Countdown to 2014 #4: Well-Loved Characters (and Illustrated) Diaries

simons catPhoto Credit: Simon Tolfield

There is something friendly and comfortable about picking up a diary done by a particular artist, illustrator or based on a well-loved character.

My personal favourites include: YouTube favourite Simon’s Cat (pictured) and Edward Monkton Illustrated Diary. Another beautiful choice is Gorjuss 2014 Diary Range (from Santoro).


Countdown to 2014 #3: the blog planners edition

This year I have added a special blog planners edition to my countdown to 2014. Many of us use a diary or planner to plan our online life, business or blog. So here is the round-up of some of the great blog planners available on the web:

If you have any that you use, have used or simply want to share – please add them in the comments. Personally I have used the Productive Flourishing Blog Post Planners since 2009/2010 – they never fail me but some planners organise a lot more than just your blog posts 🙂

Countdown to 2014 #2: The Life Book by Organised Mum

lb14Photo Credit: Organised Mum Website

This diary from Organised Mum really is the complete package. There is soooo much organised goodness that it is drool worthy and a contender for this year’s planner of choice. The website sets out the features as follows:

Clever features:

  • A5 in size with hard-backed cover
  • Week-to-view diary that you can use straightaway and lasts until December 2014
  • Traditional diary layout that provides lots of space for appointments
  • Weekly perforated shopping lists
  • Menu planning and to do lists
  • 288 colourful reminder stickers to highlight important events
  • Monthly planning pages so you can see the month at-a-glance
  • Weekly routine pages
  • Yearly planning pages
  • Separate address book that sits neatly inside the diary back pocket that can be moved from year to year to save rewriting
  • Christmas planning pages
  • Summer holiday planning pages
  • Pocket at the back for notes and bills
  • Elastic bandeau to keep the diary closed when you’re out and about
  • Two repositionable clear page dividers

I honestly don’t know what else you might need…. so just grab it now. 🙂

Well, you might need the family sized Life Book for caters up to 7 people.


Countdown to 2014 #1: DIY Calendar Box

It is December once again and that can only mean it is time for our Countdown to 2014 to start. Each year we share links to some great calendars, diaries and gifts that may tickle your fancy.

Today we are kicking off with the DIY Calendar box from Scout Books:scoutbooks_diycalendarbox (photo credit: Scout Books Website)

Get it here.

Box of 12 notebooks – one for each month – with planner-style pages to record or plan a full month. You can customise both the interior and the exterior of these pocket notebooks. What is not to love 🙂

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.