Great animated video about the Hobonichi Planner from the folks who created Domo-Kun!
(via Hobonichi Love)
In other news:
Paper and Notebooks:
Pens and Ink:
For Valentine’s Day:
Today, Todoist upgraded its platform with web-, mobile-, browser- and desktop-based versions of the app and an all-new, streamlined look. They are definitely setting themselves to compete with Wunderlist. The new version offers free collaboration and what appears to be extensive functionality, especially with the collaboration tools and could give Basecamp a run for its money for small teams.
The regular apps and web interface are free. The premium account ($29/yr) offers additional features including adding notes and file attachments, task search, color-coded labels, email or text task reminders, automatic backup and synchronization with iCal. I think the premium version will be the way to go since being able to add text, images and URLs to a task would make things so much simpler. The price per year is less than Wunderlist which is $49/yr for collaboration but Wunderlist allows notes and images in the free version but there’s no indication in a list or sub-list that a photo or note is associated with the item. So it works… sort of. I certainly don’t think I’ll miss the wood grain if I switch.
I waffle between loving the cross-platform convenience of digital to-do lists and missing its paper counterparts and physically crossing things off, adding details and saving the completed lists. Being able to add a task on my phone, then review it or deal with it when I’m parked in front of my computer has a lot of appeal though paper could do the same thing.
This app seems like its is the best of all possible to-do list apps, sleek, streamlined and upgradeable for a small fee. Would you or have you tried any of these digital to-do lists?
Planner Camp is an online class, forum and resources to help you create your own planner to organize and plan your perfect year. Planner Camp starts on Monday and costs $49US. Some of the topics and features of the project include:
(via Freckled Nest)
A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…
Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.
And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:
Pencils, Pens & Ink:
Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for the Frankie Daily Journal. Let’s have a drum roll for the winning number….
Congrats to Dawn! I’ll be contacting you via email to get your delivery information. I hope the planner helps you meet all your resolution goals for 2014.
I have always been curious about the incredibly popular Frankie Magazine Daily Journal ($26.95AU). So, I ordered one. In the time that elapsed between ordering the book and it arriving here in the States, I also received the Hobonichi which stole my nerdy heart.
This does not mean that I was not completely blown away with how lovely and romantic the Daily Journal is. Its full of gorgeous illustrations, decorative patterned borders and hand-lettered dates.
The planner is approximately 7.5″x5.75″. The cover is a beautiful heavyweight sage twill with the text stamped into it in cream. There’s a matching satin ribbon bookmark too. The binding seems sturdy but the book opens nicely. The paper is weighty (I’d compare it to American 80lb or 100lb text weight. Copy paper is about 20-30lb weight, if that gives you an idea of the sturdiness). My only concern for usability is all the printing on the paper may have added some coating to the paper that might resist some inks.
In the back cover is a printed pocket for loose sheets. There are also perforated cards, stickers and other goodies bound into the back of the book.
In the front of the book are month overviews with floral illustration. Weekly pages span two pages with Saturday and Sunday sharing a small space.
Its such a lovely book that I couldn’t bring myself to blemish it to do pen tests. Instead, I’d like to give it away to one lucky reader. In exchange, I hope that you’ll report back to me how well the paper performs so I can decide if I want to use one next year.
Let’s make this a quick giveaway so I can get this to the winner ASAP to start the new year off right. Leave a comment and tell me one of your goals, plans or resolutions for 2014.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Thursday. 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 30 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.
Over the last few months, I’ve heard a lot of interest in the Hobonichi Planner. The name roughly translates to ‘Just about everyday planner’. The first aspect of this planner that piqued my interest was that it is filled with the much-coveted Tomoe River paper, known for its fountain pen friendliness. It’s also considered one of the most well-loved, easy-to-use planners. The combination of those two things meant I desperately wanted to try it for myself. Since there is now an English language edition, there was no reason not to try it.
