Tag Archives: planner review

Small Rhodia Weekly Notebook

30 Sep

Hi all! It’s good to be back after a very very long couple weeks. Thank you all for your thoughts and prays.

Rhodia Weekly Before

I won this agenda from Tejal over at All My Hues. Thanks!

Tejal has already done a wonderfully detailed review of this agenda. Since I agree with just about everything she said there’s no sense in me repeating it. This post is simply meant to give you my thoughts about this agenda.

I love paper planners. I have computer and iPhone planners, but they just aren’t the same. I’m faster with a paper planner than I am with an electronic one. I write faster than I type, and I can flip through a book faster than I can scroll to find something. AND, using a paper planner gives me yet another reason to use a fountain pen. How’s that for a justification? 😉

I’d been ogling at the Rhodia Weekly since it came out late last year, but when they announced an academic year version that is when I started to get seriously interested. I’ve been using a Septanote, which is the academic year version of the Trinote. I’ve been carrying a Sapa X (reviewed here) around with me in my purse, and it seems much more use than the Septanote ever did. It’s the added convinced that gives it an edge, but the paper… the bleed through… 😡

Thus began my quest for a pocket sized planner with good fountain pen friendly paper. This little Rhodia Weekly is my first (second?) stop on this adventure. So far, it’s outshining the Sapa X and its recycled paper.

For the price, this little agenda seems rather flimsily made. The cover is leatherlette glued onto a cardboard backing. However, the cover is already beginning to separate along the bottom edge and it hasn’t really been used much less carried around. I love the elastic band though. It’s taut and seems to be secured well… Or at least that’s what I thought. It broke after about a week’s use.

After, Front

After, Back

The layout isn’t bad at all, but there is simply not enough room for serious planning. The paper is pretty good though. It’s 64 g paper, but fountain pen inks do not bleed through or feather on it. There is some show through, but not enough to render the agenda useless. The paper will even take wet broad nibs without a problem, but you’d best stick to a fine or extra fine nib if you want any prayer of actually being able to use the tiny little planning sections of this agenda.

Weekly Planner Layout

All in all not a bad planner, but it’s not the one for me. I need something a bit more sturdy and capable of handling heavy planning.

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Quo Vadis Academic Year Planners + a Giveaway!

9 Sep

QV Septanote, Principal, Student, University

(click to enlarge or sharpen images)

The school year is now in full swing or close to it for many of us students, teachers, professors, and school administrators. I always like to start the school year off right by getting my schedule together and jump-starting organization plans for the year.

Now, being the inkophile and fountain pen lover that I am, I like a paper planner. I use Quo Vadis planners because I love the Clairefontaine paper in them, and I think they offer some of the most functional planner layouts on the market.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at 4 different Quo Vadis Planners: two desk-sized (Septanote and Principal) and two pocket-sized ( University and Student). I apologize in advance for the length of this blog post, but I’m trying to get through a lot of material here. There’s a giveaway at the end, so don’t forget to enter to win you own Quo Vadis Planner!

SEPTANOTE:

Now, this was the planner I used last school year. I LOVE IT! I was able to get this one at my school’s bookstore (how great is that?!). This planner is desk sized at 7 1/4″ x 9 1/2″. The paper is 90g Clairefontaine paper, and it comes in 3 different covers: Club, Soya, and Vinyl. The covers are refillable. Below is a picture of the planner page layout and one that shows how I used it last year:

QV septanote as used by me

Septanote Layout

As you can see, this one is intended for you to do some major major planning. For Monday-Saturday there is enough room to plan out all your meetings and obligations from 8am to 9pm. At the top of each day section is a place to note that day’s priority and at the bottom of each day section is a place for additional notes. On the far right are the following sections: phone, fax/email, see/do, pay/receive, and Sunday’s planning section. At the top on the far right you will find 3 mini monthly calendars, indication of the quarter, and the number week you are in.

As with most Quo Vadis planners, the Septanote comes with an abundance of extras: international phone code list, average temperatures around the world, notes sections at the front and back, year at a glance annual planning pages for the present and next school years, several maps, 3 yearly calendars, and a phone book insert.

The Vinyl Septanote sells for about $22, but you can usually find them for much less.

The standard year format of this planner is called the Trinote.

