Countdown to the academic year #2: Paperchase

You should know that I LOVE Paperchase with its bright colours, funky patterns and cute animals. Once again paperchase have produced a fantastic new range of mid-year diaries.


The main theme is nature – with plenty of cute animals and plants featuring in this years collection.

Their mid-year diaries include student essentials such as timetable pages as well as the standard diary.

Favourites include:

Countdown to the academic year #1: Letts Diaries

Kicking off the countdown with one of my all time favourite diaries – Letts which have a fantastic collection of academic diaries. I love their traditional ‘Letts’ plain bound diaries as they remind me of being a child (I had a letts desk diary each year to play with).

However for being a student and carting the diary on the go the A6 or A5 is a more appropriate size.

More recently Letts have ‘funked up’ their academic diaries by making them bright and colourful. However, I am a traditional girl at heart.


On a personal level I favour the A5 week view (week on two pages). This allows me enough space to write in two columns for each day of the week. On the left hand side I write the things I am doing that day i.e. time, event and place and then on the right hand side I keep my to-do list. This means that I only have up to 8 items per day which is a manageable amount.

Student and Academic Planner Countdown

I have decided to revive an old blog series which I started in 2010 where I have a closer look at some of the diary options for the upcoming year. However, this time I am taking a closer look at some academic / student planners or diaries which run from 2013 to 2014.

But first… what makes a good student planner? In my previous post I explained what I learned from my original homework diary and what stayed with me beyond my school and university years. In my opinion a good student planner needs:

  • a pretty and functional cover that looks good and is hard-wearing;
  • sturdy binding – I don’t have a preference as long as it lasts;
  • timetable pages;
  • a clear week view with some extra room for doodles, to-dos, and habit development; and
  • key dates / holidays.

The rest of the week I will be putting a few of my favourite academic diaries under the spotlight in this year’s countdown to the new academic year.


Student Planners – a great foundation for future planning.

Back to School season is approaching fast and I was thinking the other day about the good old-fashioned homework diary (Student Planner) that my school provided me with.

I no longer have a copy lying around otherwise I would have added in some pictures. It had the school logo on the front, a Timetable section and a WO2P diary (with the holidays filled in) for listing your homework. I used the method of writing items on the date due and not date received. I still use that method to this day.

Each week also had a daily checklist to try to develop the habit of reading a newspaper daily and reading a book a week. As my school was trying to encourage every student to do this. It was the first time I experienced this, and in my teenage years wasn’t really interested in it. However, it was reviewed and signed off by our class teacher. I was continuously told I needed to read a better newspaper and not just the local paper. But looking back it was probably better than nothing.

Since then it is a technique I have used on and off when trying to develop habits which has had varied success over the years.

At university I used a regular Moleskine diary as a student planner – maintaining the same techniques {which you may have read about on the blog at the time if you are a long-time reader). Since my studies I have migrated to using a filofax for my work/personal life and a filofax for my blog.

However the same set up has remained: due date entries and habit development checklists with a weekly timetable at the front.

How has your diary changed since your student days? What did you learn from using your student planner?


My new Malden #filofax

My new malden has arrived … and it is beautiful.


The best thing about the mini Malden, is the smell when you first open it up. I love that. It came with both 2012 and 2013 diary inserts. Fantastic – I no longer need my “2013 important dates list” at the end of my diary. I can write them straight in.

Yes it is a little tight with half of 2012 and all of 2013 squished in, but if I don’t put all of 2013 in it will inevitably get lost in the house move next month (even though I will keep all my notebooks together).

Since I am downsizing from a personal sized Filofax, the diary will literally be my diary, agenda style. This will cover: what I am doing, what is on locally etc. my to-do lists, financials, meal planners etc, will remain in the personal.

I have decided to colour code as well:


There is unfortunately a bit of fade through with my stabilo fine liners – but I can live with that – they are so colourful.

I still need to find an appropriate page marker – suggestions anyone?

And decide whether to also double the mini Malden up as a wallet/purse? Has anyone done this successfully?

The Simple Diary

I am a big fan of snap shot journals that simply record moments in life – I mentioned a few in my y is for year post as part of the a to z challenge.

One I didn’t mention is Keel’s Simple Diary. This is because I think of it as more of a diary than a memory journal. But it does have a similar aim. Think of it as a journal for busy people who still want to keep a record of their life/make memories, but maybe don’t have the time. It is engaging and only takes a moment of your time. Their website has a great interactive view of the book, which shows it off better than any pictures would.

With an any date format, and a daily fill in the blank exercise, and some wit and wisdom.

There is also a companion android and iPhone app for those of who want to use it on the move. This is also pretty great as it allows you to add pictures, and tag people and places. A more fun, interactive diary for those who maybe aren’t as used to keeping a diary, but like sharing what they are doing on Facebook. The basic app is free and the full volume one can be purchased for 69p. Below are some screenshots, to show you a few examples from the app.




Unfortunately there is no iPad app for me (and I hate iPhone apps on the iPad, they just aren’t neat) so I’ll be sticking to the paper version – for now.

D is for… Diary #atozchallenge

If you read my personal blog you may have heard it has been all change on the job front lately. That meant: new diary. Awkward time to start a new diary (and 2012 diaries despite being in the sales aren’t that cheap). You can get diaries made to start anytime for various durations. Custom made diaries, while a nice idea and look good, not necessarily the best idea for everyone and have a price tag attached.

I use a Filofax for the planning my year element of my life – what I am doing when. My diary I use for working out what I am doing in the day, keeping key information, it is sort of like a to do list really.

For example:
I need to call xyz. In the diary I will write the number to call any reference I require and then it is there ready to go when I have time to do it or when they are open. Additionally if I do not get through or have to call back I have the information handy, if they give me more information I can write it down there and then to refer back to later.

I like having the space and freedom to write, so I have just started a new diary in an a4 sized case bound notebook. A printable calendar stuck in the front cover and I just write the dates on the pages as I go through each day. simple. This diary is concerned about the now and the retention and availability of information, not future events.

Do you have multiple diaries with multiple uses? Share in the comments.