago in Turkey, it is not a real one but I a very, very good fake and I have run out of paper inserts for it. It is an A5 organiser, with 6 holes, they are not standard though and I am trying to source some paper refills. If I send an image and measurements through could you let me know if you do anything that may fit this.

Many people have run into issues with non-standard hole placements for one reason or another but I have a workaround for you. It is an adjustable 6-hole punch from Japan. They are available on Amazon for a reasonable price. It takes a bit of time to punch inserts but you can either purchase inserts pre-printed or buy a downloadable PDF file from a vendor on Etsy and then punch them yourself to fit the ring configuration to align properly with your organizer.

You can also buy sheets of A5 paper and punch them to fit for notepaper or buy full sheets of A4 paper and have a local copy shop cut them in half for you and then punch them with your hole punch.

I know this isn’t the magic bullet fix but hopefully it will at least get you up and going with new inserts and open you a new world of possibilities.

Notebook Review: Baron Fig Askew, Work/Play II and Planner 2017

I’ve developed quite the stack of Baron Fig products to review so I decided to roll them all up into one big review. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the Work/Play II ($20), the Planner 2017 (sold out) and the quite controversial Askew ($20). So, let’s work through the list.

Each book is similar in size (5.4″ x 7.7″)  and design to the Baron Fig Confidant with a bookcloth fabric cover. I love the feel of the cloth but the black cloth on the Work/Play II edition attracts dust like nobody’s business. I know lots of people have begged and pleaded that Baron Fig make a black edition. You got your request, now be sure to carry a lint brush. I lint rolled this cover twice in the process of photographing this but it the pursuit of truthful reporting, I’m leaving the dots of dust for you to see. Its beautiful, it looks great, but if you are OCD like me, its going to make you crazy.  I can now see the appeal of the slate grey covers of the original Confidants. What I cannot see, cannot make me crazy.

I love seeing all the ribbon bookmarks. I particularly like the pop of red for the Askew marker. I love the wide cotton and the finished ends so they don’t fray. I just wish the were a smidgen longer so that I could grab the end and pull it to the right corner to open the book. Sadly, the bookmark is too short to do that. It need to be about an inch to two inches longer.

(Ah, the lint!!!) The Work/Play II edition is blind embossed on the cover with a pencil and a paper airplane. The graphics are simple and playful and are repeated inside on the “bookplate” on the flyleaf.

The paper inside is printed on the lefthand side with dot grid and is blank on the righthand side. I joked with my husband that as a lefty and an artist, my “work” is usually more drawing so I need the blank pages on the left so the book is actually backwards, “Why did they put the embossing on the back cover?” Otherwise, the book is utter perfection! I was worried the dots were too wide or too big but once I tried them out, I think they are perfect, even with my tiny penmanship.

My big moment of joy was discovering that, after several previous tests with the Vanguard, there has been some substantial improvements with the Confidant paper. It’s not the same stock that’s in the Vanguard for starters. Nor is it the same paper that I’ve previously tested in earlier Confidants. Oh, Baron Fig… You’ve come a long way!

Hence, the lazy pen tests… I wasn’t expecting much in the pen tests. But I turned the page and there was no bleeding. And none of my fountain pens feathered. I didn’t smear my inks. Even my brush pens worked. Holy pen tests, Batman! What’s going on?

So, I pulled out the Planner… It’s dressed in the Confidant’s dress greys with the date blind embossed in the corner. All subtlety and understated.

I penned my name in the front feeling all “Confidant”. Maybe I might finally get my act together. 2017 hasn’t started all that auspiciously for me thus far.

The planner starts with month-on-two-pages calendars which, in my haste to “get down to business” I forgot to photograph. With January practically over, I decided to use the first few pages for pen tests. Again, its the same paper as in the Work/Play II. Its ever-so-slightly, warm white with lots of open space for your Monday through Friday activities though they do split Saturday and Sunday on  one block which I’m not crazy about. Doesn’t anyone else have busy weekkends?

There’s also a lot of grey space at the top of the page which I don’t quite get though after a couple pages, I did see the advantage of sticking my magnetic page markers up there.

I did like the shaded month “tabs” along the righthand side to make it easy to find the month. There is also a dark page marking the end of the weekly pages and the beginning of the motes pages in the back of the book. All-in-all, if you had previously used a Moleskine planner, this is a vast improvement paperwise. The typography and overall layout is good as well. The book provides quite a few notes pages as well and the bookmark is considerably more durable albeit not as long as I’d like.