What I didn’t know was that the Hobonichi planner was part of a much larger project by Shigesato Itoi. He is a well-known figure in Japan for being a advertising copywriter, creator of Nintendo Mother 2/Earthbound video game, voice actor in the epic Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro and the founder of online publication Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun (Almost-Daily Itoi Newspaper). The planner was originally part of the site’s shop to generate revenue instead of selling ads. The planner has been made in Japanese for over 12 years but in 2013, the first English edition was published.
Following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, many victims lamented the loss of their beloved planner so Itoi decided to give free planners away to any tsunami victim who had lost theirs in the disaster. Over 1400 people took him up on his offer and he’s received thank you notes and kind words for helping victims get their paper lives back. That shows the dedication of the fans to the planner and how much Shigesato Itoi appreciates that loyalty.
About the planner:
Now, let’s get into the details of the planner. The planner itself is a small book, covered with a flexible black leatherette cover stamped with gold foil (¥2,500, approx. $24.50). The stamped charaters say “techo” along with the key logo for Arts & Sciences. The book is perfect-bound with the date and “HOBO” foil stamped on the spine. The standard planner is a lot smaller than I thought it would be: 15cm x 10.5cm (4.125″x5.875″). The planner is just 1.5cm thick (0.625″) which is due in large part to the Tomoe River paper’s thinness since this is a page-a-day planner so there are a lot of pages crammed into a small space (over 400 pages!).
Most pages feature a petite 4mm grid in dotted grey lines. There are blank pages in the back of the book for notes that feature a red dot grid (also at 4mm spacing).
There are tabs along the edge of the pages to indicate each month. Sunday pages are printed in red and Saturday and Sunday get FULL PAGES. Most planners give Saturday and Sunday a shared page, if that much so if you work a unique schedule or fit as much in on the weekends as you do during the week, then you will really appreciate this.
At the bottom of each two-page spread is a quote, many from Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun and well-known figures in Japanese culture. Some are thoughtful, some are light-hearted and silly.
December is a “head start” with 2-days-on-a-page in a long vertical space. Its perfect for writing out all those holiday must-do’s and to get a sense of how the planner will perform for you. In just the few days I’ve been using it, the page size doesn’t seem so small. It seems just right. There’s room enough for my notes, to-do’s and calendar activities without being too large to keep it with me.
In the back of the planner there are some informational pages like international calling codes, holidays, a guide to sushi and sake, and tea around the world. These might not be a necessity but they do provide some entertaining reading while you’re waiting for the next meeting to start. In the research I did, it appears that the 2013 edition included different factoids in the back. Something to look forward to for next year is what might be included in the back!
For even more detailed information about what’s inside the Hobonichi planner, visit the Closer Look pages.
The paper is a unique experience. Its very lightweight and my instincts tell me that ink would bleed through it easily but that is not the case at all. I tend to use a multi-pen in my planner so total fountain-pen-friendly isn’t a key factor for me in selecting a planner but a planner that IS fountain pen friendly is a real bonus.
I tested an assortment of pens from my tried-and-true Marvy Le Pens to a range of Uni, Pilot and Zebra gel multi-pens, pencils and even fontain pens. None of the inks bled or feathered or did anything unacceptable. As others have mentioned, with heavier ink deposits on Tomoe River paper, take longer to dry so proceed with caution there so you don’t get transfer onto the facing page but it also means that you can use whatever tool you have in your hand from the finest of gel pens to the juiciest of fountain pens without the ink bleeding or feathering.
From the back of the page, you can see the inks through the paper but there is no bleeding at all despite the thinness of the stock. Pretty amazing.
I folded a page back so that it would be easier to see that even the printing is visible through the stock.
About the Cover:
I received one of the simple nylon covers in a bright, true blue. It features loads of pockets and an interlocking pen loop that, when a pen is slipped through the loops, the planner stays closed. Quite ingenious. The loops are large enough to hold a thick multi-pen or a slender fountain pen if you slip the clip over the loop.
The cover also has two matching grosgrain ribbon bookmarks. One has a triangle shape at the end and the other is a rectangle, both in a leather-like PU. As a user, you get to decide what marks what page. I use the rectangle to mark the month-at-a-glance calender page and the triangle to mark today’s page.
