Ask the Desk: Danish Time Manager & Water Erasable Fountain Pen Ink

I have had several people ask me about the Danish Time Manager planners recently. It’s been brought to my attention that they will no longer going to be manufacturing their inserts for their A5-sized planners.

Hello For 30 years I have used an A5 Time Manager shipped from Denmark for my diary. I am devastated that they cease trading at the end of 2019. I am looking for A5 diary pages to replace the the Time Manager ones. I have looked at Filofax and whilst they do an A5 version the holes are wrongly spaced for my A5 binder. However, the holes of the Filofax smaller size are spaced correctly. It would be a compromise for me to switch from A5 to this smaller size. I would like to know if there is a company which produces A5 pages with 4 hole ring binder where the holes are spaced like this : Hole 1.5 inches Hole 2 inches Hole 1.5 inches Hole 0————————0————————————0———————0 (Not to scale) Can you help? Julie

There was also a comment in one of the planner posts (I don’t remember which one. My apologies!) about this as well. So,  my best advice is:

Agendio inserts

My best advice would be to try Agendio customizable planner inserts. The advantage of Agendio inserts is that you can order them without the holes punched and then take the pages to a local copy shop and have them punch the holes for you. Just remember to save a page from your old inserts as a guide for placement and size.

Most copy shops will punch holes for a few dollars/pounds/euros and then your inserts should fit perfectly. If you would prefer to punch the holes yourself, there are hole punches available on Amazon with adjustable hole placement. This Officemate Adjustable Hole Punch (90070) can be adjusted from 2-7 holes for about $19.

Alternately, you can print your own pages. Etsy is filled with printable options for planner pages or you can download free inserts from Philofaxy and then punch the holes yourself or take them to a copy shop and have them punch them.

Hashini asks:

Do you know of any water erasable fountain pen inks that will just wipe off, if i tried to wipe them off with a wet cloth. Something like the Pliot Frixon pens. The reason is, i have been wanting to buy one of the reusable notebooks. I write a lot and am very environment conscious. Using as much plastic as the Frixon pens for this purpose seems a waste. I want to make it more sustainable and use a fountain pen in conjuncture with either the Rocketbook Everlast notebook or the Elfinbook which is made of stone paper.

Oh, this seems like such a great idea on so many levels but then there are also so many ways that make it not as great as it sounds.

Where to start? First, stone paper is not as environmentally friendly as it may sound. Some folks have also had issues with potential damage to fountain pen nibs, particularly gold nibs because the surface of the stone paper can act as a “smoothing stone” and gold nibs are generally softer than steel nibs. Long term use of stone paper can continue to “smooth” your nib in ways that you may not like.

As for the Pilot Frixion pens, it is possible to purchase a pen body and just replace the refill which will cut down on the overall waste. An example would be the standard 0.7mm gel refill which, according to JetPens site can be used in 200 different products found on their site alone.

The Rocketbook Everlast books use polyester paper (so it’s still synthetic material) that you can write on and wipe off like a dry erase board. However, this will allow you to combine it with a pen like the Pilot Frixion or potentially (and I say potentially because we have not tested this out) or something like the Noodler’s Watererase ink in a refillable marker like a Platinum Preppy Highlighter (which accepts Platinum cartridges or converters) that could be filled with the Noodler’s Watererase/Waterease ink. On traditional paper Noodler’s Watererase/Waterease is listed as permanent so results on Everlast paper could be mixed..

In the end, all of this seems like a lot of work to find a “paperless” solution. Depending on how long you plan on keeping your notebooks, keeping paper may be an easier task than maintaining digital storage solutions (when factoring in cloud storage fees, changing formats, etc). Especially since paper can be recycled and a good pen with refillable refills, cartridges or bottled ink limits overall environmental impact.

Some paper (like Tomoe River) is made from bamboo, other is made from sugar cane or cotton. All of these are renewable sources and not likely to create environmental issue. If purchasing paper made from wood pulp, be sure it’s FSC-certified which means it’s sustainably grown and harvested.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. With regard to the Danish Time Manager planner is this the old Time Design planner? I believe it’s the Time/System planner now. I used this in the early 2000s. I’d be curious if their system would work. It’s also an A5 Danish System.

    1. I had a hard time finding a lot of information about whether readers were using a very old version or a more recent one. The placement of rings in these planners is always a bit strange. I would recommend checking over at Philofaxy, the keepers of all planner knowledge. They may have more information than I do.

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