PRINCIPAL:

This school year is not going to be quite as hectic as the last, so I’m trying out a Quo Vadis Principal. The Principal comes in 5 different covers: Club, Soya, Nappa Leather, Chelsea Leather, and Vinyl. The covers are refillable. It is about the same size as the Septanote at 7″ x 9 3/8″, and has the same 90g paper, but the planning pages are much different:

QV Principal Layout

You still get a week at a glance, but the days are setup differently. For each day you still have space to note appointments between 8am and 9pm and each day had a section for additional notes. But, unlike the Septanote, the Principal gives each day its own dedicated sections for phone, email, and to-dos. With that, each day is fully contained in its own section. There are no shared sections. At the bottom left you have 3 larger monthly calendars along with an indication of the number week you are in.

The thing I like most about the Principal is that each day is self-contained while still keeping the events of the week together. However, there is some trade-off here. Namely, you do not get as much room for planning as you get with the Septanote, but if your weeks are a bit less hectic this might just be the desk sized planner for you.

The extras for this one include: Mon-Sat 8am-9pm master weekly schedule, year at a glance annual planning pages for the present and next school years, chart of international holidays, international phone code list, average temperatures around the world, several maps, 3 yearly calendars, and a phone book insert.

The Vinyl Principal sells for about $19, but you can find them for less.

Writing samples for desk-sized planners:

QV 90g writing sample

QV 90g very little show through

UNIVERSITY:

The Quo Vadis University is a pocket-sized planner at 4″ x 6″. This planner comes with a free Quo Vadis elastic band bookmark, and comes in 5 different covers: Club, Soya, Habana, Robert le Heros, and Vinyl. As you can see from the image below, it has almost the exact same planning format as the larger Septanote:

QV University Layout

However, there are several differences between this planner and its larger sibling. The biggest difference is the paper. Whereas the Septanote has 90g paper, the University has 64 g paper. The 64 g paper still performs quite well with fountain pens (see the image below). It is resistant to feathering and bleed through, but you do get more show through. You can still write on both sides of the page, just know there will be shadowing. Although this paper can handle wet wide nibs, I strongly recommend that you stick with medium nibs or finer in order to get the best results. Another difference between this and the Septanote is that you lose a notes section for each day though there is a general notes section to the far right. In addition, the section for Sunday is now stretched along the bottom of the page. On the far right you still have sections for phone, email, pay/receive, and to-dos. The final difference is that the top right only shows one monthly calendar instead of three.

Despite these differences, I still see this pocket-sized academic year planner as perfect for someone who needs to do a lot of planning and/or is always on the go. There is more space for planning here than one would normally get out of a pocket planner. Because of this benefit, I will be using this planner as the pocket companion to my Quo Vadis Principal.

Extras for the Quo Vadis University include: chart of international holidays, 2 Mon-Sat 8am-9pm master weekly schedules, year at a glance annual planning pages for the present and next school years, time zone map, Map of the USA and Canada, one notes page, 2 yearly calendars, and a phone book insert.

The Vinyl Quo Vadis University sells for about $11 but you can find them for less.

The standard year version of this planner is called Quo Vadis Business.

STUDENT:

Last up for consideration is the Quo Vadis Student. The Student comes in 3 cover options: Club, Soya, and Vinyl. This pocket-sized planner (6 5/8″ x 3 1/2″) is a departure from the rest here. It covers 17 months instead of 13, it is two weeks at a glance instead of one week, and it is not so much a planner as it is a diary.

QV Student Layout

As you can see, there is one week on each page. You have room to write down appointments from 8am-7pm. There is a calendar at the bottom of each page and the number week at the top of the page.

This diary is bare-bones, and is good for those who only need a place to write down appointments, commitments, and deadlines. This one is also good for those who want to look at more than one week at a time.

The paper here is also 64g like the University, so it takes fountain pen ink just as well.

Extras include: notes page, year at a glance annual planning pages for 17 weeks (1.5 school years), 3 Mon-Sat 8am-9pm master weekly schedules, an integrated address book, a yearly calendar, and a separate address book (Yes, that’s a second address book. Why? I dunno…).

The vinyl Quo Vadis Student sells for around $12, but you can find them for less.

The standard year version of the Student is called the Quo Vadis Biweek.

Writing samples for pocket-sized planner:

QV 64g writing sample

QV 64g prominent show through but still usable

In addition to the 4 planners I’ve outlined here, Quo Vadis offers many more options in academic as well as standard year format. They make planners of varying sizes, formats, and paper weights. If you’d like more information about other planners they off please visit their website at http://www.quovadisplanners.com/ .

GIVEAWAY!!!