Inside, the cover has lots of pockets and slots to hold cards, reciepts and paper ephemera. There are embroidered tags in the back with the words HOBONICHI and another with the year 2014.
My planner also shipped with the protective plastic sleeve that fits perfectly over the nylon cover. The plastic cover includes a ziploc-style opening on the back to allow access to the outside pocket on the cover. While it feels a bit like plastic on the furniture, it does protect the outside of the planner cover, should I want to add additional customization like stickers or artwork or just slide a photo in between the cover and the protective sleeve.
There are lots of options for covers for the Hobonichi planner. The prices for covers range from ¥1,900 for a nylon cover to ¥31,500 (approx. $18.50- $300) for a leather cover with stitching (that high-end cover can only be shipped within Japan) at present. Several covers are scheduled to be restocked in the next couple days so check back regularly.
How to Order:
I think what’s stopped a lot of people from trying the Hobonichi planner is that ordering from Japan was a bit challenging. Well, that’s been remedied thanks to the work of Lindsay, a translator working for Hobonichi and a big fan of the planner herself. She’s translated the ordering process to be pretty seamless. The whole ordering process is in English if you use the links I’ve included here.
She’s even created a guide to help non-Japanese speakers order from any Japanese web site.
For more about the Hobonichi Techo planner, it’s thriving community and other reviews:
This is one of the best planners I’ve ever had. The size is good, the paper is exceptional, the light grid lines are easy-to-use with most ink colors and the details within the book are spot-on. If you’re inclined to use a planner this year, this would be my first recommendation.
Notebooks & Paper:
Word Notebooks partnered with hand lettering guru Jon Contino to create a historically-inspired agenda called the Standard Memorandum. Its a slim volume at just 2.35″ x 5.25″ to easily slide into a pocket. The black cardstock cover is foil stamped in decorative lettering, “The Standard Memorandum” with the branding on the back in foil as well. Jon chose beautifully classic typography for dates and information. Word offers the notebook with its plain paper covers for $11 or purchase it with a sturdy leather cover in black, tan or brown (free monogramming available) for $45.
The Circa system. Its been around for awhile and I’ve even made a foray into the “disc world” myself in the past but the Circa system had sort of fallen off my radar as of late so I thought I’d reconsider it.
If you’ve not familiar with it, its a series of plastic discs and a customized die cut or hole punch that creates divots in the edge of the paper to accommodate adding or removing sheets easily to the disc binding system. While Levenger’s Circa system is the most well-known, there are other options available like the Rollabind and the Arc system from Staples. They all look interchangeable which is appealing if you want to customize a system to your specific tastes and budget.
The Circa system has relationships with popular notebook companies like Rhodia and Behance while Staples’ Arc system beats out in the pricing and convenience arena. Pre-printed and punched sheets are available for meeting notes, recipes, agendas and planners and many other task specific activities. All three bands offer a range of paper but the real appeal to me is being able to select my own paper and then use the custom hole punch to fit it into a notebook. While I like Rhodia paper, I’d prefer dot grid or blank sheets rather than the customized meeting notes style available at Leveneger. Because of the way the disc system works, smaller sheets of paper can be inserted into a larger system and they stay in place. So, other pieces of paper, from 3x5s to photocopies, can be punched and inserted into the right spot in your notebook.
Lots of cover options are available from simple poly-plastic to leather zip cases. And of course, there are some unique discs that make the possibility of sitting in a long meeting, a little more tolerable.
Does anyone use a Circa-style disc notebook? How do you like it?
One of the questions on the docket for the Pen Addict podcast this week was from Anthony Sculimbrene (@everydaycomment) regarding a pocket-sized calendar agenda with good quality paper for fountain pens and 18-month or an autumn start was preferable. This is a seriously specific request and, sadly, not many options are available. But I was able to find a few options.
