I am an organized person. I like my work desk tidy, my home office the same. Even my computers and other devices have things organized so that I can find them easy, and not have to rely on a vain hope that the search will work properly.What I am not though, is a huge planner person. I've tried them, from paper ones in middle school to a few years ago, where I reluctantly resigned myself to using my digital work calendars (whether it was Outlook or Google calendar), and that being the best I could do. I hate using my work calendar for personal things, and having a second digital calendar is a pain to try to get them to sync to your phone, computer, etc. There really isn't an elegant solution in the digital world that feels solid.
It's hard to capture on my phone's camera, but the cover is a fire engine red.
A few weeks ago, I was a lucky winner in Quo Vadis' contest to win one of their Exacompta Visual Desk Planners (Link to the winners on the blog). When I received it, I was immeediately impressed. The cover for the planner is a faux leather that feels good to the touch. I received the red color, which reminds me of a fire engine, as I try to branch out from the standard office supply world of black and brown. I love that the inserts just slot in, making it easy to update to the next year. The size is 8 1/4 by 6 inches, which makes it easy to put in a smaller bag, carry around, and not feel like it's huge. This planner is very efficient. There are approx 76 pages in this planner, but it manages to give you tons of extras besides just a weekly calendar.
The first page for data is your personal info page. While I know I will use various pens and pencils in the journal, I wanted this page to be legible in case I left this planner somewhere. My Pilot Falcon with Iroshizuku Kon-Peki ink worked like a charm, as I expected on the 90gsm paper. What made it more wonderful was seeing the slight bit of shading from the ink. It's nice to even have your events look better than they were written on your standard planner you could buy anywhere. Since it is such smooth paper, you will have to wait for your ink to dry, but the paper is more than happy to play nice with your gel ink pens, ballpoints, and pencils as well.
After the intro page we are greeted by pages of Holidays, weights and measures, telephone codes, time zones, maps, as well as a Semi Annual Planner (which, as I write these, think may be perfect for putting my friends and family's birthdays into.) From there, we get a 15 month calendar, (one month per page), and then we get to the meat of the planner, with each week taking two pages, going all the way to January 3rd 2016. Each week has Monday through Saturday from 8:00am to 9:00pm, and Sunday being a small block in the lower right corner. On the right side of the right page we also get a section from Monday to Saturday for a place of phone calls to make, and emails to send. (I like the idea of this section, but I think they could be combined. That's just me though.) After that, there is a yearly planner, and then an address book. While I appreciate them putting in some pages for an address book, I really don't think I will use it at all. I do like having a fully synced set of contacts always available on whatever device I am using, and I think I'd be bummed to have to re-write them every year that I got a new planner insert. Still, to jot down someone's info quickly, it's a nice to have.
Every page in this planner has a rounded, perforated corner, which I've seen in other Exacompta products. It's such a simple little feature, but it works well to be able to jump to the current week without searching.
For the last 2 weeks I have found myself actually using this for all of my personal appointments such as the dentist, the insane schedule I had the other weekend for showing my house to potential renters, trips coming up, all the stuff that doesn't need to be in my work calendar, and that if I put in a separate one will never be looked at.
Due to how light and thin it is, I don't mind having this in my bag, or carrying it with my laptop to meetings or the coffee shop. Too often, planners are these huge monstrosities that are heavy, cumbersome, and remind me way too much of the movie Wall Street in a bad way. The efficiency of space usage in this planner is very well done, yet it doesn't feel cramped to write in. I know some of my pictures show me holding down the planner, but that's because I have a fan in my office. The binding on this planner allows it to lie flat with no issues, which is very nice, especially without some ridiculous binder system.
My only real gripe with this planner is that since I'm using it for personal events, I'd like to have a full Sunday to enter in items by time. I understand why it's not there, but for me that would make this planner perfect in every way. Still, that is being pretty nitpicky.
My congratulations to Exacompta. You have made me a planner convert. I plan on purchasing the 2016 one in the coming months (which the planner cleverly reminds you to do on Sunday September 6), and look forward to adding more events into this one.