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Shop Gifts for the Designer, Architect, & Artist

7 Dec

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1. Palomino Artist Color Penicl Box »
2. Rhodia Premium »
3. Moleskine Sketchbooks»
4. Hand of the Architect »
5. Vintage Travel Calendar »
6. Blackwing Variety Pack »
7. Croc Sketchbooks »
8. Moleskine Messenger Bag »

Gifts to Give : Ideas from The Well Appointed Desk’s Ana Reinert

28 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are some vetted gift ideas from our fave, Ana Reinert of The Well-Appointed Desk. Enjoy!

Paper goods are great gifts. The key to making a great gift is picking just the right angle. What else does your paper lover like? Movies? Cooking? Gardening? Travel? It seems every paper lover in my life also has other hobbies or interests.

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My co-worker is a foodie so I think I’ll get her a Rite in the Rain notebook with a box of Palomino Blackwing 602s and a sharpener so she record her recipes in the potentially wet, messy environment that is a working kitchen. The Cavallini Garden Calendar would look great in her kitchen too.

 

the-well-appointed-desks-gifts-to-give-ana-reinert-european-paper_05For my (geek of a) husband, I think a new Star Wars A5 Moelskine and an Eames Acme pen would make a perfect gift. And they’re cheaper than the new guitar.

 

the-well-appointed-desks-gifts-to-give-ana-reinert-european-paper_03For the bike geek in my life,  the engraved Jan Petr Obr Bicycle note cards are cool enough for any guy, bike Fred or not. To keep with the bicycling theme, the Upcycle Tire brush bag would pair well with the cards.

 

the-well-appointed-desks-gifts-to-give-ana-reinert-european-paper_04My “other mother” is an inspiring artist, I think she’d love the Fabriano Classic Blue Journal and thePalomino wood box 12-color set of colored pencils.

 

For my friend who’ll be travelling over the holidays, the Mudlark Artifact Luggage Tag for her suitcase, theEvernote A5 Moleskine and a Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House Acme Pen to document her travels.

 

I hope they won’t be too disappointed that I spoiled their holiday surprises here! Hopefully, it gave you some ideas.

*Meet the Writer : * When Ana Reinert is not designing greeting cards for
the world’s largest greeting card company she fancies herself an office
supply ninja, yarn hoarder, letter-writing secret agent and coffee junkie. She
also writes superfluously about all thing office-related for The
Well-Appointed Desk.*

Enjoy Black Friday & Cyber Monday Savings All Week!

27 Nov

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Enjoy Black Friday & Cyber Monday Savings all week long! Save $5 off $75 use code SAVE5 or $10 off $100 use code SAVE10. Don’t miss out on fabulous paper to give and get – shop now »

Gift of the Week : Cavallini Desk Calendars

25 Nov

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Cavallini Calendars are a favorite gift of the holidays. This week, enjoy 10% off all Cavallini Desk Calendars. Use code DESK10. Shop them right here »

How Do You Keep Up the Tempo? Enter, Efficiency Secrets from Hemingway & Fast Co.

21 Nov

 

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Written by Drake Baer for Fast Company

To Ernest Hemingway, writers are like wells: “The important thing is to have good water in the well,” he told the Paris Review, “and it is better to take a regular amount out than to pump the well dry and wait for it to refill.”

In this way, Hemingway coined the phrase leaving water in the well: instead of spending all your creative juices all at once, you leave a little bit of inspiration so that you can return to the same momentum that you left it with. Hemingway, whose habits of badass productivity we’ve talked about before, said to never stop writing without knowing how you are going to start again, to, in other words, never end a day’s work without knowing how you are going to start the next day.

But why does this help a workflow work so well?
Read the full article from Fast Company, right here »

Cavallini Calendars are Beautiful Gifts They’ll Enjoy All Year

20 Nov

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Cavallini Calendars are one of our staff’s most-loved go-to gifts for the holidays. The unveiling of beautiful vintage prints each month will give them moments of beauty and inspiration that will last all year! We’re thrilled to announce new editions of the Vintage Cats, Vintage Dogs, and Owls easel calendars to accompany Birds and other annual favorites this year. Of course, the best-sellers Japanese Woodblocksand Botanica are stunning as always. Which one is your fave? Click here to shop Cavallini Wall Calendars »  Or click here to shop Cavallini Desk Calendars»

How To Write: Holiday Newsletter

18 Nov

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Oh, the holiday newsletter! We love it, we hate it, it’s like Facebook on steroids. An entire year boiled down to a few paragraphs and studded with superlatives.  And clichés.  And throw-away sentences that simply confirm the status quo.  And you know that you’re better than that. That this year—this year—you’ll take the time to sit down amidst the increasing holiday madness and craft a thoughtful, meaningful letter that doesn’t make friends and acquaintances want to rip out their hair. And believe us, we want you to.

So, here are a few tips we’ve developed over the years for writing a great holiday letter.

1.       One page.  Just one. And no more than a handful of photos, please. We want photos large enough that we can see you and your family and brief paragraphs that we don’t get lost in.

