Review by Laura Cameron
At this point we’re more than halfway through the year and we’re on the precipice of ordering 2020 planners, so I thought I’d take a quick look back at the planners and organizers I’ve reviewed in the last year or so and which ones are working for me, and which ones I haven’t used. I should say that even if I haven’t used a planner it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it (I’ll be specific about that if it’s the case), but in general it just means that the planner didn’t work for my routines.
Let’s start with the ones I can’t live without.
Far and away the best planner I found in the last 12 months in terms of what works for me is the Desk Calendar Weekly Planner from Ruff House Art. The calendar is 6.5″ tall by 12″ wide, and contains 54 weekly pages that are undated – you can add your own dates and use as you wish. I find that this is the perfect calendar to keep at my desk right next to my keyboard. I can jot down notes during calls, make my daily work to do lists and flip over the current page and write on the back of it if I need more space. The paper isn’t 100% fountain pen friendly, but since the pages are only intended for 1-side use, I use whatever fountain pen I have handy and don’t worry about any bleed through or ghosting. I only have a few pages left, so I just placed an order for another one. If that isn’t a sure sign this is the right one for me, I don’t know what is!
The Rhodia Goalbook isn’t a planner per se, but it’s perfect for a list maker like me. I keep my events on my desk calendar, but when I need to make a to do list that is a huge brain dump, Rhodia is my jam. The Goalbook measures 5.8″ by 8.3″ (14.8 cm x 21 cm) and contains 120 dot-grid numbered pages and lives in my purse (you can see it’s a bit worse for wear). I don’t leave home without it and I’m constantly adding things to it that I need to remember (as I get older I find things fall out of my head more, eh?). I can’t guarantee this one will work for everyone, but this one is my favorite way to keep track of things.
Now let’s look on the books I reviewed that didn’t quite work for me.
I was super excited to see this entrant to the planner world, a planner geared towards knitters. I did fill out the first section of the book and tried to use it, but I found it just didn’t work well for me. First, I didn’t need to track my daily work to-dos because I already had the desk calendar, so this felt like a duplication of effort for me. I did really like the 2-page full month spreads for a month-at-a-glance view, but it seemed like a big book to carry around for just those. I had also intended to do more knitting design this year, so I thought the project pages would be a big help. However, the way the year worked out I have mostly been doing sample knitting for other designers, so I haven’t had a chance to make use of those features. Overall, I still think it’s a great book, but it just didn’t fit my daily planning needs.
When I received the Saint Belford Curation Diary 2019 I was super impressed with the production quality and details that had been included. I have a lot of anxiety, and I was hoping that a diary devoted to self care and practicing good habits would be a good fit for me. I think I didn’t use this diary much for a few reasons. First it’s hard cover book and a bit heavy and bulky to throw in my purse each day (6.25″ x 8.5″ (16cm x 21.5cm) and approximately 1lb, 4oz. (520g)). Again, I did like the organization of the book which includes both monthly and weekly spreads, but I found it duplicative of some of the other planners I was using, so I didn’t keep up with this book. In 2020, I might take a closer look at this book and see what elements of self-care I could add to the systems that already work for me. I still think it’s a gorgeous book and might work for a lot of people.
- MYO String Tie Planner and Midori A5 Color Paper Notebooks (review)
This one falls into the category of not quite a planner, but a system I tried to employ this year. Ana gave me a lovely MYO String Tie Planner from MochiThings at the end of last year and I attempted to fill it with beautiful notebooks (Midori A5 Color Paper Notebooks) to replace my haphazard brain dump lists in the Rhodia Goalbook. I had hoped to maybe segment my lists (i.e. work, home, craft) into different colored notebooks in an attempt to get more organized. This one failed miserably. I found that I stuffed the planner cover full of notebooks which made it too big and bulky to carry with me everywhere, so I never really used it to its full advantage. Given that this one is undated though, I still hope to work these beautiful materials into my 2020.
This one also falls into the category of not a planner, but I added it to the stack of things I meant to use this year but haven’t. This beautiful journal from Compoco is perfect for documenting your travels to exotic places. I meant to take it with me to Ireland when I went earlier this summer, but I ended up voting against it because it was a running trip and we were hauling gear everywhere. I was too exhausted at the end of each day to think about writing and there weren’t as many ticket stubs and items that I wanted to keep in memory. But I’m saving it for the day I take another trip.
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