Finally, the controversial Askew notebook. I’ll start by saying that I am a graphic designer by trade and I know who Debbie Millman is. She is a well-known designer in my field. She publishes books, hosts a podcast, speaks at events, judges design competitions and is generally regarded as an expert in her field. In graphic design, she’s one of our celebrities for her merit. That said, I’m also familiar with her aesthetic and knew she would do something quirky. So, I was not all that surprised to see the Askew as it came to me, and I did receive it as a review copy not as a subscriber so that might change my perspective a bit (all the other notebooks reviewed here today I paid for).

I love the brilliant blue fabric cover, and the hand scribbled end papers (even though, in general, ballpoint pens give me the heebie jeebies). That red ribbon bookmark! Brilliant! All reminiscent of notebook paper but tilted on its ear. And then each of the pages hand drawn and ever so slightly “askew”.

Again, the paper and size was the same as the other notebooks. While others complain that its too quirky, I think this is a great book for creative play, for travel journaling, for collage, for doodling and for breaking out of rut.

I had fun putting the wonkiest page to good use. Because Monday was in serious need of a do-over.

So, my bottomline, I am loving the Baron Fig Confidants. These are definitely moving the needle on the A5 (-ish) hardcover notebook and have whooshed to the top of my list of favorite notebooks up next to the Moo notebook. And while the Askew may have made other folks reconsider the Confidant subscription its made me CONSIDER the subscription because this is the kind of notebook that surprises and delights. I don’t think I’d want an endless stream of plain dot grid notebooks to show up every quarter but if once a year, something like the Askew showed up and really shook things up, then its totally worth it.


DISCLAIMER: Some of these items were sent to me free of charge by Baron Fig for the purpose of review and some I purchased with my own money. Please see the About page for more details.

Giveaway: Write Your Own Adventure Planner 2017

write-your-own-adventure-1 write-your-own-adventure-2

Several months ago I decided to back the Kickstarter campaign for the Emma Kate Co. Write Your Own Adventure Planner for 2017 but couldn’t decide if I wanted the grey or pink version so like the planner junkie than I am, I ordered both of them. And customs and international post being what they are, the planners arrived today. So, 2017 starts today for me. And for you. The fact that both the grey and the peachy pink planners are both beautiful I had to resort to crowdsourcing to make a decision which planner to keep. So, I decide to keep the peachy pink.

Bob made the reasonable call that the grey planner was much more neutral and respectable for either a lady or a gentleman to carry (Is he thinking he’s going to enter the giveaway? Am I going to have to add a stipulation to the fine print about family members not being eligible?).

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Inside the fabric hard cover covers is creamy stock and really nice page layouts where Saturday and Sunday are given the most space on both the monthly and the weekly spreads.

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On each page, there is a quote or an inspirational phrase.

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At the bottom of the weekly pages is space for three items. You could use these for your three most important to-do’s; breakfast, lunch and dinner plans; or morning, afternoon and evening events.

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Inbetween each month are two pages of dot grid paper as well as more sheets at the end of the book for additional notes.

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At the back of the book is a gusseted pocket for ephemera.

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The panner includes two matching grosgrain bookmarks. And finally, the book pages are about a half an inch shorter than the binding to accommodate the adhesive tabs included to mark the month. I love that the tabs fit at the bottom of the pages instead of the top or the sides.

I have not had a chance to do any pen tests yet but the paper feels substantial, creamy and a little toothy. So, the giveaway winner will get to test the paper and let us all know how well it performs too.

TO ENTER: Tell me what your adventure plans are for 2017 are in comments. One entry per person.


FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, January 6, 2017. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Wednesday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 10 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents only, please.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Weekly Open Format Planner

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

I cannot believe its taken me so long to do a write up about the Quo Vadis Plan & Note Open Format Desk Planner. It’s simply the simplest answer to the “I need a planner” problem. It’s approximately A5 sized, bound with a flexible soft cover and features week-on-two-pages open planning pages AND FOUNTAIN PEN FRIENDLY PAPER. So…. basically, its the “problem solved” planner for a lot of people who have been asking for an alternative to the Moleskine planner but “with better paper”. This is it.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

On the cover is a subtly embossed “2017” and the Quo Vadis logo in the lower right hand corner. There’s an option to choose the turquoise spine and elastic like this model or purple or pink.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

Interior features:

  • Open layout for planning & notes
  • Week on 2-pages with equal pages for each day
  • Monthly calendar pages in the front
  • 12 months – January-December
  • Covers are flexible, soft-touch material, not leatherette
  • Color binding & match vertical elastic closure
  • Forward planning for 2017 & 2018
  • White 90g paper
  • 2-color printing
  • Tear-off corners to make wayfinding easier
  • Address book pages in back of book

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

 

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

The book itself is relatively thin so you won’t weigh yourself down with a big planner and can easily add an additional notebook to your daily carry without needing your own Sherpa.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

Since most people will already have some familiarity with Quo Vadis paper (also Clairefontaine and Rhodia) I didn’t do a lengthy pen test since it felt like overkill. The 90gsm paper Quo Vadis uses is the same high quality paper that is used in most Quo Vadis, Clairefontaine and Rhodia products and can be depended upon to behave as such. This is Robert Oster Aqua in my Pilot Custom 912 with Waverly nib.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note 2017

And shown above, the same page is viewed from the back. As you can see there is almost no show through and no bleed through as is expected from Quo Vadis paper.