2.       Consider your audience: family and far-flung friends are probably uninterested in the day-to-day elements of your work (they may not even remember what you do).  Professional acquaintances may be bowled over—and not in a good way—by familial anecdotes and intimacies.

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Here are a few helpful tips to find a little holiday humor from Blurb.com

3.       Don’t brag. Don’t brag. Don’t brag. It should be simple, but somehow it never is. Just remember: the holiday newsletter is not your family’s resume. We know you’re awfully proud of that new boat, setting a personal record at the marathon, and the kids’ accomplishments, but a little humor or even self-deprecation can go a long way!

4.       Don’t brag, part II: Tell us a story. Pick 3-5 main events of the year, and find the intriguing element—not necessarily the achievement—of each. Tell us about the monster fish that got away, how you met up with old friends and explored the city after the marathon, or how the four-year-old soccer team looks like nothing more than a scramble of puppies piling on top of the ball.

5.       Don’t brag, part III: Keep it vague. No one really wants to know that stellar SAT score; just tell us that Jacob Jr. has been accepted at Berkeley or Michigan State and let it go. In the same vein: mention the promotion but avoid particulars about the raise.

6.       Keep it light. Yes, we know that bad things happen and we want to sympathize and support you. But an entire newsletter devoted to sad, bad news is a little too Debbie Downer for the cheery holiday season. Likewise, avoid particulars that might upset the faint of heart: let us know that the surgery went well, definitely, but leave out the specifics of a difficult rehab.

7.       Edit and proofread. Yeah, we know. It’s cliché advice, but oh-so-important. Our personal go-to for this is reading the letter aloud (or, better yet, having a friend or family member read it aloud). Awkward sentences and difficult punch-lines will instantly stand out, as will too-formal phrasing. You should still sound like you, after all. Also, don’t let AutoCorrect make its own inadvertent punch-lines: read it again after spell check!

Finally, handwrite the salutation and a brief, personal message at the bottom: wish the recipients luck on upcoming travels with a teething child, ask after the new house or hobby, check in on how the thesis is going and the broken leg is mending. Remind them of how your relationship matters enough to exchange these holiday missives, and wish them the very best of holiday seasons.

Shop fabulous stationery for the perfect holiday greeting right here »

Gift of the Week : Moleskine Messenger Bag – Save 30%!

17 Nov

 

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Happy gift of the week – we’re celebrating with the Moleskine Messenger Bag. Enjoy the luxury of an enormous, well-built bag to hold papers, notebooks, pens/pencils and more (including a unique wrap for blue prints and oversized designs). This bag is perfect for the bike commuter, the architect, teachers, and other professionals who need to carry several materials to and fro.

Shop now & save 30% with code TRAVEL30 at checkout »

2014 Daily Datebooks from Moleskine, Leuchtturm1917, Quo Vadis & Exacompta

14 Nov

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It’s a perfect time to get a head start on the new year, and choose from the best selection while you’re at it!
Shop Daily Planners Here »
Undecided on your format? Shop them all right here »

A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 3of3 : Weekly Formats & Cover Styles

13 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify the 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.  

In my previous posts in this series I helped you decide which format of planner will work best for you, and what size planner you need. In this post I will focus on different formats of weekly planners, since weeklies are the most popular planner style. I will also discuss different types of covers and how to decide what to choose.

quo-vadis-2014-club-hebdo-56-planner-6.25-x-9.375-pqu4562-2The Horizontal Weekly format is the most basic weekly format. It has the day spaces across the page with Monday through Wednesday or Thursday on the left page, and the rest of the week on the right page. These formats sometimes have a space for notes on the weekly page to add symmetry to the layout. Some examples of the horizontal weekly format are the Quo Vadis HebdoMoleskine Horizontal and the Cavallini weekly planner.

The Horizontal Weekly format is very popular because it is so flexible in its use.  There is no dictated way to use it. You can use the daily spaces for your appointments, tasks, notes, or even sketches. You could also use the planner as a daily diary. The smaller daily spaces are less intimidating than a full daily page, and if you miss a day or two it’s easy to go back and fill in later. Shop all our Horizontal Weekly Planners here.

exacompta-2014-club-visual-planner-6-x-8.25-pqu4202-2The Vertical Weekly format has days as columns, which is useful for seeing your day chronologically down the column. Some planners have timed columns, some lined without times, and some blank. Vertical columns are especially useful for planning how long activities will take, seeing how much time you have between events, or for blocking out periods of time. Another useful feature of days as vertical columns is that undone tasks can be arrowed over to the next day without re-writing. Some examples of the vertical weekly format are the Moleskine Vertical Weekly planner and the Exacompta Club Visual planner.

