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A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 1of3

11 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify that process is Laurie Huff, the guru behind plannerisms.com. In this 3-part series, she’ll walk us through how to choose the best planner for you.  

We know: online calendars abound! But an electronic device simply can’t replicate the tactile joy of holding a book, turning the pages, and putting pen to paper. There are also numerous advantages of using a paper planner. Studies have shown that the act of writing helps people remember what they have written even if they never look at it again. And, the archival properties of a book are superior to electronics. We can read books hundreds of years after they were printed. Have you tried recently to access data on a floppy disc? What about that website you used to read until it went all 404 on you? Books have a tangible permanence that electronics can’t replicate. european-paper-loves-pen-to-paper-datebook-selection

The purpose of a planner is to help keep you in control of your life. Everyone’s needs are different, and your planner can be anywhere from basic—simply scheduling appointments—to complex. Ideally your planner should be your life management tool. Tasks, goals and projects are much more likely to be completed if they are written in your planner where you will see them often. Students can use their planner to track assignments, papers, exams and homework so that everything gets completed on time. Parents with kids in school can write everyone’s schedule and recurring events into your planner so you always know who has to be where and when. Other functions of a planner include tracking everything from finances and expenses to health matters like exercise, diet, blood pressure and weight. Your planner can also be your creative outlet for journaling and art.

With all these planner uses, how can you possibly decide what planner will work best for you? Here’s where to start:

There are three main types of planner formats: daily, weekly or monthly. Each format provides different perspectives on your time. Below is some advice to help you decide if you would best benefit from the large overview of the monthly, schedule view of the weekly, or lots of details with the daily.

Let me walk you through the three main types of formats and ways to use each.

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Daily:  Daily planners, diaries, or day-per-page planners allow you to focus on each day. The downside of these planners is it can be difficult to plan ahead with only two days visible at a time, so if you use one as your planner I highly recommend combining it with a monthly planner.

Daily planners are excellent for people who have lots of appointments each day, or who want to record details such as phone calls, expenses, tasks, or other information. Some of my favorite daily planners are the Quo Vadis Journal 21 and Daily pocket (which have built-in monthly planning calendars), and the Moleskine daily plannersShop all our daily planners here.

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Weekly:  This is the most popular format of planners because it allows you to see your entire week at once and plan your schedule easily.  There are various weekly formats including week + notes, such as the Leuchtturm Weekly Plannerhorizontal like the Quo Vadis Hebdo, or vertical (days as columns) like the Moleskine Large Vertical Weekly Planner. I will compare these different formats later in a separate post.

Weekly formats are good for most planner situations because they allow for detailed daily planning while giving the overview of the week. Shop all our weekly planners here.

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Monthly:  There are planners that have monthly-only formats. If you don’t have much to write each day and prefer an overview of your month, the monthly planner is perfect for you. Alternatively, you could use a separate monthly planner along with your weekly or daily planner to have the books open side by side to see the monthly overview alongside your weekly or daily activities. Some examples of this are the Moleskine Monthly Notebook and the Quo Vadis Visoplan #67Shop all our monthly planners here.

Monthly calendars are best for seeing overviews of things like bills due, travel, holidays, deadlines, and seeing patterns over a period of weeks.

So to summarize:

To record lots of details of your days, you’ll want a daily planner »

For most planning needs, weekly planner will probably work well for you »

For long-range planning or if you don’t have many appointments, use a monthly planner »

 

In my next post, I’ll help you determine what size planner you need!

 

Meet the Writer: Laurie Huff tests, reviews and designs planners at Plannerisms.com. Over the years she has tried dozens (hundreds?) of planners in search of the “Perfect Planner,” and on Plannerisms she helps others find planners that work well for them. When she’s not writing about planners, she spends every moment she can in the forests of Scotland. Laurie enjoys science and nature, hikes with her family, and reading books by the fireplace.

 

Peppy 2014 Weekly Planners from Cavallini

9 Nov

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2014′s already looking bright with these vibrant weekly planners from Cavallini. Choose from their classic curations of Paris, Dogs, Vintage Numbers, Flora & Fauna, and many more! Plus, these planners also include sections for addresses and notes, plus transit maps for Paris, London, and New York. Shop Cavallini 2014 Weekly Planners »

Early Birds, Shop 2014 Datebooks & Get 10% off!

