It’s that time of year! Most people are excited about fall for the festive decor, pumpkin everything, and cooler weather. I’m excited for “planner season”. We’ve passed the school supply rush that happens at the end of the summer. We are now entering the time of new yearly planners. While I personally have found an organization system that does not rely on a planner, I figured I would begin to share my knowledge of planners to help those of you still deciding what tool to use. I’ll start with the Moleskine planner. I have used two different planners by this brand, the Moleskine weekly planner and the Moleskine daily planner, over the years. Many people are familiar with Moleskine and these are widely available. Target usually has a huge selection. I have provided links to the 2018 versions of these planners on Amazon.
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First, let’s talk about some qualities that are going to be consistent in any Moleskine planner.
These planners come in hard cover and soft cover. I have used both and prefer the hard cover just so I can write in my planner on the move. Both styles have held up well to wear and tear. The planners are available in a variety of colors and are very professional looking. Even the brighter colors are not tacky or overly loud.
The font that Moleskine uses is really unobtrusive. It’s clean. I can clearly read the headers on the pages. The font is also neither boring nor feminine.
The monthly pages for both planners are at the beginning of the planner rather than spread throughout the weekly pages. The boxes on these pages are small. I found it fairly annoying to write in these pages and therefore they were rarely used. I do like that these monthly views start on Monday. Most of the planners I have used, even though the weeks start on Monday, the monthly views go back to a Sunday start. Since I often have weekend long activities, I like when Saturday and Sunday are next to each other rather than split on different lines.
There is a folded pocket in the back. These pockets don’t hold too much but are great for receipts or stickers.
The elastic is high quality and doesn’t weaken over time.
The paper quality (70 gsm) of Moleskine is widely discussed and critiqued. Personally, I don’t mind ghosting but absolutely hate bleed through. The best pens for Moleskine are rollerballs and ball points. Pigma Microns and the Pilot Razor Point II are the only felt tipped pens I’ve used on a consistent basis and never had a problem with. Personally, I think the Pigma Microns perform a bit better while the Pilot Razor Point II are more bang for your buck. Fountain pens do not hold up well. The exception being Noodler’s Bulletproof Black, which is designed to perform well on cheap paper.
The Moleskine Weekly Planner
While I was in college, I fell in love with the Moleskine Weekly Planner. This planner features a weekly layout down the left page with a lined page on the right. For those of you that have seen my personal bullet journal spreads in my notebook, they look very similar.
This layout allows you to write and plan for future appointments while still providing room to keep a to-do list or notes. There is a blank space above Monday that you could write a quote or your focus for the week. The day boxes have the moon phases and important holidays.
The Moleskine Daily Planner
My experience: When I first got into bullet journaling for work, I wanted something that had space for daily entries that still gave me the ability to write down follow-up tasks and appointments on future pages. I thought the Moleskine Daily Planner was going to be the perfect solution. I was wrong. This planner “missed” on too many areas. This had to do with how I am using my planner, not the quality of the planner. I did not have enough space to write meeting notes and some days needed more room than others. Since I was only using this for work, I tried to use Saturday and Sunday pages to supplement. I was unsuccessful. Obviously, a printed planner is not flexible in the same way my bullet journal is. The pages are not numbered so I had a tough time keeping track of notes on different topics. I was able to work around this a little by referring to the date of the page my notes were on but it was pretty confusing.
It’s a little hard to tell in this photo (the photo of the pen test shows it better) but there are numbers going down the left side of the daily entries for all days except Sunday. This is great if you need to keep track of appointments or meetings and want an hourly layout. Moleskine did a great job making these numbers unobtrusive enough that if you don’t need the numbers, you don’t care. While I never used the numbers, I certainly wasn’t annoyed by them. There are weather and temperature logos at the bottom of M-Sat pages.
This daily Moleskine planner is better for someone who is just tracking to-do lists or schedule and wants their pages laid out for them. At first I thought having Saturday and Sunday pages was going to be wasteful but I really liked having the extra pages.
If you aren’t a fountain pen user and can get past the paper quality, a Moleskine planner is a great option. Moleskine has a variety of layouts. Their planners look professional and leave room for personalization. Have you used Moleskine planners? What was your experience like?
I have linked to all the products that I discussed in this post. Feel free to click to learn more!