So, if you are looking for a good quality, week-on-two-pages planner with lots of room for notes, the Quo Vadis Plan & Note Desk is a great option. And any Quo Vadis planner is guaranteed to feature awesome paper if you need a different size or configuration.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Quo Vadis for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Massdrop: Ferme à Paris Planner, Calender & Notecards

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

Massdrop did a mass drop on me this week with some of the new products they are stocking from Ferme à Papier. They sent me the new Yearless Planner (currently $21.99), the Desk Calendar (currently $24.99) and the boxed Thank You Cards (currently $19.99). The planner is 5″x8″ with a perfect bound spine and decorative gold foil details on the cover. Inside, the paper is a crisp, heavyweight white paper with minimal black printing. Since the calendaring is dateless, you need to write, draw, stamp or embellish a lot of the details yourself. Luckily, the paper is heavyweight enough to hold up to both lots of types of pens and inks including rubber stamping inks.

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

I’m not too scrapbook-y but I like using some stamps, arrows, washi tape and arrows to embellish and color code notes in my planners. The bright white paper gave me lots of freedom to plus up the planner. Inside the front is a forward-planning spread for the whole year — not much to plan for 2017 yet except pen shows and some knitting events but there’s still plenty of room to add birthdays, anniversaries and other dates to remember.

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

Following the forward planning is a monthly calendar across two pages. I stamped the numbers for the days in January and added the few upcoming events I know thus far. While I included the Philly Pen Show on the calendar, I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to go but I like to keep track of these events.

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

After the monthly spread are a series of weekly pages. I used number stamps for the days and added a few of the meetings I know I’ll have when I return from the holidays. Not much yet but it will get filled up fast!

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

In the back of the book, I did a series of pen and pencil tests and was pleasantly surprised to discover how well the paper handled most inks. There was no bleeding or feathering issues . I didn’t use any super wide nibs since the book is not huge but a fine italic fountain pen, Le Pens, rollerballs, Papermate Flairs and even a fairly fine brush pen all did well so I feel confident that a range of tools for convenience and decorating options will be open for users.

Ferme à Papier Yearless Planner

Above is the pen testing page, viewed from the back. There’s a little tiny bit of show through but its only from the thicker markers like the Pentel Touch and the Kuretake Fudegokochi which is to be expected. So I’m quite pleased with the paper quality.

My only peeve with the planner is that the spine really needed to be worked to loosen the glue to get the book to open up. It does not lay flat very easily on its own. The binders put way too much glue on it and in some of the spreads you can see that it cuts into the usability of the space in the left hand edge of the right hand page — parts of the text fall into the gutter that is in the binding area. And while the Yearless Planner concept is interesting the layout really forces users to still start the planner in January rather than a format that allows for users to start the planner in any month and use it for 12 months. So its still a bit limiting. That said, the paper quality and the compact size and the ability to do a lot of decorating or no embellishing at all make it quite appealing.

There are eight different cover options to choose from and the Yearless Planner has met its Massdrop goal so its at the lowest price of $21.99.

Ferme à Papier Desk Calendar

Next up is the Desk Calendar which is a 12-month cardstock calendar in a walnut, wood slat base. The wood base is a bit wider than the cards, and all the cards fit into the stand so you can keep them altogether.The cards also stand more rigid and upright if you keep all of them in the stand together. I think the wood stand could be re-used at the end of the year for personal ephemera so I think there’s some longevity to it as well.

The designs of each of the calendar cards have a Memphis-style vibe in graphic pastels.

Ferme à Papier Desk Calendar

The visible design is about 5″x5″ and the base adds another 1.5″ to the height and about 3″ to the width.

Ferme à Papier Desk Calendar

The cactus montage on the September page is my favorite. I can’t believe I’ll have to wait nine whole months to gaze at it!  The Desk Calendar is currently at $24.99 and needs 3 more purchases to be a fully funded drop. There’s only three days left too. It’s a pretty unique desk calendar and would make a nice gift.

Ferme à Papier Thank-You Cards

The last item from Ferme à Papier is a set of eight Thank You cards in an acetate box with kraft envelopes. I received the box set of Black Carrara with gold foil stamped lettering on the cover. I also received a single sample of the Purple Floral design but I forgot to photograph it (so sorry!). As the holidays are rapidly approaching, its important to have some thank you cards on hand and these simple, universally appropriate cards would be perfect to give to your boss, co-worker, friend, or family member. I am always looking for thank you cards appropriate to give to my gentleman friends or for work colleagues that are not overly flowery or floofy. These cards are perfect for that.