17 Oct

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Use code EARLYBIRD14 and enjoy 10% off all 2014 datebooks.
Shop all datebooks here »
Grab our most popular weekly formats here »

It’s Book Club Month! How to Find, Join, or Create Your Own…

9 Oct

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It’s October, finally.  The swarm of back to school has abated—and perhaps made us a little nostalgic for long ago days of reading lists—and schedules are beginning to settle back into patterns. The weather is turning cooler, and rain pelts the window. In all, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a favorite book.  It’s also National Reading Group Month and, we gotta say, sharing the joys of a great book with dear friends is almost enough to forgive the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Are you in a book club already?  If not, why?  Granted, sometimes book clubs get pegged as wine-sloshing gossip groups—we’ve gone to some like that, and they’re great fun—but they don’t have to be.  Book clubs come in every style, from alumni reading groups led by professors, to re-reading children and young adult fiction from an adult perspective, from avant-garde sci fi to military history or memoirs.  Just like there’s a book or genre for anyone, there’s also a book club.

Getting in to one—now, there’s the rub.  If you’re looking for low initial commitment, we recommend checking out your local independent bookstore or public library.  They often host public book clubs, providing the books in bulk (library) or even at a discount (bookstore).  There’s seldom a need to RSVP or register; just slip into a chair to learn about and discuss Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone or Barbara Kingsolver’s latest.   (See our list of some favorite indie bookstores and their reading groups below).tumblr_m9aj35gJcB1qavvdfo1_1280

Other places to try would be that clearinghouse of social groups, meetup.com, or asking around at your office, gym, place of worship or favorite coffee shop. Someone has probably had this great collective reading impulse already, and it’s fairly simple to join a book club that’s already up and functioning; however, you’ll probably have to RSVP, perhaps provide snacks or take a turn leading, and it’s sometimes more difficult to make schedules align.

And if you’ve struck out at the coffee shop and the library? We suggest starting your own book club.  It takes a little organization, but there’s also a lot more liberty in terms of location, reading specific genres, and so forth. Before you get started, take a few minutes and ponder what you want from your book club: do you want inciting commentary and scholarly contextualization or a reason to catch up over delicious desserts (or something in between)?  To read the classics you only Cliff-noted in college or the fluffy summer fiction you missed?  Do you want to read the collected works of one author? To reunite with old friends or get to know the neighbors better? Where will you meet, will you take turns leading and hosting with other members, and how large do you want the group to be (for meeting in a home or quiet cafe, 6-12 tends to be an ideal size)? Decide if you want refreshments and if they’ll be themed, homemade delectables, or simple cheese and crackers.

When you have a decent idea of what you want in terms of tone and theme, start floating it around your own social group and see who’s interested.  Ask everyone to bring 2-3 book suggestions to a first, organizational meeting.  Set some ground rules about how often (usually once a month) you’ll meet, where, and for how long. Discuss hosting and leading responsibilities as well. Ironing out a schedule can easily be the most difficult part of this process.  Finally, discuss book suggestions and see if a clear favorite emerges for the next text.  If not, take a vote, take turns or even toss them in a hat and draw the first few months’ of readings.

Next thing you know, you’ll be deep into plot points, authorial perspectives and crudités. You’ll be getting to know your books—and friends—more deeply, and what can better than that on a chilly autumnal evening?

To get off to the right start, you can shop book club tools that will keep you inspired, in-sync with your club, and organized. Try scheduling your chapters by due date in a new 2014 datebook. We’d recommend the planner+notes format - dates on the left, your thoughts of the book on the right. If you’d like to keep notes in an exclusive journal, you’ll love Paperblanks journals, with embellished manuscript covers from great authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and other muses. If you’re into more of a polished/professional notebook, we’d recommend the Rhodia Webnotebook, Moleskine Classics, or the Blackwing Luxury Notebook. Of course, to write all your notes, you’ll love the Blackwing pencils, the preferred world-famous pencil of writers for it’s all around grace, smooth lead, and replaceable erasers. When you’re all wrapped up with your book, check out the unique format of the Moleskine Book Journal, an organized way to record your thoughts for an overall book review, with step by step prompts to draw the most out of your experience. To wrap it all up, carry your book club tool kit to your hip book club meetings in this uber-cool Moleskine Messenger Bag. With the right products, every page turn will bring your well-read adventures in your book club to life!

Here are some of our favorite indie bookstores (you can tell we spend more time in the West: what are your favorite East Coast and Southern bookshops?) and the reading groups they support:

Pasadena, CA: Vroman’s Bookstore

San Francisco, CA: Books, Inc.

Boulder, CO:  Boulder Bookstore

Denver, CO: Tattered Cover

Washington, DC: Politics & Prose

Seattle, WA: Elliot Bay Books

 

Tell us: what is your book club currently reading?