First, I went to Quo Vadis whose reputation for fountain pen friendly paper is universally acknowledged. I was able to find three options, of a diminutive size, all with 64g paper and using an academic calendar (starting in August or September):
I love my current Paperblanks planner but its a larger size. Paperblanks does offer an array of sizes and configurations but are no longer listing their 18-month planners on their site. A few can still be found on Amazon with a couple different cover options.
And finally, you can always take matters into your own hands and use the DIY Planner site and print out the Hipster PDA onto your favorite paper stock.
I hope this will help you on your way. There are definitely more options available if you are willing to wait for the new calendar year.
I’ve been meaning to do a “halfway through” post about my Paperblanks planner. Seeing as how its technically 3/4s through 2013, I decided I better get to it.
Since the book started off with a subtle distressed finish, the nicks and dings from riding in my bag, back and forth to work, have not marred its appearance. I have crammed it with various bits of paper, notes and markings so the covers have bowed a bit to accommodate it. I don’t use the elastic to close it since the book gets accessed multiple times a day so it has not stretched out though it does seem a little loose inside the back cover. I’ve written in it with pen, pencil and marker. I get a little show through with dark, bolder colors from page to page but no bleed through. The binding has withstood being open and closed repeatedly and stretched to get page to lay flat. I often keep the book open all day on my desk so that I can use the right hand page to jot notes, reminders and messages.
I tend to walk away from planners mid-year because they don’t do what I want, do too much or I get itchy to try something different but I’ve been pleasantly satisfied with the Paperblanks. The paper stock is an improvement over the Moleskine planners I’ve used in the past. The size is a good “desk size” (A5-ish). I love the clean simple typography inside. The two ribbon marks let me mark the page for the week as well as the corresponding page for the monthly view.
I don’t keep all my meetings listed in the planner since those are mostly kept digitally and get changed, moved and updating with a frequency that would require a personal assistant to update my planner hourly. Instead I keep track of personal tasks, project to-do’s and overall scheduling.
I’ve started hunting for a new 2014 version of my Paperblanks planner but I clearly selected the more obscure page formatting (the Verso formatting) and I’m having trouble finding an exact match at present. I’ve contacted Paperblanks directly about availability for 2014 and will elt you know what I find out.
Poppin has introduced a new line of 18-month planners in the classic A5 (5×8.25″) size. The books feature the same flexible leatherette covers, orange ribbon bookmark, gusseted pocket in the back and paper stock as their journal notebooks. What makes these different is the 236 pages of planning pages printed in a graduated ink color. The first pages are printed in bright cyan blue and the color slowly shifts as you got through the months to citrus green. This color shift is accented by the coordinating end papers — cyan in the front, lime in the back.
The planner starts with a list of US holidays and then features a 2-page monthly calendar followed by week-at-a-glance pages, starting with Monday. The right hand page features lines for note taking. Towards the back are extra pages including lined, a dotted line grid (not grid and not dot grid but a hybrid of the two), a map of the US, a celestial map, and a few pages with a “face grid”.
Lightly debossed on the cover is the dates “13 14” and the Poppin logo, all very subtle. The planner is also available with Pool Blue covers like my notebook and back. All planners have color coordinated elastics.
18-month planners are $15 each and available directly from Poppin.
I’m mid-planner right now but am seriously considering buying a Poppin planner for 2014. Its been unwrapped from the cellophane but is unused. How about if I give this one away to a lucky reader? Someone just headed back to school or hoping to get organized before 2014?
Tell me how you’d get organized with this spiffy planner in the comments to be entered to win.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Sunday, August 25, 2013. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. 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. 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.
As the back-to-school season starts its roll forward, all the major manufacturers are releasing their 18-month planners as well as getting a head start on 2014.
Moleskine has released its newest planner format called the Turntable can be used in a vertical or horizontal format. Its available in a hardcover pocket-sized (3.5×5.5″) or large-size (5×8.25″) in several colors from great sellers like Jenni Bick (no, she is not paying me to say that but trust me, its a great shop) for $14.34 or $17.96 respectively.
