Call me a Luddite, a technophobe, or a helpless nostalgic, but I don’t use an online calendar. Perhaps it’s my lack of confidence in the cloud (who trusts clouds?!) but most likely it’s because having a planner is like having a journal without having to, you know, keep a journal.
My first planner was a bright-pink Hello Kitty book, filled with angsty eighth-grade musings and the occasional homework assignment. I then graduated to the Moleskine weekly planner, choosing between the red, green, and black covers each year. I’ve saved each one in a special part of my bookcase, and, when I’m feeling curious, I flip through these personal archives, remembering vacations (the best), ideas (rarely worth it), bad dates (god help me), and grocery lists.
Last year, when I was gifted a monogrammed Smythson Soho agenda, I knew I’d achieved planner nirvana. Smythson, the eternally chic British leather brand, has been around for over a century — the Queen has endorsed it with her seal, and with good reason.
Larger than a pocket calendar, which affords little writing space, and smaller than a desk diary, which is like lugging around a textbook, the Soho is the ideal size. The weekly agenda devotes a sizable square to each day, and there’s a weekly to-do list on the opposite page. There’s a healthy amount of lined notepaper, essential for an inveterate doodler and list-maker such as myself. And the paper. I could wax rhapsodic about the classic light-blue Smythson “featherweight pages,” which are half the thickness and weight of normal pages, but suffice to say, they make for easy writing with no ink bleeding through.
It may not be cheap, but the Soho agenda makes every appointment and illegible note just a bit more glamorous. My 2017 edition is on the way.
Some less expensive planners we like
The Japanese Hobinochi planner has somewhat of a cult following (there’s an entire Tumblr devoted to it). It’s made from super-high-quality Tomoe River paper, and its gridded pages function as a planner, notebook, sketchbook, and diary.
This classic Graphic Image planner comes in a rainbow of colors, and can be monogrammed for no extra charge.
A planner that features the week on the left, and then a blank page of Rhodia’s signature grid on the right. To an OCD person’s delight: Each page has a little corner you can tear off to indicate the week has passed.
A much less pricey (but much smaller) Smythson planner, that comes in this cobalt blue and a bright canary yellow.
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