Rhodia Pencils 10% Off with the Purchase of a Refillable Planner

12 Sep

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For a limited time, save 10% off Rhodia Pencils when you purchase a refillable Quo Vadis or Exacompta 2014 planner. Ends 9/17.
Shop 2014 Refillable Planners »
Shop Rhodia Pencils »

New! Soho Cover Refillable Planners from Quo Vadis and Exacompta

11 Sep

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These slick looking & smooth feeling covers are  perfect companions to the traditional grained Club Planner Covers.  Shop Soho & Club Planners here » 
Already have your Quo Vadis or Exacompta Refillable Cover? Grab your 2014 Refills here »

PLUS, for a limited time, buy a Soho or Club planner and get 10% off Rhodia Pencils! Use code TAKE10 at checkout. Ends 9/17

The Most Amazing Academic Planners for Back to School

11 Jul

 

 

Pens applaud Rhodia’s amazing paper
These academic planners have the same format, that work wonderfully for planners, architects, and other dreamers that love to draft ideas. The orange print is energizing, and we love the paper so much that we can’t wait to make plans!
SHOP RHODIA ACADEMIC PLANNERS »

 

Love, Refill, Reuse
The Club Academic Planners from Quo Vadis are exceptional. With their beautiful, clear, crisp printing, myriad formats, and the option to refill – it’s one of our best sellers year after year. Find your perfect Academic Planner format…
SHOP QUO VADIS ACADEMIC PLANNERS »

 

 

The Iconic, Classic Journal – as an Academic Planner
This Academic Planner is witty, minimalist, slick, and professional. Choose from planner + notes weekly format, or a horizontal weekly format. You’ll love the durable sewn binding and acid free paper.

SHOP MOLESKINE ACADEMIC PLANNERS »

 

 

Academic Planners = Whoosh Savers…

17 Jun

In a whirlwind time of year? If your deadlines, appointments, and to-dos are flying by it’s a perfect time to start fresh and get organized in an Academic (18-month) Planner. Most begin in July or August, have myriad formats, and last until the summer of 2014. Choose from

Shop our 2013-2014 collection here»
Or shop by brand : Rhodia, Quo Vadis, or Moleskine

 

Rhodia Academic Planners Have Arrived

13 Jun

What’s better than starting fresh in a Rhodia Academic Planner? It begins in August 2013 and wraps up in July 2014, so it’s a great idea for scholars and professionals. The amazing ink-friendly paper, along with the planner + notes format makes it a gem of datebooks for paper lovers and Rhodia fans alike. Plus, enjoy the convenient tear-off corners and elastic closure to keep your new academic planner organized. Shop Rhodia Academic Planners »

Prep Properly with Refillable Quo Vadis Academic Planners

22 May

Quo Vadis Academic Planners Available now on EuropeanPaper.com!

Planner Sale: Save Up to 45% Off 2013 Planners

18 Feb

Last Chance for up to 45% Off 2013 Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

A Handful of Tools & Tips To Help You Organize Your Office

26 Jan

Organize Your Office with the best of the best at EuropeanPaper.com

1) Moleskine Folio Professional Filers (Set of 3) (12 x 9.5)
2) Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder (8 x 6)
3) Blackwing Luxury Large Notebook & Folio Cover (7.5 x 10)
4) Exacompta Exaboard (9.25 x 13.25) (Rhodia pad included)
5) 2013 Planner Sale (with savings up to 35% off!)

Tip #1: Label EVERYTHING!

You know that feeling when you first get a label-maker and you just can’t put it down? Revitalize your office and give yourself an energy boost by picking it up again. Go through old folders that can be re-purposed, finally stick a label on that junk-box you threw together on the top shelf, and label the spines or covers of your notebooks for easy reference.

Tip #2: Start Nesting

Sounds odd, right? Nesting is basically the act of purging the things that distract you and clutter your office, while finding homes for the necessary items like your pens and pencils, folders and notebooks, and other office items. Putting things in their rightful place on a daily or weekly basis will keep your office tidy and you’ll finally remember where you put that darn business card of a friend you’ve been meaning to contact.

Tip #3: Add a Pop of Color

Whether it’s a nice, bright file folder, or the funky lamp in the corner of your office, remember to have a couple vivid hues surrounding you to brighten your mood. Try to keep all the colors cohesive though, as we’re not suggesting you work in an office decorated like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (unless you’re an avid fan). If you work inside the majority of the day, color will remind you to smile from time to time. (And don’t forget to actually pop out for a walk around the block a couple times a day – nothing is better than exercise and a bit of fresh air.)

Have a quick tip for office organization? Add it in the comments below!