Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Paperblanks collection

Last week I got lucky at the Paperblanks Planner giveaway on the Plannerisms blog and won the Black Moroccan Daily Planner. Laurie very kindly sent to it to me right after announcing the winners on her blog, so that made my week (which will forever be known in my book as Problem Week!)
Paperblanks is maybe* my favourite notebook brand. Not only are they beautifully decorated, but their quality is also impeccable! They are not cheap, mind you, but they are similar (the same in most shops) in price to the overrated Moleskines, and they surpass by far their quality!
To start, they are VERY fountain pen friendly. I have only tried a few ink+pen combinations (I only have those), but everytime the paper hasn’t buckled a bit. Even when I used markers, there hasn’t been any feathering nor bleed-through. My watercolours have been the only thing that have made the paper ‘bubble’ a bit, but that is perfectly normal for a paper not meant for them.
The colour of the paper is also a very beautiful, soft, off-white, which is whiter than the Mole’s, and more like the Rhodia’s Webbie.
I like these notebooks so much, that in only two years my collection has grown from one to eight!!
  • 3 Journals in midi format, coptic binding, both lined and unlined: Used as personal journals, all full now. (the first one only appears in the second picture; the second one in none)
  • 2 journals in mini format, smythe sewn, with magnetic closure and ribbon, lined+unlined: Used as personal journals, just started a week ago.
  • 1 journal in ultra format, coptic binding, unlined: Used as my favourite sketchbook
  • 1 journal in slim format, magnetic closure and ribbon, lined: Brand new, to be my next journal
  • 1 Daily planner in midi format, smythe sewn with two ribbons and elastic closure: My Prize!! I am still trying to figure out what to use it for…

My first Paperblanks

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any models with the coptic binding this year. I hope they’re not discontinued, as I really love them!
I have also noticed that in my midi coptic journals, the paper is slightly thicker than in the rest of the notebooks, including the coptic ultra. Could it be that they were from an older batch, and now they have changed the paper and the other one is discontinued?
* Paperblanks is sharing first place with Rhodia and Clairefontaine, so I can't really say which one I prefer over the other as they are different

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Mole: a short-lived love affair

So, I guess it's time for another update from my part, especially considering that we just started a new year and how important that is for us planner addicts.

Last month saw me trying out my Moleskine Planner, and quite enjoying it. I even had moments when I would daydream about just sticking with it all year long.
But just like when you are fantasizing about someone, finally get to make out with them, you don't want them anymore, I stopped enjoying the Mole. I simply realised it was no match to my always loyal and submissive Filofax!

I'm not saying that I now dislike the Mole, I just stopped being blinded by its novelty and noticed all it was lacking.
Here is the list of all the requirements it just didn't met, in order to be 'Favourite planner of the year'

- it was a 'Week on a page' format, with the next page being ruled. I extended the days horizontally across the lined page in order to make my day spaces bigger, but even so,
- the small daily space had me cramming all info in a very tiny handwriting. This ended up mixing stuff to do and stuff done, thus creating confusion.
- Not having a Notes section meant I had to write them on the daily space I had created, and it also intermingled with my other stuff... so I couldn't figure out my Notes from my Done things.
- there was absolutely no place for keeping my Financial Tracking, so I still had to use my Filofax for that. Planner redundancy!
- No Pockets for me to keep my post-its, my receipts, nail file, small sketchbook, forced me to carry all these separately, so my bag was messier and I didn't even use the sketchbook.
- Without a pen loop I had to carry my pen in my bag pocket, which sometimes I would forget.

These are  all specific features,easy to pinpoint and describe.

But how do I explain the feeling I got when I pulled the Mole out in the train, for instance, and just felt like yet another person using a Mole, which I didn't feel with my Filofax?
Or that 'chill-out' mood of a Mole against the more serious and professional approach of the Filofax? I mean 'chill-out guy' is cool for strolls along the beach, in the summer, without a care in the world, but let's face it. My life isn't like that. Especially in this lousy weather, and the hustle and bustle of a big city. So yes, the Filofax's reliability and professionalism is what suits me best here. (Even though my Filofax is rasperry coloured, with quite a lot of pictures of my cats, and cat stickers, and drawings inside the notes section, etc.).

I have not archived the Mole though. I still have it at home and write in it occasionally depending on my mood. And when I do, I really like it!

(Note: I will add pictures later on, as I'm writing this during my lunch break at work.)