I’m not going to be using the Quo Vadis Student planner (w/ green Club cover), so what better to do with it than give it away to one of my readers?! Even if you don’t need an academic year planner I encourage you to enter anyway. The standard year version of this planner is quite similar and uses the same paper.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Click here and fill out the form.
  2. You must enter by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, September 12, 2010.
  3. The winner will be chosen by Random.org
  4. I’ll let you know who’s the lucky winner on Monday, September 13.

The Principal, University, and Student planners were sent to me by the good folks at Exaclair. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Equology by Quo Vadis Sapa X 2010 Weekly Planner

22 Oct

SapaX cover

Up for review today is the Equology by Quo Vadis Sapa X Weekly Planner for 2010. This is a pocket planner designed for minimal environmental impact. I received this planner as a sample from Exaclair, Inc. Thanks!  (I am not otherwise affiliated with Exaclair)

First Impressions:

This little planner just looks and feels great. It’s the perfect size for slipping into a pocket, purse, or bag.

Appearance:

sapax cover2

The cover is an attractive clay sort of red-brown. According to the label, it’s made of 83% recycled materials it feels great in hand, but the feel is kind of hard to describe. The material feels like it’s some sort of rubber or vinyl, but it still feels soft to the touch; it is very reminiscent of leather. On the top right corner of the cover appears the Equology logo and on the bottom right corner is the Quo Vadis logo. The pages are printed in grey and teal. This is a fantastic color palette.

Construction/ Dimensions/ Design:

As one would expect from Quo Vadis, this planner seems quite sturdy and durable. The binding is sown. There aren’t any heavy end papers. There is just an addition page of the same paper used throughout the planner that is partially glued to the paper cover of the planner insert.  The size of this journal is perfect for carrying: 5.5″ in length, 3.75″ in width, and .5″ in depth. Very compact. It’s also fairly light. It lays flat fairly well. It will stay open to the page I’ve turned it to.

The planner begins with the coversheet, a page for personal information, and a 2010 calendar with weeks beginning on Monday. After this comes the actual planning section.

sapa x planner

As you can see in the photo, this planner is laid out with a week on two pages: Mon-Wed on page 1 and Thurs-Sun on Page 2. Each day gives you about 1.25″ of space to write the day’s appointments. Each day section also has hours of the day listed on either side of the page so that you can write in appointments: 8am-1pm on the left and 2pm to 7pm on the right. The month is written at the top center of each page, a calendar of the current month appears on the bottom right corner of page 1, and “Quo Vadis” is very discreetly printed on the bottom left corner of page two.

sapax notes

At the end of each month’s worth of planner pages are two blank pages for notes. The planner ends with a section of maps, a phone book, and a 2011 calendar.

And of course each page has a tear away corner that is very functional for keeping your place in the planner. This is one of my favorite design features.

I own one other Quo Vadis planner, the Septanote, and one of their strengths is their functional and practical designs. This format is quite practical, although I have one quibble. The times that appear on the outer edges of each day section are just not functional for me. There isn’t enough space to really use the times unless you have very small writing. I’ll likely just write down my appointment and notes as if these times were not present.

Paper:

sapax writing sample

Now, this is perhaps the most important aspect for us fountain pen users. This paper is off-white leaning toward grey which I love. It’s also 100% recycled and seems to be about 64g in weight. It is not the most fountain pen friendly paper combination. Most us know to be very wary of any paper that says 100% recycled. This usually means the paper will bleed and feather like crazy. HOWEVER, I have to tell you this paper was not terrible.

sapax bleeding

Bleeding and show through are an issue, but feathering is not. One thing that seems to work well to control the bleeding is to write with your nib upside down or use fine or extra fine nibs. When I do that I don’t get bleeding.

All other writing instruments perform quite well on this paper. I tested a gel pen, roll ball, ball point, felt tip and pencil. While there was some show through there was no bleeding and the show through was not bad enough to impede use of the planner.

Cost: The Writer’s Bloc has this planner priced at $16.25 which is pricey, as one might expect for a higher end planner.

Conclusion:

I generally like this pocket planner and I will carry it around with me, but I really wish this planner had better paper: like the Clairefontaine 90g paper. Yes, I know it would increase the weight and thickness of this pocket planner, but I and probably most other fountain pen users, would accept those side effects so long as it meant a pocket-sized planner that was completely fountain pen friendly! Now THAT would be a planner I’d really ENJOY carrying and using everyday!

As is, this makes a great pocket planner for any gel pen, roller ball, ball point, or pencil users out there. And, a fairly decent one for fine nibbed fountain pens.

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