Paperblanks are also offering their planners in 18-month formats or, if you are preparing for 2014, you can choose your 12-month edition now. They have lots of sizes and configurations available and the paper stock is better than Moelskine though not up to Rhodia standards.I have been using the Verso Format Black Moroccan Ultra size for 2013 and will probably purchase another Paperblanks for 2014. Some of the new textures and cover designs are gorgeous.
(For more about my current planner, visit my review of the Paperblanks 2013 planner. I also plan to provide a post-review of my planner after six months of use in the next few weeks.)
I am sure there will be more planners, agendas and calendars in the next few months to share. Do you still keep a paper planner? Do you have a favorite brand?
On App.net yesterday, there were some conversations about the Moleskine Postal Notes so I thought I’d mention them here. I know Moleskine takes a lot of ribbing from the paper elite but they do make some beautiful albeit not-all-that-fountain-pen-friendly products.
First, there are the postal notes. They are available as a note card or as a notebook. Both versions come in the small 3.5″ x 5.5″ size and the larger 4.5″ x 6.75″ size. The note card is a card stock cover with a one-page signature which is stitched into place with thread to coordinate with the cover and comes with an envelope for mailing. The postal notebook is an 8-page signature self-mailer. The covers have additional flaps that fold over the seal with a sticker making it look like an envelope. They have been available since 2012 in six deep tones– kraft, maize, light grey, terracotta, navy and red– but this year, they’ve introduced the postal notes in pastel hues as well. Prices range from $3.95 to $7.95.
In other Moleskine news, the new 2013-2014 “academic year” planners are now available. If you did not start a new planner in January and want to jump start your organization mid-year, the academic calendars are a great way to get started. They start on July 1 and go through 18 months. There is a new “turntable” design which is a more open format planning method. Dates are at the bottom of the page, at an angle, and the rest of the page is open allowing the user to use the spaces vertically or horizontally depending on the kind of week you might be having.
The Turntable 18-month planner is available in the small (3.5″ x 5.5″) size and the large (4.5″x 6.75″) size as well in a rainbow of colors as well as special Star Wars and Peanuts editions. The planners are available through Notemaker and other fine online retailers.
And finally, Moleskine is now selling covers to protect your iPhone, iPad and tablets which includes a volante-style reporter notebook on the left hand side of the case and a place to secure your digital device on the right. Prices start at $39.95 for a Kindle 2 case and go up to $89.95 for an iPad 3/4 case which is available in classic black or an array of cheery colors.
(shout out to our friends at Notemaker for the tip)
This is what happens when I don’t do a Link Love for over two weeks: it becomes epic! Sorry its so long but I didn’t want anything to get overlooked or skipped.
Color your world, or at least your wall, with the 2013 Pantone calendar ($14.99). Designed by the legendary design firm Pentagram, each month is a pixel grid of colorliciousness. There is also a weekly desk agenda ($16.99) which also features a bevvy of color and inspiration.
I finally settled on a planner and purchased the Paperblanks weekly planner for 2013 with the Black Moroccan cover style. The covers are embossed and foil stamped matte coated paper. They look like rough leather but are not. They look so much like scuffed leather that when I showed the book to my husband he sniffed it to verify it was not actual leather.
The date is foil stamped in gold at the bottom which is subtle and I like that. The book includes two ribbon page markers in burnt orange and dark ivory with angle cuts and finished edges so they won’t fray. There were several different configurations available as well as multiple sizes. I chose the week-on-one-page with a blank page for notes on the facing page. They refer to this layout as the Ultra Verso format. I got a fairly large-sized book (7″ x 9″) compared to the tiny Daycraft planner for the last six months of 2012.
The spine is stamped in gold foil and makes the planner look like an old book which I find pleasing.
Inside is a list of international holidays; monthly planning calendars for 2013 and 2014; dialing codes; world time zones; international clothing size, measurements and temperature conversions; travel planning, birthday and important dates lists; as well as a few additional lined pages for notes.