My only fuss with them is the foil stamping is a little rough. It appears that way in the photos on Massdrop so there is no false advertising so I’m wondering if that was the look the designer was going for because its almost consistent on every card. I’m particularly picky because I do a lot of foil stamp design work for my job but I just thought I’d point it out. Alternately, I don’t often find such simple cards where I work so I guess I should pick my (picky) battles.

The Thank You cards boxed sets are $19.99 and need 10 buyers to meet the drop and there’s just three days left.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Massdrop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Planning Your Planner with Agendio Builder

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Its that time again…!

The guys over at Agendio took all the feedback from users and have added new options and features to the super-customizable Agendio planners. I have had one for a year and have used it on-and-off all year. Its not that I haven’t enjoyed the Agendio but in my “line of work” its hard to use one planner for a whole year exclusively — any more than I can use one notebook, one pen or one ink.

This year, I had a Journal-sized Agendio with a simple black eco-leather cover. I spent an inordinate amount of time last year fiddling with fonts and picking a color for the planner to get it just “so” as well as setting the pagelet areas so that I had areas for work lists, personal lists, notes and “other”.

Since my order from last year is saved in their system, I can just update my existing planner and add tabs, colors per month and other new features. Or… I can build a completely different planner. I can make a larger sized planner like the , I can build inserts that would fit into a Filofax or other ring binder. So many options to choose from!

agendio-2017

Some of the new or improved features of the Agendio system include:

  • Paper weight has increased to 105gsm/28lb for weeklies and monthlies. It’s the same, high-quality soft paper they’ve been using, just thicker. The daily pages will continue to be printed on the 90gsm/24lb stock in order to fit into the binders.
  • Covers are wider to accommodate tabs and to give clients a bit more room
  • New spiral bindings are available as well as new colors in the wraparound leatherette covers
  • The pockets for the large planners are wider, so client will be able to fit letter size paper in the pocket without folding it.
  • There are two new print ink colors — Bright blue, to match the new bright blue cover, and a blush pink, which will go well with many of the covers.
  • There is a new black and white printing option. This is a way to reduce costs, though there is also a slight reduction in printing quality as well.
  • Shipping boxes have also been redesigned to help protect planners better during shipping. Shipping boxes are also now kraft brown since they are less damaging to the environment.

Some things that I really like about my current Agendio:

I really like the Journal size. Its a bit larger than a Personal Filofax but not quite as large as an A5 — its that sweet spot. It’s big enough to comfortably write in but small enough to be portable.

The wraparound cover has the aesthetic appeal of a bound book with the ease of use of a spiral. Unfortunately, I cannot add of remove pages so that’s the only downside of the bound book. I have ended up taping, clipping or using the pocket to add in extra bits as needed. The elastic has also helped to keep extra pages contained.

It’s been quite durable. My husband has also been using an Agendio (by a strange twist of fate, we ended up with two copies of my planner and he used the extra one) and he has not been gentle with it and it’s stood up to his beatings.

All the updates and improvements are things that I was hoping that Agendio would add, like tabs and even things I hadn’t actually considered like multiple color options which are frivolous but welcome. And of course there is the planner insert options for all the Filofax, Covey and other planner formats available as well.

For me, the biggest delay in actually ordering a planner is just figuring out what sorts of categories I need to keep myself organized for the coming year. My schedule and even my roles at work seem to change so frequently that choosing a planned pagelet for the whole year seems a bit presumptuous. I’ve had three different project roles at work this year and started a podcast which changed my needs pretty dramatically. Who knows what 2017 will bring?

Do you know what you want to plan for next year?

Kickstarter: Write Your Own Adventure – 2017 Planner

Just yesterday, Ask The Desk was filled with questions about planners for 2017 and this morning I discovered the Write Your Own Adventure planner from Emma Kate Co. in Australia. This looks like such a good option for 2017 that I backed the project and bought two. When they arrive, I plan to give one away because I think it will make a good blog holiday gift. Let’s hope they ship in time.

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The planner is hardcover with die cut tabs at the bottom of the pages and the weekends are given more space than the weekdays. I don’t know about you but that just about aligns with my life. I do way more on the weekends than I do on the weekdays. Or I try to cram more in, anyway.

There is dot grid and simple details with minimal design elements and just a few little quotes throughout. Just enough to feel nice but not so much as to feel cluttered.

The book is available with a grey or blush pink cover, I ordered one of each.

I’m looking forward to a year where I can write my own adventure. How about you?