How important are monthly planning pages in your planner?

Posted December 19, 2014 by
in Pens, Paper & People | 16 comments »

Exaplan

A common request we receive from customers is to add monthly planning pages to planners that don’t have them. The weekly Hebdo, Space 24, Space 17 , Visual and daily Journal 21 planners have monthly calendars, but the other Quo Vadis planners do not.

Popularity of monthly planning calendars varies by region. They are very popular in the US and Japan, and much less so in Canada and Europe. This creates a dilemma for a multi-national company like Quo Vadis because it means different versions of planners might be needed for different regions.

Another issue with month calendars is the day the weeks begin. People in the US are used to month calendars having Sunday-start weeks, and can get thrown off by Monday-start weeks (which is the norm in the rest of the world).

How important are monthly planning pages in your planner? And do you prefer Sunday or Monday starting weeks?

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Where to buy Quo Vadis planners

Posted December 18, 2014 by
in Announcements | 2 comments »

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We’ve had several emails recently asking where to buy Quo Vadis planners in the US and Canada. They are available at several brick-and-mortar stores, and online.

In the US you can find some editions at Barnes & Noble, smaller office supply and stationery stores, bookstores and art supply stores. Quo Vadis planners are not sold in office supply superstores like Office Max or Staples in the US. Click here for the Quo Vadis store finder to help you find a retailer near you.

There are several online retailers where you can order Quo Vadis planners in the US. Click here to see the entire list of US online retailers for Quo Vadis planners, notebooks and journals.

In Canada and Europe you can find Quo Vadis planners in Staples, Office Depot, Office Max and other stores. Click here and scroll down to see the retailers in Canada who sell Quo Vadis products.

You can also order directly from www.quovadiscanada.com and from www.quovadis-diaries.co.uk (which ships worldwide).

While we’re talking about retailers, I want to remind you: if you see a planner in a store and want to buy it, please buy it at that store. So many stores are going out of business because people find an item at their store but then purchase it online instead. Supporting your local shops allows them to continue to offer paper planners, and thus for you to browse and experience planners in real life before you buy them. If most people buy their planners online, soon we’ll only be able to buy them online.

I understand some people (myself for example) don’t have the opportunity to buy Quo Vadis planners locally, but if you do, please support your brick-and-mortar shop. Okay, public service announcement over!

 

 

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Writing Wednesday: The future of paper planners, revisited.

Posted December 17, 2014 by
in Where to Go? | 2 comments »

The Wizard

Here’s a topic we covered a couple of years ago: the future of paper planners. At that time, the outcome seemed dire. Borders had recently closed, and with it the opportunity for many people to handle planners in real life before purchasing. Moleskine’s IPO was imminent, prompting some to think their bubble had expanded to capacity and was due to contract. And electronic gadgetry was on the rise, causing some to predict the end was nigh for paper planners.

Now we have the luxury of hindsight over the past two years, and I am very happy to report that paper planners are still alive and well. It is true that some brands continue to reduce their planner selections, and some have shut their brick and mortar shops entirely. For example in the post from two years ago, Patty commented that she still had a Franklin Covey store in her town. That store has since shut. And as it turns out, Moleskine has reduced their planner selection for three years in a row now.

Happily, Quo Vadis planners are still going strong. Some types of planners are not as popular as they once were, and yes sometimes we do have to discontinue planners due to lack of sales. But the favorites are still selling well and if I could look into a crystal ball I would predict a healthy future for them. I think there are a lot of people who appreciate paper planners even more now that screens are ubiquitous. The tactile nature of a book that doesn’t beep at you never loses its appeal.

The types of planners offered in the future may change: smaller selections and more personalization are possibilities.

What do you think will be the future of paper planners?

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Hebdo Success

Posted December 16, 2014 by
in Announcements, Editorial | Add your comment »

hebdo

We are sold out of Hebdo planners.  It’s “open space” format style is growing in popularity.

We are also sold out of Rhodia Weekly planners in pocket and desk with orange covers.

If you happen to be looking for the above products, I suggest you try to locate them on the web right away.

 

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Time Management Monday: Daily intentions

Posted December 15, 2014 by
in Planning Tips | 2 comments »

40+251 Done-ish

An excellent way to make sure you’re working your daily plan and accomplishing your goals is to have a checklist of daily intentions. I know it might seem silly to have a list of things you do every day. You do them every day, why should you need reminding?

A checklist of daily intentions holds you to your plan. This practice can help you make sure you are working your goal actions into your daily schedule. If you want to exercise, read more books or learn a new language, add it to your list of daily intentions and then hold yourself accountable by checking off what you’ve accomplished.

Routine tasks are also useful to have on a checklist. I have several friends who use checklists for their daily routine tasks. Patty wrote an excellent post last year on why it’s useful to check off routine tasks every day. I was convinced to try it.

I found having all my daily intentions and routine tasks on a checklist helped me plan my day because I was able to see time that was automatically allocated like walking the dog (1 hour), blogs, laundry (I have a tiny washing machine and no dryer so I have to do at least two loads every day just to keep up), etc. These are things that don’t necessarily have to do be done at a specific time of the day, but have to be done sometime every day.

Along with routines, I added things to my list I want to do every day that otherwise would be easy to let slide. I have so many books I want to read, so I added reading to my list of daily intentions to make sure I consider it a priority.

Checking off my daily chores and other goals like exercise and reading gives me a real feeling of accomplishment no matter what else I manage to get done that day. Using my list of daily intentions along with time blocking has really helped me puzzle together my hours and fit in everything I need to accomplish each day.

Do you use a checklist for daily intentions and/ or routines?

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Grab-bags giveaway winners!