The Vertical Weekly format is highly structured and is excellent for very busy people who need to map out their day by the hour. This is especially useful for families managing multiple schedules or students who work a job. The vertical chronological format allows you to see exactly what hours are taken up by classes and work, so you can schedule your study time to make sure you keep up on everything. Similarly, working parents can benefit from seeing the hours of their days so they can meet deadlines and still make it to after-school activities on time. Shop all our Vertical Weekly Planners here

rhodia-2014-pocket-weekly-planner-4-x-6-prh4358kk-3The Week + Notes format is great because it allows lists and notes to be written alongside the weekly schedule. This lets you see what you need to do (on your lists) and when you have time to do it (in your schedule). Week + Notes planners can combine notes and lists with either a horizontal or vertical weekly format. Shop all our Week + Notes datebooks here.   

The Week + Notes Horizontal format is extremely popular, because there are so many ways to use it. The traditional way to use it is with your schedule in the weekly page and lists and notes in the opposite page. But I’ve seen many different uses for this format including uses as a blog planner, a weekly (as opposed to daily) diary/ journal, a fashion diary with pictures stuck into the pages, baby book (recording all those little events in a baby’s first year), etc. There really is no limit to the possible uses.  Examples of Week + Notes Horizontal planners are the Leuchtturm Weekly Planner, Rhodia weekly plannerMoleskine Weekly Planner + Notes and the Exacompta Space 17.

The Week + Notes Vertical format is my personal favorite. I function best with the structure of the vertical daily columns showing me my schedule by the hour, combined with space below or to the side for my prioritized lists (Must Do, Could Do, Ongoing/ Non-Urgent). Seeing my tasks along with my schedule allows me to see where I can work tasks into my schedule and helps me prioritize my time. Examples of Week + Notes Vertical planners are the Quo Vadis Trinote and extra-large Quo Vadis Prenote #24.

quo-vadis-2014-trinote-planner-refill-48-ref.-4801-7-x-9.375-pqu44801-1A final consideration in choosing your planner is the cover.  Here, too, you have multiple options, from basic black to vacation turquoise.  Perhaps more importantly, however, is whether to select a refillable cover or not.  A refillable cover, such as those by Quo Vadis or Exacompta, allows the economic and environmentally-friendly option of reusing your cover and simply swapping out refill each year. This is especially nice when you have a cover you love and can enjoy using year after year (alternatively, you can purchase multiple covers and change up your planner look seasonally or according to mood!)  On the other hand, an entirely new cover and planner may simplify your planner archives.

With all of these planner options, you are sure to find the planner that works best for you!

 

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.

A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 2of3 : Size

12 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify the 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.  

In my previous post, I discussed various uses for planners and how to determine whether you need a monthly, weekly or daily planner. The next step is to decide what size planner you need.

What size planner you choose is a balance between page space and portability. If your planner will stay at home or work all the time, it can be as big as you want. But if you will carry your book everywhere with you, make sure it’s a size you can stand to carry in your bag or hands all the time. Everyone has their own size threshold. Do you need a book you can slip into your pocket? Do you carry a big bag and don’t mind a large book?

quo-vadis-2014-club-miniweek-44-planner-2.75-x-3.75-pqu4442-1When looking for a planner to take with you everywhere, it’s tempting to get the smallest planner possible. There are planners smaller than your phone, like the Quo Vadis Club Miniweek #44 Planners, which can be great for tossing into a small clutch or suit pocket, making it always immediately available.  But, make sure the spaces are large enough to write in everything you need. I’ve had many a planner fail due to too-small day spaces.

Something else to consider is the size of your handwriting. If you have tiny, neat handwriting you’ll be able to get away with a smaller page size (and therefore smaller book) than someone like me who has large handwriting.

Book size may affect what format of planner you choose. If you need to write lots of details every day and you want to take your planner everywhere with you, you may prefer a pocket size day per page planner like the Moleskine Pocket Daily Planner or Quo Vadis Daily Pocket instead of a desk size weekly planner.

cavallini-2014-keep-calm-weekly-planner-4-x-6-pcv2648-1It is possible to have both portability and a large page space. If you want a book with plenty of writing space that you don’t mind carrying, try one of the slightly larger pocket datebooks, usually about 4 x 6 inches, like those from Cavallini (we love their vintage covers!) or Rhodia. These ones easily fit into a larger pocket or satchel.  Shop all our pocket datebooks here.

Slightly larger still are the large datebooks, which tend to prefer living in drawers, backpacks, larger purses and briefcases.  Most popular of these is the Exacompta Visual Planner and its refills, which allow you to keep the same cover year after year.  We’re also keen on the large Rhodia weekly planner and the Leuchtturm1917 weekly planner.  Shop all our large datebooks here.

moleskine-2014-extra-large-soft-cover-weekly-planner--notes-7.5-x-10-mcx514w-1If your planner will stay on your desk most of the time, the sky’s the limit for planner size. The Moleskine Extra Large Weekly planner and Quo Vadis 2014 Club Trinote Planner both have loads of writing space each week to help you keep up on all your lists and notes.  Shop all our extra large datebooks here.

With such a variety of planner formats and sizes from tiny to huge, you’ll be sure to find what works best for you. Feel free to experiment until you figure out what works.

In my next post I’ll discuss the most popular planner formats and how to use them!

 

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.

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

11 Nov

131111-epc-blog-how-to-choose-planner-1
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.