A Tale of Three Planners

By Jessica Coles

I often joke that my planner contains my life.  Earlier this year, though, that joke turned out to be true; I lost my Hobonichi planner during the Chicago pen show and my organized life went with it.

This is where I wish I could tell you that planners are a great thing but really not necessary for life.

I won’t tell you that at all.

With four kids, two cats, and a dog, just making sure everyone is fed and clothed is challenging.  But trying to organize and remember school activities, play rehearsals, doctor appointments, and family events on top of the day to day schedule is more than my brain can hold.  After losing my planner, I began dropping the ball on everything!  Even though we were halfway through the year, I ordered a new planner and life soon settled into a normal rhythm once again.

Knowing how important my planner is to me, I’ve approached this year’s selection seriously.  My favorites so far are here.

An Addition

My first choice is not actually a full planner in itself.  Hobonichi has been my planner for the last two years, but I miss the ability to see my entire week at once.  I’m hoping that the addition of this insert helps.

This insert is also made by Hobonichi and is the same width and length.  The Hobonichi weekly insert is only about 1/4 the thickness, however.  It is supposed to be used in conjunction with another A6 sized Hobonichi and can fit in the same cover if you use one and I will be using it to juggle the entire week to make sure everyone gets to everything on time!

This gives extra space to block out time or to follow the flow of your time throughout the day.  The paper is the same weight as all other Hobonichi planners meaning that it is perfect for fountain pens, but gel pens do show through and can bleed through as well.

For My Desk

I was sent a beautifully bound planner earlier this year (I was so excited to use it.  Then I remembered I needed to wait until 2019!)

This planner ($35), by Easy Tiger, makes me laugh every time I open it.  Sarcasm and witty sayings add a wonderful touch to this book.  Earlier, Ana wrote about the smaller version of this same book; the smaller format still packs in the same information and seems to leave little space for writing.  But this larger version seems to have plenty of room in my opinion.  It won’t be my only planner, but it will be the perfect spot to keep track of a to-do list, write down notes from phone calls and doodle throughout the day.

The paper in the Easy Tiger book is higher quality than any other planner I have found that is not marketed to the fountain pen world.  Fountain pen ink had a few dots of bleed-through with a medium nib, no bleed-through with a fine nib.  Gel pen and pencil wrote beautifully.

(Front with writing)

(Back side of the written page)

I enjoy seeing the small tidbits of information each day; who was born on this day, important past events, what is remembered or celebrated on each day, the number of days left in the year.

An Alternate

I have one other planner that will be joining the line up as well.  The Pat-Mi calendar system.

This thin folder is approximately the same size as an A5 notebook but is less than 1/2 an inch in thickness.  The red board is thin but doesn’t bend, meaning it is perfect for supporting the calendar when no other surface is available.

My favorite part of the Pat-Mi planner is the separate book for each month of the year, however, two months fit in the folder at any given time. This allows for some future planning but the folder remains thin enough to add very little bulk to the rest of your bag.

To start the year, I have January and February loaded in the folder; the back cover of each booklet slides through an elastic band to hold it to the cover.  When both booklets are opened, the staggered pages allow you to layout two full months together.

The layered pages give a monthly and weekly view at the same time while the two booklets in combination give a continuity between months.

At the beginning of February, book 2 is moved to the upper elastic and book 3 is added to the lower.

The paper in the Pat-Mi planner is lightweight but holds up well to fountain pens with a fine nib, gel pens and pencil.  Nibs or ink that tend towards the wet side may show a bit on the opposite side, but should hold up well to normal writing.

(Front with writing)

(Back side of the written page)

Wrap It Up

The coming year is getting closer by the day, but this year I feel like at least my planner setup is ready to go!  Since even the best plans can go awry, however, I will be revisiting the same setup later in the year. Keep your eyes open for that update!

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by myself, provided free of charge by Ana Reinert (Editor’s Note: I bought it with my own money but I work for the company. See About Us for details) or from Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Oh, Jessica — I am so sorry about the loss of your planner! I refer to my planning notebook system as my “paper brain”; it remembers all of the things my own brain won’t. I would be completely lost (brainless?) without it!

    Thanks so much for the great write up and photos of the replacement planners, though — I hope everything is back on track for you with all that now!

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