L is for… Letts


Today we are highlighting another British Company/Brand as part of the April A to Z Challenge. I chose not to do Filofax for F – so I can’t possibly let L pass me by without doing Letts. Letts are one of my favourite diaries and I often blog about them in my annual countdowns. If you are practical, organised and just want to get things done without any fancy stuff – these are a solid choice as they are luxurious but keep you focused while still being affordable.

 The name Letts has been synonymous with diaries since the beginning of the nineteenth century.  In  1796, the founder, John, established a stationery business in the arcades of London’s Royal Exchange.The merchants and traders who frequently purchased stationery items from this shop needed a means of recording the movements of stock and controlling their finances.  John Letts responded to the needs of his merchant customers in 1812 by creating the world’s first Commercial Diary.

The diary soon established itself as an essential feature of commercial life.  The rapid refinement of the product, with the introduction of detailed information sections, meant that by the 1820’s the first modern style diary ranges were published.

Today, the company manufactures over 22 million diaries and is firmly established as the market leader supplying more than 40 per cent of all branded diaries in the UK and exporting to over 75 countries around the world

In the past few years, Letts have invested in machinery and fulfillment systems that allows them to offer a more personalised option. We now implement global contracts, which include a web-based order system, offering bespoke products, and added product personalisation which are then fulfilled to all regions of the world. Over 300 staff are employed by Letts at a 250,000 sq ft factory which incorporates customer service, print, bindery, and fulfillment on one site.

Throughout the years Letts has undergone a number of ownership changes and in August 2000 a Management Buyout team were successful in buying the company. Discussions commenced on October 2000 to acquire Filofax. In July 2001 Letts Holdings Ltd acquired the Filofax Group to become the Letts Filofax Group Ltd.  LFG now comprises principally of two UK operations and eight overseas subsidiaries.

Letts.co.uk – about us

Countdown to 2010 #7: National Trust Diary Collection

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National Trust Desk Diary 2010: £13.

I originally spotted this National Trust Desk Diary in John Lewis. The beautiful cover photo caught my eye immediately and it became a contender for one of my 2010 diaries. Each month there is a different stunning photograph of a National trust property – very similar in style to the amnesty international diary.

However, when I went to check out the website I was amazed by the selection of diaries (and calendars) available. The most notable being the similar pocket diary (£7). The site also features the previously mentioned Sarah Raven Diary (£13).

(Photo Credit: National Trust Website)

Countdown to 2010 #5: Amnesty People Diary

(Photo Credit: Amnesty International UK website)

Another gorgeous diary. Beautiful colourful and vibrant photographs of people, make this a charming 2010 diary. The photos act as month dividers to the A5 sized diary. The cover is made from recycled leather and is a mottled black colour, but a smooth feel. There is also an elastic band that wraps tightly round the book (across the centre rather than down the side).

Available at the UK Amnesty shop for £9.95 (although I originally saw it in the Shared Earth shop).

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Countdown to 2010 #3: Sarah Raven Grow Your own

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A bright and colourful diary from Sarah Raven that immediately caught my eye even though it wasn’t elegantly displayed in the shop.

There are bright vibrant photography of food and flowers throughout the diary which is a5 in size and spiral bound. A week is spread over 2 pages with plenty of space to jot down notes.

The attractive thing about this diary (as well as the stunning photography) is the tips for the garden and cooking if you are a “grow your own” enthusiast. Well put together and a great purchase if you are a fan of the garden, alternatively may make a great present idea at £12.

(Photo Credit: Sarah Raven’s Website).

Countdown to 2010 #1: Kiki James

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The search for a new diary has commenced. Last week Office Supply Geek did a great review of the Kiki James Tuscan Wrap Journal. Despite being from the UK I had not come across Kiki James before so having read the review I immediately checked out the Kiki James website and was delighted to find that they have a wide range of Journals, photo albums and diaries. It was the pocket Tuscan wrap diary that caught my eye though:

(Photo Credit: Kiki James Website)

The 2010 Pocket Tuscan Wrap diaries come in three colours, and are in a similar style to the Tuscan wrap journal and are priced at £22. Personalisation costs £8 for initials and £15 for one line of text. Unfortunately the website does not give a very clear idea of what the diary is like inside, which may be on the con list as I can’t seem to find any real world stockists where I can have a look at it properly. But it is still definitely a contender.

For anyone interested in purchasing this diary (or indeed anything from the Kiki James Website) it is worth noting that you can get 10% off  with Voucher codes.

Countdown to 2010: the search for a new diary

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I got a “reminder” about our next flat inspection – due in February. Went to write it in my diary only to realise it is that time of year again and my diary runs out in a few weeks. Which means I’ve got to start agonising over what choice to make for my 2010 diary. Even though I know already I will have several. (And I also know that I will receive at least 2 diaries and 3 calendars as Christmas gifts).

Some friends might say it is way too early to be considering such an item but it pays to be prepared. Usually I have a free writing journal and then a small pocket diary to scribble down appointments and a bigger diary for to-dos. Here I am debating what pocket/purse diary to get.

I am currently using a moleskine diary as my main “cart it around everywhere” diary.

In 2004 – 2006 I used small blue pocket (page a day) diaries priced at 70p from Bargain Books. They were great and simple, perfect for when I was a student, but obviously looking for something a little bit more grown up now.

In 2007 – 2008 I had the Quo Vadis Textagenda diary which I loved (again another student planner), but then after I purchased this one I never saw one of these in the shops again. But having recently read an excellent review at Miscellany and Cacophony I’ve been wanted to get my hands on one of these again.

2008 – 2009 I had a black simple diary purchased at Wilkinson’s until I scrapped it in favour of the above mentioned Moleskine in January of this year.

So having done the basic history I shall continue to update you with tempting finds until I make a decision about which to purchase.