My first post for the new year — 2013. It’s nice to start the year with blogging!
Last year, I’ve been trying to organized myself professionally — it’s not that I’m a loose cannon at work nor on my work area. I’d say, I want to hone the art of working smartly. But in order to attain that work-smartly zen habit, I need some tools that will accompany me throughout the process. One of the tools needed above all is an ideal planner. Elusive I’d say.
In the almost digital age, why I punish myself to have an analog planner? Simple. Everything or something — mainly activity — that has the words “digital” or “automated” on it makes you fat and lazy. It makes you emotionally numb overtime. You become dependent to these machines run by electricity or fuel — eventually, you become academically and intellectually vulnerable to human logic and to your own senses. And above all, it’s time to re-acquaint those fat fingers of yours to the art of writing — that is by hand with five or less fingers you currently have.
Reasons why I want to use an analog planner is I’m not getting any younger — I tend to forgot even the smallest thing that I have to do. Crazy? Yes, and it happens to me all the time. But I’m not the type of person that I have to jot down everything in my planner — like “at 11:00am, I have to sip a hot cup of green tea before lunch because it’s good to my digestion” or at “2:30pm, I have to check my inbox before it reaches to 5 emails and if it does, I’ll be lazy enough to read it one by one”, etc., etc. Having an analog planner to me is simply listing down my favorite agendas. Number 1 will be the public holidays. Number 2, long holidays. And number 3 — this is where I usually forgot the most — the least of my priorities — work/ office meetings and everything else.
And so I hopped in the bus and took the long and tedious ride every planner junkie/ hipster have been went through in search of the perfect planner. And upon reaching the end of the road, I have found one, for now. This is my brief review of the Muji 2012 A6 Schedule Note Planner.
What I like…
• The Muji 2012 A6 Schedule Note Planner is hard bound and covered in chocolate brown cloth to give extra protection and book type feel when you’re holding it. Minimalist in design. Elegantly crafted. The size easily fits to my Pacsafe bag.
• Like any other Muji notebook and planner products, the inner pages are smooth and in creamed colored made from more than 5% recyclable paper (Muji’s claim to fame). It goes perfectly well with my Pilot Hi-techpoint V5 Grip Pen and Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil.
• As for the inside pages, every two pages across shows a monthly view calendar. As you flipped, it gives you horizontal weekly view calendar on the left pages and grid note on the right pages as a structure. As you progress through the months, there are grey tabs with numbers in left and right most page imprinted on each page representing the month you are currently in. As for the color, the degree or shades used in the numbers, lines and grids are perfectly complements the cream paper. Nothing striking or high in contrast. Everything is soothing to the eyes. And this is what I like most with Muji and Moleskine. They thoughtfully considered the user experience on how to use a single or two color palette on their planners unlike other makers.
• Lastly, it lays flat. The binding used can compete to those of Moleskine’s. I can proudly tell that no single page or leaf had came or fell off during a year of my usage. It is superbly in-tact as of this writing.
Now, what I don’t like…
• The Muji 2012 A6 Schedule Note Planner has no pocket like the Moleskine. It can’t be customized like the Midori Traveler’s Notebook for extra sleeves or any other refills. In short, once you’ve consumed it, you throw it away or keep it for future references. It also lacks from accessories like stickers and sticky notes found in Filofax planners.
• Remember the number tabs I’ve mentioned? It’s imprinted on the pages and not that visually exposed for easy access. You have to slowly flip the pages until you reached the month you’re looking for.
• Did I tell you that the week starts on a Monday? Yes. You’ve heard it right. Universally, we start our week on Sundays. It’s a bit confusing at first, but as you get the hang of it, you’ll get used to it. Muji should work on this particular detail.
• Lastly, this particular A6 Schedule Note Planner has been discontinued. I’ve tried searching here in the Philippines, even in Hong Kong, but with no avail. Disappointing? Yes, so much — shame on you, Muji.
In a nutshell…
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the 2012 A6 Schedule Note Planner. I love it! It survives the beating of everyday use. It’s an alternative to Moleskine, Filofax and other leading planners in the market. And by the way, it’s 50% cheaper — 70% during a year-end sale — for its superb quality. If you’re looking for a no-frills, stripped-down and only the bare essential planner, I will recommend Muji planners.
Soon on my next review: Muji 2013 Vinyl Chloride Cover R-Paper A6 Monthly-Weekly Schedule Note Planner