Inside, the paper is a soft ivory color with readable but unobtrusive lines and dates. I’ve only gotten a couple days entered into the book and two of them I was home sick but I like being able to fill in meetings and appointments and still have room to add notes and comments.
When put to the pen test, the Paperblanks paper wowed me. It took every tool well with the exception of my PIlot Petit2 Sign Pen which feathered a little bit and the Sharpie Fine Point Marker which did show through to the back of the page but did not really bleed. Wow. Even my paler colors showed up clearly and wrote smoothly on this paper. I may have to buy one of the Paperblanks notebooks now too!
None of the other inks showed through at all. With the finer points, I was more apt to see the slight indention in the paper than actual show-through.
In the back pocket of the book is a small address book which came with the planner. It has a simple brown cardstock cover and 15 pages for addresses, phone numbers and emails.
The pages of the address book are tabbed in groups alphabetically and use the same warm ivory paper stock. I have not entered any addresses in this yet but it will be a great portable address book for all my pen pals.
The back pocket is gusseted with bookbinder’s cloth like many other brands but its a nice feature to include and its well-constructed. The address book was slipped over the flap to hold it securely into the book.
Finally, the book also include the black vertical elastic closure. I’m not crazy about how the elastic breaks up the symmetry of the cover but it may help to keep bits from falling out later on. If its stretches out, I may just cut it off and use a horizontal band to hold the contents in place.
I was a little on the fence about the faux leather-look covers but I find it really pleasing and it was priced so that it looks precious but its not. Its a good solid working planner and I won’t feel bad filling it up with goofy notes. I’ll be curious to see how well the paper board covers hold up over the next year and I’ll do a halfway-through in June so you can see how it has fared.
I purchased my Paperblanks planner from Jenni Bick for $19.95. They had excellent customer service and quick shipping. I am not affiliated with either Jenni Bick or Paperblanks, just so you know.
PS: I forgot to mention that the binding is a Smythe binding which is a sewn binding so that the pages will not fall out and the book will lay flat.
End of Year Round-Ups:
Paper and Notebooks:
Pens, Pencils and Ink:
I have been using a Paper & Type Letter Ledger for almost a year and I just love it. Its is designed to help keep track of letters received and letters sent. There is space to include notes about the incoming correspondence and your outgoing message like Aunt Jean sent a new pair of mittens and I replied back with a thank you card and include to dates. I am an active member of the Letter Writers Alliance and several of my pen pals live overseas so its often a month or more between letters and the ledger helps me keep track of when a letter was sent and what was the last event I wrote about. Its a very simple, nicely designed product. Its a horizontal format 7″x5.25″, spiral-bound book with kraft paper cardstock covers and six squares per page to fill with your correspondence notes. The paper is adequately fountain pen friendly. Some black inks will show through the page but do not bleed. The only pens that bleed on the stock are the standard alcohol-based inks like Sharpie markers. After eleven months, I’m just halfway through the book and I’m a fairly prolific writer so its a good investment at $18.
Following my success with the Letter Ledger, I feel confident in recommending another product from Paper & Type, the Perpetual Planner. It is an undated planner with a week-on-two-pages and room to add additional information like goals for the week and people, places, and things encountered. It’s 5.25″x7″ with the same kraft paper covers, spiral binding and paper used in the Letter Ledger. There are enough pages to track a year’s worth of activity whether you start on January 1 or April 11. Its currently on sale for $16 so order one soon.
EDIT (2/9/14): New link to access the Letter Ledger and Perpetual Planner.
Cachette lists this large blank planner pad as a kids product but I think the design is quite sophisticated — perfect for a desk or workspace with a nod to the Mad Men aesthetic. Its 21x30cm (approx. 8.25″x12″) so its not huge but large enough to fill in upcoming events, meetings or activities. There are 55 sheets so there is plenty of paper to use one page per week and still have a few extra sheets. I would probably use it as a desk pad and plan a month or so at a time using the vertical columns for each week. €11,50
(shout out to Kimberly for finding this product)