Posted December 12, 2014 by
in Announcements | 3 comments »

Here are the winners of the Grab-bags giveaway!

Bryan G.

Kathleen S.

Ashley C.

Gill W.

Brent A.

Tani P.

Connie T.

Sandy L.

Joe H.

Lorna S.

I have already emailed the winners to notify them their grab bags will be on their way soon.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

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Santa mythology: magic mushrooms?

Posted December 11, 2014 by
in Cabinet of Curiosities | 3 comments »

Fly Agaric

Here’s one I hadn’t heard before: the way we think of Santa wearing red and white and getting around via flying reindeer might be down to Siberian shamans partaking of hallucinogenic mushrooms! Ok, follow me here.

According to this article, many of our Santa-related traditions can be explained by the actions of ancient Siberian shamanic practices around the time of the winter solstice, when they would bring bags of hallucinogenic mushrooms to people in their tents. The red-and-white mushrooms grow under pine trees, thus the practice of placing brightly-colored packages under the Christmas tree. And the whole coming-down-the-chimney thing? The tent doors were usually blocked with snow at that time of year, so people came in and out through the roof flap where the cooking fire smoke escaped.

It’s not hard to accept that the idea of flying reindeer began with a hallucinogen-induced trip. And the Siberia connection would help explain why Santa lives at the North Pole.

Of course this only tells part of the Santa story. Other cultures have different traditions like putting gifts in shoes, or at the foot of the bed rather than under the tree.

Whether the mushroom connection is accurate or not, I’m fascinated by human traditions that are carried on sometimes for thousands of years and we don’t really know why. That’s just how it’s done. Christmas trees, presents, reindeer and Santa: it’s all part of the tradition, and we enjoy them whether we clearly understand their origins or not.

Had you heard of the mushroom-Santa connection before? What do you think of it?

 

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Writing Wednesday guest post: Steve Morton’s Daily 21 journal

Posted December 10, 2014 by
in Pens, Paper & People | 1 comment »

Today’s guest post comes from Steve Morton, also known as “Mr Philofaxy!”

Steve

Living with bound and ring bound planners.

For many years I have been a ‘ring bound’ planner person. I didn’t make a decision to only use ring bound planners, it just sort of happened. I love the flexibility offered by ring bound planners to add and subtract from the pages you are currently holding in the planner.

It does however come with its own limitations. By using a ring bound planner you are restricted to a certain extent about what size paper you can use. And the bigger in page size you go, whilst that gives you lots of page real estate, the portability of a large ring bound planner starts to become an issue for some people. Page for page a bound planner will always be smaller and lighter for a given number of pages.

Some people also have issues with the rings getting in the way when it comes to writing in a ring bound planner, although of course you can remove the page to write on it.

A couple of years ago I switched my journal from loose leaf pages in a ring bound planner to a lovely Quo Vadis Daily 21 A5 size bound planner. It is a page per day, printed on beautifully silky soft paper. Each day has an equal space including weekends. The amount of writing space is perfect for my notes of the day. I tend to ignore the hours in left hand side of the page, but they don’t intrude in to the writing space so I have a great lined space to use each day.

The Daily 21 is one of the European editions. USA has a similar offering, the Journal 21. The main difference being a slight difference in page size and that the Daily 21 is in six European languages, but English is the first in the list followed by French and as I live in France that suits me just fine!

The paper in the Quo Vadis planners is made with acid free paper and takes fountain pen ink nicely with no bleed through to the other side of the paper. So for a journal that I archive each year it is the perfect solution for me.

For my current and future planning needs on the move I still tend towards using a ring bound planner, something around the usual personal/compact size I can add or subtract just the pages I need to keep the size and the weight down. Quo Vadis now offer their own inserts in the USA as well. Previously I have bought them for friends in the US and posted them from here in France!

I find using a combination of ring bound and bound planners for different purposes gives me the best of both worlds. If you have only ever used one type before take a look at the other type.

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Blue Christmas

Posted December 9, 2014 by
in Where to Go? | Add your comment »

Basic RGB

As Christmas is approaching, not everyone is celebrating, or the feeling can be bittersweet.  We remember friends, colleagues and family members that are no longer with us or close.  The happiness of the season for me is often edged with sadness, as I remember people and places that are gone from my life. I miss them.

Other people are attending funerals, dealing with dire medical news, coping with unemployment, broken relationships, depression, loneliness and any number of personal challenges.

As a way to bring people comfort and hope, some churches sponsor a “Blue Christmas” service.  This service is for people who are hurting, grieving or feeling a sense of isolation during the holidays. I think this is a tremendous support, since it is an additional burden to try to feel festive when you are really feeling blue.

 

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Time Management Monday: Thank your past self

Posted December 8, 2014 by
in Planning Tips | Add your comment »

Preparation for a Hurricane

There are lots of important but simple things you can do ahead of time to stave off a minor (or even not so minor) crisis. Do these and you’ll be thanking your past self for your preparations:

  • Make sure you have clean clothes appropriate for your needs tomorrow. Bonus points: set them out the night before.
  • Take a look at tomorrow’s forecast to see if you’ll need an umbrella, snow boots, etc.
  • Check you have ingredients you need to make lunches and/ or dinners. If not, do a grocery run.
  • Replace things before you run out like toilet paper, toothpaste, other personal care items and daily staples like bread and milk.
  • Make sure you have plenty of clean towels, and that your medicine cabinet is stocked with first aid and fever reducer medicines (in case you were wondering, yes I learned this one the hard way!).
  • Keep your car fueled up with at least a half tank at all times.
  • Here’s a big one: check your smoke and CO2 detectors each month and change the batteries annually.

What else can you do now to make your life easier later?

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