Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Levenger Circa Planner Review

Back in July or was it June, I wanted yet another circa cover -- and for some reason Sara's tweets persuaded me to go and get the circa planner -- why not?  the year was half over, the planners were being sold for 5$ and I would then get the cover and circa discs that i wanted.  Win-win situation here!  So upon getting the planner, I sorta putt-putted with it --- kind of using it some days, then again not others.  And then I started seeing study participants again, having multiple places to be, multiple dragon boat practices to attend... and basically a scheduling nightmare happened.  

Out came the circa planner -- I dont recall if it came with a "Today" tab, but it doesnt matter since I replaced it with an ARC ruler that has sticky notes attached.   

My 18 month planner has a textured clear plastic cover sheet with a blue flyleaf.   As the planner gets used, the blue flyleaf color fades.  I've gotten a few scratches on the cover, but as the cover is semi-clear it doesnt hinder it much.  The agenda came with 3/4" circa discs that i've continued to use.  

planner front cover flyleaf

The nice thing about the circa system is that you can move things around to your delight and in addition, you can always add things to your binder  (ie, I've added a pocket, printed some things from philofaxy (calendar at a year, etc)  and added my weekly meal planners)

There are a couple of sections to the planner, first there's the personal info section.  Now i've cut this off since mine is filled out and I dont want you to know all my details so its just the spot with my name. 

personal page

The next section shows a year at a glance for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  So since i got this in 2012, its 1 years past, the current year, and 2 years forward.  Its nice if you want to plan future vacations, etc.  

year at a glance - calendars

There are several varieties of how the planner is laid out, but the one i have is week at a glance, so basically its the week broken up over 2 pages.   I dont know if you can see but the space for Saturday and Sunday (the weekend) is the same as all the other days of the week.  The space for the weekend is just as large as the rest of the week which is nice for me because my weekends are just as packed as my weekdays.  

At the bottom of the right hand page is a month back, current month and a month forward -- nice planning feature. Each day there are a couple of lines so that you can write your day's tasks and there's a grey section to the right of the date for you to check off when you've completed the day's task.  I dont use my planner this way since I use it to track my to do's in detail and use a outline method for each part of a task -- so this part isnt so useful for me.  There is also a day counter and a week counter which counts the number of days that have passed and the number of weeks that have gone past (I dont use these features either but i guess it is nice to have)  The ARC system by Staples is an affordable alternative to the more expensive Levenger items, however, some of the expense is made up when stylistically the calendar format works for you.  I do however get my accessories from Staples sometimes.  Like this page divider that i have in here that has all the post it flags -- the Arc system version is way cheaper than the levenger version.

IMG_1419 calendars at bottom   week

The next section of the planner has a section that allows for you to note birthdays and anniversaries (important dates).  I've not used this section, as i typically put those dates into the actual planner section (weekly section) of my planner.  Then the next section is a yearly planner -- this is for projects and vacations etc.  Again i dont use this section but i suppose to some people this would be useful.  After the yearly planner is a section for international dialing codes -- useful, but not used much in my case.  

bday anniversary yearly planner IMG_1427

The paper is 100 gsm (per Levenger's website) and is fountain paper friendly.  I did a couple of tests and there was no bleed through, no feathering, though there was some show through with my pelikan.  Ink dries pretty quickly on the paper and writing on the planner is smooth and the ink just glides.  

writing sample back page writing sample writing samples

Now, what have _I_ done with the planner?  I went ahead and added a pocket (bought this from Levenger -- but i believe the ARC system has them as well but not as colorful).  In addition, see the square piece of metal?  This is actually the backing from a product that I got from threebythree in Seattle.  They sell these "mighty magnets" 12 come per container of magnets, and they are packaged in a small square plastic box.  The 12 magnets are placed into the plastic box and have a small steel plate behind it.  I've actually attached some magnets to the inside of the planner.  This allows me to have a place to store some papers without the pocket.  Originally there was no pocket, so this is a bit superfluous now but was useful a couple of weeks ago when i  didnt have a folder pocket to put things in.

back fly leaf back cover magnets! magnet back IMG_1430 back page folder insert w magnet

What's nice with the Levenger system?

  • I can order my planner to start from any month
  • There is a variety of planner styles i can choose from -- behance system, day at a glance, etc.

What features do i wish were in the levenger system?

  • What I do miss is the month at a glance where the month would be on 2 pages -- its helpful when im putting in due dates, and other things like that -- if you purchase the levenger system you would have to buy that insert separately.  
  • a pocket or somehow to stash papers or things that i want to keep before i hole punch it that comes with the planner rather than having to purchase a separate set

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